Some Olympic Games News Headlines are here.
Freeman unlikely to run at Commonwealth GamesCathy Freeman has told a media conference in Melbourne she is unlikely to run at the Commonwealth Games as she takes time off to be with her husband, who has cancer. She has not ruled out competing in the Manchester Games but says it is highly unlikely.
"My husband has cancer," Freeman announced at the press conference this morning. "It's a tumour in the back of the mouth. He'll be receiving treatment here in Melbourne. This means I won't be competing in Europe this year. I'm not competing this year at all," she said. "If I'm really fortunate I might run in the relay in Manchester. We'll just have to wait and see. At this stage it's highly unlikely I'll be on the track at all, but we'll just have to wait and see. However I will continue training and being fit ... and I plan to return to competition as soon as I can."
Commonwealth Games Association chief executive officer Perry Crosswhite says he was notified of Freeman's decision to pull out a short while ago.
"I am sure that Cathy will be missed ... we will miss her as she is a great athlete, she is a great person to have in the team and also her competition levels," he said. But these are the types of things that happen, and the team will go on, and the team will be strong."
Meanwhile, former running great Herb Elliot says he believes Freeman will go on to represent Australia in the next Olympic Games, despite her withdrawal from the Commonwealth Games. Elliot says Freeman has the strength to turn the drawback to her advantage.
"Cathy is a magnificent competitior and I'm sure that even though she's grappling with all the disappointment at the moment, the emotion that will ultimately emerge for her is one of accepting the obstacle as something to make her stronger, and therefore make her a better competitor in the long run," he said.
And former champion athlete Jane Fleming says today's announcement may be a blessing in a disguise for Freeman's long-term career.
"Not go to Manchester, and not try and force her fitness, and she now will have a little bit longer to get back from this injury," she said. "The other thing for all of us to think about is that it puts sport into perspective. If somebody is ill, somebody close in your family, then it does make just running around a track or kicking a football seem pretty insignificant."
Posted at 23:55 [Perma-Link]
Creighton & Letherby stay on target for ManchesterBy Len Johnson from
Commonwealth Games marathoners Shaun Creighton and Andrew Letherby continued their build-up to Manchester with strong performances in the Bolder Boulder road race in the United States on Monday.
Creighton and Letherby finished ninth and 12th, respectively, in the annual 10-kilometre race around the streets of the Colorado resort town and joined with Kim Gillard in taking Australia to fourth place in the team competition.
Tom Nyariki of Kenya, the silver medallist at 5000 metres at the last Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, won the race in 29 minutes eight seconds, three seconds ahead of American Olympic 10,000 metres representative, Alan Culpepper. Pablo Olmedo of Mexico was third.
With James Koskei fourth and Dominic Kirui fifth, Kenya easily retained its team title ahead of Mexico and the US. Australia finished fourth, ahead of Morocco and other strong distance-running nations in South Africa, France and Great Britain.
Leading up to the race, Creighton, Letherby and Gillard had been training in Boulder, which is at an altitude of about 1600 metres, leading up to the race.
Last week they were joined by Australia's third Commonwealth Games representative, Lee Troop, making the Rocky Mountains resort town an unofficial Commonwealth Games training camp.
See also: Australians Pay Homage to Deek in Boulder
Posted at 08:57 [Perma-Link]
Preliminary Sydney Trailwalker ResultsPreliminary team results are now available online at : http://http3183.hosting.connect.com.au/index2.htm
The Royal Gurkha Rifles Regiment smashed the previous record of 14 hours and 22 minutes held by their comrades the Queen's Gurkha Signals Regiment by almost two hours, coming in at an astounding 12 hours and 41 minutes. In fact, the top five teams all beat last year's record.
The Gurkha Signals came in second place with a time of 13 hours and 3 minutes. Third place honours were taken by Australian team the GU-RUs in 13 hours and 14 minutes. The Gu-Rus were also the first mixed team.
An impressive 254 out of 300 teams made it across the line with at least one team member despite the added challenge of the appalling weather conditions.
The final teams to reach the finish in under 48 hours were the Achilles Running Club A and B who succeeded in guiding their visually impaired team-mates through the trail finishing in an astounding time of 47 hours and 12 minutes.
More Trailwalker info available here
Posted at 07:55 [Perma-Link]
Westcott wins Sydney half-marathonThe Overall race winner, was 26 year old Simon Wescott (ACT), in 64:18. Wescott, now training in Canberra with Dick Telford, showed impressive form, beating Olympic marathon representative, Rod de Highden (VIC) who finished second in 64:33, and New Zealand's Commonwealth Games 10,000m representative, John Henwood who came in third, in 66:29.
Australian distance champion Kerryn McCann was the first woman to cross the finish line in a time of 1: 11.06. One of the leading all round distance runners in Australian history, Liz Miller (NSW), came in second, almost three minutes behind the leader, clocking 73:45. Third place in the 21.1 kilometre event, went to Commonwealth Games representative for the 5,000m, Anna Thompson (VIC), finishing in 75:03. Closely behind in fourth place was another athlete warming up for Manchester, marathon runner Krishna Stanton (QLD), in 75:07.
Posted at 07:06 [Perma-Link]
57 Sydney Olympians decide to stayMore than 50 foreign athletes and administrators who came to Australia for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 apparently liked the place so much that they are still here - and some of them even failed to turn for their events during the Olympics themselves.
The Department of Immigration said it's system showed that 57 people who arrived nearly 2 years ago for the Games on a special visa called an Olympic Travel Authority had still not left.
Six of the Olympic overstayers were from Spain, 5 were from the UK and 3 each from the USA, Tonga and Russia and the rest came from 31 other countries.
An immigration spokesman admitted that they may have entered Australia on one passport and left on another. The department was liasing with Olympic committees of the countries involved to track down the missing visitors.
Posted at 06:53 [Perma-Link]
QANTAS sponsors NSW Insitute of SportQantas has announced a three-year sponsorship of the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS).
Qantas Group General Manager Marketing Curtis Davies said the sponsorship included assistance with air travel for more than 700 athletes at the Institute.
"Australia's finest athletes will travel on Qantas regional, domestic and international services to compete in events and train in different environments. The airline has a long history of supporting Australian sportsmen and women and Qantas is proud to be the official airline of the NSWIS," he said.
NSWIS Director Ralph Doubell said the sponsorship comes at a critical time when many of the Institute's best athletes are about to embark on Northern Hemisphere training and competition programs, culminating at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in July.
The Qantas association with sport in Australia stretches back more than 45 years to the 1956 Olympic Games, when the airline carried the Olympic Flame to Melbourne.
The NSW Institute of Sport is the state's peak elite sports agency, existing to improve NSW representation on national teams and to assist athletes achieve success at the international level.
Posted at 06:58 [Perma-Link]
AIS National Distance CoachAthletics Australia invites applications for the position of AIS National Distance Coach - responsible to the Head Coach of Athletics Australia and the AIS Head Coach through the AIS joint Management committee.
The successful applicant will have national responsibility for the design and implementation of a quadrennial elite development plan for the National Distance programme.
Other duties include:
- the management of AIS distance camps program
- Ensuring close links are maintained with all National programmes.
-The management of competition opportunities
-Management of the National and state distance coaches network
-Liaison and co-ordination with ATFCA on coach development
It is essential that applicants have extensive experience in practical distance coaching and have produced athletes to International level. The successful candidate will also demonstrate outstanding organisational, management, leadership and communication skills.
Applicants must have coach accreditation (ATFCA - or an International equivalent)
For further information and detailed position description contact Emma Lappin on (03) 9869-5011 or e-mail email@example.com. Closing dates for applications is Friday 24 May 2002.
Posted at 02:46 [Perma-Link]
Commonwealth Games Marathon TeamsAthletics Australia has finally announced the Marathon teams to represent Australia at the Manchester Commonewalth Games later this year - they were omitted from the previous team announcement.
- Shaun Creighton (ACT)
- Andrew Letherby (QLD)
- Lee Troop (VIC) (Subject to fitness by June 30th)
- Kerryn McCann (NSW)
- Jackie Gallagher (QLD)
- Krishna Stanton (QLD)
The Games will commence on 25 July and conclude on 4 August. The full 2002 Australian team is the largest ever and is expected to exceed 540 Athletes and Officials. This will include some 400 athletes and 140 managers, medicos, and support officials.
Posted at 01:03 [Perma-Link]
Athletics Australa "Proud of Development"This Statement of Position" has been issued today by Athletics Australia :
On behalf of the Board and staff of Athletics Australia and indeed the many thousands of volunteers and supporters of athletics, I wish to respond to Rick Mitchell's article in yesterday's Age, titled "Return to Base".
The perceived shortcomings in the athletics system referred to are relevant in an historical context. The current Board and management of Athletics Australia, brought together only within the past three years, inherited a sport long on potential but preciously short on sustainable programs and development plans.
However, the picture from a participation and junior development perspective has never been brighter due to the initiatives and strategies implemented by AA since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Rick's comments on AA's recent development history pre-Sydney have some validity. However, I don't wish to debate the facts from one reporting period (2000-01), as to do so presents a story completely out of context with what the new AA is actually and actively implementing for this sport. Let me present some facts ...
The rest of the article is available at : http://www.athletics.org.au/news/details.cfm?ObjectID=1112
Posted at 13:36 [Perma-Link]
McCann 11th at World Half Marathon ChampsKerryn McCann has finished eleventh at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Brussells on Sunday (May 5).
The race had started out strongly despite the bitterly cold conditions. With temps of just 7C, rain and winds buffeting the runners as they followed the tough course through the historical centre of Brussels. An early casualty in the race was local favourite Marleen Renders who jumped to avoid a falling camera after two motorcycles carrying camera crews collided and banged her head on a post.
The only Australian women to have ever run under 1:10:00 are Kerryn McCann and Lisa Ondieki. The only Australian in the event McCann finished the event in 1:09:47. The race was won by Ethopian Berhane Adere in a time of 1:09:06.
Kerryn McCann trains at the NSW Institute of Sport High Performance Centre for Track and Field in the Illawarra.
1 225 Adere Berhane ETH 1:09:06
2 256 Chepkemei Susan KEN 1:09:13 0:07
3 259 Prokopcuka Jelena LAT 1:09:15 0:09
4 268 Botezan Mihaela ROM 1:09:24 (PB) 0:18
5 255 Chepchumba Pamela KEN 1:09:30 (PB)
6 292 Jevtic Olivera YUG 1:09:33 0:27
7 257 Cheruiyot Lenah KEN 1:09:39 0:33
8 205 Renders Marleen BEL 1:09:40 0:34
9 247 Noguchi Mizuki JPN 1:09:43 0:37
10 260 Leghzaoui Asmae MAR 1:09:46 0:40
11 201 McCann Kerryn AUS 1:09:47 0:41
12 282 Zakharova Svetlana RUS 1:09:48 (PB)
13 279 Petrova Lyudmila RUS 1:09:55 0:49
14 239 O'Sullivan Sonia IRL 1:10:04 (PB)
1 81 Kosgei Paul KEN 1:00:39
2 89 Gharib Jaouad MAR 1:00:42 (PB) 0:03
3 133 Yuda John TAN 1:00:57 0:18
4 43 Kifle Yonas ERI 1:01:05 0:26
5 52 Jifar Tesfaye ETH 1:01:11 0:32
6 117 Hoff Shadrack RSA 1:01:23 0:44
7 67 Berradi Rachid ITA 1:01:32 0:53
8 75 Sato Atsushi JPN 1:01:37 (PB) 0:58
9 79 Kamathi Charles KEN 1:02:01 1:22
10 80 Kirui Paul KEN 1:02:02 1:23
Full Results are at http://www.iaaf.org/whm02/
Posted at 02:06 [Perma-Link]