Makarov back in shape and will compete in Doha
MOSCOW: Russian javelin record holder Sergey Makarov (92.61 in 2002) is back in good shape. According to his agent Mikhail Gusev he has training throws at 85-86 m level which is an indication of good form. Based in Podolsk near Moscow he prepares for his first important meet of the year the Qatar Super Grand Prix in Doha on May 11. He started last year well winning in Ostrava with 88.49, but then due to injury was forced to cancel the season early July and missed the European Championships in Goteborg. World champion from 2003 is in good training since November last year and competed already in February at Russian winter throws (81.25).
Maggi jumps 676 cm
IBIRAPUERA (BRA): At local meet Area record holder Maureen Higa Maggi jumped 676 cm what is second best mark of the year. Maggi has best 726 cm from high altitude in Bogota, Columbia in 1999. In men section Louis Tristan achieved 796 cm.
DUBLIN: Best all-time female walker of Ireland Gillian O´Sullivan (30) announced her retirement. It is due to injuries and illness in recent years. She won silver at Worlds 2003 in Paris in the 20 km race. She also holds the world indoor record at 3000 m (11:35.34 in 2003) and world best at 5000 m outdoors (20:02.60 in 2002). Her Irish record at 20 km is 1:27:22 in 2003. She still won this year the Irish national indoor title.
HAMBURG: European Marathon Champion Ulrike Maisch (GER) cancelled her participation at Hamburg Marathon (Apr 29) due to injury as reported by www.leichtathletik.de.
MOSCOW: Russian miler Vyacheslav Shabunin is father for the fourth time. His wife just gave birth to daughter Anfisa. They have two girls Dasha (6) and Katya (4) and son Kostya (2). Shabunin is Russian record holder at 1500 m, mile and 3000 m. He was 9th at 1500 m at World Championships 2003 what is a nice place for runner from Europe.
PARIS: Recent succesfull marathon debutant Christelle Daunay from France (third in Paris on Sunday 2:28:54) announced that she will not contest this distance at the World Championships in Osaka. Instead, she wants to qualify to Japan at 10 000 m and plans to attack the norm on June 15 in Marseille. Her next marathon target would be at Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing.
MADRID: As informed by spanish media European Indoor Long Jump record holder Yago Lamela is recovering well from achilles surgeries after his traffic accident. In two or three months it looks like he will be able to start with training. He last time competed in 2004.
SYDNEY: Fox Sports website informs that Athletics Australia will loose at the end of the year one of its main sponsors Telstra. The company has been supporting the sport down under in recent 8 years and will not renew the contract at the end of this year. The deal was worth 1 million AUSD per year.
HELSINKI: IAAF Council Member Ilkka Kanerva (59) has been appointed Finland´s Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is sitting on the world governing body for athletics council since 2003, before that he was council member of EAA (1999-2003).
BIRMINGHAM: UK Athletics announced that only British athletes will be allowed to compete at Norwich Union World Trials and UK Championships beeing held in Manchester from July 27 till July 29.
NEW YORK: Newly into IAAF World Athletics Tour included meet of New York announced first wave of names for June 2. Reebok Grand Prix will witness some of the top sprinters. On the female side world champion Lauryn Williams and olympic gold medallist Veronica Campbell (JAM) will clash at 100 m. On the men side Tyson Gay will run 100 m and Wallace Spearmon the 200 m distance.
ZHUKOVSKIY: The 49th Znamensky Memorial planned for Zhukovskiy (near of Moscow) has already first star names to announce for June 9. The EAA Permit meeting will see olympic long jump champion Tatyana Lebedeva, hammer world record holder Tatyana Lysenko (she actually trains the whole year in Zhukovskiy with coach Nikolay Beloborodov). From foreign top athletes sprinters Debbie Ferguson from Bahamas and Olusoji Fasuba from Nigeria should compete.
This weekend no EAA or IAAF walking meet is planned. Interesting event will be held on Sunday at San Pietro Clarenza (Italy, Sicily). As fidal website informs at 15 km local hero olympic champion Ivano Brugnetti will face former 50 km world champion Jesus Angel Garcia from Spain.
Area meeting action continues in Africa and South America. In US programme the 80th Kansas Relays is the headline event. In invitational events on Saturday in Lawrence World champions Allyson Felix (at 100 m) and Bershawn Jackson (seasonal debut at 400 m Hurdles) are scheduled to compete, Olympic champion Joanna Hayes will run her speciality 100 m Hurdles. First individual races of the season are planned also for Sanya Richards and Jeremy Wariner at Michael Johnson Classic in Waco, Texas.
Another exciting marathon weekend is going to happen. Mainly due to star-studded London fields. You cannot ask for more than:
World record holder Paul Tergat, former world record holder Khalid Khannouchi, former track olympic and world champion ever popular Haile Gebrselassie, last year winner Felix Limo, 2005 winner Martin Lel, New York 2004 winner Hendrick Ramaala, double world champion Jaouad Gharib, olympic winner and European Champion Stefano Baldini, last year Los Angeles and Milano winner Benson Cherono, New York 2006 winner Marilson dos Santos, olympic silver medallist Meb Keflezighi, interesting debuts for Ryan Hall and Juan Carlos de la Ossa.
On the women side: world CC and road champion Lornah Kiplagat, Asian Games winner Zhou Chunxiu, Chicago 2006 winner and former track world champion Berhane Adere, second in Chicago 2006 Galina Bogomolova, Chicago 2004 winner and worlds medallist Constantina Tomescu-Dita, New York twice second Susan Chepkemei, last year second Lyudmila Petrova, Australian record holder and last year Chicago 3rd Benita Johnson, Paris and Prague winner Salina Kosgei, Inga Abitova track European Champion at 10 000 m.
In total six men with bests sub 2:07 and seven women with bests of under 2:22. Both first places are worth 55 000 USD, sub 2:07 and sub 2:22 brings another 50 000, world records could bring for the winners another 125 000. In London the organisers are recognising as WR women only time 2:17:42 of Paula Radcliffe in 2005 (London).
In the history of the event so far ten men sub 2:07 marks were registered and five women sub 2:20. Will another ones come on Sunday? The huge number of high quality names gives a sign that tactics could prevail. Women race looks like wide open. Weather forecast speaks about more than 20 degrees and sunny which could have negative impact as last weekend. But must probably it will not be so hot as last Sunday.
It is also this years second World Marathon Majors event – in the top rankings Limo and Gebrselassie could secure second place behind Boston winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot and Berhane Adere is in position to do the same. With the win she even can equal Prokopcuka´s score of 55 points. But important points could be achieved also for the 2007/08 part of the series.
World Marathon Majors standings
Men: 1. Cheruiyot 75, 2t. F. Limo, KEN, Gebrselassie,ETH, dos Santos,BRA and Kiogora all 25
Wom: 1. Prokopcuka 55, 2. Jeptoo 35, 3. Adere, ETH 30, 4t. Grigoryeva and Kastor both 26
Other top marathons
ENSCHEDE: At this 39th edition of this Dutch marathon Kenyan Steven Mathebo Cheptot is the favourite. His best is 2:07:59 from Amsterdam 2002.
BEOGRAD: The Serbian premier running event „Beograd Marathon“ will have its 20th running already on Saturday. Home Olivera Jevtic and Tansanian Andrew Sambu are the main favourites.
PADOVA: 8th Padua Marathon is expecting a duel between Italian and African runners. Alberico Di Cecco is facing Michael Rotich and Benjamin Korir. Brasilian Marily dos Santos is the women favourite.
ANTWERP: Kenyan Wilson Kibet is the top contender at the Antwerp Marathon in Belgium. In different events and categories it is expected that around 16 000 people will run on Sunday in Antwerp.
MADRID: Some 13 000 runners are expected at Sunday jubilee 30th Madrid Marathon. Joseph Ngolepus from Kenya achieved last year new event best 2:11:30.
LEIPZIG: In Germany the 31st Leipzig Marathon is planned for Sunday. Marcel Matanin from Slovakia will try to defend his last year title.
WROCLAW: Another jubilee the 25th Marathon of Wroclaw in Poland. Nearly 1500 runners will participate.