Lashmanova and Barrondo
RIO MAIOR (POR): The 22nd Rio Maior Race Walking International Grand Prix will be held on Saturday as the most important race walking competition in Portugal. This event is this year part of the European Athletics permit cicruit with scoring towards the 11th IAAF Race Walking Challenge. Top names are Russian Olympic winner and world record holder Yelena Lashmanova and GuatemalaÂ´s silver medalist also at 20 km Erick Barrondo who recently clocked American record at 50 km in Dudince. Spanish Beatriz Pascual is the title defender. Home stars will also compete. JoÃ£o Vieira, Pedro Isidro and SÃ©rgio Vieira among men, InÃªs Henriques, Vera Santos and Ana Cabecinha in the women race. Event records are having top quality with 1:18:55 of Russian world champion Valeriy Borchin in 2011 and 1:27:19 of Belarus Ryta Turava from 2005.
MILANO (ITA): A very flat course could produce fast time at 13th Milano City Marathon this Sunday. In men race number one will be Kenyan Daniel Too winner of the last year edition in 2:08:39 on a rainy day. Against him Ethiopian Worku Biru, third last year in 2:08:48. Interesting outsiders could be Kenyans William Kipsang Rop and Richard Kipkemei Limo. Another top name is Stephen Kibet who clocked last spring 58:54 on half in Den Haag and 2:08:05 in Rotterdam. Interesting entry is Brazilian Giovani dos Santos who aims for Moscow qualifier. Kenyan Irene Cherotich will be number one on the women side, she also title defender 2:31:07 here in 2012, but has 2:28:57 personal best from Nairobi 2009. Moroccan Fatima Ayachi is also to note with more Kenyans and Ethiopians. Course records are 2:07:53 by Duncan Kibet in 2008 and 2:24:59 by Margaret Okayo in 2002. Informs Alberto Stretti.
More than 30 000 runners in Berlin
BERLIN (GER): The 33rd Vattenfall Berlin Half Marathon is ready for top times again this Sunday. Kenya sends as top favorites Kenneth Kipkemoi (59:11), Victor Kipchirchir (59:31) and Silas Kipruto (59:39). From Ethiopia Azmeraw Bekele (59:39) with Abera Kuma (60:19). In the entry list 30 114 runners. Late withdrawal is the Cross World Champion 2011 Imane Merga. Italian Daniele Meucci is the top European entry, debut is announced for Eritrean Goitom Kifle who was 7th in Bydgoszcz at World CC Champs. In the women field Kenyan favorites title defender Philes Ongori and second 2012 Helah Kiprop with the 2011 winner Valentine Kipketer.
4th IAAF World Challenge to start
MELBOURNE (AUS): The eyes of the athletics world will be firmly focused on Melbourne this Saturday as the Qantas Melbourne World Challenge brings to a crescendo the 2013 Qantas Australian Athletics Tour. Doubling as Round 1 of the IAAF World Challenge and less then a week shy of the Qantas Australian Athletics Championships, the event features a truly world class field with 37 international stars set to face off with 25 talented members of the Australian Flame and eight London 2012 Paralympians. “I definitely didn’t expect to be here this time last week, but that’s what’s exciting about being an athlete. I have been talking about coming here for ages and it was a pleasant surprise to get on the plane yesterday and be here to compete this weekend,” US sprint star Wallace Spearmon said. “My time on the weekend was a real shock. I have only done four speed sessions this year and to come away with that result was great. I’m not sure if you saw it but I ended up on my head after crossing the line, but after a chat with the doctor I am back and ready to run. I only landed in Australia this morning so it is off to the track today for a bit of a shake out, and if the jet lag disappears as easily as I expect it to I am confident I will be able to impress the crowd on theweekend. It should be great.” The son of a former 100m world record holder, Calvin Smith Jr. (USA) headlines the men’s 400m with a personal best of 44.81. Kenyan Agatha Jeruto and Australian Zoe Buckman could provide the necessary competition to push up-and-coming runner Kelly Hetherington to the women’s 800m qualifier for the IAAF World Championships, while the men’s 5000m will also thrill. It features new IAAF World Cross Country Champion Japhet Korir to lead from the front in the men’s 5000m against Australian 1500m record holder Ryan Gregson and IAAF World Cross Country Championships representative Liam Adams and Mitchel Brown. US Justin Gaymon and Michael Bultheel from Belgium will duel with Tristan Thomas in the men’s 400m hurdles. Providing the most anticipated head-to-head Olympic silver medallist Mitchell Watt and the man that beat him to gold Greg Rutherford, with the duo to be joined by Commonwealth champion Fabrice Lapierre. Australian pole vault record holder Alana Boyd will also face stiff competition on the runway with Mary Saxer who has a season best of 460. Local stars Liam Zamel-Paez and Brandon Starc will take on American indoor champion Dusty Jonas in the men’s high jump. Informs Athletics Australia.
DIAMOND LEAGUE NEWS
EUGENE (USA): New Zealand’s London 2012 Olympic Games Shot Put champion Valerie Adams is the latest star to confirm she will be competing at the Prefontaine Classic, an IAAF Diamond League meeting, which will be held at Eugene’s historic Hayward Field on 31 May and 1 June. She will be up against the London silver and bronze medallists: Russia’s Yevgeniya Kolodko and China’s Lijiao Gong. Also in the event will be the American duo of Jill Camarena-Williams and Michelle Carter. Two more 2012 Olympic Games Shot Put finalists have also been confirmed: China’s Xiangrong Liu and Russia’s Irina Tarasova. The women’s Hammer Throw not only has a complete set of
Olympic medallists from London, it can boast of the complete set from the 2008 Beijing Games as well. Russian Tatyana Lysenko, Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk and Germany’s World record holder Betty Heidler was the trio who climbed the podium in London, winning gold, silver and bronze respectively. The Beijing trio of medallists are: Belarus’s Oksana Menkova, Cuba’s Yipsi Moreno and China’s Wenxiu Zhang. They will be joined by US throwers Jessica Cosby and Amber Campbell. The Pre Classic women’s hammer is, for the first time, part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge. This is also the first time that a meeting in the USA will be part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge.
BRUSSELS (BEL): African drummers during long distance races are known from Belgacom Van Damme Memorial each year. But the Brussels meet on September 6 will also offer one of the top DJÂ´s in the country Regi Penxten. He should play during the opening ceremony and also around the sprint events.
LONDON (GBR): The Telegraph informs that Samsung ended its sponsorship of the Diamond League after three years. The South Korean electronics giant has opted not to renew its deal for the forthcoming season. The title sponsorship deal is believed to have been worth around 3 million GBP a year to the IAAF, writes The Telegraph. The IAAF insisted that the series would not be affected by Samsung’s departure and that it would make up any shortfall in the budget from its own reserves until another commercial partner was found. Until then, the series will be known as the IAAF Diamond League. Sportscal writes that the IAAF is confident in finding a replacement soon.
STANFORD (USA): Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton proposed some events for the combined eventers to be included into the Diamond League meets. He said in an interview with Spikes. “I believe decathlon should have a hand in the Diamond League circuit. I would say we should compete across five competitions, with two events per competition like, 100m and long jump for one meeting and then shot and high jump the next,” Eaton said.
MONACO (MON): IAAF starts with media conference calls before the summer season. World indoor record holder in the pole vault Jenn Suhr and European Indoor champion Holly Bleasdale will be speaking to media on April 11 next week. This should mark one month ahead of the begin of 4th Diamond League edition in Doha. Suhr will be calling-in from New York, where she is based. Bleasdale is currently training in the USA and will be speaking from Phoenix, Arizona.
PORTLAND (USA): Canadian Olympian Cam Levins will join the Nike-sponsored Oregon Distance Project in Portland and be coached by three-time ING New York City Marathon champion Alberto Salazar, the athlete said in an interview. Levins, 24, will leave his training base in Cedar City, Utah, where he attended Southern Utah University during his NCAA career, and be joined in Portland by his fiancee, Elizabeth Butler, who will be starting a graduate program in pharmacy studies at Pacific University in August. Levins saw this as a perfect opportunity to join Salazar’s group and start logging miles with athletes like Mo Farah, Galen Rupp and Dathan Ritzenhein. Levins had a sensational senior year at Southern Utah in 2012, getting his personal best times down to 13:18.29 for 5000m and 27:27.96 for 10,000m.
GEORGETOWN (CAY): Kemar Hyman is the latest athlete to join the stars at this year’s Cayman Invitational on 8 May at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. This is Hyman’s second year participating in the Cayman Invitational. “I am very excited to come back and compete in the Cayman Islands in front of my home crowd,” Hyman said. “It is something I have looked forward to since last year’s meet. He is national record holder with 9.95 and will face Usain Bolt in the 100 m most probably.
JOHANNESBURG (RSA): Oscar Pistorius is still too traumatised to start training for competition, his family said on Thursday. Pistorius last week succeeded in having his stringent bail conditions relaxed to allow him to travel abroad for competitions, but his uncle Arnold Pistorius said he was still battling to even step out of the house. “Oscar is not back on any official training programme. This may change in future, but this will be a decision taken by Oscar.” SA media are informing. In another issue Telegraph informs that Pistorius is to get the all-clear to run at the IPC World Athletics Championships in France in July Telegraph Sport has learnt that an internal report circulated within senior ranks at the IPC, the world governing body for Paralympic sport, has cleared the athlete to run at the event in Lyon in July. His next court appearance is June 4, though the trial is expected to continue into next year.
MOSCOW (RUS): Russian Olympic 2008 pole vault silver medalist Yevgeny Lukyanenko (28) faces prison punishment due to vehicular manslaughter charges, local police said Wednesday. Agencies are informing. Lukyanenko, the silver winner of 2008 Beijing Olympics pole vault, lost control of his car in 2009 and killed his female passenger, Russian traffic police said. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Friday, the police said, adding it was unclear whether the young athlete considered himself guilty. If proved guilty, Lukyanenko could face up to seven years in the prison. He jumped this winter only twice with 535 beeing the top mark.
SYDNEY (AUS): Agencies are informing that world and olympic gold medalist Sally Pearson is back in training after battling to overcome a hamstring injury. “Everything’s looking up,” Pearson told reporters. “I started hurdling on Monday, which is probably almost eight months since I competed at the Olympics. It’s the longest time I’ve had off hurdling but at the same time I think it’s going to work well for me when I go overseas.”
AUCKLAND (NZL): NZ media are informing that talented shot putter Jacko Gill is in Sweden undertaking intense training in preparation for the northern hemisphere summer and his bid to qualify for the world track and field championships in Moscow in August. Gill suffered an ankle injury in November, and a dog attack which required 20 stitches, as being behind his comparative below-par form in New Zealand this year.
CASERTA (ITA): New track will be inaugurated this Saturday in Caserta at Stadio Pinto. It will be renamed in honour of late Pietro Mennea who many times competed here. He also clocked here the before Bolt 150 m world best.
KARLSRUHE (GER): The outdoor pole vault meet of Karlsruhe is cancelled for this year. The reason are financial difficulties. In 2011 Martina Strutz jumped in Karlsruhe 478 cm, that was the national record.
SANTIAGO (CHI, Apr 3): At South American Grand Prix meet in Chile fast sprints by Brazilians. Ana Claudia Lemos posted world leading 11.24 (+0.8). She also won the 200 m in 23.46 (-0.1). In men sprints Ailson da Silva achieved a double with 10.35 (+2.0) and 20.91 (+0.4). In the long jump Jonathan Henrique got 777 (+0.8) and on the women side Eliane Martins 653 (+1.5) and Keila da Silva 651 (+0.6). In throws Geisa Arcanjo 17.89 in shot put and Andressa de Morais, both also Brazilians, 59.73.
NAKURU (KEN, Apr 4): At first day of AK meet one of worlds top milers Nixon Chepseba clocked respectable 13:45.0 to win his heat of the 5000 m at altitude and on a sand track. He beat an interesting field as second steepler Jairus Birech got 13:48.0 over another top steeple runner Paul Kipsiele Koech 13:55.1 and even more famous olympic winner in steeple Ezekiel Kemboi 13:58.3. And fifth 2008 olympic winner in the 1500 m Asbel Kiprop 14:12.9.