2013 Diamond League: its all about the competition, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Oslo 2010, 5,000 meters, finish, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Diamond League just opened last weekend and once again, it is all about the competiton. Brittany Reese, Ryan Whiting, Hagos Gebrhewit, Asbel Kiprop and of course, Abeba Aregawi started the season off with 11 World Leaders and 7 Meet records, what will happen in Shanghai? 


OSLO (NOR): Oslo's Bislett Stadium has always had an ongoing relationship with the javelin competition. Also this year on June 13 top throwers are confirmed. Home hero Andreas Thorkildsen with current world champion Matthias de Zordo, Tero Pitkamäki, olympic winner Keshorn Walcott but mainly the Diamond Race winner and Doha first placer Czech Vitezslav Vesely. 

EUGENE (USA): Eugene's superb 5000 m field at the Prefontaine Classic to be held June 1 at historic Hayward Field will feature American record holders Bernard Lagat and Galen Rupp. Other top names include from Kenya olympic medalist Thomas Longosiwa, olympic finalist Isiah Koech, from Ethiopian camp Yenew Alamirew. Other interesting runners are Australian Collis Birmingham, Mexican Juan Luis Barrios and Azerbaijani record holder Hayle Ibrahimov.

MONACO (MON): Olympic pole vault winner Renaud Lavillenie confirmed his participation at the Herculis Meeting on July 19. He confirmed that during his training camp in Monaco and in presence of Prince Albert of Monaco.

DOHA (QAT): IAAF President Lamine Diack met HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani at the Emir of Qatar's palace, the Emiri Diwan, on Sunday following the IAAF Diamond League meet. The meeting consolidated the strong relationship between the IAAF and Qatar, which has become one of the most active Member Federations in Asia at staging major athletics events.

DOHA (QAT): The IAAF Diamond League, which is seeking a title sponsor following the ending of Samsung's connection with the event, may look to a Qatari business to fill the gap.  Asked if a Qatari business might take up the role, which has been filled by Samsung since 2010, Dahlan al Hamad, President of the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF) and IAAF vice-president, did not rule it out. "I will be more than happy to see a Qatari companies host it because I will be more proud," he said. The IAAF Diamond League is currently negotiating to find a new title sponsor, but al Hamad has backed up the statement made by Lamine Diack, President of the IAAF, that finding a replacement, while being desirable, is not critical. Recently the Al Jazeera subsidiary BeInSports has taken up the rights to broadcast the Diamond League in France and there the parent company may well be interested in seeking the contract to broadcast in the Middle East when the next contract comes up in 2015.  Writes insidethegames. (Corrected version, Al-Jazeera is not considering to be DL sponsor).

SHANGHAI (CHN): In women technical events a home win is possible. Olympic bronze winner in shot put Gong Lijiao has the top personal and season best from all competitors in women shot put. German record holder Silke Spiegelburg is going to open her season in China after she passed the indoor competitions. She should be the main rival for world record holder Yelena Isinbayeve. In women triple jump the current world lead 14.37 will be under threat as World champion Olha Saladuha of Ukraine will open her season. Another olympic medalist Catarine Ibarguen from Colombia is also jumping and the world leader Keila Costa of Brazil also. 

Pearson injured
MELBOURNE (AUS): Olympic and world winner at 100 m hurdles Sally Pearson injured her hamstring again and will miss the first planned competitions in Europe (Manchester on May 25 and Rome on June 6). "Thanks everyone for the support. I have re torn my hamstring but I will be back for worlds!!!," she said on her twitter. It happened during the relay outing at the Asian Grand Prix meet on Sunday in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Australian head coach Eric Hollingsworth said he hopes she will be back to races in July and ready for Moscow World Championships.

Hejnova all-time best
SUSICE (CZE, May 14): At the traditional season opener in Susice Olympic bronze medalist Zuzana Hejnova clocked world all-time best in the 300 m hurdles with 38.75. She clocked also the previous top mark 38.91 in 2011. It shows the top shape of Hejnova who is having her next race on Saturday at Shanghai Diamond League. Also before China good shape was confirmed by European champion Pavel Maslak who won the men 300 m in European leading 32.47. Jakub Holusa won the 1000 m in a solo race 2:22.14.

Dibaba sisters, Harting, Beamon
OSTRAVA (CZE): Organisers of 52nd Ostrava Golden Spike (IAAF World Challenge) on June 27 announced more top names. Discus men will return to the programme of the meet for first time since 1996. And olympic and world winner Robert Harting is scheduled to compete. Discus will be held the day before on June 26 together with usual hammer competitions (here also both Olympic winners Krisztian Pars and Tatyana Lysenko are confirmed). Dibaba sisters will run different events. Tirunesh confirmed her presence in the 10 000 m race, her jubilee 10th on the track and she is undefeated at the distance. In this race she plans to clock a time which will confirm her selection for World Championahips in Moscow. Younger Genzebe Dibaba will run the 1500 m with the aim for a fast time. "I am looking forward to come to Ostrava. I know I am in a good shape at the moment as I ran a new PB in Doha. But unfortunately I did not win there, so I will be extra focused to win in Ostrava. It will be a good competition in my preparation for the world championships this year where I hope to win a gold medal," she said. More top names for men high jump are Asian record holder and olympic bronze winner Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, European Indoor Champion Sergey Mudrov with 2011 World silver winner Aleksey Dmitrik. Special guest confirmed is legendary Bob Beamon who plans for his first visit to the Czech Republic. "I am thrilled to be invited to such a prestigious event in the Czech Republic.  1968 was a tremendously important year for the Olympic Games in Mexico City and an even more important time for what is now the Czech Republic.  The social and political climate around the world was as unpredictable as the world and Olympic records I was able to set during those Olympic Games.  I am excited to visit the Czech Republic for the first time with my Olympic record of nearly 45 years still intact.  I am looking forward to a spectacular visit to the Czech Republic," Beamon said for the organizers. 


UBERLANDIA (BRA): Brazilian Athletics Tour continues with another top meet in Uberlandia on Thursday with Argentinian South American record holder German Lauro in shot put. He improved the continental mark on Friday in Doha to excellent 21.26. His main rival should be Canadian record holder Dylan Armstrong. World leader Ernesto Reve from Cuba is the top name in men triple jump. 

PARIS (FRA): French marathon record holder Christelle Daunay wants to try to achieve the qualifying time for the Moscow World Championships at the European Cup 10 000 m in Pravets, Bulgaria onJune 8. She will be the only woman in French vest, on the men side three runners were selected. Djamel Bachiri, Driss El Himer and Riad Guerfi. 

BERN (SUI): Marathon European Champion Viktor Rothlin will not run the Saturday Bern Grand Prix road race. The 38-years old runners feels pain in his thigh and achilles. Rothlin does not want to risk and will take a break. He will still be the guest of the meeting together with legendary Haile Gebrselassie. 

PRAHA (CZE):  A unique "running mall" opened last Saturday in Prague, which will serve as the focal point for all running activities in the Czech capital, including the offices of the Volkswagen Prague International Marathon.  Members of the IAAF Road Running Commission, including ING New York City Marathon race director Mary Wittenberg and former Virgin London Marathon race director Dave Bedford, were on hand for the grand opening. Informs Race Results Weekly. 

BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian triple jumper Svetlana Bolshakova is ending her season as she announced. She will receive surgery on her left foot and right knee at the end of the month. Bolshakova, who previously in her career struggled with ruptures of both her Achilles tendons, could face a rehabilitation process that takes over a year her coach confirmed to Belgian media.
LONDON (GBR): British media are informing that Olympic and world winner at 400 m Christine Ohuruogu may have carved a career-long reputation as a girl for the big occasion but she insists there was never any danger of her losing motivation in the post-2012 Olympic climate. In the opposite she is running her fastest opening times ever (50.58 in Kingston and 50.53 in Doha). Ohuruogu said: "People think I just sit around waiting for Championships and I
just decide 'oh, I'm going to run well this year." Ohuruogu will return to action in the UK in the European Team Championships in Gateshead.

MOSCOW (RUS): Former Russian cross country champion Yekaterina Shlyakhova (24) has been banned for two years after failing a drugs test for a steroid, the All-Russia Athletics federation said. "The athlete has been disqualified for two years starting from April 16, 2013," the federation said on its website.


BRNO (CZE, May 14): At Brno Grand Prix meet Slovak Jana Veldakova leaped to Moscow B-standard 669 (+0.4) in the long jump. Another Slovak win here for Peter Horak 224 in the high jump, he attacked afterwards Moscow B-standard 228 cm. Czech Milan Pirek was the best in the long jump 789 (+0.7) personal best.

LIEPAJA (LAT, May 12): Good javelin results here by Latvian Rolands Strobinders 81.68 personal best and Russian Viktoriya Sudarushkina 62.77 another PB.

MYKOLAEV (UKR, May 11): At high jump Viktoriya Styopina cleared 190 cm.

KREUZLINGEN (SUI, May 9): Fast hurdles by German Gregor Traber 13.60 (+0.8).

ADANA (TUR, May 10): National hammer record holder Tugce Sahutoglu won at the University Championships with 70.30 m.

VESZPREM (HUN, May 9): Eva Orban achieved at another throwing meet 70.71 in the hammer. 

TISZAUJVAROS (HUN, May 12): New Hungarian youth record with 700 g javelin by Norbert Rivasz-Toth 79.82.

FES (MAR, May 11): Nadia Noujani clocked 8:51.73 personal best and world lead at Moroccan Federation meet. Impressive personal best for Kaltoum Bouaasayriya 9:32.50 in the steeple. In men events solid winning marks and personal bests for Nadir Benhabel 1:47.20 (800 m) and Othmane El Goumri 7:51.82 (3000 m). Hamid Ezzine clocked8:27.57 in the steeple.

WALTHAM (USA, May 11): At Twilight Meet new women 5000 m world lead for New Zealand´s Kim Smith 15:02.56. Molly Huddle clocked 8:57.75 personal best in the 3000 m and long distance runner Abbey D´Agostino got 800 m best 2:08.11.

DICKINSON (USA, May 10): Nigerian Fredrick Agbaje improved at Dickinson State Open meet personal best 10.16.

ADLER (RUS, May 9): Winners at the Russian multi-events Cup were Mikhail Logvinenko 7721 in decathlon and Yunna Dmitriyeva 5826 points in heptathlon.


MINSK (BLR): Belarus athletics mourns legendary track expert, coach, scientist and Second world war veteran Yevgeniy Shukevich who died on May 13 at age 99 years.

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