Wednesday April 16, 2014
Could the IAAF World Championships be returning to North America? The event has visited Canada once - with Edmonton playing host in 2001 - but Eugene, Oregon has placed a bid for the 2019 Championships. If successful, Eugene would bring the outdoor World Championships to the United States for the first time. The U.S. played host to the World Indoor Championships in 1987, while Toronto brought the World Indoors to Canada in 1993. The outdoor World Championships will be held in Beijing in 2015 and London in 2017. Doha, Qatar and Barcelona, Spain have also bid for the 2019 Championships. A decision is due in November.
Check out reviews of the 2014 World Indoor Championships men's and women's shot put and multi-events competitions.
Monday April 14, 2014
Two of the world's greatest distance runners - one British and one Ethiopian - made their marathon debuts in London on Sunday, but each was overshadowed by a pair of Kenyans.
Tirunesh Dibaba, a three-time Olympic gold medalist at 5,000 and 10,000 meters, ran with or near leaders all the way in the women's race before settling for third place. Kenya's Edna and Florence Kiplagat ran together over the final dozen kilometers, with two-time London runner-up Edna pulling away on the final straight to win in 2:20:21, with Florence following in 2:20:24 and Dibaba in 2:20:35.
Meanwhile, Mo Farah, who thrilled the British crowd by winning the 5,000 and 10,000 at the 2012 London Olympics, couldn't run with the men's leaders in Sunday's marathon. He also fell short of his goal - breaking Stephen Jones' British marathon record of 2:07:13. But it was still a record-setting day, as Kenya's Wilson Kipsang won the men's race in a course record 2:04:29. Kipsang broke Emmanuel Mutai's mark by 11 seconds to win his second London championship. Fellow Kenyan Stanley Biwott was second in 2:04:55, with 2013 London winner Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia third in 2:06:30. Farah finished eighth in 2:08:21.
In other marathon news on Sunday, Eliud Kipchoge overcame a heavy wind to earn the victory in Rotterdam, in 2:05:00. Abebech Afework battled both the weather and an early dropped water bottle mishap to take the women's race in 2:27:50. Getu Feleke broke the course record on his way to victory in Vienna, in 2:05:41, with Anna Hahner winning the women's event in 2:28:59.
Wednesday April 9, 2014
Kenenisa Bekele is one of the most successful distance runners of all time, with three Olympic gold medals, six World Championship golds - five outdoors and one indoor - plus 11 World Cross Country Championship gold medals. But he took on a new challenge last Sunday, as the 31-year-old ran his first marathon, in Paris, and won the race in a course record 2:05:04. Bekele wasn't challenged for about the last dozen kilometers - fellow Ethiopian Limenih Getachew eventually took second in 2:06:49 - but even without being pushed Bekele still posted the sixth-best marathon debut in history. Flomena Cheyech of Kenya won the women's race in 2:22:44.
The rarely-run 4 x 1500-meter relay has a new women's world record as of April 5. The Kenyan quartet of Anne Karingi, Margaret Chelimo, Eunice Sum and Hellen Obiri finished the event in 17:08.17 at the Athletics Kenya Relay Series meet in Nairobi. A University of Tennessee team set the former mark of 17:08.34 in 2009.
Thursday April 3, 2014
Two streaks ended at the World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen last Saturday, with Zarsenay Tadese involved in both. Tadese had posted five victories and one runner-up finish in the previous six Championships, but the Eritrean missed the podium in Copenhagen by finishing fourth in 59:38. Three other runners pulled away from Tadese and the rest of the pack in the final 6 km, with Kenya's Geoffrey Kipsang taking the gold medal in 59:08. Samuel Tsegay of Eritrea edged Ethiopia's Guye Adola for second place, as both runners were credited with a time of 59:21.
The other broken streak was Kenya's tally of six consecutive team championships. Led by Tsegay, Tadese and fifth-place Nguse Amlosom (1:00.00), Eritrea gained the team title in Copenhagen.
It was all Kenya on the women's side as Gladys Cherono led an unprecedented one-nation sweep of the top five places, winning the race in 1:07.29. Kenyans Mary Wacera (1:07.44), Sally Chepyego (1:07.52), Lucy Kabuu (1:08.37) and Mercy Jerotich (1:08.42) took second through fifth to easily give Kenya the women's team championship. The top non-Kenyan was Netsanet Gudeta of Ethiopia, who was sixth in 1:08.46.