The first session of the 32nd European Indoor Athletics Championships went well this morning and early afternoon.
GOTEBORG (SWE, Feb 28): In a debut shot put men qualification was held one day ahead and outside the main competition venue. The Market Square hosted before 500 spectators the putters, the only one Serbian Asmir Kolasinac getting the standard (20.15) with 20.31 right in first attempt. Over 20 also Bosnian Hamza Alic 20.05 season best and Czech Ladislav Prasil 20.03 in last round. Enough to qualify was at the end of the day 19.73. Little bit less than two years ago in Paris (19.75, but 6 over 20 in Bercy qualification). Still to note that top two in the lists Czech Martin Stasek and Bulgarian Georgi Ivanov did not qualify. First national record in Goteborg for Huseyin Atici of Turkey 19.59.
RUSSIA: Out from the team are hurdler Svetlana Topilina because of an injury from training and young 800 m runner Ayvika Malanova who collapsed recently. Head coach Valentin Maslakov also confirmed for All-Sport the absence of European 3000 m leader Svetlana Kireyeva.
GERMANY: Team captain is shot put title defender Ralf Bartels who successfully went through the qualification.
LATVIA: The 2000 European Indoor Champion Stanislavs Olijars is at the end of the day not competing due to discrepancies of funding his trip.
TELEVISION: The GÃ¶teborg 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships are set to receive over 250 hours of television coverage on the continent, with 26 international broadcasters from across Europe expressing intentions to televise the world’s biggest indoor athletics event of the year. In addition to the 26 countries showing the event, pan-European channel Eurosport plans to show the majority of the championships live across its 59 territories. The Paris 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships had 161 hours of television coverage in 23 countries.
FUTURE: The City of Goteborg is planning more top athletics events in future. Some are suggesting the World Indoor Championships in Scandinavium could be an option. But the city representatives mentioned a jubilee year 2021 where outdoor World Championships would fit.
STANDARDS: Qualification standards in remaining technical events – men 231 for high jump, 575 pole vault, 805 long jump and 16.90 triple jump. On the women side 194, 456, 665, 14.10 and 18.00 m. In comparison to Paris 2011 very similar, slight increase this year for men high jump and shot put and women pole vault, long jump and shot put.
ALBUQUERQUE (USA): 2012 London Olympic medalists Jenn Suhr, Janay Deloach Soukup and Trey Hardee along with high school phenom Mary Cain will be among the names highlighting the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, which begin Friday, March 1, and run through Sunday, March 3, at the Albuquerque Convention Center. All eyes will be on 16-year-old Mary Cain in the women’s 800m and mile as she will face former University of Tennessee standout Chanelle Price and reigning outdoor 800m World Junior champion Ajee Wilson in the 800m. Her top competitors in the mile will be three-time USA Outdoor 1500m champion Treniere Moser and Sarah Brown, who won the 1500m and mile at the previous two stops of the USATF Indoor Championship series. In the women’s hurdles, Deloach Soukup will face a talented field that includes 2010 USA Indoor champion Ginnie Crawford, who has also run 7.97 this season. Others in contention for the title include 2012 USA Indoor champion Kristi Castlin and 2008 Olympian Queen Harrison. A pair of Olympic medalists will highlight the men’s events in Albuquerque, which includes London Olympic decathlon silver medalist Trey Hardee and three-time Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner. American record holder Brad Walker will look to claim his fifth USA Indoor title in the men’s pole vault. The 2012 Olympian has won a total of six world championships medals. Bershawn “Batman” Jackson returns to the USA Indoor Championships where he last claimed a 400m title in 2010. 2011 World Outdoor 1,500m bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz is entered in both the 800m and 1500 m. The reigning World Indoor Championships gold medalist, Ryan Whit
ing, who has recorded the farthest indoor throw in the world each of the last two years, highlights the field in the men’s shot put. Informs the USATF.
MELBOURNE (AUS): Australian race walking icon Nathan Deakes has announced his immediate retirement from athletics. One of the most lauded athletes in Australian athletics history, Deakes’s illustrious 17-year career began with a bronze medal at the 1996 IAAF World Junior Championships in Sydney. A bronze medal in the men’s 20km walk at the 1998 Commonwealth Games followed, before a further four Commonwealth titles in the men’s 20km and 50km walks in 2002 (Manchester) and 2006 (Melbourne). Deakes also won a bronze medal in the men’s 20km walk at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games but his biggest and most memorable successes are his men’s 50km walk world record (3:35:47) in December 2006 and a world title one year later at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka (JPN). He concluded his international career at the 2012 London Olympic Games. From Athletics Australia.
NAIROBI (KEN): Reigning World Cross junior champion, Geoffrey Kipsang who was penned as a major prospect for the senior men gold medal in Poland was sensationally axed from the team on Thursday by Athletics Kenya. Also dropped from the team is Bernard Kipkemoi, a competitor in the junior men squad whose place will be taken up by Michael Bett with no further additions in the team preparing for the March 24 World Cross that will break for the General Elections on Friday. “Kipsang has never reported to the camp since we named him in the team and has not yet given us his reasons and there will be no replacement. Kipkemoi could not avail his birth certificate in good time to process his passport and we have a deadline of three weeks before the competition to process all documents at the Polish Embassy,” AK general secretary, David Okeyo, said in a statement released to the press, informs capitalfm.co.ke.
NAIROBI (KEN): Kenya will for the first time enter three teams to compete in this year Penn Relays in the USA. The Penn Relays will be held on April 27 in Philadelphia where Kenyan women will compete in the 4X400m and 4X800m events for the maiden time whilst a medley relay for men in addition to the normal relays.
PRAGUE (CZE): Former top high jumper and European medalist Tomas Janku was named the executive director of the European Indoor Championships 2015 in Prague.
BALTIMORE (USA): Baltimore Sun informs that Sanjay Ayre who was a professional track athlete representing Jamaica for 12 years, has won a race on every continent except Antarctica. His medal collection includes a bronze from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, a gold from the 2004 World Championships in Budapest and a bronze from the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, all in the 4×400 meter relay. Ayre, 32, now uses his world-class experiences in Howard County as a volunteer track coach at Howard Community College and owner of a personal training business.
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): The USA Track & Field Foundation (USATFF) announced that Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, has donated USD 500 000 to the USATF Foundation. The funding will be used to support world-class athletes in track and field who are the most likely winners of medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, as well as to create a matching gift program for other donors to the USATF Foundation.
THESSALONIKI (GRE): Greek media are informing that the court of appeals in Thessaloniki sentenced the city’s former New Democracy-backed mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos, a former international sprinter, to life in prison for embezzling 18m euros from the municipality’s purse. The municipality’s former municipal treasurer, Panayiotis Saxonis, and the former general secretary, Michalis Lemousias, were also found guilty. A New Democracy MP for almost two decades, Papageorgopoulos served as Thessaloniki mayor between 1999 and 2010. He was European indoor bronze medalist 1972 in Grenoble at 50 m and outdoors equaled European record of hand timed 10.0.
LONDON (GBR): Olympic heptathlon winner Jessica Ennis arrived at the palace to be honoured by the Queen. Accompanied by fiance Andy Hill, the 27-year-old posed for photographers but did not comment before collecting her CBE. The ceremony has seen honours go to a collection of athletes who became household names with their achievements as part of Team GB. Greg Rutherford, 26, who landed a gold in the long jump, spoke of his excitement at being awarded the MBE. He said: â€žI am very excited and very nervous as well. â€žIt’s not every day you get to do something like this and meet the Queen. The heart’s racing a bit.” Informs Telegraph.co.uk.
AUCKLAND (NZL, Feb 28): Olympic 2008 medalist Nick Willis clocked in special race 3:36.51 at the 1500 m, fastest outdoor this year but missed the qualification time for Moscow.