CANNES: After the Congress the newly elected European Athletics Council met for first time. As Senior Vice President was appointed Jose Luis De Carlos from Spain. Next meeting will be early June in Frankfurt (GER). Agencies are reporting from background of Saturday´s decision to stage European Championships every second year that under consideration are such innovative things like bonuses (so far no money involved for individual athletes at European Championships) and athletes personal sponsors logos (so far only National Sponsor one logo was allowed). The world body IAAF started with prize money at World Championships already in 1997 but on the other hand is not allowing even National Sponsor logos on athlete vests at the Championships.
PARIS (FRA): 31st Paris Marathon recorded the fastest time of the season on warm Sunday. Mubarak Hassan Shami (26, formerly Kenyan Richard Yatich) won clearly with 2:07:19 which was not only first sub 2:08 of the year but also new national record for Qatar. The former one by Shami was 2:09:22 in 2005 (Venezia, Italy). The Asian Games winner and World Half Marathon silver medallist achieved this improvement in his fifth marathon and more he won all of them. It is also second fastest time in the history of the event (better only Michael Rotich 2:06:33 in 2003). Last year winner Gashaw Melese (ETH) was second and only one next sub 2:10 (2:09:53). Third and fourth place went to Kenyans Daniel Rono (2:10:28) and Elias Kemboi (2:10:33, is it really the Rome winner from last month?). Morroccan Omar Jimila in his debut recorded as 5th very good 2:10:44. Ahmed Ezzobayry was the best French runner as 8th with new best 2:11:18. Another favourite and bronze medallist from Goteborg Julio Rey of Spain finished 9th (2:11:36). Ethiopian half-marathon sensation Deribe Merge (59:44 in February in Dubai) clocked in his debut 2:13:33 as 11th. There were 19 sub 2:20 runners.
January Dubai winner Askale Magarsa secured women win for Ethiopia in new best 2:25:07 (fifth fastest in the history of the event). Second place went surprisingly to Russian Gulnara Vygovskaya who was able to achieve sub 2:30 for the first time (2:28:22). Excellent marathon debut was registered for French Christelle Daunay (2:28:54). Remaining sub 2:30 time was achieved by Ethiopian pre race favourite Asha Gigi as 4th (2:29:11). Nearly 35 000 runners participated.
NAGANO (JPN): Kenyan Nephat Kinyanjui sucesfully defended his last year title at 9th Nagano Marathon in Japan. In close contest he achieved 2:13:32, the same time went for second placed Georgiy Andreyev from Russia. Third japanese Norio Kamijo debuted excellent as third 2:13:37. Japanese record holder Toshinari Takaoka who is in preparation for Olympic qualifying marathon finished 7th (2:15:00). Second from 2003 edition of this race Russian Alevtina Ivanova needed a new best of 2:27:49 (fastest by European so far in 2007) to win the race. This year Houston winner Dire Tune (ETH) was second (2:28:59) and another Russian Lyubov Morgunova third (2:29:34). Former top name Lidia Simon from Romania (2001 World Champion) registered 2:34:48 as fourth.
ROTTERDAM (NED): Hot temperatures above 25 degrees made it impossible for faster times at 27th Fortis Rotterdam Marathon. Commonwealth Games 2002 silver medallist Joshua Chelanga was the strongest and won with only sub 2:10 of the day 2:08:21. Halfmarathon split 1:03:53 was nearly one minute behind the aimed 1:03. World record holder at 30 km Takayuki Matsumiya from Japan finished second in new best 2:10:04. Next three places went to Kenyans – William Kipsang (2:11:04), Isaac Macharia (2:12:06) and Patrick Ivuti (2:12:20). Luc Krotwaar as tenth got his 7th national title (2:15:28). Hiromi Ominami from Japan was the best woman clocking 2:26:37. After last year in Miami it was only her second marathon win (she started in 1999). Due to hot weather the organisers stopped the race at 2:30 pm.
DEBNO (POL): Pawel Ochal won the 33rd Debno Marathon and became new Polish champion. He also clocked his best 2:15:31. Second place went to Henryk Szost who debuted in 2:15:37. Experienced Rafal Wojcik finished third 2:17:17. On the women side a foreign win was registered by last year Kosice winner Natalia Kulesh (BLR) with 2:40:46. Second placed Arleta Meloch got her first national title (2:41:45). Third place went to Agnieszka Lewandowska (2:44:13).
LINZ (AUT): Sensational winning time at 6th OMV Linz Donau Marathon. Oleksandr Kuzin from Ukraine (32 years old) bettered dramatically his best from 2:10:09 (last year 5th in Rome) to great 2:07:33. He had two even halfs of 1:03:36 and 1:03:55. With this time he not only registered new event record but also qualified for Olympic Games 2008. It is also second fastest in the world this year after Shami 2:07:19 today in Paris. Kuzin moved with his result to 11th place of European All-Time list. In the past he was 18th at World Championships 2001 in Edmonton. His result is the fastest ever in Austria. Last year winner Benjamin Itok from Kenya was the only next with sub 2:20 clocking 2:12:06 for second place. Austrian Eva-Maria Gradwohl was the best woman in 2:37:36 and missed her best from last year in Graz only by three seconds. Dana Janeckova of Slovakia was second (2:51:20).
TORINO (ITA): Hungarian Aniko Kalovics fulfilled the favourite role at 21st Torino Marathon in her second marathon of the career. But she was not succesfull in attacking her national record 2:26:44 from last year. Winning time on hot Sunday was 2:29:24. Second place went to Kenyan Caroline Kwambai (2:34:52) and third to former steeple world record holder Justyna Bak of Poland in new best 2:40:14. Kenyans dominated men category. Home favourite and 2003 winner Daniele Caimmi was fourth (2:11:10). Before him as winner in marathon debuting Philemon Tarbei (2:10:24), Yusuf Songoka (2:10:51, PB) and Hillary Bett (2:11:05, PB).
CANBERRA (AUS): Magnus Michelsson (38, Victoria) repeated his 2005 win at 31st Canberra Marathon. His winning time 2:20:55 and first place price 1500 AUSD. Female winner Magda Karimali-Poulos (34, NSW) registered new best of 2:43:40.
TAIPEI (TAI): Kenyan Bernard Mutai won the Taiwan Marathon clocking 2:21:11. Oksana Lokhlova from Russia was the best woman (3:03:09).
CORAL GABLES: Olympic 200 m bronze medallist Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie from Bahamas started the season excellent and clocked new world lead 11.14 at Miami Invitational (11.12 by Nicole Whitman is regarded as doubtful timing). Supported by ideal wind +2.0 second placed Jamaican Sheri Ann Brooks equalled her best 11.19 (she won with that time Commonwealth Games last year) and third UK sprinter Emma Ania came close to her best achieving 11.35 (11.32 last year in Salamanca). Jamaican Simone Facey registered another world lead at 200 m with 22.77 (+0.6) as she clearly beat the 100 m World Champion Lauryn Williams (23.02). British sprinters achieved 23.73 (Emma Ania) and 23.76 (Donna Fraser, also 400 m 53.90). Very fast 12.89 (+1.7) for Damu Cherry at 100 m Hurdles and South Florida State got 4x100 m in 43.44.
On the men side sensational personal best at 100 m for 400 m Hurdles specialist and last year World Cup winner Kerron Clement. He achieved 10.23 (+2.0) and so is the fastest from 400H runners in the history. He also bettered his 200 m outdoor best to 20.49 (+1.3, has 20.40 indoors). It looks like big things could happen at his speciality in next months. High hurdler Linnie Yarbrough registered another sub 13.40 with 13.37 (+1.6) and Rickey Harris won the 400 m in solid 45.93.
TEMPE: Latosha Wallace clocked the years second fastest 400 m Hurdles during the final day of 28th Sun Angel Classic (56.75). LSU got solid 43.70 and 3:32.85 in both relays and NCAA Indoor Champion Sarah Stevens got her first outdoor 18 metres mark in shot put 18.03 (indoors she has 18.16). On the men side US Indoor Champion Greg Nixon achieved a nice double 20.62 and 45.51 (his PB). Lewis Banda from Zimbabwe was close second with 45.54. Sudanese 3000 m NCAA Champion Lopez Lomong clocked his first sub 4 mile with 3:58.54. Shamar Sands from Bahamas equalled his one week old national record 13.64 at 110mH (-0.1). Jamaican Isa Phillips clocked sub 50 seconds at 400 m Hurdles (49.76). Pole Vault Olympic Champion (2000) Nick Hysong went over 530 cm. Another experienced Olympian and former World Champion John Godina went over 20 metres first time outdoors since 2005 (20.00) and was beaten by collegian Ryan Whiting (new best 20.07).
ATHENS: Georgia student Jenny Dahlgren from Argentina had on first day of Spec Towns Invitational the hammer competition of her life. She went four times over 70 metres, the best in fourth round was 72.94 m new South American Record. It is also third best mark of the season. She also had 71.84, 72.17 and 70.87 in the series. Andras Haklits from Croatia won the men section with 74.75 m.
EL PASO: Netherland Antilles top sprinter Churandy Martina was fast at UTEP Invitational clocking 20.35 (-0.7) at 200 m. His national team got 39.50 at 4x100 m. French student Mickael Hanany won the High Jump (224) and Grace Upshaw registered solid 668 cm in women Long Jump.
OXFORD: Former Russian world champion Anastasia Kapachinskaya is step by step better. At Ole Miss Invitational she won the 400 m in 52.95. On the men side Antwon Hicks clocked 13.63 (+1.2) at 110H.
TALLAHASSEE: Zimbabwe´s 200 m national record holder Brian Dzingai showed impressive shape at Seminole Invitational. He bettered his 100 m best to 10.31 (+1.8) and clocked excellent 20.48 (+1.4) at 200 m. Jamaican shot record holder Dorian Scott registered another 20 m plus mark with 20.08 m.
CHAPEL HILL: Former relays world champion Leonard Byrd got 46.05 (400 m) at Carolina Fast Times. Silver medallist from US Indoor Championships David Payne started the outdoor season with solid 13.62 (+1.4) at 110 m Hurdles.
KNOXVILLE: The last day of 41st Sea Ray Relays was hampered by rain and lightning and 13 events were cancelled. To note the 223 cm in High Jump by former US Champion Adam Shunk.
WESTWOOD: Final day of 5th Rafer Johnson / Jackie Joyner Kersee invitational saw the first competition since last year Goteborg for the former heptathlon world champion Eunice Barber (FRA). She won the 100 mHurdles with 13.57 (+1.5). 20 years old versatile talent Mindy Neeley registered new Long Jump best 650 (+0.8).
CACERES (ESP): No world record at half marathon distance for Zersenay Tadesse (ERI). The world cross country champion and road race champion achieved on Sunday 1:01:26, what was clearly behind the global mark of Samuel Wanjiru (58:35 in March in Haag). His best 59:05 in 2005, but on the slightly downhill course in Newcastle. Second place went to Cuthbert Nyasango (ZIM, 1:02:04) and third to other Eritrean Yared Asmeron (1:02:04).
DUBLIN (IRL): Kenyan Abraham Chebii won the BUPA Great Ireland Run on Sunday with 28:47. World Cup winner Craig Mottram secured second place and did not registered 5th win here for Australia 13 seconds behind (29:00). Former European track champion Jose Manuel Martinez from Spain was third 29:29 and fourth place went to cross specialist Sergey Lebid (UKR, 29:42). Australian steepler Victoria Mitchell was the best female runner (33:06), some 11 seconds behind was Helen Clitheroe as best home runner (33:17). Legendary Sonia O´Sullivan finished in 37:04.
TSHWANE (RSA, also known as Pretoria): During South African Junior and Youth Championships fast 100 m times were registered. Last year World juniors participant Kagiso Kumbane won the boys 100 m in 10.42 (-0.2). In youth section the winners were Patrick Vosloo (10.67) and Alyssa Conley (11.94). High quality also new best of junior long jumper Keenan Watson 781 cm (+1.2).
MONTEVIDEO (URU): The 23rd Darwin Pineyrua Meet in the country capitol city saw wins of home stars. Heber Viera clocked 20.97 at 200 m and Andres Silva missed his national record from March at 400 m Hurdles only by 0.11 with 50.51.
BRATISLAVA (SVK): The oldest road race Devin-Bratislava (60th annual, first time in 1921) at 11,625 km course was won by Miroslav Vanko who clocked new course record 34:57. For Vanko already the fifth win at the event, in total nearly 1500 runners participated. Top 3 – men: 1. Miroslav Vanko 34:57 CR, 2. Artur Blasinski,POL 35:40, 3. Bogdan Dziuba,POL 36:06, wom: 1. Zuzana Novackova 44:13, 2. Ria Thienpont,BEL 44:37, 3. Ludmila Melicherova 45:21