Otto beats Lavillenie at the Drake Relays Pole Vault in the Mall (Indoor), by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

April Steiner, Drake Relays Mall Vault, 
photo by John Barnhart, ASICS America

The HyVee sponsorship in the Drake Relays is one of the most important stores in sports marketing in track & field in 2013. It is also, one of the most under written and sourced. 

The Drake Relays Mall Pole vault features strong field on both the men's and women's sides. Bjorn Otto defeated Renaud Lavillenie in the mall vault, that was a result read around the world. 

Great performances to come on Friday night and especially on Saturday, April 27! 



DES MOINES (USA, Apr 24): Silver winner from last Olympics German Bjorn Otto cleared 580 at the Drake Relays Pole Vault in the Mall (indoor). At Jordan Creek Town Center it was new event record in his last attempt at this height. He then tried at 585. Second Olympic winner Renaud Lavillenie 570 and third Jordan Scott 560. In a tie fourth previous meet record holder Brad Walker and Mark Hollis 550. "It was a good performance," Otto said. "It was my first competition after the indoor season so it was a good warm-up for Saturday [London Games Rematch inside Drake Stadium]. It will be my first competition outside so hopefully the weather conditions will be getting better," informs the event website. Lavillenie was quoted as saying: "It is real interesting. The people are very close to us. It is very difficult at the beginning to find a good mark as we have the feeling that we are going to jump into the wall. But it was very interesting to compete here." Even higher quality for women winner Yarisley Silva of Cuba who cleared overall national and CAC continental mark 482, also a meet record. Silva tried afterwards 490. Her bests so far 481 outdoor this March in Cuba and 478 last indoors from Stockholm meet. There was a tie for second for US vaulters Kylie Hutson and Mary Saxer 460.



EUGENE (USA): The men's 3000 m steeple field at the 39th Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on 1 July, an IAAF Diamond League meeting, will include all three London 2012 Olympic Games medallists, as well as seven of the top 10 fastest men last year. Great duel is expected between Paul Kipsiele Koech and Ezekiel Kemboi. But as always in this event new names can improve in 2013. For example the World Junior Champion 2012 Conseslus Kipruto who tested himself during CC season and was 5th in the junior race in Bydgoszcz. The two other London medallists in the loaded Pre Classic field are France's silver medallist Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad and Kenya's bronze medallist Abel Mutai, who are both set to race on US soil for the first time. The presence of US record holder Evan Jager is an obvious bright spot for American fans. Also in the field Don Cabral, Dan Huling, Roba Gari, Hillary Yego and Bernard Nganga. Another Kenyan Haron Langat should be the pacemaker.



GOLD COAST (AUS): World and Olympic gold medalist at 100 m hurdles Sally Pearson is back in fast training. She posted on her twitter: „First blocks and hurdles session since I tore my hamstring 8 weeks ago." Her first announced race for the European summer is Rome Golden Gala Pietro Mennea meet on June 6.



TOKYO (JPN): The Japan Federation announced the five men and three women Japanese World Championships Marathon team. They are Hiroyuki Horibata, who was second (first Japanese) in 2012 Fukuoka Marathon with 2:08:24, Yuki Kawauchi, who won the 2013 Beppu-Oita Marathon with 2:08:15, Kentaro Nakamoto, who was second in 2013 Beppu-Oita Marathon with 2:08:35, Kazuhiro Maeda, who was fourth (first Japanese) in 2013 Tokyo Marathon with 2:08:00, and Masakazu Fujiwara, who was fourth (first Japanese) in 2013 Lake Biwa Marathon with 2:08:51. Only three women, not five, were selected form the marathon team. They are Ryoko Kizaki, who won the 2013 Nagoya Women's Marathon with 2:23:34, Kayoko Fukushi, who was second (first Japanese) in 2013 Osaka Women's Marathon with 2:24:21 and 2004 Olympic winner Mizuki Noguchi, who was third (second Japanese) in 2013 Nagoya Women's Marathon with 2:24:05. World Championships walk team was also announced with Yusuke Suzuki and Takumi Saito for 20 km, for 50 km Takayuki Tanii, Hirooki Arai and Koichiro Morioka. For women's 20 km walk Masumi Fuchise and Kumi Otoshi were selected.







LONDON (GBR): Insidethegames writes that British Athletics have defended their snubbing of Ireland's four-time Paralympic champion Jason Smyth from the London Anniversary Games this July, claiming that they have had to be „selective" about the events chosen for the competition. The 25-year-old visually impaired sprinter from Derry is one of the most high-profile disability athletes in the world and underlined status as „the fastest Paralympian on the planet" at London 2012 when he claimed victories in both the men's 100 and 200 meters T13 to replicate his double gold medal performance from Beijing 2008. British Athletics, who are organising the event, say it was too difficult to make room for Smyth's T13 class event at the London Anniversary Games. Britain's 100 meter T44 Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock will be competing at the London Anniversary Games


MUMIAS (KEN): Kenyan media are informing that World record holder, David Rudisha will launch his season this weekend when he takes part in the Athletics Kenya meeting at Mumias Sugar Sports Complex Other top runners expected are--Olympic and world 3,000m steeplechase champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, former Olympic 800 m champion Pamela Jelimo and 2008 Olympic 1500 m champion, Asbel Kiprop, Linet Masai and Moses Masai. Coach Brother Colm O'Connell confirmed Rudisha's participation in Mumias on Friday, saying he will run the 400 m.


TOKYO (JPN): For the first IAAF Hammer Challenge meet on May 5 in Tokyo at Seiko Golden Grand Prix the top entries are Russian Aleksey Zagorniy, Tajikistan´s Dilshod Nazarov, Czech olympic finalist Lukas Melich, Slovak Eurowinner 2010 Libor Charfreitag and Poland´s Pawel Fajdek. Interesting for this IAAF World Challenge meet in men long jump with World indoor champion Mauro Vinicius from Brazil and current world leader Zarck Visser of South Africa. The provisional start list published by the organisers includes also hurdles stars Kellie Wells and Lolo Jones from USA. As already informed high jump world champion Anna Chicherova is scheduled to open here her season. Strong US presence in women long jump with Chelsea Hayes, Janay De Loach-Soukup and Funmi Jimoh. US record holder Jill Camarena-Williams should compete in women shot put against German Nadine Kleinert.


MOSCOW (RUS): Metal detectors for spectators will be installed along the entire marathon course at the world athletics championships in August as part of increased security following last week's Boston bombings, organisers of the World Championships said. „It definitely has given us an extra headache," long-serving Russian athletics chief Valentin Balakhnichev said in reference to the Boston blasts. In a wide-ranging interview with Reuters, Balakhnichyov also emphasised Russia's tough stance on doping and confirmed that pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva plans to compete in Moscow.


KINGSTON (JAM): The 2012 World Junior Champio at the 200 m Delano Williams who is also current world leader with 20.27, has revealed that he has contemplated representing Jamaica at the senior level. The Turks and Caicos Islands-born Williams cannot run for his native country at the Olympics, as they are not recognised by the International Olympic Committee. However, he is eligible to represent Great Britain as Turks and Caicos are a British overseas territory. Williams moved to Jamaica in 2008, after Hurricane Ike destroyed his school. „I start with Racers this October, so my coach (Neil Harrison) will take me right up to Moscow (World Championships) and after that I will have a month off and then I start with Racers," Williams shared. „I am looking forward to it, the professional side is going to be hard, because it is not just running, it is a business, as I have to make a living for myself and I think I can once I stay focused."


PHILADELPHIA (USA): Former 800 m world champion Janeth Jepkosgei is among the athletes selected to represent Kenya at the Penn Relays. Also 2008 Olympic 1500 m champion Nancy Lagat, World Indoor 3000 m winner Hellen Obiri, and Winnie Chebet complete the strong Kenyan 4x800 m. John Mwangangi, Timothy Kitum, Vincent Cheruiyot will run the 4x1500 m. Great Britain selected the winning team from Goteborg Euroindoors to run the 4x400 m (Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Christine Ohuruogu, Perri Shakes-Drayton). The men 4x400 m squad includes three of the four gold medallists from Gothenburg, with Michael Bingham, Richard Buck and Nigel Levine joined by Olympic 400m semi-finalist Conrad Williams and European Indoor finalist Richard Strachan. The men's 4x100m relay team will be made up of two London 2012 Olympians - James Ellington and Danny Talbot - and they will be joined by Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Andrew Robertson. From Kenyan media and Athletics Weekly. In the men medley relay Chris Warburton, Martyn Rooney, Joe Thomas, Matt McLaughlin and in the women 4x800 m Tara Bird, Marilyn Okoro, Lynsey Sharp, Jemma Simpson.


COPENHAGEN (DEN): National 400 m hurdles record holder Sara Petersen (55.68 last year) is pregnant and will miss the season. She expects her baby in October this year. She is one of very few international female athletes from Denmark. At London Games Petersen advanced into semifinals.


NAIROBI (KEN): Kenyan media are commenting that once again, there is no space for World record holder, Patrick Makau in the Moscow World Championships squad after Athletics Kenya (AK) unveiled the provisional men and women marathon squads on Wednesday. Makau, the 2:03:38 standard bearer who fell off the pace barely ten kilometers to the men's race at Sunday's London Marathon before finishing down the order in 11th, was also controversially overlooked for last year's Olympics before he went on to win in Frankfurt. At the same time, AK also unveiled a probable squad of 58 led who have attained the Moscow qualifying standard by five world champions that will enter residential training next week in readiness for the Moscow Worlds in other distances. World record holder, David Rudisha (men 800 m), Ezekiel Kemboi (men 3000 m steeple), Asbel Kiprop (men 1500 m) and women's double 5000 m and 10 000m gold medallist Vivian Cheruiyot are the Daegu winners in the list.


NAIROBI (KEN): World governing body, IAAF have agreed to set up a Blood Testing Centre (BTC) in Eldoret to serve the distance running heartlands of Kenya and Ethiopia. Making the announcement, Athletics Kenya (AK) chair, Isaiah Kiplagat, said they were expecting the establishment of the proposed centre to have taken shape over the next three months. At the same time, the chair disclosed plans were underway to set-up a lab in either Eldoret, the self styled athletics capital of the world or Nairobi in conjunction with both IAAF and World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) as the fight to tackle the doping scourge among Kenyan runners continues to gather momentum.


RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): writes that IAAF General Secretary Essar Gabriel left Rio de Janeiro, where he was updated by the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and its government partners on the city's preparations. Gabriel was pleased with the progress achieved by Rio so far and the plans for the track and field. Essar Gabriel said: "It was a great pleasure to be in Rio. With regards to the preparations, I'm impressed because we see in the new headquarters that there are more than 400 people now at work. We have gone through the different functions, from transport and accommodation to competition. It's pretty much on track from what I am seeing."


SHERWOOD CONTENT (USA): The fastest man on the planet, 26-year-old Usain Bolt says he will be lobbying the government for a reliable water supply in his native Sherwood Content. The community has suffered from a lack of piped water from the National Water Commission since the famed sprinter's childhood days. Usain Bolt was speaking at the handing-over ceremony of JAD 4-million multi-purpose court in his hometown Sherwood Content community last week. Informs Jamaica Observer.







ADLER (RUS, Apr 23-24): At the Nizamutdinov Memorial in throws Aleksey Zagornyi won the hammer with 78.30 ahead of Anatoliy Pozdnyakov 77.04 and Sergey Litvinov 74.82. In junior hammer (6 kg) new best for Barcelona finalist Valeriy Pronkin 80.70 m. In women hammer Gulfiya Khanafeyeva achieved 72.16. 24-years old Aleksandr Lesnoy improved in men shot to 20.34. Anna Omarova was the best woman with 17.88 m.


SZOMBATHELY (HUN, Apr 24): Helga Volgyi achieved at local championships 72.42 national U18 record with 3 kg hammer.


ST. MAUR (FRA, Apr 24): Riad Guerfi won the French 10 000 m championships with 29:04.20. Second Driss El Himer 29:05.82.







PATIALA (IND): Again correction from my side, the right time of women 20 km walk winner Kushbir Kaur was 1:38:03.

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