Record Numbers for Moscow, by Alfons Juck, Ich bin Bostonian, by Larry Eder

Luzhniki Stadium.jpg
Luzhikhi Stadium,Moscow,Russia, photo courtesy of IAAF

It is nearly five am in London, England, on Saturday morning. My son, Adam,  sent me a video from the Boston Red Sox game where it was announced, that justice had been served. The crowd erupted in huge applause, and I sat in my room, with tears in my eyes. 

adidas has introduced a t-shirt about helping Boston. Now sold in the US, the response has been so high, it will soon be sold in Europe.  But, in truth, until that little girl who lost one of her legs forgets about her brother, who was robbed from her, the adidas Boston shirt should be sold around the world to remind everyone that evil never sleeps.

I understand people's needs to have independence. I also understand that my countries' independence was hard fought, and was an ugly, brutal war, soldier by soldier, house by house, until the new country called the US was independent. In my history, it is hard to process an eight year old's death, the maiming of his sister, and the horrific wounding of their mother, minutes after hugging their father at the iconic Boston marathon finish line. The image of a baseball hat-wearing evil doer, in pictures in newspapers across the world, makes the moment even more horrifically surreal. 

I am certain that the bombings in Boston will bring attention to the civil war in Chechnya within our country. The two brothers' desire to affect the U.S. may have come to fruition, but not in the way that they hoped. By bombing runners in the iconic city of Boston, these young men were foolish, to say the least. Americans first, Bostonians second, may seem polarizing in many cases, but we are all Bostonians now, we are all Americans now, and running is now an act of defiance against people who despise our way of life.

One more thing, fundamentalism is out of season. Get that right. No matter the color, or the accent, we are Americans. We are Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, agnostics, pagans and yes, atheists.  Our founding fathers established a country that allowed us freedom from religion, not freedom of religion. Our founding fathers believed that religion and government were separate entities. It is difficult to fathom sometimes, but it is part of a society that has created great thought, great science, great technology. 

The man who convinced me to triple major in college was a man born in Pakistan, who first taught me about Islam, a religion founded in the same place as Judaism and Christianity. Most Muslims who have come to this country, from Eritrea, Russia, and other parts of the world, love America as much as we all do. The majority of them have no interest in harming our country and see the bombings in Boston with as much heartache as we do as a nation. 

These two brothers who lived in this country for a decade or more, are, as their grandfather described them, "losers".  My heartfelt prayer is that the nineteen-year old who was caught lives on to a ripe old age in one of our accomdating federal prisons. Only then, will he understand how wrong he was to bomb one of our finest sporting establishments.

People who do bad things to our country complete their evil actions in deceptive ways. 9/11 perpetrators hid their faith, and disliked, no, change that, hated, our open, secular society, that allows people of all faiths, or no faiths, who live in our country, as long as they respect others, to live their dreams. 

Today, and in the near future, we are all Bostonians. We are all Americans. We are all runners. 

Ich bin Bostonian.  





MONACO (MON): Record numbers of athletes and nations are expected to compete at the IAAF World Championships this year, which will be held in Moscow between 10 to 18 August. Preliminary entries received by the IAAF for the 14th edition of the Championships indicate that 205 of the 212 National Member Federations intend to participate in the Russian capital. The previous record was 202 countries in 1999 in Seville. Initial entries of 1409 men and 1107 women are of course more than ever but the real numbers at the end are always less. But hopes for the best participation are very realistic. The records for participation at previous Championships are: 1173 for men, 856 for women and 1894 in total.



MONACO (MON): US sprinter Allyson Felix and her Jamaican counterpart Veronica Campbell-Brown are expected to be among the stars of this year's IAAF Diamond League and with three weeks to go before the opening meeting of 2013, on Friday 10 May in Doha, the pair spoke to journalists on Thursday, writes the IAAF. Felix is scheduled to run relays at MtSAC and Penn Relays, Campbell-Brown said about relays: „As of now, I don't have any 4x100 races in my schedule with the Jamaican ladies. Over the years, we normally practice our baton exchanges at the camp (the pre-championship training camp) and so I'm expecting that will be the same this year." Both will be opening their international season at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Kingston on 4 May in the 100 m. „For that race, it'll be my first individual race and it'll be the first time I've come to Jamaica since the World Juniors in 2002. I'm just excited to open my season and see where I am. I had a long year last year so I've only gradually been getting back to where I need to be this year. I'll be racing to get sharpness. I need to be in shape for the US nationals, so for that race (in Jamaica) it'll be opening up and seeing where things are at," said Felix. „For me, that race will be my first 100m so I'll be trying to see where I am at as well. It's always a pleasure and it's always so much fun and exciting to compete at home so I'm looking forward to entertaining all the fans that are coming out to support us," added Campbell-Brown.







BOSTON (USA): Adidas, Official Sponsor of the Boston Athletic Association and the Boston Marathon, announced the launch of a limited edition „Boston stands as one" t-shirt. The t-shirt is available with 100% of the proceeds going to The One Fund Boston, Inc. in order to help the people most affected by the tragic events. The One Fund Boston, Inc. was announced to support those affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on Monday.


LONDON (GBR): Olympic marathon winner Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia came to New York last November for the ING New York City Marathon as the newly crowned Olympic Marathon champion and record holder, and she was ready to race. Under her coach, Getaneh Tessema, she had successfully restarted her training after her Olympic victory in August and was ready to run her third marathon of the year, the final stop for the 2011/2012 World Marathon Majors series. „I was well prepared for New York," she told reporters here today. „Unfortunately, because of the weather it was canceled." Prior to the race in New York, Gelana's management team at Global Sports Communications had already secured her a place in Sunday's Virgin London Marathon. Tessema knew that trying to put her into a „replacement" marathon would be a mistake, and that it was best for her to run a shorter before starting her dedicated build-up for London. Informs Race Results Weekly. And training has been good, but athlete and coach said. Two other women who will run here, Atsede Baysa (2:22:03 PB) and Meselech Melkamu (2:21:01) trained with Gelana, so she had an excellent group surrounding her.


LONDON (GBR): Double olympic winner Mo Farah faced perhaps the largest pre-race assembly of reporters to attend a Virgin London Marathon press conference since Paula Radcliffe's heyday, and said his decision to run only half the race here Sunday was an easy one. „It's a no-brainer, really," said Farah, who had more than a dozen television cameras recording his every word. Surely, his is the most expensive marathon appearance fee to be paid to an athlete who has committed--to both the organizers and his coach, Alberto Salazar--that he will not finish the race. While experts dismiss the estimate given by the Daily Mail in a published report last month at USD 1.1 million as improbable, it is certain that it is comfortably in the six figures, something organizers have steadfastly refused to confirm. Writes Race Results Weekly. „I definitely want to test myself on the marathon," Farah told reporters. „I'm not ready this year, but my aim is to learn from this year. So, next year I'm ready to go." He added: „I want to run, I want to get the feel of it. That's the honest truth."


LONDON (GBR): The Virgin London Marathon has announced that it will donate 2 GBP for every finisher in Sunday's race to The One Fund Boston set up to raise money for victims of the explosions there earlier this week. The race organisers estimate that around 35,500 people will cross the line on Sunday meaning at least 70 000 GBP - more than 100 000 USD - is likely to be raised for the fund. Organizers are informing.


THESSALONIKI (GRE): The Organizing Committee of Thessaloniki Marathon decided that all participants will run with black wristbands (titled Thessaloniki to Boston) and also everyone will have a sticker which will read Why?.







SOCHI (RUS): An important guest attended the final day of the AIPS congress, Dimitry Kozak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. He officially handed over the AIPS congress flag to Chingiz Huseyn-Zade, Vice-President of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan. Huseyn-Zade stated: "It is a great pleasure for us to take the responsibility for the next AIPS congress in Baku." He added that it is going to be a very special meeting as 2014 is the 90th anniversary of the International Sports Press Association which was founded in 1924.


GEORGETOWN (CAY): Olympic silver medalist Luguelin Santos is another top name from the world of athletics who will be visiting Cayman next month to compete in the second annual Cayman Invitational track and field meet, taking place on 8th May at Truman Bodden Sports Complex. He will run his special event, the 400 m.


INDIANAPOLIS (USA): The storied Penn Relays will play host to the 14th edition of USA vs. The World on Saturday, April 27 to kick off the 2013 Outdoor USATF Championship Series. The relays are the perfect start to the USATF Championship Series that also includes the adidas Grand Prix (May 25), Nike Prefontaine Classic (June 1) and the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships (June 19-23). In women 4x100 m the US world record breaking and olympic golden team will run together (Bartoletta, Felix, Knight and Jeter). In the men 4x400 m special team USA member will be Manteo Mitchell. Team USA will have to put up a tough fight with a list of international all-stars and Olympic medalists descending on Franklin Field. World and Olympic Champion Kirani James will headline the Caribbean All-Stars 4x400m alongside two-time Olympic Champion Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic. On the women's side, two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will lead the Jamaican contingent in the fierce USA vs. Jamaica rivalry.


COLORADO SPRINGS (USA): USADA announced that sprinter Shawn Crawford has received a two-year suspension for committing an anti-doping rule violation in which he failed to file his whereabouts information. Crawford's two-year period of ineligibility, began on April 17, 2013, the date he received the sanction. He is 2004 Olympic winner in the 200 m and silver holder from 2008. At 2009 Worlds was fourth in the 200 m final, his best is 19.79 from 2004.


TUSCALOOSA (USA): Olympic and World Champion at 400 m Kirani James is not going to compete at Beijing World Challenge meet as informed by Chinese media. His agent Renaldo Nehemiah confirmed he plans to return after Shanghai Diamond League. The schedule of the current world leader after 44.72 in Nassau is after Penn Relays and Shanghai to run at Prefontaine Classic in Eugene and then Golden Spike Ostrava meets.


LOS ANGELES (USA): Due to the full closure and evacuation of the Cal State L.A. campus at noon on Thursday for precautionary measures, the Cal State L.A. Twilight Open has been canceled. The school website informs.







BAMBOUS (MRI, Apr 18): Belgium's junior Nafissatou Thiam had a very good start in the heptathlon on day one of the African Combined Event Championships with 3703 points score. She registered three personal bests in four events and is clearly on her way to achieve way over 6000 points. Her results were: 14.53 +3.3 100 m hurdles, 190 PB in high jump, 14.01 PB shot put and 24.89 +1.8 PB at the 200 m.


BAMBOUS (MRI, Apr 18): In the accompanying International meet Lesotho sprinter Mosito Lehata clocked impressive national record in the 200 m 20.49 (0.0) what was also new meet record. He also won the 100 m in 10.36 (+1.7). South African Offentse Mogawane topped the 400 m in 45.93 (and was second in the 200 m 20.95). Kenyan Vincent Kibet posted another meet record with 3:39.09 in the 1500 m. French 2011 European Junior Champion Quentin Bigot improved his season best to 74.29 in the hammer. On the women side fastest Namibian Globina Mayova won both sprints 11.73 (+0.6) and 23.63 (+0.4). Her country colleague Tjipekapora Herunga achieved meet record in women 400 m 52.34. South African Mapaseka Makhanya won the 800 m in 2:03.93, another meet record.


KASARANI (KEN, Apr 18): To add from Kenyan Schools Championships Festus Kiprono clocked 7:57.7 to win boys 3000 m race ahead of Alexander Mutiso 7:59.8 and Elvis Kemboi 8:01.3.

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