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Some Olympic Games News Headlines are here.

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 Saturday, June 26, 2004 

Sprinters in last dash for 100m spots

Patrick Johnson and Joshua Ross, two candidates for Olympic 100 metres selection, will clash in Brisbane tomorrow if Johnson's sore hamstring stands up to a training session today, while Matt Shirvington, the other candidate, runs in Slovenia tonight.

Both individual and relay spots in the team for Athens are balanced on a knife edge, with the three individuals trying to fulfil the selectors' requirements.

Johnson and Shirvington have the Olympic A-standard, but missed the national championships through injury and illness, respectively, requiring them to run the 10.28 seconds B-standard by July 5 to be considered as individuals.

Ross, who won the national title in their absence, has the B-standard and could be selected if neither of the other two is. Or all three could run an A-standard of 10.21, or faster.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 01:05     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, June 25, 2004 

Australian Relay Teams drop the baton

Australia is facing the embarrassing prospect of not having any relay teams on the track at the Athens Olympics.

And with the final team selection deadline of July 5 looming, the Games aspirations of sprint stars Patrick Johnson and Matt Shirvington look increasingly shaky. Under new Olympic rules, only the top 16 nations according to an average of their two fastest times are allowed to field relay teams at the Games.

Currently the best ranked Australian team is the men's 4x400m which comes in 13th.

The men's 100m team is tied for 14th while the women's 400m team is 15th with the women's 100m team no chance as it is outside the top 20.

Complete article at The Advertiser
Posted at 23:45     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, June 23, 2004 

Arthur dominates


CHITTAWAY Bay runner Paul Arthur has set his sights on the Sydney marathon title after romping to victory in the Bay to Bay fun run on Sunday.

Arthur, 38, led from start to finish in the 12km race from Woy Woy waterfront to Gosford Sailing Club.

The veteran was first Australian home at last year's Sydney marathon and is hoping to go one better in September.

The former Sydney City to Surf winner was a stand-out performer in the Bay to Bay, completing the distance in just under 39 minutes.

Fellow Central Coast runners Chris Dmetrieff and Adam Jordan filled the minor places.

Imogen Thornburgh, of England, won the women's division.

Thornburgh is in Australia for a year working for CareFlight.

``I was pretty determined to win,'' said Arthur, who won the Bay to Breakers fun run four times.

``For a while I wasn't sure if I'd go in it but I felt good from the start.

``For safety the course is awesome and it's flat all the way.

``I enjoyed the hills in the other run but this way you can go flat out from the start.''

Arthur blitzed the field early, opening up a substantial lead as the runners travelled through Tascott, Koolewong and Point Clare.

Organisers were delighted with Sunday's event with a field of 752 taking part.

``Because it's the first time the race was held we were hoping for anything over 600 starters,'' race spokesman Kevin Andrews said.

Article from the Central Coast Express.
Posted at 13:10     [Perma-Link]

New course a great success


THE move of the Bay to Breakers to Bay to Bay format for the Terrigal Trotters has proved a boon for fun-runners on the Coast and those that wish to travel to the area to compete.

The new course from Woy Woy to Gosford certainly takes in some breathtaking scenery along the way -- it is mainly off road and from a participants point of view safe.

The old course from Gosford to Terrigal had become a logistical nightmare for the RTA, police and organisers alike and was at one stage in danger of being abandoned.

Fortunately for the runners and this year's financial beneficiary Central Coast Community Chest, the event went ahead with a new course and everyone is happy, we hope.

Brisbane Water Drive was closed at Woy Woy for about 10 minutes, at about 8am on a very cool Sunday morning, and traffic was delayed behind the runners for about another 10 minutes as the group of more than 700 runners and walkers got away on their journey to Gosford.

The park on the south side of the Gosford Sailing club, and the surrounding streets, was a hive of activity as the organisers prepared for the athletes and not so athletic to finish the event.

There were no traffic problems for race watchers, including myself. I got to the end of the course just in time for the first runner, local identity Paul Arthur, to cross the line.

Having a chat to race director Tony Mylan gave me an insight into why the Terrigal Trotters do what they do: simply for exercise and fun.

The fun run is just that, encouragement to get fit and stay fit as well as an event for the elite athlete. The second important component is to top up the community coffers for charity.

``The participants have voted with their feet,'' Mylan said and he went on to praise the RTA and Police who had been extremely supportive of the new course.

``We have state and national champions but firstly it is a community event for people to come out and exercise. We are really keen to get people out and exercise and it is also a fundraiser for our local community.''

Women's winner English woman Imogen Thornburgh beamed about the course -- not only the safety aspect, but the scenery as well.

``This is a really nice area of the country,'' the English triathlete said. ``The course is very, very pretty ... you stay off the road most of the time so for tourist like me it is really nice.''

Third woman across the line was Nowra runner Alison Bowmaker, who will tackle Nowra's King of the Mountain next month. She was also full of praise for an event that is expected to grow in stature as is the Crackneck Challenge.

``My family lives up here so I thought I'd stay and do the run and get ready for the King of the Mountain on the 11th of July,'' Bowmaker explained. ``The course was good ... a bit tricky but it's a good course.''

Article from the Daily Telegraph
Posted at 13:08     [Perma-Link]

Hi-Lite Fresh Bake Geelong Athletics Cross Country

Waurn Ponds was the location of our run on a cold and drizzly day last Sunday for the Cross Country run. We ran from behind the Baseball Stadium towards the Torquay Road with a three kilometre course and a five kilometre course on offer. Thankfully conditions were not as bad as on Saturday, although the wind was still pretty cold. Maybe this was what put off most of our junior boys and Open men and women from turning up. All the better for the points for those who did come.

Andrew Bigelow was first to finish the short course in the time of 10.12. This was an all time PB for Andrew not bad for a 40 plus athlete. Jan Jones also reported an improvement in her performance of around 40seconds since her previous five kilometre run. Keep up the effort. Kim Clancy was the first senior female to complete the three kilometre in 16.56. Zoe Adams was the first junior female to finish in 12.09.

For the five kilometre course, Paul Schnyder ran well to finish in 17.54 and Deb Fanning showed the women a clean set of heels as she finished in 22.4.

Peter Anderson was presented with a Certificate for having run over 450km with us.

Don't forget, there is no run next week. We meet again at the BBQ Pavilion in Eastern Park on July 4, with the run commencing at 1.15pm and registrations taken from 12.30pm. There will be a choice of three kilometres or six kilometres. Any queries can be directed to Mary McDonald on 5229 3920 or Elizabeth Bauer on 5278 6614. (Please note we usually leave home by around 12noon so queries should be made before this time).


3km: A. Bigelow 10.12, Z. Adams 12.09, E. Van Roosendael 13.12, C. Quinn 13.17, M. Adams 13.29, N. Whitmore 15.05, K. Quinn 15.29, C. Adams 16.23, M. Crawford 16.35, K. Clancy 16.56, N. Bellew 17.35, M. Quinn 18.50, S. Harty 20.11, J. Crawford 26.02, C. Crawford 26.06.

5km: P. Schnyder 17.54, B. Johns 18.14, M. Hearsch 19.55, M. Panckridge 21.03, D. Fanning 21.33, B. Shepherd 21.45, S. Schnyder 22.04, J. Jackson 22.12, C. Quinn 23.28, T. Crawford 24.10, K. Arstall 24.19, P. Anderson 25.14, C. Kenny 25.17, D. Lewry 25.33, C. Ferguson 27.44, J. Rossi 27.44, J. Jones 28.03.

Club Points: Athletics Chilwell 68, Bellarine 44, Deakin 28, South Barwon 21, Geelong Guild 17.

Current Points Leaders

Junior: Women: A. Brown 12. Men: C. Smith 19.

Open: Women: C. Hoare 23. Men: B. Johns: 25.

Vet: Women: D. Fanning 16. Men: A. Bigelow 20.

Article from the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 13:05     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, June 21, 2004 

Flying doctor lands bay race


AN ENGLISH flying doctor took out the inaugural Bay to Bay fun run yesterday.

Thirty-year-old Imogen Thornburgh from Oxford, who is in Australia for 12-months working for the CareFlight flying doctor service, ran a time of 46min 23sec to be the first woman home over the picturesque course from Woy Woy to Gosford.

``This is a really nice area of the country,'' the English triathlete said.

``I want, while I'm here, to visit a lot of places and it seamed like a good reason to have a weekend away [from Sydney]. ``It is a really nice course ... you stay off the road most of the time, so for a tourist like me it is really nice.''

More than 700 athletes from all over turned out for the former Bay to Breakers event, which was this year run over a different route due to safety concerns.

And it was an evergreen Paul Arthur (38min 55sec) who ran across the line, in the parklands next to Gosford Sailing Club, to set the mark for the first of the new event's course.

Chris Dmitrieff was second and Adam Jordan third.

Copacabana resident Brooke Caruana was second in the women's division while another visitor to the region, Nowra's Alison Bowmaker, was third.

Bowmaker, 20, used the event as a warm-up for the King of the Mountain, on the south coast, next month and was thrilled to gain a podium finish.

``I have a big run in two weeks [and] my family lives up here so I thought I'd stay and do the run,'' Bowmaker explained of her trip to the region for the run. The event is a fund raiser and this year proceeds go to the Central Coast Community Chest.

``We've have some high quality runners in the field,'' race director Tony Mylan said as the lead group made their way along the foreshore.

``We have state and national champions, but firstly it is a community event for people to come out and exercise.

``We are really keen to get people out and exercise and it is also a fundraiser for our local community.

``Given this is the first year on this new course we are very pleased with the entries ... it'll grow for next year.

``They [the athletes] have voted with their feet and the RTA and Police have been extremely supportive of this course.''

Article from the Daily Telegraph
Posted at 13:13     [Perma-Link]

Runners fly the Canadian flag for Terry Fox

By Robert Messenger

Sweat mixed with pancakes and maple syrup yesterday morning when the Canadian High Commission opened its grounds at Yarralumla to host the 15th annual Terry Fox Fun Run.

More than 1000 runners took part in the event, which carries the torch for Salute to Canada Week and celebrates the Canadian who, having lost a leg to cancer, set off across Canada on a ''Marathon of Hope'' to raise funds for cancer research. Fox died of lung cancer in British Columbia on June 28, 1981, just a month before his 23rd birthday.

Apart from raising further funds for the Cancer Council ACT, yesterday's run provided an opportunity for Canadians to promote their ''national dish'', their singing and their distinctive maple-leaf flag, which was evident everywhere the eye could see.

On the more serious athletic side of things, several leading ACT runners used the event in their preparations for the Gold Coast half-marathon on July 4 and the Australian cross- country championships in Canberra on August 29. They returned some impressive times in chilly, windy conditions. Scott McTaggart (men's 10km) and Erwin McRae (men's 5km) won their respective titles for a fourth time in five years.

McTaggart, 27, of Charnwood, won in 30min 54sec, beating Andrew Knox (32:34) and Simon Watson (33:52). McTaggart also won in 2000, '01 and '02, but one of his coaches, Shaun Creighton, won last year. McTaggart is a 3000m steeplechase specialist building his winter stamina before the Gold Coast half- marathon, where he hopes to beat 65min - and perhaps even nudge the world championship qualifying time of 63min 40sec.

The world title will be contested in New Delhi on October 3. McTaggart still has his eye on Olympic selection - for Beijing in 2008. ''I was fifth in the trial for the 2000 Sydney Games and third in the trial for this year's Athens Games.''

Kathy Southgate, 48, of North Lyneham, won the women's 10km in 38:54 from Angela Bateup (39:13) and Rowena Headlam (42:05). ''It's the first time I've won this event,'' Southgate said. ''It's good preparation for the Australian cross-country championships.'' Last year she was second behind Belinda Halloran in 39:11

McRae, 28, of Fisher, won the men's 5km in 15:27, beating James Barker (15:52) and Michael Hosking (16:02). Last year he was third behind Barker in 15:25, but in 2002 beat Barker in 15:08. He also won in 2000 and '01. McRae said he was overcoming a foot injury and was ''very happy'' with his performance in the lead up to the Gold Coast half-marathon, which he hopes to run in about 67min.

Noni Clarke, 21, of Gordon, won the women's 5km in 17:58 from Kelly Roberts (18:47) and Jillian Hosking (19:14). Clarke said she was preparing for the national cross-country titles and had achieved her goal of running under 18min. Last year she beat Hosking and Anne Southgate in 17:29.

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope started the fun run. The event is expected to raise close to $30,000 for cancer research. More than $300million has been raised world-wide by Terry Fox Fun Runs, which are held in 55 countries. There are 75 in Australia alone.

Article from the Complete article at Canberra Times
Posted at 13:02     [Perma-Link]

Landy recalls Finland triumph and one that got away

by Len Johnson

When John Landy left Melbourne for Finland in late April, 1954, he had run four minutes two seconds for the mile on six occasions in the previous 18 months. He had revised his primary goal from breaking four minutes to beating Gunder Hagg's world record (4:01.3).

"I had two aims," Landy said recently. "One was to break Hagg's record - there was more competition, good tracks and a good climate."

Landy also wanted to get in some training and racing before the British Empire Games in Vancouver that August. "They were the two things I had in mind."

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 12:59     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, June 19, 2004 

Profile of Nick Harrison, Olympic Marathon Runner

Nick Harrison has a running pedigree, but didn't take it seriously until he was 24.

Nick Harrison has been selected to run the Olympic marathon, a goal that seemed a long way away when he limped across the line at last year's world championships.

After that race, Harrison did not run a step for three months. The cause of the pain he felt in his hip and groin for most of the race was never precisely diagnosed. The best guess, after a series of scans, tests and physical examinations, was that it was caused by bone damage where the adductor muscle attaches to the pelvis.

Fortunately, Harrison had other outlets to absorb the energy he normally puts into his running. He poured more time and effort into his part-time teaching job at Melbourne's Wesley College; he spent more time looking after Marlee, his toddler son.

Harrison also returned to an earlier love, his music. He started writing and recording songs for a CD for Marlee, working mostly in a studio at a family holiday house in Lorne on the Surf Coast.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 07:15     [Perma-Link]

Australia & The Olympic Marathon

Three men and one woman will represent Australia in the marathon in Athens. The race will be run over the traditional Olympic course, starting near the memorial for the battle of Marathon and finishing at the marbled Panathinaiko stadium, site of Baron Pierre de Coubertin's revival of the modern Olympic Games in 1896.

- Kerryn McCann, 11th in the Sydney 2000 Olympic marathon, will be the sole representative in the women's marathon, to be run at 6pm on Sunday, August 22. Lee Troop, Sisay Bezabeh and Nick Harrison will run in the men's race, starting at the same time one week later.

- The hilly middle stages of the race - not to mention the heat - will militate against fast times. The course record remains a relatively modest 2:11:07 by Bill Adcocks, of Britain, in 1969.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 07:10     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, June 18, 2004 

McCann off to Jakarta 10Km

Kerryn McCann's road to Athens will take a crucial detour through Jakarta this weekend. McCann will be among a classy international field which will contest a 10km road race on Sunday morning.

After having her second child eight months ago, the Coledale endurance athlete made a spectacular return to competition when she won last month's Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon.

Despite being encouraged by her performance in Sydney, McCann is determined to test herself in a shorter race under the type of humid conditions she will have to deal with in Athens.

"I need to have a race in hot weather against international competition," the former Bulli High student said.

Complete article at The Illawarra Mercury
Posted at 11:17     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, June 16, 2004 

Mottram slices seven seconds off own Australian record

Victoria’s Craig Mottram has sliced an impressive seven seconds off his personal best time to set a new national record over 5000 metres, for the second time in as many weeks.

Mottram finished fifth at the Bergen Golden League athletics meeting in Norway (Friday 11th June) clocking 13:03.37, more than seven seconds off his Australian record of 13:10.47 which he set in the Netherlands last week.
Mottram broke away from the pack to hit the front with 500m to go but was run down about 150m from the line. Kenya’s John Kibowen won the race in 13:01.94.

Mottram will next compete in the 3000m at Gateshead, England, on June 27 and may run another 5000m race in London in late July.

Complete article at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 13:27     [Perma-Link]

Running Consistency the key as festival approaches

by Pat Clohessy

WITH a little over six weeks to go to the Townsville Running Festival you are now looking forward to your running goal whatever the distance.

Each distance is a challenge.

Over the next four weeks continue to train consistently.

Remember consistency -- continue to follow your program and do not skip a training run now that the mornings are cooler and the days are shorter.

Another important factor is to train with a partner or a group.

This allows you to share your training and ambition.

It is important as many novice runners will be entering new territory in terms of fatigue on the longer runs and new fitness levels as your running fitnessm improves.

Interest in others helps you to relax.

And you too ``win'' when your friends improve.

I advise you to race/run in the next couple of Townsville Road Runners races.

There is a 16km run on Saturday from Sherrif Park followed by the Three-Day Race (three races in three days over a total distance of 42km).

These longer runs will give marathoners and half-marathoners a guide on their fitness and also assist their training program.

This is followed by several shorter runs in July that will benefit all runners.

Short road races give you the experience to check your form.

Such races are valuable preparation in gaining confidence.

They include the 9km Bridges to Bay Fun Run/Walk on July 18. Both Rob De Castella and Steve Moneghetti used short races in the leadup to longer major races.

Such community races (similar to Sydney's City to Surf) are a great experience.

My advice is settle in at the start and ``run on'' over the final stages.

Run them with your training partner if possible and celebrate your success on completion.

Reward yourself for the hard work of the past few months.

Continue with your long run on a Sunday.

Treat it as a social, relaxed run, especially if you have raced the day before.

This way you promote your recovery for the week ahead.

In my next column I will discuss ways of dealing with warm weather races and hydration.

I suspect from your training in Townsville you may well know all about that but I may reinforce your ideas.

Meanwhile, good luck with your preparation and enjoy.

Article from the Townsville Bulletin.
Posted at 13:26     [Perma-Link]

Runners warm up for the next leg


LOCAL runners went through a home track hit-out at Mt Penang on Saturday, ahead of a busy week containing regional and state cross country championships.

A group of more than 60 dedicated competitors from several athletic clubs meet each weekend to pound out the kilometres, ranging from eight year-olds to master-class runners. The best of them are looking forward to the NSW long-course titles this coming weekend at Nowra.

The Coast will be well represented across all age groups. Leading the way will be class competitors such as Matt Rando and Ben Guest (under 18s), Matthew Robbie (under 20s) and Kevin Wills (masters).

Rando and Guest had a typically close duel over 6km on Saturday. Along with Tim Page, the 16-year-olds toyed with each other over the first four clicks before Guest made the decisive break and took the honours.

``It was a good run,'' Guest said later, adding that he was keen for the coming weekend. ``It's going to be hard. It's a pretty hilly course.''

Guest and Rando will also be contesting regional school races on Wednesday.

Rando is on the way back from a leg infection, but said he was building up to his best.

``I was feeling alright. I'm starting to get back in shape,'' he said. ``I'm running well, so we'll see.''

Robbie, in his first season of cross-country running, said he was wary of the Nowra slopes for the long-course event.

``I'm pretty bad on hills,'' he said. ``I'm thinking about flogging out the start and getting a lead.''

Central Coast Athletics is hosting the state short-course championships at the Mt Penang course on July 17.

Guest said he was looking forward to having the state's best runners on his home track for the event.

``It's going to be good. They'll all turn up -- it's a state title. everyone wants them.''

A massive turnout is expected by organisers and the locals are sure to provide stiff competition.

Article from the Daily Telegraph
Posted at 13:24     [Perma-Link]

New Uniforms for Athens Olympic Team

The new Nike uniforms were unveiled in Sydney today with the emphasis on lightweight, sweat-friendly uniforms designed to beat the 40 degree heat in Athens in August.

Cyclist Shane Kelly showed off the “Swift Spin Suit” which was inspired by Cathy Freeman’s bodysuit she wore at the Sydney Olympics.

"It certainly does feel good. Wind tunnel testing has shown it is the fastest suit there is" Kelly said. Kelly is off to his fourth Olympics and during that time he has competed in many different uniforms."Over 14 years I have worn very different gear and this is by far the best" he said.

The Swift Uniforms will also be worn by Track & Field athletes and our Rowing Team.

The President of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates said the uniforms were “world class”.

He said Nike had produced uniforms that “look great, beat the heat, and are performance based. Our athletes can be assured their uniforms will in fact help them compete at their best”.

“I am confident the Australian public will also be proud of the uniforms when they see our athletes stand out amongst the other nations on the field of play.

Lee Troop also unveiled a new cooling vest. The new Precool Vest is worn by athletes competing in endurance-based sports like Hockey, Soccer and the Marathon. They wear the vest for an hour before competition to lower their core body temperature which allows them to compete at their peak for longer.

Nike is providing the AOC with 142 suits for the Athens Team.

The AOC is taking its largest “away” Team ever to the Olympics. When qualifications finish in July it is expected around 470 athletes will be chosen to wear the green and gold in Athens.
Complete article at The Australian Olympic Committee website
Posted at 10:51     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, June 14, 2004 

Shirvington should switch to long jump

MATT Shirvington, Australia's perennial great white hope in the cut-throat world of international sprinting, is in the wrong caper.

He should be competing in the long jump, not the 100m.
That sounds like strange, even bizarre, advice but it comes from an expertly-qualified observer who is completely serious about it.

Peter Norman, the last Australian man to win an Olympic sprinting medal, said this week he had identified a fatal flaw in Shirvington's technique. "He wobbles from one side of the lane to the other, apparently because he is distracted by having other runners on either side," Norman said in an address to the Vingt Cinq Club, a Melbourne sportsmen's institution.

"It means that he probably runs not 100m, but 101 or maybe even 102, and given that the difference between success and failure is measured in hundredths of a second you can't give that much away.

Complete article at The Herald Sun
Posted at 11:52     [Perma-Link]

Patrick Johnson still not an Athens qualifier

Patrick Johnson, the world's fastest man in 2003, is running out of time to qualify for the Athens Olympics and is on a collision course with Australian athletics officials.

Johnson again failed to post the B-qualifying time (10.28 seconds) he needed to guarantee selection in the Australian team for the August Games, when he ran a legal 10.38 (+1.7 headwind) on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

He finished third behind Queenslander Paul di Bella and African-born Sydney resident Ambrose Ezenwa, who dead-heated at 10.35, but viewed the time positively after a long injury long-off.

The time was significantly better than the 10.64 the 31-year-old ran in his second comeback race in Brisbane the previous weekend, but he has only three more weeks to improve his time by a further 0.10 seconds. Although the American selection trials are still more than a month away, Athletics Australia has marked July 5 as its selection deadline and Johnson must run a B-qualifier by then.

Complete article at The Sydney Morning Herald
Posted at 11:45     [Perma-Link]

Another record has Mottram rethinking goals

By Len Johnson

Craig Mottram might have to rethink his ambitions after gatecrashing the top echelons of world-class distance running with another Australian record for 5000 metres at the Bergen Bislett Games in Norway on Friday night.

Mottram ran 13 minutes 3.37 seconds for fifth place, at the opening meeting of the Golden League series. John Kibowen, of Kenya - a dual world cross-country champion at the four-kilometre distance - won in 13:01.94 and Mottram, after sharing the lead at the bell, was one of five men within less than a second-and-a-half at the line.

The record was Mottram's second in less than a fortnight. He ran the previous mark in Hengelo in the Netherlands on May 31 and took off another seven seconds in Bergen. Not since Ron Clarke, whose national 5000 record held from 1966 until 1999 when Lee Troop broke it, has anyone taken such significant chunks off the Australian record.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 10:37     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, June 13, 2004 

Pittman prepares to give it one a hell of a shake

Jana Pittman has 40 training sessions to go before her big day in Athens and she's not going to waste one of them.

It takes a lot to win an Olympic gold medal these days. What with sports science, coaching, technology, everything has to be just right.

Which is why 400m hurdler Jana Pittman has paid for her own airline ticket to Europe on Wednesday, politely declining the Australian Olympic Committee's offer to fund her airfares.

Pittman, whose long legs are the very reason she became a hurdler in the first place and a not inconsiderable reason for her success at the Paris world championships last year, doesn't want to jeopardise any part of her Olympic campaign. So flying business class, with its extra leg room, it is.

Nonetheless, Pittman still feels a little uncomfortable with the the upgrade. She doesn't want to be seen to be doing things outside of the Australian team, or highlighting that her success has brought about financial rewards. For her the decision is simple: will it help her preparation for the Olympic gold medal? If the answer is yes, she will do it.

Complete article at The Sydney Morning Herald
Posted at 14:33     [Perma-Link]

Gene testing of Athletes in Melbourne

A Melbourne bio-technology company is launching a global marketing push for a test that measures potential for athletic performance.

Genetic Technologies has world rights to a test, discovered by Australian scientists last year. Looking for one of two gene variants may determine whether a person is suited to more explosive sprints like Cathy Freeman or longer-distance endurance sports like Steve Moneghetti.

The gene called actinin-3 (ACTN3) is expressed in muscle cells and has potential as an early screening tool for children who may one day become athletes.

"We can do the whole word's testing right here" said Genetic Technologies' director and chief pathologist Deaon Venter "You can do the sliva swab and wipe it onto some special paper, and there are no quarantine issues because it is no different to licking a stamp".

Professor Venter said the test would cost about $100.
Posted at 11:46     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, June 11, 2004 

WA athletes out in the cold

Athletics Australia has refused to sanction one of two official competitions scheduled for Perry Lakes over the next two weekends to give West Australians the opportunity of qualifying for the Athens Olympics.

AA has sanctioned a competition on June 19 but tomorrow's event will not be recognised even if all international competition rules are met.

Three West Australians who are hoping to be added to the Olympic squad will be in action but any mark achieved by them will not be recognised officially.

Pole vaulter Paul Burgess and triple jumper Nicole Mladenis are the two who will lose out even though heptathlete Kylie Wheeler and pole vaulter Kym Howe are also expected to compete. Howe's place in the team for Athens is assured after meeting the Olympic qualifying mark earlier in the season and winning the national title in Sydney in February.

Wheeler has posted an Olympic B-qualifying standard but no heptathlon has been scheduled for Perth even though some of her events will be on the program to help her prepare for a heptathlon in Brisbane on June 23.

Burgess has been the form vaulter this season, posting three Olympic qualifiers, but his failure to perform at the national championships sees him in a fight for the final pole vault spot with South Australian rival Viktor Chistiakov, who is campaigning overseas with limited success.

Mladenis also has a B-qualifying standard but needs an A-mark to have a chance of being added to the team.

AthleticA chief executive Wayne Loxley said the association would not normally put on athletic competitions this time of the year. "However, we scheduled events this weekend and the next to give our aspirant Olympians an opportunity of showing they deserve being nominated in the team," Loxley said.

AA was not willing to sanction two Perth events but WA athletes would have another opportunity if they were prepared travel to Brisbane, he said. AA chief executive Simon Allanson was not available for comment.

Meanwhile, the one-time queen of Australian pole vault Tatiana Grigorieva should be very worried. She has little hope of making it to the Olympics and, if she does, almost no chance of repeating her Sydney 2000 feat and winning a medal.

The silver medallist again failed to reach an Olympic A qualifying mark in the women's vault when she competed in Lucerne, Switzerland, on Tuesday night. The part-time model managed to clear only 4.15m, well below the A qualifying standard of 4.40m.

She must clear 4.40m by July 4 to guarantee herself a ticket to Athens and join Howe in the pole vault. To put Grigorieva's performance into perspective, American Stacy Dragila, the gold medal favourite for Athens, leapt 4.83m at Lucerne to set an outdoor world record.

Complete article at The West Australian
Posted at 07:44     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, June 10, 2004 

Sussan women's fun run series 2004

Women of all ages and levels of athletic ability across Australia are being urged to start training for the annual Sussan Women's Fun Run Series.

The five or 10km run or walk will take place around the spectacular Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney on Sunday 24 October and through picturesque Catani Gardens in St Kilda, Melbourne on Sunday 5 December 2004.

Sussan Corporation CEO, Naomi Milgrom sees the Sussan Women's Fun Run Series as an ideal opportunity for like-minded women to participate in an event celebrating female health and fitness.

Complete article at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 12:52     [Perma-Link]

Star duo in record form

ETHIOPIAN long- distance runner Kenenisa Bekele and American pole vaulter Stacy Dragila broke world records yesterday just two months before the Athens Olympics.

The diminutive Bekele broke his second world record in nine days when he shattered compatriot Haile Gebrselassie's 10,000m mark at an international meeting at Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

The 22-year-old double world cross-country champion brought the capacity crowd to its feet as he crossed the line in 26min 20.31sec, well inside Gebrselassie's mark of 26:22.75 set in Hengelo, Netherlands, six years ago.

Bekele broke Gebrselassie's 5000m record at the Hengelo meeting on May 31.

``I'm very happy. I knew I would break the world record only on the last lap,'' Bekele said. He added he would ``most probably'' run the 10,000m in Athens.

Olympic champion Dragila reclaimed the women's world pole vault record when she cleared 4.83m with her third attempt.

The 33-year-old American broke Russian Yelena Isinbayeva's mark of 4.82m set in Gateshead, Britain last year, when she grazed the bar on her third attempt. Three subsequent attempts at 4.88 were unsuccessful.

``This is a great surprise for myself. My legs felt kind of heavy today,'' Dragila said.

``Yesterday, I felt good, like I could break the record, but I didn't feel that way today.''

Triple Olympic champion Marion Jones was less than impressive in her first long-jump competition in Europe since the 2000 Sydney Games.

Jones failed to break 7m in her six attempts and came nowhere close to the 7.13m jump she recorded at a meeting in California last month.

Jones is coming back from a year off after giving birth to a son last year.

Article from the Herald Sun
Posted at 12:49     [Perma-Link]

Bekele blitz shows what might be missing

by Len Johnson

Kenenisa Bekele reminded the world of what will be missing if he stands by his decision not to do the distance double in Athens when he broke the world record for 10,000 metres on Tuesday night in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Bekele, who turns 22 on Saturday, ran solo after 10 of the 25 laps to record 26 minutes 20.31 seconds - just over two seconds under the mark previously held by Haile Gebrselassie since 1998.

For the first time since June 1998, Gebrselassie holds neither the 5000 nor the 10,000 metres world records.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 12:46     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, June 08, 2004 

Lift-off for big fun run

by Daniel Knowles

ON YOUR marks . . . this year's Sunday Mail Suncorp Bridge to Brisbane Fun Run is set for take-off.

And you can be there to watch the action at noon on Tuesday in the Queen St Mall.

The official launch, on the mall's upper stage, of Queensland's biggest fun run will feature eight teams going head-to-head down a special obstacle course designed to highlight the work of this year's major beneficiary, Guide Dogs Queensland.

Puppies being trained as guide dogs will be at the launch and will mingle with spectators.

In the obstacle race a team member will be blindfolded before being led by their partner through a course of small stairs, a tube and a maze before trying to sink a basketball shot.

Teams from The Sunday Mail, Suncorp, Channel 9, Triple M, McDonald's, Brooks, Suzuki and the police will compete.

The Sunday Mail's team is Aussie Rules writer Selina Steele and Commonwealth Games marathon silver medallist Krishna Stanton.

Nine's Dave Whitehill and Asha Kuerten, from Hot Source, said they were looking forward to the race.

``It lets us have a glimpse in to what it's like to be blind and need a guide dog,'' Kuerten said.

``I'm looking forward to it.''

The 8th Bridge to Brisbane Fun Run will be held on August 1, with runners and walkers able to take part in a 12km course beginning at the Gateway Bridge, or a 4.25km short course from Newstead Tce.

Krishna Stanton has again joined The Sunday Mail team to give serious and not-so-serious entrants special training.

Entry fees are $20 for adults and corporate team entrants, and $15 for children and short-course entrants.

The Sunday Mail will have an information desk with entry forms at the Queen St Mall launch. Forms can also be picked up from Suncorp branches throughout southeast Queensland.

For more information 1300 555 577 or visit

Article from The Sunday Mail.
Posted at 13:29     [Perma-Link]

Winner aims for team at 2006 Games


THE winner of yesterday's Tasmanian half-marathon, Jason Allie, is a long-range runner with long-range plans.

After winning his third consecutive state title in Hobart in freezing conditions, Allie, 24, declared his aim -- to represent Australia in the 2006 Commonwealth Games marathon in Melbourne.

``That's what I'm working towards and this win is another step along the way,'' he said.

``I set up my race in the first 10km and found it pretty hard in a couple of patches, but just worked through them.''

As if the early-morning cold of about 2C was not enough to contend with, the fog was also a nuisance.

``Up and back towards Austins Ferry was pretty murky and if it hadn't been for the pace car's lights I wouldn't have known where I was,'' he said.

Allie, who showed he also has a good turn of pace by finishing third in the previous weekend's 5km city fun run, covered the 21km and 98m course in 1 hour, 11 minutes and 9 seconds.

He won comfortably from Mark Guy (1h13m2s), with David Costelloe third (1h19m10s).

New Zealand-born Sharon Allen won the women's section, upsetting fellow veteran and favourite Sarah Stutter in a time of 1h29m49s.

``I felt good the whole way through and sat in behind her until about 4km from the finish and went past her,'' said the 35-year-old geologist, who wore a jacket for part of the race to ward off the cold.

``Sarah didn't die on her run. It was more that I just felt strong.

``I've run this race quite a number of times and won it, I think, back in 1997.''

One of the race organisers, Haydyn Neilsen, believes the small field of 46 was due to the race being so soon after the City to Casino and Hobart city fun-runs.

Article from The Mercury
Posted at 13:27     [Perma-Link]

Ryan Cox wins Barossa Half Marathon

by Dennis Green

Pre-race favourite and defending champion Ryan Cox crossed the line in 72 minutes to win his fourth Barossa Half Marathon.

There were no surprises in the women's section either, which was won by up-and-coming distance runner Vicky Freeborn in a time of 82 minutes.

Toby Medlin and Jane Mudge won the 10km category.

In the 5km event, Brian Harty won the men's and promising Hallett teen Megan Brooks was first home in the womens.

Article from the Sunday Mail
Posted at 13:18     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, June 07, 2004 

Blake again in Darwin City-to-Surf race

The 20th Steve Blake City to Surf win yesterday was actually the 31st annual running of the popular Darwin Esplanade to Nightcliff foreshore race.

Blake, 45, won his 12th consecutive title in a time of 42 minutes 40 seconds, 1.34sec ahead of arch nemesis Andrew Dingo Hall in a field of 325 runners.

Hall was the bridesmaid again but not before pushing Blake for most of the race with the lead changing hands several times. Blake said his race went exactly to plan as he and Hall took off hard and he was able to maintain a solid place.

After Hall levelled, dropped back, levelled again and overtook Blake a couple of times in the first half of the race, Blake made his move 5km out from the line.

Blake said he edged away by a couple of metres half way up Bagot Road and by the end of the road held a 30-second lead.

"With the switching around in placings, maybe he lost his concentration and I got him," Blake said. "There was a few spectators (at the end of Bagot Road) and they clap you as you go past. You listen for the second clap, and when you can't hear it, it's good. I don't feel like I have won that many. It makes you nervous when people talk about the amount and then you feel your age too."

Complete article at Norther Territory News
Posted at 11:14     [Perma-Link]

Johnston king of Townsville hill

King of Castle Hill Colin Johnston dreams of wearing the green and gold. The Townsville-bred Sydneysider yesterday became the first man to claim six victories in his hometown's most famous fun run, the Sportsco King of the Castle.

Johnston, 31, started a hot favourite and won comfortably in the time of 33mins and 23secs for the course of about 10 kilometres.

He had almost two minutes to spare from placegetters in Brisbane visitor Bill Hunter (35mins and 10secs) and Townsville teenager Om Halliday (35mins and 38 secs).

Townsville's Riana Dinsmore is the new Queen of the Castle after clocking 42mins and 19secs to win from fellow locals Vicki Harrigan (43mins and 37secs) and high school student Fiona Pringle (44mins and 42secs).

Johnston is unbeaten since 1991 in a race which he said offered an opportunity to catch up with family and friends and coincided with his mother Helen's birthday.

Complete article at the Townsville Bulletin
Posted at 10:54     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, June 03, 2004 

MUAC runners take two Victorian cross-country titles

Melbourne University Athletics Club took two titles in the recent Victorian Cross Country Championships at Lardner Park in Gippsland.

MUAC won the Men’s Division 5 and Division 7 team championships over 8km and, in the premier Men’s Division 1 – to which they were promoted from Division 2 last year – they finished midfield (6th). Best individual performer of the day was Daniel Quin (8th) who ran the course in 25:40.

The Women’s Division 1 championship over 6km saw the MUAC team place 5th, with best individual performance of the day going to State 1500m Champion, Simone Braakhuis (5th) who ran 22:25.

MUAC runners also competed in the recent Victorian Mountain Running Championships at Healesville, with Louise Fairfax taking 2nd place in the 1000m climb from Maroondah Dam to the summit of Mt St Leonard.

Full results are available at

Article from Uni News
Posted at 13:36     [Perma-Link]

Diamond Valley field big team at road race champs

THE Diamond Valley Athletic Club fielded its strongest ever contingent of runners in the Athletics Victoria 10km Road Races held at the Sandown race track last week.

In the open men's 10km race there were 23 Valley runners taking to the road racing circuit with 16 of them going under 40 minutes for the journey.

The Division 1 team was made up of Clint Farley, Philip Wakeley, Antony Milovac, Trevor Carter, Philip Champion, and Ben Norman.

Farley ran a personal best time for the 10km, when he completed the course in a time of 33:48.

This effort came after his fifth placing in the Victorian Mountain Running Championships.

Philip Wakeley ran his best time for 10 years while Ben Norman was the surprise packet of the team having had limited experience at distance running.

Adam Bell proved his value to the Valley line-up with a excellent time of 36:41.

Alastair Hughes and John Leung were others to record personal best times.

Antony Milovac set a new club record for the 10km road race in the men's 45+ with a time of 34:18 while Robin Broberg registered a club record in the men's 55+ division with a time of 38:55.

Simon Field was the winner of the open race, his time 28:46, with Lee Troop second home in 29:12.

Maryanne Murray followed up her victory in the Mountain Running Championships held at Mt St Leonards six days earlier with a great run at Sandown.

Murray's time for the 10km was 37:29, which broke her own club record for the open women's 10km, and was her best in a number of years.

With her victory in the Mountain Running Championships, Murray became the first ever member of the DVAC to win an open age winter championship.

Winner of the Sandown open race was Lisa Weightman in a time of 34:42.

Ruth Reidy and Peta Alexander made up the rest of the DVAC Division 2 team.

Meg Russell lowered the club record for the under-14 women's 3km with a time of 11:38.

The next club event will be held at the local Yellow Gum Park at 9:00am on Sunday, June 6.

The distance run will be 6.5km for seniors and 3.2km for juniors.

Article from the Diamond Valley Leader
Posted at 13:33     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, June 02, 2004 

Olympic torch plays tourist

Like a tourist trying to pack in Sydney's key attractions, the Athens Olympic torch relay will visit most of the city's famous landmarks in the space of just 12 hours.

Sydney, as host of the last and best Olympics, is the first stop on the global torch relay.

The flame will visit the Sydney Opera House, cruise Sydney Harbour, climb the Harbour Bridge, parade through the city and The Rocks, head out to Brighton-le-Sands and travel by dragon boat to Olympic Park.

Olympic 400m champion Cathy Freeman will kick off the relay from the steps of the Opera House at about 8am from where morning television and radio programs will broadcast live.

Following an indigenous welcome featuring traditional dancers and Greek priestesses, the flame will be carried through the Opera House forecourt and east Circular Quay through the northern end of the city.

Complete article at The Australian
Posted at 22:02     [Perma-Link]

Mottram sizzles but rival is out of sight

by Len Johnson

Craig Mottram broke the Australian record for 5000 metres in the Dutch town of Hengelo on Monday night, but finished the race as much in awe of the winner as pleased with his own effort.

Mottram ran 13 minutes 10.49 seconds to take just over 1½ seconds off the record he set in Melbourne two years ago, yet finished more than 30 seconds behind Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, who broke the world record by more than two seconds in running 12:37.35.

Mottram said it was daunting to reconcile how fast he had run and Bekele's performance. "I was just coming past 200 [metres] to go and he's finished."

Complete article at the Sydney Morning Herald website
Posted at 13:37     [Perma-Link]

Bekele proves Haile right

by David Powell, Nicole Jeffery

WHEN Haile Gebrselassie said 18 months ago Kenenisa Bekele could break his 5000 and 10,000metres world records, he probably suspected his Ethiopian countryman may one day be a greater runner than him.

Bekele put forward the strongest evidence yet at a grand prix meeting in Hengelo, The Netherlands, on Monday, when he broke Gebrselassie's 5000m world record.

Bekele recorded 12min 37.35sec, running the last half of the race alone, to chop 2.01sec off Gebrselassie's mark, set in Helsinki six years ago.

``I was very self-confident today,'' Bekele said.

``At 3000m I was convinced I would break the record. I have been training very hard in the last three weeks with the idea of breaking this record.

``As to the Olympics, although I feel comfortable at both 5000m and 10,000m, I will run the 10,000m in Athens.''

That will bring him into direct conflict with his boyhood idol and mentor, Gebrselassie, who lost the 10,000m race to another compatriot Sileshi Sihine (26:39.36) in a sprint finish after watching his record broken.

``Ten years ago I first set the 5000m record here and now Kenenisa has his turn,'' Gebrselassie said.

``I am so pleased to see such beautiful runners in Hengelo.''

Gebrselassie is arguably the best distance runner, with his two Olympic 10,000m gold medals, four world titles and 17 world records.

However, Bekele is ahead of Gebrselassie's achievements at the same age.

Critically, though, when the day comes to compare their careers, Bekele is an all-terrain success.

Two months ago, at 21, he completed a barely believable hat-trick of long- and short-course victories at the world cross country championships. Gebrselassie gave up cross country after several failed attempts.

Now, still two weeks short of his 22nd birthday, Bekele has shown stunning 5000m speed and endurance.

The Hengelo race was of such a high standard that Australia's leading male distance runner Craig Mottram finished seventh and still broke his national record by 2sec, setting a mark of 13:10.47.

``There were two races out there. Bekele was on a whole other level,'' Mottram's coach Nic Bideau said.

``He looked like he was running the last lap on every lap.

``It wasn't the ideal race for Craig to run his fastest because the Africans did a lot of chopping and changing.

``Craig hasn't done much speed work yet, so this was a good run. It shows he still has a lot of improvement in him.''

Mottram will return to training for three weeks before running a 3000m race at Gateshead in England.

``We think he can run really well in the 3k, we don't want to come seventh too often,'' Bideau said.

``It's an opportunity to prepare himself for the sort of (5000m) race he might have in Athens, where the first few laps might not be very fast and then it will turn into a 3km race.''

Bideau's best Olympic medal prospect, world cross country champion Benita Johnson, was forced to withdraw before the women's 5000m race with shin soreness.

But Bideau said this could be a blessing in disguise.

``She was so fit and going so well so early in the season that we were looking for a reason to take it quietly, so she's had a couple of easy weeks. It's still a long way to the Olympics.''

Johnson, who will contest the 10,000m in Athens, is likely to run her next race at the end of the month.

Article from The Australian
Posted at 13:33     [Perma-Link]

World mark to Bekele

By PHIL MINSHULL in Hengelo, Holland

ETHIOPIA'S Kenenisa Bekele added to his growing claim to being the world's greatest long-distance runner by setting a men's 5000m world record of 12min 37.35sec at Hengelo yesterday.

On the Dutch track that has seen scores of long-distance running world records in the past decade, Bekele took more than two seconds off the mark set six years ago by his fellow Ethiopian and boyhood idol, Haile Gebrselassie.

``I'm surprised by the time. I didn't think it was going to be possible,'' said the delighted world 10,000m champion and three-times double world cross-country champion.

``It is amazing to think that I have done better than Haile,'' added Bekele, who was quickly dubbed `The New Mr Hengelo'.

This was in deference to the fact that Gebrselassie was, and will always be in the eyes of the local crowd, the original version.

At the outset, the prospects for the 21-year-old succeeding in his widely publicised bid for his first world outdoor record after setting the indoor mark over the same distance in February, looked doubtful.

By the time the gun went, gushing winds had started blowing and the temperature was dropping.

Bekele also had to cope with some erratic pacemaking over the first 2km and was nearly three seconds off his schedule at the point when he took off on his own.

One of the two key points in the race, although it was more of a solo procession, was when Bekele suddenly hit the accelerator just after the half-way mark.

Suddenly the deficit dropped from several seconds to mere fractions, with Bekele then unleashing a stunning last lap at the sound of the bell.

His final lap of the track, named in tribute to the recently deceased Dutch athletics legend Fanny Blankers Koen, took a mere 57.8 seconds to etch his name in the annals of athletics history.

Bekele will now try to strip Gebrselassie of his 10,000m world record when he runs in the Ostrava Super Grand Prix meeting on June 8. ``That is going to be my event at the Olympics. I will not run the 5000 in Athens,'' Bekele said. Gebrselassie had one last try to improve his own mark over the longer distance but found himself upstaged on the night not only by Bekele but another Ethiopian, Sileshi Sihine.

Sihine beat Gebrselassie, sprinting away on the last lap of 25, to win in 26:39.69, the fastest time in the world for six years.

Gebrselassie came home second in 26:41.58, nearly 20 seconds adrift of his world record set on the same track in 1998.

Australian Craig Mottram was seventh in the 5000 metres in 13:10.47.

Article from The Advertiser
Posted at 13:31     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, June 01, 2004 

Mottram breaks own National record

Geelong’s Craig Mottram continues to impress as he prepares for Athens, smashing his own Australian 5000m record at an IAAF Grand Prix in the Netherlands overnight.

Mottram crossed the line in 13:10.47, slicing just under two seconds off the existing record of 13:12.04 which he set in Melbourne in 2002.

The 23 year old Australian finished 7th in an extremely fast race, which saw Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele smash the world record by two seconds. The World 10,000m champion’s time of 12:37.35 bettered Haile Gebrselassie’s 12:39.36 which was set in Helsinki six years ago.

Complete article at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 17:17     [Perma-Link]

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