Big Weekend of Track: Atlanta GP, Oxy on Friday, May 17, Shanghai DL, Ponce on May 18, the season goes on, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, changing shoes, April 13, 2013, 
photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/IAAF

The weekend is awash in track and field. From the Oxy Performance meet this evening and the Atlanta Grand Prix, to the Shanghai DL tomorrow. Here is the last minute updates, our man in the world, Alfons Juck provided. We hope it helps you enjoy the coverage of the major weekend events. Watch for on twitter and Facebook, with our global coverage, thanks to key correspondents around the world! 






EUGENE (USA): World record holder Aries Merritt headlines a stellar 110m Hurdles field at the 39th Prefontaine Classic, part of the IAAF Diamond League, to be held on 1 June in Eugene. Winner of the Diamond Race last year, Merritt will be joined at the Pre Classic by a formidable field that includes all the London Olympic medallists, the reigning World champion Jason Richardson, a former Diamond League winner David Oliver and the holder of the Prefontaine Classic meeting record. Jamaicans Hansle Parchment and Andrew Riley are also in the field with European Champion Russian Sergey Shubenkov. Jeff Porter and Cuban world leader Orlando Ortega are completing the field.


SHANGHAI (CHN): Olympic javelin winner Keshorn Walcott finished sixth in his first ever Diamond League meeting in Doha last Friday, an event won by the Czech Diamond Race winner Vitezslav Vesely, with Andreas Thorkildsen third. Walcott was clearly short of his best with 79.79 meters. "Everyone knows Trinidad and Tobago for its sprinters," said Walcott, who broke his national and area junior record to become the Olympic champion last August. "I just wanted to be different so I went into the field events. I put my mind to it, put in a lot of hard work, and together with my coach managed to improve. I've even come out as a champion."


SHANGHAI (CHN): Expectations will be high for Justin Gatlin too after he triumphed in the first big sprint battle of the Diamond League season in Doha where he took the men's 100m in 9.97 seconds. The US athlete hopes to keep the winning habit here when he races over 200m against Jamaica's Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir, the European champion Churandy Martina and China's new sprint hope, Zhang Peimeng. "The aim is really to make sure I'm fit to run a strong 100," said Gatlin, who won 100m bronze behind Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake at London 2012. "The 200m this year is really just to make my 100m even stronger, so I won't feel any pressure here on Saturday. It's a strong field with the Olympic bronze medallist and a lot of other athletes."


SHANGHAI (CHN): Oceania and Australian record holder Mitchell Watt will begin his international assault in the men's long jump at the IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai on Saturday night. His first major international outing since soaring 816 to win silver at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Watt's start begins a charge toward the IAAF World Championships that includes competition at Round 3 of the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene (USA) in the coming weeks before a brief stint at home in Brisbane ahead of a European campaign that opens with the Birmingham Grand Prix. "I am really looking forward to coming out of what has been a pretty long training block. The domestic season was a little short and it will be good to get away and compete with some of the boys again," Watt said.


ROMA (ITA): Olympic champions Allyson Felix (200 m), Brittney Reese and Christian Taylor are just some of the latest athletes to commit to Rome's Golden Gala on 6 June, the fifth leg of the IAAF Diamond League. In all, 38 medallists from the 2012 London Olympics will feature at the Golden Gala, which will this year be held in the honour of 1980 Olympic 200m champion Pietro Mennea, who died earlier in 2013. World 400m champion Amantle Montsho, who ended Felix's winning streak in Doha, will line up in her specialist event with Christine Ohuruogu and Antonina Krivoshapka. In the long jump field Olympic silver medallist Elena Sokolova and Olympic bronze medallist Janay DeLoach. Taylor will have strong home opponents Fabrizio Donato and Daniele Greco with 2009 World Champion Philips Idowu. European indoor champion Abeba Aregawi and Sandra Perkovic are the Doha winners confirmed. Two-time World High Jump champion Blanka Vlasic hasn't competed since the 2011 season, but is due to make her comeback at the New York Diamond League and plans Rome in duel with Anna Chicherova and home young star Alessia Trost. The men's 5000m, meanwhile, boasts six men with PBs quicker than 12:50. Olympic silver medallist Dejen Gebremeskel and World junior cross-country champion Hagos Gebrhiwet will take on Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Longosiwa and his Kenyan compatriot Isiah Koech. A trio of talented teenagers lead the men's 800m. Olympic silver medallist and World junior record-holder Nijel Amos will be up against Olympic bronze medallist Timothy Kitum and Ethiopian record-holder Mohammed Aman. Rivals for Usain Bolt in the 100 m include Justin Gatlin, former US champion Mike Rodgers, 2008 Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson and 2005 World silver medallist Michael Frater. The men's one-lap sprint will see 2008 Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt take on Belgian record-holder Jonathan Borlee, 2010 World indoor champion Chris Brown and European champion Pavel Maslak. Javier Culson, Dawn Harper and Sergey Shubenkov highlight the hurdles World and Olympic champion Yuliya Zaripova will renew her rivalry with long-time rivals Milcah Chemos Cheywa, Habiba Ghribi and Sofia Assefa, but Kenya's Lidya Chepkurui - the surprise winner in Doha - could be the one to watch Elsewhere, two-time Olympic Shot Put champion Tomasz Majewski will be up against USA's Reese Hoffa and Christian Cantwell, while world leader Mariya Abakumova is pitted against Olympic silver medallist Christina Obergfoll and World bronze medallist Sunette Viljoen in the Javelin.





LONDON (GBR): Insidethegames informs that Sebastian Coe has claimed that he will stand to become the new IAAF President only if current head Lamine Diack decides to step down when his latest four-year term ends in 2015, as he had promised. Coe, a IAAF vice-president since 2007, is seen as the front-runner to replace Diack as President after staging the perhaps the greatest Olympic and Paralympic athletics competitions in history when he served as London 2012 chairman. The IAAF Presidency also brings automatic International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership, something Coe is keen on, writes insidethegames.







LOUGHBOROUGH (GBR): The Loughborough International, which acts as the domestic athletics season's traditional curtain raiser, takes places on Sunday 19 May as teams from England, Wales, Scotland, GB & NI Juniors, British Universities and Loughborough University go head to head. Two 400m specialists will do battle over 200m as European Indoor 400m silver medallist Nigel Levine takes on Loughborough's former European bronze medallist Martyn Rooney, who will look to improve on his personal best of 21.33 set at this fixture six years ago. In the women's high jump, heptathlon Olympian and World Junior long jump champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson will compete for England. A strong England team contains no less than five London 2012 Olympians, including Olympic semi-finalist Jack Green who will line up in the 400m hurdles, whilst Danny Talbot will run in the 100m and Sophie Hitchon will compete in the hammer. The Scotland team will be led by double European Indoor medallist Eilidh Child. The 26 year old won silver in the 400m and gold as part of GB & NI's 4x400m team, but will return to her more familiar 400m hurdles this weekend for her first individual outing over the distance in 2013. Craig Pickering will compete for the first time since September 2011 as he lines up in the guest 100m after he in winter competed in bob-sleigh.


MANCHESTER (GBR): Doubley olympic 100 m winner Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will compete at the BT Great CityGames Manchester for the first time on May 25 this year. Already showing good form this year with a sound 200m victory at last Friday's Doha Diamond League, she is preparing herself to compete on the streets of Manchester, as she builds up to the World Championships in August. Fraser-Pryce is expected to attack the world 150m best performance 16.50 down the elevated straight track on Deansgate in the city centre - which her arch rival Carmelita Jeter achieved in September 2011 at the sister Great CityGames event on Tyneside.


ATLANTA (USA): New meet is emerging, on Friday Atlanta Grand Prix will be staged under the organisation of respected agent Paul Doyle. Special the 100 m hurdles with Lolo Jones, Queen Harrison and Janay DeLoach-Soukup. Jeremy Wariner runs the 400 m, former world medalist 2007 Derrick Atkins of Bahamas is in the 100 m. In the 400 m hurdles Jamaican duel Isa Phillips vs. Josef Robertson. Dedee Trotter is in the 200 m, based on this years results the favorites Moushami Robinson for women 400 m and Terea Brown for women 400 m hurdles. In exhibition shot put Reese Hoffa with Ashton Eaton, Trey Hardee, Gunnar Nixon and Brianne Theisen.


LOS ANGELES (USA): Another new fixture in USA is on Friday the Oxy High Performance meet at Occidental College. Double olympic winner Mo Farah is entered in both 1500 m and 5000 m. In the shorter one also Matt Centrowitz, Evan Jager and Nick Symmonds, in the longer one Galen Rupp, Dathan Ritzenhein among others. World champion Jenny Simpson is scheduled for the 800 m, Molly Huddle in the 5000 m and super talent Mary Cain in the 1500 m.


MONACO (MON): Olympic pole vault winner Renaud Lavillenie got a strain of abdominal muscle and cancelled his participation at the Interclubs meet in Lille this weekend. He also stopped his training camp in Monaco. He said on his twitter, that it is nothing serious and still plans to jump on May 26 in Forbach.


PONCE (PUR): IAAF informs that local hero Javier Culson and USA's Michael Tinsley, both Olympic medallists, are expected to deliver an exciting London rematch this Saturday as the main attraction of 7th Ponce Grand Prix - the fifth leg of the IAAF World Challenge at the 400 m hurdles. The Francisco „Paquito" Montaner Stadium expects a crowd of 12,000 people to encourage more than 20 former and current World and Olympic medallists. The duo is joined by three other men with personal bests under 48 seconds: USA's Johnny Dutch (47.63 PB), Jeshua Anderson (47.93) and Cuba's 2011 Pan American Games gold medallist Omar Cisneros. Also in the race is Jamaica's Olympic finalist Leford Green, who has beaten Culson twice in Puerto Rico in 2010-2011. Olympic 4x100m winner and World record-holder Tianna Bartoletta (nee Madison) should find strong opposition in her quest to repeat her sprint double from this meeting last year. Also confirmed are fellow Olympic relay gold medallist Bianca Knight, 2005 World champion Lauryn Williams, and Barbara Pierre, the second-fastest in the world this year with 11.02 with double olympic finalist Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast. The 110m Hurdles features four of the five fastest men in 2013: world leader and Olympic finalist Orlando Ortega of Cuba (13.17 this year), Antwon Hicks of the USA (13.25), Barbados's 2009 World champion Ryan Brathwaite (13.26) and Jamaica's Andrew Riley (13.28). They will be targeting David Oliver's meeting record of 13.12 set in 2010. The Ponce Grand Prix has this year been added to the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge and the men's event will be contested on the Universidad Catolica grounds. Top names include Poland's 2000 Olympic and 2001 World champion Szymon Ziółkowski, 2012 Olympic finalist Kibwe Johnson of the USA, 2007 World bronze medallist Libor Charfreitag and Slovakia's Marcel Lomnicky.


FRANKFURT (GER): Germany selected two runners for the European Cup 10 000 m. Sabrina Mockenhaupt and Philipp Pflieger were selected.


WIESBADEN (GER): Discus olympic winner Robert Harting despite knee problems confirmed he will be opening his season on Sunday at the meet in Wiesbaden.


BIRMINGHAM (GBR): Peter Eriksson has sensationally quit as British Athletics Olympic head coach just seven months after taking over from Charles van Commenee. The 60-year-old Swede took up the job in October last year, moving across from his previous position as British Athletics' Paralympic head coach, a post he had held since January 2009, after he masterminded the hugely successful ParalympicsGB athletics team performance at London 2012 where they finished third with 29 medals, 11 of which were gold. But Eriksson announced his resignation from British Athletics today saying he wants to return to Canada to be with his family. Neil Black will oversee head coach duties for the remainder of the summer. Insidethegames informs.


GOTZIS (GER): German European champion from Helsinki Pascal Behrenbruch is the next top name confirmed for hypomeeting götzis 2013 end of May (IAAF CE Challenge). Other Germans in the field all have personal bests over 8000 points: Rico Freimuth, Norman Muller, Jan-Felix Knobel and Kai Kazmierek. Top German women for heptathlon are injured, but still the team looks good: Julia Machtig, Claudia Rath, Maren Schwerdtner, Carolin Schafer and Kira Biesenbach. Goteborg silver winner French Kevin Mayer is confirmed for decathlon together with Gael Querin. Organiserse also confirmed three withdrawals from decathlon due to injuries: Trey Hardee, Leonel Suarez and Andrey Kravchenko.


LONDON (GBR): The Mo Farah Foundation and Sweatshop are pleased to announce the bringing together of the two organisations as part of their commitment to improve lives. To mark the announcement, they will be co-hosting the 'run10formo' racing event to be held in Bushy Park on the 11th August 2013 where participants will be running 10km along the very trail he and other elite athletes use to train on when in the UK. They will also display Mo's race time posted from his own 10k final the previous day at the Moscow World Championships for all participants to compare against their own times and anyone brave enough wanting to chase the time.


BRUSSELS (BEL): Wafel Sports Management announces that talented multi eventer from Belgium Nafi Thiam has signed with the agency. 18 year old Thiam set a world best performance in the pentathlon last indoor season and is among the favourites to medal at the European junior championships in Rieti this summer.


PARIS (FRA): Last year's European bronze 800m medalist Pierre-Ambroise Bosse is confident he could run very fast this season after finishing 4th in last week's Doha Diamond League meeting. Bosse clocked 1:44.77 and hopes to improve his shape prior to the European U23 championships, where he hopes to medal, and the IAAF World championships in Moscow. Brosse also told he hopes to break the French U23 records over 800m, set by Florent Lacasse at 1:44.63, and over 1000m which is held by Mehdi Baala and stands at 2:15.45.


SAN FRANCISCO (USA): At this Sunday Bay to Breakers 12 km race Dutch Adrienne Herzog and US Ryan Hall confirmed their participation.


CHAMONIX (FRA): Top British sprinter Dwain Chambers is currently training in Chamonix altitude to improve his speed endurance. His first race is planned for May 25 in Manchester over 150 m.


MOSCOW (RUS): Organisers of Moscow World Championships are informing that the latest decision of Vladimir Putin does not affect the athletics event in August. One month before we've informed all about Russian Prime Minister statement with procedure of WCH2013 visa process. The main point is that the visa will be given free of charge for all persons who will receive confirmation of accreditation.


ZAPPEIO (GRE): On Saturday at square of Zappeio a special pole vault meet will be staged. Among the participants olympic silver medalist Bjorn Otto and national record holder Kostadinos Filippidis.


BOSTON (USA): One month and one day since a pair of bombs exploded along the finishing stretch of the 117th Boston Marathon, race organizers announced an invitation to participants who were stopped on the course prior to crossing the historic finish line on Boylston Street. The Boston Athletic Association said Thursday through a press release that more than 5000 runners would be eligible to run the 2014 Boston Marathon and get the chance to complete the Hopkinton-to-Boston trek. Informs Race Results Weekly.


SYDNEY (AUS): Athletics Weekly says that Australian sprinter Matt Davies has been banned for two years while an Australian field athlete is under investigation for a drug offence after missing drugs tests three times, reports Australian publication The Age.







WATFORD (GBR, May 15): At BMC meet the 18 years old world junior medalist 2012 Jessica Judd clocked a personal best at 800 m2:00.37. Stephanie Twell won the 1500 m in 4:18.07.


LOUGHBOROUGH (GBR, May 15): World 110 m hurdles finalist William Sharman clocked here in his season opener 13.71 (+1.4).


KOBLENZ (GER, May 15): Austrian Andreas Vojta won the 5000 m here in 13:57.06 over Homiyu Tesfaye 13:58.73.


WALTHAM (USA): Race Results Weekly informs that Kim Smith and Molly Huddle ran in mixed-gender races in Waltham last weekend (New Balance Twilight Classic), so they don't count for world-leaders. However, the IAAF accepts mixed-gender times for WCA qualifying, so Kim got her „A" standard in the 5000 m.


NAIROBI (KEN, May 15): Marathon world record holder Patrick Makau was third at the 10 000 m in 29:31.5 at the Police Championships at Nyayo Stadium. Winner Peter Kirui got 29:15.0 over Henry Chirchir 29:18.5.


STRETFORD (GBR, May 14): Laura Weightman coached by Steve Cram opened her season over 3000 m. Smashing her lifetime best by over 20 seconds, the Olympic 1500m finalist's time of 8.43.46 would be a world outdoor lead, had it not been recorded in a mixed race.


SZOMBATHELY (HUN, May 15): Olympic hammer winner Krisztian Pars achieved at a local throwing meet 78.44 m.


NEUBRANDENBURG (GER, May 15): Ralf Bartels got here 19.92 in the shot put.


KAZAN (RUS, May 15): At Tatarstan Championships Marat Ablyazov clocked 10.36 in the 100 m and Alsu Murtazina achieved 13.86 in the triple jump.

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