Some Olympic Games News Headlines are here.
Power takes bronze in 10,000mRecords all round as the women’s 10,000m provides drama and excitement at a number of levels.
Australian Susie Power and the Kenyans Susan Chepkemei and Selina Kosgei broke away at the midway stage leaving the rest of the field strung out to contest a number of individual battles.
By the 21 minute mark, all three women were running well inside of their lifetime bests.
It was the little known Kosgei (31:27.83) who had the beating of the field. Coming up to the final lap, the 25-year-old still had enough strength remaining to pull away from compatriot Chepkenei (31:32.04).
Kosgei made her mark on the international stage in stunning style, smashing the Games record.
Melbourne-born Power (31:32.20) was delighted with her bronze having missed out on medals at a number of major championships. The third place finish was a triumphant comeback from an Achilles injury that had set her back three operations since 1998.
Full results here.
Article from Commonwealth Games website.
Posted at 08:53 [Perma-Link]
New Balance Supports Australia's Top Running EventsAustralian distance running is in fantastic shape following outstanding results in the Men's & Women's Marathons at the Commonwealth Games. Over the upcoming months, there are plenty of opportunities for ordinary Australians to continue this strong distance running tradition by participating in major running events that cater for the serious runner right through to the casual jogger.
The following five events are proudly sponsored by New Balance:
1. 25th August - Channel Nine City to Surf presented by New Balance
2. 1st September - Noosa Half Marathon
3. 15th September - Flora Sydney Marathon & Sunday Telegraph Bridge Run
4. 15th September - Advertiser City-Bay
5. 13th October - Skilled Burnie 10
On 25th August, Australians can support the Channel Nine City to Surf presented by New Balance - Western Australia's largest community sports event.
During its 28-year history almost 150,000 people have participated in the Channel Nine City to Surf presented by New Balance. Last year over 14,000 competitors gathered at 12km or 4km start lines to run, walk or wheel between city and surf, and in 2002 numbers are expected to set a new record.
Funds raised enable Activ Foundation to continue to enrich the lives of people with intellectual disability and enable them to remain 'activ-ely' involved in work and life pursuits.
On 1st September, runners have the opportunity to test themselves against some of Australia's best distance runners in the Noosa Half Marathon.
Recognised by Athletics Australia as the Australian Half Marathon Championships, this event is expected to welcome Commonwealth Games Marathon medallists Krishna Stanton and Jackie Gallagher, Goodwill Games Gold Medallist Melissa Rollison as well as Olympic representatives Steve Moneghetti and Pat Carroll.
The event also incorporates the Noosa 10km and New Balance 5km Run/Walk events, which encourage participation and fun for people of all fitness levels.
The 15th September will be a bumper day for Australian running, with two major events taking place simultaneously in Sydney & Adelaide.
The second Flora Sydney Marathon and The Sunday Telegraph 10km Bridge Run this year coincides with the anniversary of the opening of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Over 14,000 participants are expected to take the opportunity to run over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and experience one of the world's great runs.
Meanwhile, the Advertiser City-Bay Fun Run, Adelaide's largest fun run, provides an opportunity for people to take up the challenge to compete and complete the 12 km course in record time, in a personal best time or just to finish!! Entrants can run, walk or wheelchair - those in it for a bit of fun can push a boat, barrow or bathtub.
The Advertiser City-Bay this year celebrates its 30th anniversary. A Half City-Bay 6km Fun Run has been introduced for those wanting to experience this great event.
The Skilled Burnie Ten, Australia's premier 10 km road race, will be staged for the 18th year on Sunday 13th October in the heart of Burnie's central business district, on Tasmania's North-West Coast.
While many of Australia's top runners rate it as one of the best events in Australia, the Burnie Ten is this year committed to emphasising its place as a race for everyone, not just the elite.
''We want to bring the race back to the people,'' Ten committee president Marion Taylor said at the event's recent launch.
''We want to lay the challenge down to people to see how many Burnie Tens they can run in and encourage people to participate and get fit.
25th August - Channel Nine City to Surf presented by New Balance
Location: Perth, WA
Distance: 4km & 12km
Number of Participants: 15,000
Contact: (08) 9221 8111
1st September - Noosa Half Marathon (Incorporating Australian Half Marathon Championships)
Location: Noosa, QLD
Distance: 5km, 10km & 21.1km
Number of Participants: 2500
Contact: (07) 5449 0711
15th September - Flora Sydney Marathon & Sunday Telegraph Bridge Run
Location: Sydney, NSW
Number of Participants: 14000
Distance: 10km & 42.2km
Contact: (02) 8907 9460
15th September - Advertiser City-Bay
Location: Adelaide, SA
Number of Participants: 12000
Distance: 6km & 12km
Contact: 0500 822 212
13th October - Skilled Burnie 10
Location: Burnie, TAS
Number of Participants: 2500
Contact: (03) 6430 5715
Posted at 17:10 [Perma-Link]
Madden looks to the legacy of Melbourne 2006By Peter Fray
July 30 2002
Manchester may well be hosting the "friendly Games", but Victoria has definitely delivered to them the friendly minister.
Justin Madden is glad-handing himself around this northern English city, from boxing to table tennis and on to athletics, applying the lumbering, good-bloke charm that served him so well on the footy field and, these days, as Victoria's Sports Minister. But as he grins, so does he learn. "It's been great," he said.
"We've learnt a lot of the behind-the-scenes issues. The way in which they've (the Manchester organisers) positioned the Games has been quite remarkable. With the Commonwealth Games, you've really got to engage the community and make sure that it's not seen as just a big party."
For anyone sceptical about the benefits of hosting the Commonwealth Games - as opposed to, say, the big party that is the Olympics - Madden has one word: legacy.
Manchester has used the Games as a way of regenerating the city's east, a former slum, and dispelling doubts that any British city was capable of staging a multi-sport event.
Melbourne, he said, would gain lasting benefits from the 2006 event, though he was surprisingly unclear about what they would be, aside from the redevelopment of either the former psychiatric hospital at Parkville or Victoria Harbour in the Docklands as the athletes village.
Much of the legacy will, it seems, be about developing current attributes, such as linking existing sports facilities to each other and the city. The Games would, he said, make people feel good about living in the liveable city. "What Melbourne has in contrast to the likes of Sydney, and to a degree Manchester, is that we have some of the best existing facilities in the world located within a five-kilometre radius of the city, easily accessible by public transport," he said.
"There is a real opportunity to bring those together in a way where the city is linked to the Games venues. It's about actually giving people (the) opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of the city ...
It's a great opportunity to reinforce what the city has become in recent years and to continue to celebrate what the city is. It's a celebration about the diversity of the Commonwealth and a celebration of the diversity of your own community. "
Unlike Manchester, which has borrowed - or copied - heavily from the 2000 Olympics,
Melbourne simply won't need so much help.
"No doubt there will be some expertise from the people who have been involved in Sydney and these Games, which will be handy, but in many ways this is an opportunity for us to consolidate our reputation as a sporting capital and as a major international events capital. We have (a) huge degree of local expertise and knowledge in delivering those sort of events," Madden said.
"It (the Games) has been seen as a poor relation of the Olympic Games but Manchester and Melbourne will reinforce the Commonwealth Games as a unique event of its own."
Madden and his Victorian colleagues will also have to walk the fine line recently drawn by Perry Crosswhite, the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Association: not to take the Melbourne Games to such a level of professionalism that smaller Commonwealth nations will be unable to match them.
Madden said while Melbourne would probably be the biggest and best Commonwealth Games ever staged, it would not prevent developing nations from hosting the event.
"The Commonwealth Games is about strengthening communities," Madden said.
"It's about opportunities for national, international development and also personal development. They are things we need to be very conscious of in developing our Games. You don't want to rule out the vast majority of Commonwealth nations from being able to deliver a Commonwealth Games."
Again, how Victoria will achieve that remains a mystery, but with four years to go, it's probably one that Justin Madden will have little trouble solving in time.
Article from The Age
Posted at 09:52 [Perma-Link]
England's Radcliffe runs Games recordEngland's Paula Radcliffe won the women's 5000m title at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday night in a Commonwealth record of 14min 31:42 sec to claim her first major track title.
The 28-year-old ran the fifth fastest time ever to annihilate world short cross country race champion Edith Masai of Kenya while Ines Chenonges also of Kenya took bronze.
Radcliffe, who has two world long cross country titles and a half-marathon to her credit, spreadeagled the field with her usual brave pacemaking tactics and made the decisive break just over four laps from the end burning off 35-year-old Masai.
From then on there was no doubt as she extended her lead with Masai content to settle for second and urged on by the crowd she went faster and faster to finish just over three seconds outside the world record.
"I am delighted to have won this because the mantle of not winning a track title had been hanging around my neck... now that is history," she said.
Radcliffe, who was running in her first Commonwealth Games because she was sick in 1998, said her tactics had worked faster than she thought.
"My game plan was to break Masai with a surge that was why it was so important to run against her in Monaco because I wanted to see how she runs (Radcliffe finished second with Masai third).
"In fact I thought it would take more than one surge to beat her.
"I didn't realise I was on world record pace but I paid for it in the last lap," she added.
Radcliffe was already looking forward to doubling her track title haul at Tuesday week's European Championships.
"I am really looking forward to the 10,000m there (Munich). I finally want to win a title at that distance after so many near misses.
"I haven't ruled out doing the 5000 as well," she said.
Article from AOL7 Sportswatch
Posted at 17:47 [Perma-Link]
The Wilberforce is with KenyansBy Jacquelin Magnay
July 28 2002
The eyes were bulging and white, the mouths were opened even wider and the pain was excruciatingly obvious as three Kenyans and a Tanzanian loped agonisingly at the finish line.
This was nothing of the composed easy going usual finish from the Kenyans after a tactically thrilling 10,000 metres that saw Wilberforce Talel and Paul Kosgei mow down their teammate John Cheruiyot.
Such was the dramatic sprint finale, Cheruiyot actually went from first to fourth in five strides allowing pacesetter - Tanzanian John Yuda - to capture a crowd-pleasing bronze medal. Less than half a second separated the four.
Yuda refuses to train in the mornings at home because he fears hyena attacks but he showed no such reluctance to take on the might of the Kenyans.
Talel, 20, who missed the Sydney Olympics after finishing fourth at the Kenyan trials, has simply continued a winning statistic that started at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games where Kenya won every distance medal from 800 to 10,000 metres.
The Kenyans have a simple formula to work as a team, surging from the front and burning off their opposition. Except yesterday, it didn't happen that way.
Yuda, the lanky and slight-of-frame world cross country championships silver medallist had some pedigree, but not the confidence before the race, yet he drove the pace hard and made the Kenyans sit in tight for 13 laps. What appeared to be a comfortable, boring race in the initial stages developed into a pacy contest of wills.
In the end, Yuda said he was satisfied with a bronze medal because he considered his Kenyan rivals to "have an edge". He said: "It was my first time on this track, I was not very very comfortable."
The winner Talel, too, was uncomfortable, particularly in the race's final frenzy. He said he had targeted this race and had prepared at altitude in Nairobi but thought his chances were dashed when Cheruiyot put his foot down and seemingly had the acceleration and pace.
"This is my first big win," Talal said with a broad smile. "I knew I had the potential, but it was hard the last 300 to 400 metres . . . previously I didn't have the speed but today I just fought hard."
Just how hard it was can be measured in the speed of the final lap: 58 seconds. The winning time of 27 minutes 45.39 seconds was a Commonwealth Games record.
Silver medallist Kosgei, a noted steeplechaser who switched to flat racing after a back injury, said: "I thought I would get a bronze medal and that Kenya would go one-two-three, but Yuda is a tough guy. My aim was for bronze, so this is better than I thought."
Article from The Age
Posted at 12:55 [Perma-Link]
Marathon MagicIt was an historical day for Australia's Kerryn McCann, Krishna Stanton and Jackie Gallagher, taking a clean sweep in the women's marathon at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, with gold, silver & bronze, a feat not achieved by Australia at the Commonwealth Games, since 1962 (in the high jump).
Upholding Australia's tradition in the marathon event at the Commonwealth Games, McCann claimed the gold, Stanton silver and Gallagher bronze, while in the men's marathon, Andrew Letherby powered home to snatch the bronze.
Women - Marathon
1 McCANN Kerryn Australia (AUS) 2:30:05
2 STANTON Krishna Australia (AUS) 2:34:52 (PB)
3 GALLAGHER Jackie Australia (AUS) 2:36:37
4 ROBINSON Debbie England (ENG) 2:39:42
5 McCLUSKEY Teresa Northern Ireland (NIR) 2:40:29 (SB)
Men - Marathon
1 NAALI Francis United Republic of Tanzania (TAN) 2:11:58
2 CHELANGA Joshua Kenya (KEN) 2:12:44
3 LETHERBY Andrew Australia (AUS) 2:13:23 (PB)
4 WAINAINA Eric Kenya (KEN) 2:13:27
5 SWARTBOOI Luketz Namibia (NAM) 2:13:40
6 WYATT Jonathan New Zealand (NZL) 2:14:20 (PB)
7 TROOP Lee Australia (AUS) 2:16:44
8 BEMBE Josiaah South Africa (RSA) 2:18:16 (SB)
9 CREIGHTON Shaun Australia (AUS) 2:18:19
More information available at http://www.athletics.org.au/news/details.cfm?ObjectID=1235
Posted at 23:59 [Perma-Link]
How seriously do we take these Commonwealth Games ?(Article originally appeared in The Times, London at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2843-365595,00.html
HOW seriously do we take these Commonwealth Games? This was the question that some of the leading figures in world athletics sat down to address last week, and their answer? They do not give a damn.
Last Friday in Monte Carlo, before the Herculis Grand Prix meeting - one of the big seven that comprise the IAAF’s glittering Golden League series - the seven directors of the seven meetings gathered to assess the Manchester spectacular that will dominate the sports headlines for the next week and a half. They were asking themselves what cachet should a Commonwealth medal
bring an athlete? How much more would he or she be worth on the athletics circuit? To what extent should they roll out the red carpet for the new champions ?
Svein Arne Hansen, the director of Oslo’s famous Bislett Games and the president of the meeting directors, gave the answer: “If there’s a podium finish for an athlete in the Commonwealth Games, it’s not worth anything at all. We were all agreed on that. We don’t look at the Commonwealth Games, not in the slightest. I don’t have any interest in it at all. Nobody does. “I’m sorry. If there’s a podium finish in the European Championships, that’s certainly worth a bit to an athlete, but the Commonwealth Games don’t exist outside the Commonwealth. I went to the Commonwealth Games when they were in Brisbane in 1982 and to call it a Mickey Mouse event would have been an insult to Mickey Mouse.”
Just in case Hansen was being awkward, it seemed worth checking elsewhere. But Wilfried Meert, the director of the Brussels Golden League meeting, concurred. “To be honest, the Commonwealth Games are of no importance to us,” he said. “A medal in Manchester would not raise an athlete’s worth at all. They wouldn’t even make the press over here. I can only tell you the
truth: it’s the European Championships that count.”
Why are the Commonwealth Games such inferior currency? It goes without saying that no athletics event is truly world-class when the Americans are absent, but even without the United States, Commonwealth countries do not rank highly in the Games’ showpiece, the athletics. In last year’s World Championships, for instance, only one Commonwealth country, Kenya, finished in the top ten in the medal table. At the previous World Championships, in 1999 in Seville, there was not even one. Great Britain finished highest, in twelfth position. And while the Commonwealth Games have certainly been unlucky in a number of key withdrawals from the athletics, it is worth putting into perspective the men’s 100 metres, the event that is seen as the real clash of the titans:
Dwain Chambers versus Mark Lewis-Francis. In terms of the fastest men in the world this year, this is actually tenth versus twelfth.
In the pool, meanwhile, the highlight will be the bid for seven gold medals by Ian Thorpe, the Australian superkid. This will certainly be dramatic and will be sung to the high heavens by his own media (they take the Commonwealth Games even more seriously than we do). But in such a small pond, who is out there to mount a challenge? If you take the four individual finals that Thorpe contested at the World Championships last year in Fukuoka, of the 28 finalists lined up against him, only six were Commonwealth swimmers — and four of those were Australian. That makes only two non-Australian Commonwealth finalists out of 32.
It is, of course, no one’s fault that the Commonwealth Games’ big events lack the stamp of world class. The Games are, by definition, a comparatively small affair, involving few of the leading sporting nations, and this is even recognised in this country. The lottery handouts, for instance, recognise this. To ensure healthy funding next year, the standards that British athletes have to meet are not Commonwealth Games targets but those (number of medals, etc) in the European Championships that follow a week later in Munich. “The problem in a year like this, when there are no Olympics or World Championships, is that there is no benchmark to find out how our athletes are comparing to the rest of the world,” Max Jones, the performance director of UK Athletics, said. “So we take the Europeans as the closest thing to a benchmark. The Commonwealths do not provide that. Half the events are reasonably world class, but this is not so across the board in any depth.”
Four years ago, the Commonwealth Games were staged in Kuala Lumpur and were given such little respect by the IAAF, athletics’ world governing body, that its own climax to the year, the World Cup in Johannesburg, was organised to overlap. Indeed, in Kuala Lumpur, the Commonwealth Games seemed something of a threatened species. Malaysia was certainly not high on the priority list for the top British athletes and were the Commonwealth Games not on home ground this time, they would be targeting the European Championships again and the Games’ dropout rate would be huge. It certainly helps that the Australians are so keen, but whether the Commonwealth Games will survive — or in what format — in 15 or 20 years’ time, it is impossible to predict.
Yet while it remains the case that it is a second-rate event in global terms, it would appear that Manchester, nevertheless, has given the Commonwealth concept a new lease of life. Some of the newer events, such as the triathlon and netball, will be fielding most of the best in the world, as does squash and, to a lesser extent, rugby sevens, where we will see most of the best nations if not necessarily their best players. It also helps that the BBC is giving it enormous coverage. This has been instrumental in attracting huge sponsorship and thus a wealth of PR campaigns, bringing the Games into a realm of the consciousness that they might not have previously reached.
Back in Kuala Lumpur four years ago, the irony was not lost on many when the opening ceremony included a song entitled Standing In The Eyes Of The World. Much of the world averted its gaze last time and the same will be true again. Whatever you make of it, though, it might just be worth watching the Commonwealth Games this time — in case they are one day gone for good.
Posted at 23:34 [Perma-Link]
Freeman Raring To Go(From the UK Telegraph newspaper after Cathy arrived in the UK)
A month ago running was the furthest thing from my mind. Now I can't wait to lace up my spikes to race again. I need my fix. I need to run like the human body needs oxygen. International competition is just so satisfying for me. Wearing the green and gold Australian uniform is such a special, coveted, role and life has been kind of incomplete without it.
I know that I have much to thank my husband for. When Sandy was diagnosed with cancer in May, I decided that competition and travel were absolutely out of the question until he'd made a total recovery. For the rest of my life, my running career will always be second on my list of priorities behind the safety and welfare of my family.
The possibility of running the individual 400 metres at the Commonwealth Games was immediately ruled out but there were still small mumblings about my running in the 4 x 400m relay for Australia.
My coach, Peter Fortune, emphatically threw the relay concept my way on more than a few occasions and even my manager consistently quizzed me on what I felt were my chances of racing in Manchester. Then, three weeks ago, my husband said, from his hospital bed: "Catherine, you need to decide whether you're going to commit to running in the Games today because, if you are wanting to go, you're running out of time. I think you should go."
That was the green light I needed. I got my airline ticket but still wanted two concrete assurances. The first was that my husband would not be alone during my 10-day absence. The second was that I was capable of producing a half-decent relay leg, meaning that my body would have to be in a state of reasonable fitness.
Friends are absolutely reliable and a couple of them are staying with Sandy to make sure he is looked after. I guess my level of fitness remains to be seen on the day of the race. I am sure, though, that my mental attitude will be right. I do love to run. I thrive on all the pressure that racing has to offer which is why I am such a passionate competitor out there on the track. In my heart and guts is an unyielding fire. It stirs up in me a tremendous desire to put out my absolute best whenever, wherever, I race.
Flying across to Manchester without any 'real' racing or training preparation isn't scary ... just new. My objective here is just to try to make a meaningful contribution to my relay team, which I think is quite possible. It is very strange to be competing in a relay. The one thing I will absolutely still miss is the pressure of trying to win an individual title, but the Commonwealth relay may be just what my body needs emotionally after the extraordinary events of the last couple of years.
I had my year away from athletics last year, a long time away from my usual training and race programme this year due to my injury, and then came Sandy's illness. But I am still nursing dreams of a third world title next year and a second Olympic gold medal in Athens 2004. A little taste of international competition without the pressure of an individual title should be just what I need to come back strong and better next year. Putting myself on the line isn't the real issue for me. It's just having an experience to remind me of why I am so passionate about international racing. It's a reminder of why I love, and do, this sport.
My right femur has held up just fine under my training recently which is wonderful. My training has intensified over the last two weeks but I sense that my body is quite capable of a much heavier training workload. Physically, my little brown body is quite resilient as long as I make smart decisions about when to back off. I have even learned to take a rest altogether from a training element if it seems to be doing more damage than good. When I run in the Games I will not be in peak racing condition simply because of my lack of time and preparation but I shall, hopefully, be about 80 per cent fit. I think. Maybe 75 per cent. Who knows? I guess I'll have to wait and see as race day next Tuesday approaches.
Anyway, the Aussies seem very happy about having Cathy Freeman racing in the relay at the Commonwealth Games. In a recent press conference I sensed a particular excitement and energy. The Australian public have been watching me now for 12 years. They've seen me grow from a little 16-year-old 'wannabe' rookie into an adult, world-class athlete. I guess they've grown accustomed to seeing me dashing round the red tartan tracks trying to win, trying to outdo myself. I'm also expecting great support from many friends and family who live in England. And, what's more, I know Manchester. Maybe not quite like a local, but I did watch a football match here - United v Fulham - last September and I even jogged some of the hilly streets for 45 minutes in the rain. Getting my acclimatisation in early, I'd say. It was a memorable visit because even the taxi driver who drove us from the hotel to the airport at the end of our stay was curious and enthusiastic
about me running here at the long-awaited Games.
The last nine months haven't been easy. No one wants to see their loved ones down, or unhappy. Even if the experience proves to be character-building and relationship-strengthening in the long run. Life, though, is the way it is. For me, it's easier to accept the cards that you've been dealt. Making the most of who you are, and what you have, is my life motto. Especially in testing times. Another test for me will be starting in just a few days time. I can't wait.
Posted at 09:42 [Perma-Link]
Do you have sportswomen who deserve media coverage?To continue Womensport and Recreation Victoria's endeavour in the promotion of women's sport they have formed a strategic alliance with Leader Newspapers to supply profiles/photos of women in sport to be included in their newspapers. They will also extend this initiative to all local newspapers. To assist them, they would appreciate if you could supply them with profiles and photos of women in your sport.
The women should be one or more of the following:-
If you have any queries please contact:
Senior Project Manager
Womensport & Recreation, Victoria
Ground Floor 120 Jolimont Street
Tel. 9654 7545
Mobile 0419 542572
Posted at 17:35 [Perma-Link]
Aouita deflects criticism, predicts 1500m Olympic goldBy MIKE HURST in Manchester
SAID Aouita yesterday stood by his claim to have coached three Olympic gold medallists and said he could help Geelong's Craig Mottram become the next Olympic 1500m champion.
The former world 1500m record-holder said yesterday allegations by two Moroccan coaches he had lied about his credentials were calculated to discredit him in Australia, where Aouita is due to start work after the Commonwealth Games.
Athletics Australia has appointed Aouita as national distance running coach in a four-year deal.
But Aziz Daouda, the former Moroccan technical director and coach of world 400m hurdles champ Nezha Bidouane, and Abdelkader Kada, coach of 1500m and mile world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj, have claimed Aouita's coaching days with all but one -- Brahim Boutayeb -- of Morocco's heroes were during a six-month period in 1994 when Aouita was Morocco's chief coach.
AA head coach Keith Connor is investigating the allegations, but may find it hard to locate impartial witnesses in Morocco who can help him find the truth.
Connor defended Aouita's appointment yesterday, but admitted it was a complex issue.
"There is a lot of internal politics going on in the Moroccan Athletics Federation . . . and we're going to do further investigations before we make any further statements as to Aouita's previous record.
"We're confident we've got a skilled, competent coach coming into our system and these allegations are going to be looked into after the Commonwealth Games. We did look into his coaching record before appointing him, but this is something new."
Aouita insisted he had been instrumental in the success of world record-breakers El Guerrouj (1500m/mile), Khalid Kannouchi (marathon) and Salah Hissou (10,000m) and Olympic champs Brahim Boutayeb and Khlaid Skah (both 10,000m) and Venuste Niyongabo (5000m).
"Everyone wants to stop me going to Australia. They think I will give them the new training technique. They offered me more money than Australia to stay in Morocco. They start already to attack me in Morocco, but no one can change my mind," Aouita said.
"Now they want to make me look bad in Australia so I cannot work there. I want a new challenge which is why I agreed to coach in Australia.
"Keith (Connor) told me to start in August, but I don't know now because with this problem it's hard. It's about trust. If there is no trust, I stay in Morocco."
Aouita said in 1994 he changed El Guerrouj from a 3min 53sec 1500m runner into a world class 3min 31sec performer.
Asked why he stopped working as chief coach later in 1994, Aouita replied: "There were many problems. I can't talk about these problems."
However he was happy to talk about Mottram, who will contest the 5000m in Manchester.
"If Australia trusts me I can make many changes. Mottram . . . is so strong . . . (and) can be a 3min 28sec runner and he can be the Athens Olympic 1500m champion."
Article from the Herald-Sun
Posted at 09:19 [Perma-Link]
VIS Track & Field Program - Event CoordinatorsThe Victorian Institute of Sport is one of Australia's premier sporting Institutions. Opportunities currently exist for experienced coaches to become Event Coordinators in the Track & Field Program.
The VIS is looking to fill four part-time Coordinator's positions with highly motivated, successful coaches who have hands-on experience in the Australian Track & Field Program. Event Groups include: Sprints; Hurdles; Jumps/Multis; and Distance/Walks Events. Each Event Coordinator is responsible for assisting the Head Coach in the management of various Event Groups within the Track & Field Program; and the implementation of the Program Plan to wider audiences. Each Event Coordinator would work on a part-time basis, in conjunction with pre-existing coaching and employment commitments. Duties involve monthly coordinators meetings, and ongoing liaison with athletes and coaches in the VIS Event Group.
Applicants must be registered coaches with the Australian Track & Field Coaches Association (AT&FCA). It is anticipated the Event Coordinators would share a passion for the betterment of athletics in Victoria, and a vital knowledge and understanding of the specific Event Group. Each Coordinator will also be funded by the VIS to National Competitions, as agreed upon by the Head Coach.
For futher inquiries, more detailed job descriptions and written applications, please contact:
03 9699 8055
VIS Track & Field Program
P O Box 828
South Melbourne, VIC, 3205
Closing Date: 26 July 2002
Posted at 00:49 [Perma-Link]
Power pipped in Jubilee raceAustralian Susie Power has fine-tuned her Commonwealth Games preparations by finishing second in a 10km London road race.
Power, who will contest the 10km event at the Manchester Games, was pipped in the closing stages of the British Golden Jubilee charity race by Kenyan Catherine Ndereba.
The Victorian led for the majority of the race before Ndereba passed her in a sprint to the finish line.
Power clocked 32mins 17secs in the event raced around London's city centre, three seconds behind Ndereba.
Article from Foxsports website.
Posted at 11:39 [Perma-Link]
Ryka Queen of the LakeWomen's health issues, and in particular hormone replacement therapy, remain at the forefront of public discussion and this will be one of the topics covered at the forthcoming Ryka Queen of the Lake seminar.
The seminar is suitable for women of all ages and abilities and covers such areas as starting a running or walking program, diet and nutrition and fitting a training program into a busy schedule.
The seminar will be held at the public lecture theatre, ground floor, Mercy Hospital for Women, Clarendon Street, East Melbourne at 7pm on Thursday, 25 July.
The Ryka Queen of the Lake is a women's only run/walk event around Albert Park Lake on Sunday, 4 August in support of the Mercy Hospital for Women. Participants can either run or walk 5 or 10 kilometres.
In 2001 the event had 1038 participants. More than 1200 are expected this year.
Preceding the seminar at 6pm will be a 30-minute running group through the Fitzroy Gardens, adjacent to the hospital. This is not a compulsory session. The cost of the seminar is $15.
For further information on the seminar or the Ryka Queen of the Lake contact Jacinta Negrelli at Start to Finish Events on 9819 9225 or visit www.ausrun.com.au
Posted at 11:05 [Perma-Link]
Queensland's premier regional running eventEntries are flooding in for the Harvey World Travel Townsville Running Festival on Sun 4th August. The festival comprises a Marathon, Half Marathon and 10.5 Fun Run. All races are conducted over accredited courses with accurate kilometre markings.
Entries have been received from Victoria to Cairns and even from one avid marathoner from New York and another from Wisconsin.
Last year we had a tremendous response from regional Qld, with many returning again this year.
Terry O'Halloran, Publisher of Runner's World, will be a special guest at the event.
New features of the 2002 event include:
-a 500m (junior) and 1000m open water swim on Sat 3rd Aug following registration
-a Pasta Party on Sat afternoon following registration at Tobruk Pool
-a 3 person marathon team event with $300 cash prizes for male, female and mixed teams.
-all races are conducted over accredited courses which are fast, flat and scenic.
-Ideal pb course
-Expected temps 12 to 24
The Running Festival is ideally placed in between other major events on the Australian Road Running calendar. It is a great opportunity for southern runners to escape the freezing south, run in a well-organised event and then recharge the body relaxing on the beach in Townsville or at Magnetic Island.
Travel and accommodation packages can be arranged with Harvey World Travel on 1800 802 790 or email email@example.com
Tony Ireland Holden Townsville Marathon - 5.30am start, entry $50 included T-Shirt and medallion
Adidas Townsville Half Marathon - 7.10am start, entry $40 included T-shirt and medallion
Townsville Podiatry Centre 10.5k Fun Run - 8.00am start, $15 included medallion
Entry forms can be downloaded from the website www.townsvilleroadrunners.20m.com
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Sydney' Oldest Marathon Celebrates 22 yearsSydney's Oldest Marathon, Blacktown's CITIES Marathon will this year include a Half-Marathon (Blacktown Travelodge Half Cities Challenge) component allowing for two people to share the 42km, 195m course on Sunday, July 28, 2002.
Now in its twenty-second year, the Cities Marathon will start outside Sydney Town Hall and proceed along Parramatta Road and the Great Western Highway to finish at the Blacktown Olympic Centre in Blacktown.
For those doing the Half Marathon, the course will remain the same with the changeover taking place at Mays Hill.
"You can run half way and have your friend, relative of work colleague run the other half," Mayor of Blacktown, Councillor Alan Pendleton said.
The Athletics Australia certified course follows the same route taken by Sydney's early pioneers to the City of Blacktown via the Great Western Highway.
In 1981, 102 hardy souls waited outside Sydney Town Hall for the start of the first Cities Marathon. In that year 92 finished with the winner Ian Graves completing the course in 2 hrs 29 mins 16 secs.
Last year saw over 150 local and international runners tackle the marathon with Damon Harris, 25 years-old of Wattlegrove NSW, finishing first with a time of 2 hours, 33 minutes and 53 seconds, almost 20 minutes ahead of the next placegetter. Damon, who won the CITIES Marathon in 1996 and finished second in 1997 and 2000.
The first female competitor to cross the finish line was local resident, 24 year-old, Lisa Muir of Prospect. This was Lisa's first marathon and she completed the course in 3hrs 06 mins 48 secs.
For an entry form or race information contact the Race Director, Mark Gibson at Blacktown City Council on 9839 6075.
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Mottram Smashes Australian Record At Monaco Golden LeagueIn a packed night of entertainment at Monaco's Golden league on Friday night, Australian Commonwealth Games Team member Craig Mottram smahed three seconds off his own 3000 metre Australian record , at the fourth round of the IAAF Golden League series.
At Monaco's Herculi's meeting at the Stade Louise II, Mottram clocked 7:37.30 to finish eleventh. In the last six months, 21 year old Mottram has broken his personal bests in all events from 1500 metres to 10,000 metres, although he considers the 3000 metre distance to be his best distance.
Good news for Viktor Chistiakov in the men's pole vault, clearing the bar at 5.65 metres to finish sixth. Chistiakov attempted 5.75 metres unfortunately missing all three attempts. America's Jeff Hartwig claimed top honours, clearing 5.80.
In the women's pole vault, Tatiana Grigorieva cleared 4.19 metres, finishing equal tenth. Russia's rising vault star Svetlana Feofanova claimed first place clearing 4.69.
Also at the Monaco Golden League meet, was alot of action from international athletes, relevant to Australia's Commonwealth Games hopes:
- In the men's 1500m, England's Antony Whiteman ran a big seasonal best of four seconds with 3:32.43, remaining at number three in the Commonwealth.
- In the men's 5000 metres, two of three Kenyan athletes who will contest the 5k in Manchester (Ben Limo and Sammy Kipketer - both who've run sub 13 this year), were first and fourth in Monaco, in times of 7:34 and 7:35, ahead of Mottram.
- Number one male pole vaulter in the commonwealth, Okkert Brits, no heighted at 5.55m
- In the women's 800m, number two in the commonwealth Diane Cummins (CAN) ran a seasonal best of 1:59.47
- English athlete Helen Pattison, in the women's 1500m, moved to the top of the commonwealth rankings with a four second seasonal best of 4:01.10. Hayley Tullett from Wales took one second off her seasonal best running 4:07.76
- In the women's 3000 metres, Paula Radcliffe set a new British record of 8:22.20 in her first race since the London marathon. A PB by Canadian Courtney Babcock of 8:43.18, currently ranked fourth in the commonwealth for the 5000 metres. One place behind was Kenya's sole 5000 metre entry for the Commonwealth Games Ines Chenonge who also set a new personal best of 8:43.93.
OTHER WEEKEND RESULTS:
Saturday 20th July saw Aussies in action in Belgium and Dublin.
Belgium's Hechtel meet, or the Night Of Athletics in Heusden, gave Commonwealth Games athletes one last chance to get some decent competition under their belt before heading into the village next week.
Highlights from Belgium include:
- Sarah Jamieson finished third in the mile clocking 4:30.89. Jamieson's hand time at the 1500 metre mark 4:12.04.
- Non-Commonwealth Games Team member Natalie Harvey finished eighth in the in the women's 5000 metres, clocking 15:40.48
- Kris McCarthy came in seventh in the 800 metres in a time of 1:46.81
- Mike power finished fifteenth in the men's 5000 metres, clocking 13:28.95
Also on Saturday, at a little meet in Dublin, a handful of Aussie athletes took on Ireland, England, Wales, South Africa and Russia.
- Patrick Johnson claimed third place in th men's 100m, clocking 10.61. In the 200 metres, Johnson clocked 20.95 to finish first in his heat.
- Patrick Dwyer finished fouth in th men's 400m, recording 46.74.
- The women's 100m saw Jodie Lambert finish sixth in 11.98 seconds.
- Sharon Cripps in the women's 200m, claimed the silver, with 23.38. Melanie Kleeberg finished fourth in 24.04.
- Australia Claimed first and third in the women's 100m hurdles, Jacquie Munro first in 13.62, Fiona Cullen third in 13.68
- In the women's triple Jump, Mellissa Moss took top spot jumping 12.26 metres.
- Brooke Kreuger finished second in the women's hammer throwing 63.22 metres.
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Auction of Cathy Freeman Nike Shoes + moreLumen Christi Catholic Primary School, located at Point Cook in Melbourne's Western Suburbs is in full fundraising mode! The school being less than three years old, is raising money towards the second stage of school buildings as well as providing amenities and equipment that will benefits the students in its care.
To this end, they have obtained a wide range of personally autographed memorabilia that will be on display throughout Melbourne and silent auctioned to the highest bidders.
This outstanding collection of memorabilia, all personally autographed will be supplied with a ceritificate of authenticity to the winning bidders. The items to date include:
* Nike running shoes used and personally autographed by Catherine Freeman
* B.M.K Williams F1 Cap, personally autographed by Juan Pablo Montoya
* Mamma Mia poster signed by the entire cast
* John Farnham poster
* Dennis Waiter poster
* Number 3 Western Bulldog's Jumper with signatures including Chris Grant
* 2002 Limited Edition Gold Essendon Team poster signed by team members
* 2002 Adelaide Crows Team poster signed by team members
* 2002 Collingwood Team poster signed by tem members
* Fan card signed by Ben Steel from "Home and Away" [Jude, Lawson]
* HISV poster signed by Mark Skaiffe and Jason bright
All items are beautifully presented, having been framed andlor box framed by UR1 in Noble Park. Christi Primary School Community are most grateful to UR1 for donating their time and product to that these items are displayed to their best advantage.
The first items to be placed up for silent auction are :
1. The Catherine Freeman runners which will be on display at the Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club
2. The Juan Pablo Montoya BMW Williams F1 Cap which will be on display at BMW Melbourne.
Anyone wishing to obtain further details or to place a bid for these items can contact the Lumen Christ
Catholic Primary School Fundraising Committee on (03) 8309-9015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Mottram Smashes Australian Record At Monaco Golden LeagueIn a packed night of entertainment at Monaco's Golden league on Friday night, Australian Commonwealth Games Team member Craig Mottram smahed three seconds off his own 3000 metre Australian record, at the fourth round of the IAAF Golden League series.
At Monaco's Herculi's meeting at the Stade Louise II, Mottram clocked 7:37.30 to finish eleventh. In the last six months, 21 year old Mottram has broken his personal bests in all events from 1500 metres to 10,000 metres, although he considers the 3000 metre distance to be his best distance.
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Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team Back On TrackSince the activities in New York City in Septmeber 2001, the home base for the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, all activities worldwide were cancelled :
" The New York area Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team activities for the rest of the year have been cancelled ... The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team offers its heartfelt condolences to all the victims of the terrorist atrocities that struck the United States on Sept. 11. We will return at some point with a new schedule of events. "
In Australia, this affected both Sydney and Adelaide Sri Chinmoy organisations. Until Now.
CoolRunning Australia has received this message from the Sydney organisers:
"It's been a while coming but finally the Cri Chinmoy Marathon Team races are back on. The Sydney Around The Bay Series (5km and 10km) will commence on 8th September 2002. Races are also scheduled for October 6th, November 3rd and December 1st. To mark this new beginning, Sri Chinmoy has given the world-wide events the name name of "Self-Transcendence Races". This name reflects the main purpose of the events, that is, to bring out the best in ourselves in the spirit of friendly competition. The Self-Transcendence Around The Bay Series will start and finish at the usual place at Leichhardt Park. For more information vontact Animesh Harrington on (02) 9181-4161 or their Website.
Word has also been received from the Adelaide contingent that their 24hour track event will resume this year at the Adelaide Harriers track, on 19th/20th October 2002.
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Noosa Half Marathon Expecting to Attract Elite FieldThe profile of the 2002 Noosa Half Marathon has been further enhanced with the expected support of Australia's best distance runners who are likely to attend the event being held on Sunday the 1st of September. These include Commonwealth Games team members Krishna Stanton and Jackie Gallagher, Goodwill Games Gold Medallist Melissa Rollison as well as Olympic representatives Steve Moneghetti and Pat Carroll.
The Noosa event is now in its fourth year of hosting the Australian Half Marathon Championships, as appointed by Athletics Australia, and once again expects to attract national and international visitors to its trendy resort surroundings.
Event Managers, United Sports Marketing, released their online entries at the beginning of June and already have received an overwhelming response, with strong representation from interstate and New Zealand. It is expected that this year's participation levels will exceed 2,500.
Enthusiasts from across the Sunshine Coast and South East Queensland have also shown interest in the Noosa 10km and New Balance 5km Run/Walk events which encourage participation and fun for people of all fitness levels.
A training camp in Noosa, co-ordinated by Runners World Magazine, will be hosted in the lead-up to this event. The camp, commencing on August 25, will include morning and afternoon training sessions, running seminars, planned social activities and optional excursions. More details are available from Runners World.
Online entries for the Noosa Half Marathon, Noosa 10km and New Balance 5km Run/Walk are currently available from www.noosahalfmarathon.com. Entry forms are also available from your local sports store, running club or alternatively contact United Sports Marketing on (07) 5449 0711.
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Freeman to run in Manchester after all
Olympic 400 metres gold medallist Cathy Freeman has announced will run at this month's Manchester Commonwealth Games in the 4x400 metres relay. Freeman, 29, was not expected to compete at Manchester after withdrawing from competition on May 30 following news that her husband Sandy Bodecker had throat cancer and is undergoing treatment in Melbourne. But she says Bodecker has urged her to run.
"He knows me so well, he knows how passionate I am about my running," she said on commercial television. "It's such a big part of who I am. He encouraged me and said 'go for it, Cath', and that's it, really. I'm just a bit worried about my fitness, but I've got a bit more time on my side and my coach is confident. I'm just happy, it's good. I'm just really excited to be part of the Australian team again. I'm feeling the rush and the adrenaline of competition again."
Freeman, who lit the Olympic cauldron at the Sydney 2000 Games opening ceremony, took 18 months off from international competition after winning gold. The double world champion missed this year's national championships with a thigh injury and had qualified for the Commonwealth Games relay team but not in the individual event.
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Anna gets by with help from friendsLONG distance runner Anna Thompson won a race against time to qualify for the Commonwealth Games -- then praised the legendary Ron Clarke and a liberal dash of support from the Gold Coast.
The 25-year-old Melbourne primary school teacher said beautiful Gold Coast weather and friendly locals had helped her slice 25sec off her previous qualifying attempt and ensure her position in the national track and field team.
Thompson, who failed to meet the 15min 55sec qualifying time for the 5000m in Brisbane last week, finished with 10sec to spare at Runaway Bay Super Sports Centre on Saturday -- clocking 15:44.67.
"I ran in Brisbane last week on a very cold night and not only did I fail to qualify, but someone stole my wallet and keys from the side of the track," she said.
"Running on the Gold Coast was much better because we had warm weather and lots of people cheering me on."
Clarke organised a squad of local athletes to compete with her during the official Games qualifier.
"Ron has been great," Thompson said.
"He got all these local runners together as part of the official race and they offered me lots of support.
"It all helped me finish 10 seconds under the qualifying time and just half a second off my personal best."
Thompson, who met and fell in love with her coach and partner Dave Bullock soon after she became a professional runner four years ago, said she would train on the Coast until the Games begin in Manchester on July 25.
"Obviously, the preparation is mental as well as physical and running along the beach is definitely nicer than pounding a cold street in Melbourne," she said.
"My coach and partner Dave and I have been running along the beach here. We have had a few swims and time to relax, so I'm feeling confident."
Thompson said she had the support of her friends and more than 30 students who were impatient to watch their teacher race on television.
"The kids are great and a real motivator for me. They can't wait to see me on TV at the Games," she said.
"The school is behind me, too, and make it possible for me to take time off for training and events."
Thompson said she would fly to Manchester on July 25 and run her heat the next day. The final is on July 28.
"There is some tough competition from England and Australia, so I'll just do my best and try to make the final," she said.
"I'm just so happy to have made it to the Commonwealth Games."
Article from the Herald Sun
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Four-year-old walks 963km in AustraliaRead news report here
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Australian Team Movements For Commonwealth GamesThe majority of the Australian Commonwealth Games Athletics Team are already overseas, as they continue on the preparation trail for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester which is between 25 July - 4 August 2002 (web page here: www.commonwealthgames2002.org.uk)
- Monday 15 July - 1st major group of Australian team arrivals into Village
- Tuesday 16 June - IAAF Grand Prix, Stockholm, Sweden
- Wednesday 17 July - Overseas Competition, Szombathely
- Wednesday 17 July - 2nd major group of Australian team arrivals into village
- Friday 19 July - IAAF Golden League, Monaco, Monte Carlo
- Tuesday 23 July - 3rd major group of Australian team arrivals into village
- Thursday 25 July - 2002 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
- Friday 26 July - Athletics program begins [26th - 31st]
- Sunday 28 July - Louise Sauvage, Eliza Stankovic, Paul Harpur + Mark Whitman (Guide) arrive in Commonwealth Games village
- Thursday 1 August - 1st group of athletes depart Manchester [some to Australia. Others to Rome for training camp in Ostia]
- Monday 5 August - 2nd group of athletes depart Manchester
- Tuesday 6 August - 3rd group of athletes depart Manchester [QANTAS Charter Flight]
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Rebel Sport Sponsorship of athletesRebel Sport has announced details of its Rebel Rookies sponsorship, which is available to athletes between the ages of 16 and 21.
There will be 5 Rebel Rookies sponsorship which consist of $2,000 in cash and an account worth $2,000 at a Rebel Sports store.
In addition, there will be 5 Encouragement Awards, consisting of $500 Rebel Sport gift vouchers.
Application forms are available from Rebel Sport stores and further information can be informed on the Rebel Sport web site .
Applications close on Friday 2/8/2002.
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Agency swoops on athletes training overseasBy Jacquelin Magnay
Drug testers have swooped on Australian triathletes, cyclists and track and field athletes who are competing and training in Europe.
Testers from the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) this week took samples from athletes who are overseas preparing for the Manchester Commonwealth Games, which start on July26.
The athletes have been tested for a range of drugs, including steroids and the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), with the results expected late next week.
The testing is part of a comprehensive pre-Games approach, which involved 300 EPO tests and the testing of nearly all Australian Games athletes at least once in the past six months.
Games athletes have been given a personal letter from ASDA, stressing the risk of inadvertent doping and the importance of checking unfamiliar products in England.
The risk was highlighted at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics where third-placed English slalom skier Alain Baxter tested positive after using an American branded nasal inhaler, which contained different ingredients to the harmless British version.
Meanwhile the East African Standard in Nairobi has predicted that the Kenyan athletics team should clean sweep the distance-running medals at the Games.
Kenyan 10,000m runner John Korir, who was fifth at the Sydney Olympics, said that without opponents from the distance-running nations of Morocco and Ethiopia, Kenyans will have an easy time in Manchester.
"I expect a 1-2-3 win for Kenyan athletes in most events," he said.
Article from the Sydney Morning Herald
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Athletics Attention Shifts To Rome For The Golden GalaThe third installment of the IAAF's Golden League moves to the Italian capital of Rome, as athletes and fans are looking for things to really heat up, literally. The first two Golden Leagues have been plagued by inclement weather, Oslo was cold and windy, Paris wet and windy, results therefore suffered. So it is with eager eyes that the athletes look to Rome and it's warm Mediterranean climate. The Australians who will contest events in the revamped Olympic stadium include:
BENITA JOHNSON takes on the 5000 metres. The Canberra-based athlete makes her long awaited European debut in a high quality event. The last time Johnson contest a 5000 metre track race, she came away with not only the victory but a new Australian record in Osaka, Japan in May. This race will be so much tougher with rivals including Olympic Champion Szabo of Romania and Adhere of Ethopia. But Johnson is no stranger to this stadium having set a new national record at 3000 metres here at last year's edition of the Golden Gala. The pace is sure to be fast and another record beckons for Johnson, perhaps a time of under 15 minutes. Benita has been steadily building up for this event at her training base at Aix-Les-Bais in France.
KRIS McCARTHY in the men's 800 metres. The National Champion gets a chance in a very big race to show the he is steadily reaching his potential. McCarthy lines up against the world's best in the biggest invitational race of his career. Borzakovski of Russia , Djabir Said-Guerni of Algeria and a host of free running Africans will provide some very serious competition for the young Victorian.
WATCH THE IAAF GOLDEN LEAGUE: Broadcast on SBS TV, Sunday 14th July, 12.30 - 2:30pm AEST
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Sydney Marathon's 'Run With Mona' CompetitionSee news article here
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New President Keen To Move UltraRunning AheadSee news article here
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Injury forces Shirvington out of Commonwealth GamesSprinter Matt Shirvington has withdrawn from the Australian Commonwealth Games team because of a groin injury.
He underwent an MRI scan which has revealed the full extent of the problem.
Shirvington, who is Australia's fastest ever man over 100 metres, is now undergoing treatment and will miss the trip to Manchester.
More info at :
Posted at 10:42 [Perma-Link]
Ron Clarke calls for 'safe' drug useBy Sharon Mathieson
Runners should be allowed to use performance-enhancing substances, as long as they do not have dangerous consequences, former world record-holder Ron Clarke said yesterday. Clarke said that until a treatment was available to even the odds between athletes born and bred at altitude and those from sea level, there could never be fair international competition. He said safe drugs should be allowed if they helped level the playing field, although he said he was not advocating drug use.
"Australian (distance runners) are always battling to be the best of the rest," Clarke said. "Which is all you can possibly do nowadays until someone comes on with some remarkable treatment. But as soon as something comes along like EPO (erythropoietin) etc, they'll say it's a drug and you can't use it and it's the only thing that levels the playing field." Clarke said he agreed the performance-enhancing EPO should be banned if it had dangerous effects on athletes - but not if it was safe. "If it's not dangerous, no (it should not be banned), because it just levels the playing field," he said.
EPO boosts the body's red blood cell count and enhances the blood's ability to transport oxygen to the muscles. The International Olympic Committee introduced blood tests at the Sydney Games to test for the banned substance, which is suspected of having killed several cyclists since it was first introduced to treat kidney disease in the 1980s.
Clarke said he wasn't aware of the safety concerns surrounding the drug but often the problem with performance-enhancing substances stemmed from overuse.
"Often these drugs are declared dangerous, like steroids were declared to be dangerous, and yet steroids were developed as a normal treatment for sick people," he said. "And it was only when sick people started to use them that they said they were dangerous and they were dangerous really because the policy tended to be, 'If I've got one and if I take such a dose, I do this well, so if I double my dose I'll do even better.'"
Clarke said people born and bred at altitude had the appropriate genes to cope with lower levels of oxygen, which gave them a huge advantage when they competed at sea level.
"I'm not advocating drugs; I'm saying until there is a drug, there won't be any parity in any future competition," he said. "There are two competitions in the world, the altitude runners and the others."
Clarke said until a substance was introduced to give athletes born at sea level an equal footing, Australians would never smash another world record in middle or long-distance events. "We'll never get a world record, I can tell you that, unless something happens chemically," he said. "We'll never break another world record by our sea-level athletes from 1500 metres or above for another century."
Clarke broke multiple world records at all distances between two miles and 5000 metres during his running career, although he failed to win a major title, claiming a bronze medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Article from The Age
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Olympic Champion Joins AIS In Major Coup For Australian AthleticsIn a major coup for Australian middle distance running, former Olympic gold medallist Said Aouita (pron: sah-EED ah-WEE-tah) has been appointed AIS National Distance Coach.
Aouita, who won the 5000 metres at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, is widely regarded as one of the best middle distance runners of all time. At one stage he held five world records - 1500m, 2000m, 3000m, Two miles and 5000m (twice), and in 1986 was awarded the Jesse Owens Trophy - the most prestigious distinction in world athletics.
His venture into coaching has matched his success on the track, with six of his charges winning a total of three Olympic gold medals and setting five world records between them (see below).
AIS Director Michael Scott says Aouita's main goal will be to identify and assist with the development of the next generation of Australian distance athletes.
'As an athlete, Said was totally dedicated and a fierce competitor,' Mr Scott said, 'As a coach he will identify 30 AIS development scholarship holders and also oversee distance camps in Canberra.'
Aouita, who will be based at the NSW Institute of Sport, has long wanted to work in Australia, and is already familiar with our track record.
'On doing some research into Australian middle distance running, I found that the under-20 and under-16 athletes are very strong,' Aouita said, 'What they need is a long-term development plan to make them the best they possibly can be.'
Athletics Australia CEO Simon Allatson says having someone of Said's experience involved in identifying and developing Australia's best young talent is a massive boost to the sport.
'In the short term we want him to convert some of our prospective medallists into medallists, while in the long term the focus will be on putting in place an identification system in both metropolitan and regional areas,' Mr Allatson said.
Audio grabs from Said Aouita, Michael Scott, and Athletics Australia Head Coach, Keith Connor are available from: www.audiochannel.net/ausport
Said Aouita's record as a coach
- 'Boutayeb' (gold medal winner 10km - Seoul Olympics 1988) and 'Sakkah' (gold medal winner 10km - Barcelona Olympics 1992)
- 'Niyongabo Venuste' (gold medal winner at Atlanta Olympics 1996)
- 'Hicham El Guerrouj' (world record - 1500m/Mile/2000m)
- 'Salah Hissou' (world record - 10km)
- 'Khalid Khanouchi' (world record - marathon)
Said Aouita's record as an athlete
- Olympic Games - gold medal (5000m) Los Angeles 1984; Bronze medal (800m) Seoul 1988
- World Records - at one stage he held five world records - 1500m, 2000m, 3000m, Two miles, and 5000m (twice)
- World Champion (outdoor) 5000m Rome 1987
- World Champion (indoor) 3000m Budapest 1989
- Named Best Athlete of the Year in 1985 by Track and Field News
Winner of Jesse Owens Trophy 1986 (most prestigious distinction in world athletics)
- 44 successive victories in international races (800m-10,000m) in 26 months
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Lewis + Mottram Hit Form In OsloThe first meet of the IAAF Golden League series, the Exxon Mobil Bislett Games, in Oslo on the weekend, provided some world class competition for a handful of Australian athletes, warming up for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Australian Commonwealth Games Team members Tamsyn Lewis and Craig Mottram fired amongst the world's elite, Lewis finishing second in the Women's 800 metres, and Mottram running a Dream Mile, clocking a personal best time, the third fastest ever by an Australian for this event.
The Dream Mile is the traditional climax to the Exxon Mobil Bislett Games, and that it was for Mottram. Against a class field, the young Australian champion managed to push himself to the limit, setting a personal best of 3:52.90 to finish fifth. World record holder at the imperial and metric distance Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj won in style setting a world season best of 3:50.12. Current Olympic Champion Kenya's Noah Ngeny finished a distance eleventh in 3:57.39.
Australia's number one female 800-metre runner Tamsyn Lewis looked fit as she ran into second place in the Women's 800 metres. The five time national 800 metre titleholder showed a return to form, finishing in 2:00.85, behind Cuba's Zulia Calatayud (2:00.26).
IN OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MEET....
- ExxonMobil Bislett Games provided three World best performances for the season of 2002, the 5000 metres for men and women and the mens Mile.
- Romania's distance queen Gabriela Szabo, the World 1500 metre champion, made a successful return to the track, edging out the opposition to win the 5000 metre event, in a world's season best performance of 14:46.86... her first Grand Prix and Golden League victory since Zurich in 2000.
- The longest men's race, the 5000 metres saw four Kenyans, finish under 13 minutes. Benjamin Limo was triumphant here with a seasons best of 12:57.50 just ahead of Sammy Kipketer (12:57.90). John Kibowen was 3rd (12:58.61) with Paul Bitok 4th (12:58.94). The 32 year-old Bitok the Olympic silver medallist in both 1992 and 1996, was probably the happiest of all as for the first time in his career he ducked under 13mins.
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