EME News April 9th, by Alfons Juck, note by Kevin Mangan
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 22:29

EME News April 9th, by Alfons Juck, note by Kevin Mangan

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There were some interesting intersections between Track & Field and politics in the news today, one happy and one strange. First, despite all of the geopolitical conflict and internal strife occurring in Ukraine, the Kharkiv International Marathon will have its inaugural running this Saturday with over 10,000 participants from 16 countries. Hopefully the Kharkiv race goes well because Ukraine has already had to take some of its sporting events and training camps abroad. A strange politics/track story is Ben Johnson being part of Toronto mayor Rob Ford's re-election team. Ben Johnson failed drug tests three times during his career, most notably after breaking the World 100m Record and winning Olympic Gold at Seoul 1988, as well as being a soccer coach of Muammar Gaddafi's son, Al-Saadi, who was fired from an Italian team after failing a drug test on his first day. Mayor Ford has had his own troubles with drugs, having been largely stripped of power by the Toronto city council after he at first denied, but then admitted to public drunkenness and using crack cocaine while in office. Ford and Johnson seem to be interesting choices for each other and I personally doubt they will boost either of their public images.

EME NEWS (APR 9, 2014)

LONDON (GBR): Double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah admitted he has gone "straight in at the deep end" by running his first competitive marathon against one of the strongest line-ups London organizers have ever brought to the start line. Farah will run shoulder to shoulder with the world's finest when he hits the Virgin Money London Marathon course on Sunday. Speaking to the media, he did his best to manage expectations. "In terms of the field, I definitely want to thank [international race director] Dave Bedford for making it an easy race for me," the Briton said with a smile. "I've gone straight in at the deep end and that's what champions do. You don't get it the easy way. On Sunday, my first aim is definitely to go after the British record and second see what comes along with it, but mainly it's to try and respect the distance." Informs Insidethegames.

ROTTERDAM (NED): Another fast marathon of the weekend will be the race in Rotterdam. Former track World champion Eliud Kipchoge will run his third marathon and expects another improvement. "I want to take my best to under 2:04 level, actually I would be happy come close to world record. I think I belong to the group of runners who are able to go under 2:03," said Kipchoge in an interview with magazine Leichtathletik. He ran his first two marathons last year with 2:05:30 and 2:04:05.

LONDON (GBR): Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich is looking forward to returning to the British capital to chase his first London Marathon win. The Olympic and World gold medalist says he is excited by the prospect of Haile Gebrselassie setting the pace at the Virgin Money London Marathon. "Haile is the master of the roads so it's great to have him as a pacemaker," Kiprotich said. Ibrahim Jeilan, who won 10,000m World Championship gold in Daegu 2011 and is making his marathon debut, said of his Ethiopian countryman: "I didn't ever compete against Haile, so I will be happy to stand on the start line with our great runner. With Haile pacing, we have a good chance of a fast time. I can't say I'll beat him [Mo] again as we all prepare to win and to beat one another, but I've prepared well and something good will happen," added Jeilan. Two-times New York Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai says he is determined to run well after dropping out in London last year at 35km. "My preparations have gone really well for this London Marathon and I will focus on running my own race on Sunday." World record holder Wilson Kipsang is also ready for the Sunday clash. "It's not going to be easy for Farah and he's not likely to win," he said. With the help from insidethegames.

ATLANTA (USA): Agent Paul Doyle informed that Sherone Simpson will appeal the decision of JADCO disciplinary panel for the 18 months suspension. "The panel has given no written explanation as to how or why they came to this decision. We feel that this ruling is incredibly unjust and we will be appealing to the Court of Arbitration of Sport immediately. The case in our opinion should be very straight forward. Sherone took a legal supplement that was contaminated with Oxilofrine. Two different labs that we commissioned to test the supplement both determined that Oxilofrine was present and that it was not declared on the label. Additionally, on our advice, USADA ordered the supplement directly from the company and tested it themselves and confirmed the same. Subsequently, USADA has posted a warning on their website warning athletes not to take the supplement because it contains banned substances that are not declared on the label. These are the core facts of Sherone’s case and cannot be disputed. Typically in such a case, the athlete is given a punishment ranging from a public warning to three months of ineligibility. The fact that the panel has given 18 months suspension and have provided no explanation as to why is unacceptable in our opinion," says Doyle on behalf of Doyle Management Group.

CLEMSON (USA): Hurdles world champion Brianna Rollins will open her first full pro season at 100 m hurdles at Drake Relays on April 26. After that she is scheduled to run at Jamaica Invitational onMay 3 and Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Tokyo on May 11, both IAAF World Challenge meetings. Rollins had an undefeated season in 2013 with superb improvement of US record to 12.26. In her career she competed so far only at two International meetings outside of USA in Luzern, Switzerland and Lapinlahti, Finland last July. Last weekend at Florida Relays she opened in relays (hurdles and 4x200 m).

BEIJING (CHN): The second edition of FAW Toyota IAAF World Challenge Meeting in Beijing is promising top names from the world elite for May 21. In terms of World champions 2013 David Oliver is scheduled for the 110 m hurdles, Russians Tatyana Lysenko in hammer and Svetlana Shkolina for high jump. Other top names are Russian Olympic winner in men high jump Ivan Ukhov, ever young sprint veteran Kim Collins of St. Kitts in duel with Justin Gatlin in the men 100 m. In the women 100 m Jamaican former olympic and world gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown is scheduled to compete. Gatlin, Lysenko and Oliver will return as title defenders after last year. In men long jump the current top Chinese athlete, World indoor silver medalist from Sopot Li Jinzhe should compete. Also Zhang Peimeng the sprint national record holder with 10.00 is another Chinese star from Beijing who will compete.


MELBOURNE (AUS): The Australian Commonwealth Games Association has made its initial round of selections for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, inform Athletics Australia.   45 athletes (including 6 paralympians) have been named on the squad which is captained by Olympic 100mH champion Sally Pearson, with Kim Mickle (javelin) as vice-captain. 11 other athletes that competed at the Moscow World Championships will be present on the team;  Joshua Ralph (800m), Collis Birmingham (10,000m), Martin Dent (marathon), Nicholas Hough (110mH), Benn Harradine (discus), Melissa Breen (100m), Zoe Buckman (1500m), Jess Trengove (marathon), Lauren Wells (400mH), Dani Samuels (discus) and Kathryn Mitchell (javelin). Other leading athletes include World Youth champion Eleanor Patterson (high jump), World junior silver medalist Jake Stein (decathlon) and World Junior bronze medalist Damien Birkinhead (shot).

BOSTON (USA): The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced that several former champions will return to participate in events surrounding the 118th Boston Marathon. Joan Benoit Samuelson (winner in 1979, 1983), Amby Burfoot (1968) and Gelindo Bordin (1990) are all entered to compete in the marathon, Bill Rodgers (1975, 1978-1980) will serve as the grand marshal of the race, Greg Meyer (1983) will serve as the finish line announcer, Jack Fultz (1976) is the Training Advisor for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team and Uta Pippig (1994-1996) is running the B.A.A 5K on Saturday, April 19, along with Meyer.

KINGSTON (JAM): After winning bronze at the World Indoors, Jamaican triple jumper Kimberly Williams has her sights set on the Commonwealth Games where she is aiming to top the podium, report the BBC. She also wants to improve her personal best, set when coming 4th at the Worlds last year. "I'm better than 14.62 which is my current outdoor PB," she explains. "To consistently jump 15 metres, that is one of my goals. I don't know if it's going to happen now or later, but it's on the list."

GEORGE TOWN (CAY): New timing equipment bought by the Cayman Island government is not yet in the country ahead of the Cayman Invitational which is set for May 7, report cayman27.com. The new timing equipment was requested after the current system malfunctioned during the women’s 5000 m race at the 2013 Invite. They can still use the same equipment used in 2013, but they will need to bring in officials from Jamaica to assist them.

JOHANNESBURG (RSA): The ad hoc committee of Athletics South Africa (ASA) has announced that a special general meeting will be held on May 24 to elect a new ASA executive board, report sport24.co.za. This is part of the agreement reached with Cheikh Tiare of the IAAF.  Nominations for president, vice-president, chairpersons of the cross-country commission, the road running commission, the track and field commission and the athletes' commission, and four additional members must be received by April 24. Daan du Toit, chairperson of the ad hoc committee, and an IAAF official will preside over the meeting where no member of the ad hoc committee may stand for any position and any removed ASA board members will have no voting right.

HANNOVER (GER): German Falk Cierpinski informed that he will run the Hannover Marathon onApril 27. The third best in the country in marathon in 2013 (2:14:50) said that he will run here because very flat course and good conditions for German runners within the international field.

BERLIN (GER): Budget fir this years ISTAF Meeting on August 31 (IAAF World Challenge) should be now secured. Informs Berliner Zeitung. Martin Seeber informed that he hopes a new sponsor will be presented until middle of May.

LONDON (GBR): Three of Britain’s 2012 Olympic medalists will be the official starters of the 2014 London Marathon on Sunday April 13, inform race organizers. Rowers Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins will push the famous red button at the ‘blue start’ on Shooters Hill to send some 36,000 runners and wheelchair racers on their way before they tackle the 26.2 mile route themselves. Diver Tom Daley will start the three mile children’s Mini London Marathon before later presenting the winners with their awards.

PRETORIA (RSA): Oscar Pistorius was the target of relentless and combative questioningWednesday as the prosecutor in his murder trial tried to rattle the runner about the night he shot dead his model girlfriend. Informs CNN website. Vowing to "get to the truth" of the events that took place on Valentine's Day last year, prosecutor Gerrie Nel began a blistering cross-examination of the Olympic sprinter in the case that has gripped South Africa. No one disputes that Pistorius killed Steenkamp. But the prosecution is trying to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did so knowingly and intentionally. The 27-year old has admitted to the killing but said he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder in the bathroom when he fired through the door and killed her. Court was adjourned for the day following that testimony.

KINGSTON (JAM): Racers Track Club coach Glen Mills says that 2011 World 100m champion Yohan Blake is “looking very good” ahead of his return to racing in 2014, report Jamaica-gleaner.com. “We are happy and excited about how he is looking so far," said Mills, who also coaches Usain Bolt and Warren Weir. “Yohan is over the injury. I think both mentally and physically, and he has been training very well, and he looks like he is going to be back on top of his game, "We are still taking it gradually because the preparation is stepping up, but we are doing it gradually because with the three years before him so crucial, we are trying to ensure that we don't get carried away, while making sure that everything is covered in putting him back at top world level competition.” So far Blake’s only confirmed competition is the New York Diamond League on June 14


KINGSTON (JAM): Triple World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has withdrawn from the Saturday’s UTech Classic as well as the Penn Relays, report Jamaica-gleaner.com. The 27 year old Jamaican has been instructed by her medical team to rest for two weeks meaning that her next race will now be the Jamaican Invitational in May.

TORONTO (CAN): Disgraced Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson has joined Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's re-election team, report khou.com. Ford, like Johnson, has had problems with drugs in the past. Ford said that he was excited about Johnson’s support while Johnson said that Ford had his “full support”.

ALGIERS (ALG): The Algerian Athletics Federation and the French Athletics Federation have signed an agreement that will see them strengthen their cooperation, report liberte-algerie.com. Areas of cooperation included in the agreement are; developing young athletes, aligning training, competition and development; athletics promotion, education of officials and sharing of officials.

BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgium’s triple jump record holder, Svetlana Bolshakova has given birth to her first child, a son named Alexander, report rtbf.be. Bolshakova and her husband, Stijn Stroobants (former high jumper with 2.26 best) released a statement on their website saying, “Today is the happiest day of our lives! Our little miracle was born! So small and so cute! At 4:43 that night, we became the proud parents of our son Alexander. Both mom Sonny are doing very well."

FRANCONVILLE (FRA): After a great start to the 2014 season, French vaulter Kevin Menaldo is aiming to break the 6m barrier on his road to Rio, reportgazettevaldoise.fr. The21 year old, who jumped 5.75 indoors, lives and trains with European Junior silver medalist Axel Chapelle who has jumped a PB of 5.45 this year.

PALENCIA (ESP): Marta Domínguez has appeared in court where she has ratified her claim that the Spanish Athletics Federation and the IAAF violated her privacy by making her details in public without her permission, report mundodeportivo.com. A court statement read; “The applicant has maintained the request for precautionary measures to ensure that these data are not used because, as alleged, it is still possible that the file can continue to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”

MOSCOW (RUS): Anti-doping commission of All-Russian athletics federation banned for 10 years javelin thrower Yevgeniya Pecherina. She was tested positive for oralturinabole at Adler training camp on June 23, 2013. 23-year-old Russian got huge ban because of her second violation of anti-doping rules. She already had two-year ban from July 5, 2011 till July 5, 2013. Term of her current disqualification started on July 4, 2013 and continues till July 3, 2023.  Pecherina set her PB 65.77m (national U23 record) in Krasnodar on June 1, 2011. She was 6th at European U23 championships 2009.

KHARKIV (UKR): Despite the unstable situation in Ukraine with often disturbances in the East region of the country, organizers of first Kharkiv International Marathon are not going to cancel the race or change the course. Race will be held on April 12. More than 10 000 athletes from 16 countries will take part at different distances. Traffic police will organize 128 security posts. Start and finish will be at the Freedom Square.

NAIROBI (KEN): The National Olympic Committee of Kenya requires Sh150 million to fund the participation of Kenyan teams in forthcoming international events. The events include the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in Scotland, second African Youth Games in Gaborone and Youth Olympic Games to be staged in Nanjing, China. NOCK Marketing and Fundraising Committee has identified and initiated avenues to raise money to support the events. The first fundraiser is the golf tournament with Olympians to be held at Royal Nairobi Club on April 25. Informs East Standard.

BARCELONA (ESP): The One Day Meetings seminar organised jointly by European Athletics and Euromeetings brought together 40 participants, representing not only both organizing bodies but meetings all-across the different categories. From IAAF Diamond League, IAAF World Challenge to European Athletics different permit meetings. There were plenty of themes discussed, but mainly the future of one day meetings in Europe. In terms of television point of view, technical rules and its innovations and changes, social media trends, how to compete on the market with other sports etc. The issue of clearly structured calendar was one of the top keys mentioned towards improvement.


TUNIS (TUN, Apr 6): At Sfax international half-marathon Eritrean Tewelde Estifanos won the men category in 1:02:34 ahead of Kenyans Solomon Kirwa Yego 1:02:50 and Kennedy Kimutai 1:03:53 with Qatari Nicholas Kemboi fourth 1:04:05. Alice Kimutai from Kenya was the women winner in 1:12:12.

MELBOURNE (AUS): Paul Jenes informs that due to a calibration error in the timing device at the Albert Park athletic venue some results at the IAAF Melbourne Challenge on 22nd March have changed by 0.01 sec. This change only affects a significant number of the track events only.

VANCOUVER (CAN, Apr 5): Canadian high jumper Michael Mason cleared here 224 cm.

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