BARSHIM AND ASAFA
ATHLONE (IRL): World Indoor high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim and former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell have been confirmed for the 2nd AIT International Grand Prix on February 18. Barshim, the 2014 Diamond League champion, said that he will only compete 4 times this indoor season. Powell stated that he has never prepared properly for indoor races before, but that he will train specifically for the 60m in preparation for the 2015 indoor campaign. He set his 60m PB of 6.50 in 2012. Reports the Irish Times.
AMOS GOING FOR 600 M WORLD INDOOR BEST
MOSCOW (RUS): Organizing committee of Russian Winter meeting announced first star-names confirmed to compete CSKA Arena on February 1 (IAAF Indoor Permit): high jump world indoor champion Mariya Kuchina, 110m hurdles Diamond League winner Pascal Martinot-Lagarde for 60mH, Daegu world medallist Silas Kiplagat for 1500m. Also 800m junior world record holder and London Olympic medallist Nijel Amos from Botswana will make the attempt to break 600 m world indoor best.
MUTKO SENTS LETTER TO WADA
MOSCOW (RUS): Sport minister of Russia Vitaliy Mutko has sent official letter to WADA president Sir Craig Reedie and so reacted to ARD documentary about doping in Russia. “The statements made by our athletes for German TV are indisputably serious and, for sure, we’ll not leave this without attention. Regarding all the coaches and experts whose names were mentioned in the film, we will conduct a thorough investigation. If the accusations really had a place to be, we’ll institute proceedings against them,” wrote Mutko. However, he also noted that particular cases should not cast a shadow on the whole anti-doping policy in Russia.
VOLGOGRAD (RUS): High jump Athens Olympic champion Yelena Slesarenko officially announced her retirement from athletics during her own kid’s international meeting in Volgograd. “I already headed regional winter sports youth sport school. That is bit unusual project for me particularly and for Volgograd at all, as our region never was among leaders in winter sports. Therefore, that is only the beginning of our way and I feel great responsibility,” said 32-year-old Slesarenko to rusathletics.com. She also voiced the hope to collaborate with All-Russian athletics federation in future to develop athletics in the Volgograd region as well.
ZURICH WITH POSITIVE FIGURES
ZURICH (SUI): The final report of the Zurich European Championships 2014 organisers informs about positive outcome. Mainly high quality competition, great advertising for Zurich and Switzerland and strong motivations and impulses for top and free time sports. Financial problems which happened because of ticket sales were at the end solved with help of private sponsors and public institutions. In a study by Rütter Soceco and the Institute of Tourism (ITW) at the University of Lucerne the event supported sales of 146 million Swiss francs in the whole Switzerland (65% from it in Canton Zurich). All groups of visitors generated 60 000 overnight stays. A total of 358 million TV viewers watched the competition on television. Over 2000 stadium visitors were interviewed in a large-scale survey to examine whether and to what extent the audience were satisfied with the event. The very large majority were „very satisfied“ (49.9%) or „satisfied“ (44.6%). The atmosphere in the stadium was named by 91% of respondents as „very good“ (54.6%) or good (36.4%). In total 148 498 spectators in the stadium and around 100 000 in the Road Races, 220,000 visitors at the City Festival.
HOUSTON (USA): The Houston Marathon Committee announced that 2016 will feature a field-size increase to 27,000 runners for the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon. Each race will be capped at 13,500 available entries. The ABB 5K, which will take place on Saturday of race weekend, will be capped at 6,000 participants. The 33,000 registrants will be the highest in the 44-year history of the Chevron Houston Marathon Race Weekend which will take place January 15-17, 2016. Both races have sold-out for 10 consecutive years.
EDINBURGH (GBR): Scottish Athletics want their athletes to compete for Scotland at certain international events, including the European Cross Country, report Scotsman.com. Scottish Athletics chairman, Ian Beattie, has asked for support from the Smith Commission in changing the structure of international competition for Scottish athletes. Beattie said that he believes changes should be made due to the lack of international opportunities for Scottish athletes. Their proposal to include Scottish teams in international events does not extend to the Olympics.
FUKUOKA (JPN): The Japanese Athletics Federation have voiced their concerns on Japan’s showing in the Fukuoka International Marathon, reports Brett Larner. “If they don‘t change their way of thinking they‘ll never be able to compete with the rest of the world. I‘m utterly disappointed,” said Development Committee Director Katsumi Sakai. The men‘s Marathoning Director Takeshi Soh also expressed his disappointment, admitting that he had expected some young athletes to make a breakthrough at the race. He urged Japan’s University runners to make the switch to the marathon earlier so that they could compete in the event during their best years.
ALGIERS (ALG): Olympic 1500m champion Taoufik Makhloufi will spend his time preparing for 2015 season in the United States, report liberte-algerie.com. The 26 year old Algerian said that he is completely over the problems that hampered him in 2013 and he will be aiming for a medal at the World Championships in Beijing.
MELBOURNE (AUS): Athletics Australia has published a report detailing the findings of ‘The Glasgow 2014 Campaign Review’, led by independent chair Chris Wardlaw. The report found that the removal of the head coach during the Commonwealth Games was appropriate. It also stated that attendance at a pre-competition training camp should not be compulsory for athletes. Strengthening the support given to coaches and the improvement of communication between stakeholders were also noted as important goals to achieve. The Buchanan Review, commissioned by the Australian Sports Commission, is expected to be published in early 2015.
BAKU (AZE): Organisers of Baku 2015 have announced that they have signed a broadcasting agreement with CCTV (China Central Television). The deal will see CCTV have exclusive rights to the broadcasting of the inaugural European Games in China. CCTV plan to broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as highlights of the 20 sports competitions. This latest agreement, brings the number of countries that will feature a broadcast of the Games to 33.
DONAUSTAUF (GER): Robert Harting has won the last three World discus titles, but he tells leichtathletik.de that the chances are low that he will earn his fourth consecutive title in Beijing. After undergoing knee surgery, he was unable to train in South Africa with the German elite squad, staying in Germany instead to focus on his rehabilitation. He expects to be able to return to training at the end of January. “For me, the chance for a world title is vanishingly small, although it is still there,” admitted Harting.
BEIJING (CHN): 23 year old Chinese high jumper Zhang Guowei has big hopes for 2015, report IAAF. This year he cleared PBs of 234 indoors and 233 outdoors as he continues to progress; something he hopes will continue until he surpasses the Chinese record of 239. While that record is his ultimate goal, his short term goals include clearing 234 or 235 indoors. He is also aiming for a medal at the World Championships; he thinks a first attempt clearance at 235 or 236 could put him into contention to do this. The only Chinese athlete to place in the top 8 before is Chinese record holder Zhu Jianhua. He will train in the United States in preparation for the indoor season.
SAO PAULO (BRA): Brazilian sprinter Vanda Gomes has been suspended after testing positive for Anastrozole in a urine sample collected on September 25, report ig.com.br. Gomes was notified of the positive test on November 11, her explanation was not accepted by the Brazilian athletics federation. She decided not to request the B sample and started her suspension on December 5. The process is being referred for trial to the Superior Court of Sports Justice. Last year, Gomes complained publically about the Brazilian federation’s treatment of athletes, after she was involved in the dropping of the baton in the 4x100m at the World Championships.
OSLO (NOR): Andreas Thorkildsen said that had it not been for his desire to compete at the Rio Olympics he would not have undergone hip surgery, report nrk.no. Post-surgery, the 32 year old Norwegian is more confident and he feels that he can still pick up major medals. He is not sure if he will compete in 2015, with his main comeback scheduled for the next Olympic year.
LODZ (POL): City of Lodz and its Atlas Arena will be the new place for the traditional Indoor meeting Pedros Cup which was held in past years in Bydgoszcz. Also the date of this EA Indoor Permit meeting was changed from end of January to February 17. The usual programme (men pole vault and shot put and women high jump) will be enlarged with 60 m and 60 m hurdles sprints for both men and women.
BORDEAUX (FRA): Meeting organiser Olivier Noirot informed that the Bordeaux indoor meeting originally planned for January 31 will not be held next winter due to financial reasons.
BRATISLAVA (SVK): New Dean of the Physical Education Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava, the main university for sports in the country, is the former double Olympian Marian Vanderka (42). He competed at Sydney Olympics in the 200 m (with 20.76 was also Slovak record holder) and 4x400 m and two years later in bob-sleigh at Winter Olympics 2002 in Salt Lake City.
MONACO (MON): On the opening day of the 127th International Olympic Committee session in Monaco, the IOC has approved a more affordable bidding process, the creation of an Olympic television channel and a more flexible sports program, inform AP. At the end all 40 proposal for changes have been unanimously approved. The changes are all part of IOC President Thomas Bach‘s Olympic Agenda 2020. The IOC said that their digital TV channel will promote Olympic sports and ideals in the years between the games. It will cost $600 million to operate over the first seven years.
MONACO (MON): IOC members have unanimously approved the launch of a digital Olympic Channel, in a move acclaimed by Thomas Bach, the President, as „a great, great step forward“. With operational costs projected at €490 million over the 2015-2021 period, the concept‘s proponents were forced to overcome concerns voiced by former sprinter Frankie Fredericks that this new expense should not absorb funds that would otherwise be earmarked for athletes. But otherwise, IOC members agreed to take what Yiannis Exarchos, chief executive of Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), described both as a „historic step“ and „a responsibility and a challenge of Olympic proportions“ with enthusiasm. Informs insidethegames.
MONACO (MON): Reuters writes that after the proposal to scrap a limit of 28 sports at a Summer Games been accepted, than IOC members and sports chiefs were jockeying for position, with Tokyo known to be eager to feature baseball, hugely popular in Japan, to the 2020 Games. In order to make room for any newcomers, events of existing sports will have to be cut to ensure the Games do not grow beyond 10 500 athletes - a limit confirmed again by the International Olympic Committee on Monday. Canadian IOC member Dick Pound, a former Olympic swimmer, was quick to throw out some suggestions. When asked what sports the Olympics could live without, he told Reuters „Synchronised swimming... and maybe triple jump.“ Double Olympic gold medallist Sebastian Coe smiled when told of Pound‘s suggestion.
MONACO (MON): A total of nine IOC members, including the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, are set to miss the key 127th IOC Session in Monaco that gets under way early this week. Barring further last-minute notifications, this means that 96 of the 104 current IOC members - including FIFA President Sepp Blatter - will participate in the debates and votes on IOC President Thomas Bach‘s 40 Agenda 2020 reform recommendations. The full list of IOC members excused from the Session is as follows: Peter Tallberg from Finland, James Easton from the United States, Lee Kun-Hee from South Korea, General Mounir Sabet from Egypt, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani from Qatar, Andrés Botero Phillipsbourne from Colombia, Yumilka Ruiz Luaces from Cuba, and Norway‘s Ole Einar Bjřrndalen.
MONACO (MON): Plans to create a register of advisers and lobbyists eligible to work on Olympic bids, listed among Thomas Bach‘s 40 Agenda 2020 proposals, would improve the openness and standards of the profession, it is claimed. The recommendation, calling for a list of figures to be „created and monitored by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)“, is due to be debated during the Extraordinary Session here tomorrow and Tuesday (December 9). It is part of a third recommendation, entitled „Reducing the cost of Bidding“. Informs insidethegames.
CANTIMPALOS (ESP, Dec 8): Javier Guerra with 30:19 ahead of Jesus Antonio Nunez 31:04 and Ricardo Serrano 31:21 were the top 3 in the main men 10 km race at the 43ş Cross de Cantimpalos. In women race Teresa Urbina prevailed in 21:59 over Jacqueline Martin 22:06 at the women 6.5 km.
ADELAIDE (AUS, Dec 8): Sprinting talent Jack Hale clocked 10.48 (+0.6) to win the 100 m at the Schools Knockout National Final on Monday.
YOKOHAMA (JPN, Dec 7): Brett Larner points out that in the 41st and final 5000 m heat of the day well after dark at the last full Nittai University Time Trials meet of 2014, 16-year-old Hyuga Endo took 36 seconds off his PB to finish 5th in 13:58.93, the first Japanese 10th grader to ever break 14 minutes.
MONTEVIDEO (URU, Dec 6): Federico Bruno in 29:52 ahead of Aguelmis Rojas (formerly of Cuba) 29:59 were top two at the traditional 10 km road race in 32 degrees hot temperature. Nadia Rodriguez in 37:06 topped the women category.
REGENSBURG (GER, Dec 7): One of German top runners Corinna Harrer returned from injury with winning the „Nikolauslauf“ here in two races. In the 5 km 16:20 and at 10 km 33:50. Men 5 km winner was Florian Orth 14:28 and Jonas Koller 30:36 in the 10 km.
FIUMICINO (ITA, Dec 7): Erastus Chirchir topped the 25th The Best Woman 10 km race in 29:27 ahead of Moroccans Laalami Cherkaoui 29:30 and Jaouad Zain 29:52. Margherita Magnani won easily for the second straight year with 40 seconds margin in 33:38 the women race ahead of Judith Varga 34:18.
BURGERSFORT (RSA, Dec 6): Stephen Mokoka clocked fast 1:02:14 to win the Eastern Limb Mines Half-Marathon at 685 m altitude here. Second Lucky Mohale 1:03:33 and third Joel Mmone 1:03:41. Alice Manake of Zimbabwe as women winner got 1:19:18.
WEST CHESTER (USA, Dec 7): Ethiopian Nahom Mesfin won the 37th Brian´s Run over 5 miles in 24:35, women winner and fifth overall was Kenyan Alice Kamunya in 27:03.
KALYA (KEN, Dec 7): Hosea Nailel won the inaugural Kalya Half Marathon in 1:06:02 over Felix Kangogo 1:06:12 and Samwel Kemboi 1:06:59. The race started in Trans Nzoia County and ended at Makutano Stadium in West Pokot County. Women winner Rebecca Chesire got 1:18:08 over world youth champion Purity Cherotich 1:19:04.