What a way to end the year, Better late than never, a honour truely deserved. Former World Champion Merlene Ottey was during the week immortalised with with a 2.4m bronze statue in her native Jamaica.
Referred to by the IAAF as "easily one of the most decorated stars of world athletics", Ottey bronze likeness, erected at a cost in excess of JA$3 million (US$ 46,500), was unveiled in Kingston's Independence Park by no less a person than the Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.
The 45-year-old seven-time Olympian first represented Jamaica in 1980, at the age of 20, taking 200m bronze. The oldest world athletics track medalist ever, anchoring Jamaica's 400m team to Olympic silver in 2000.
She's also the most decorated woman in Olympics or World Championships track and field, with eight and 14 medals respectively among her 35 major championship medals. She was a World Champion on three consecutive occasions, with relay gold in 1991, then 200m wins in 1993 and 1995.
The 30-year-old American was stripped of his 100 metres world record, his gold and silver medals from the 2001 World Championships and had all his results since 31 March 2001 expunged from the record books.
He also confirmed that he has split up with partner Marion Jones, the triple Olympic champion at the 2000 Sydney Games.
The charges were brought by the US Anti-Doping Agency based on evidence gathered in the Balco laboratory case.
"I have retired," he said to the BBC. "The process was totally not fair. From where I come from, you need a positive test."
The Dream Team members were joined by 2000 members of youth anti-AIDS clubs from all regions of Ethiopia who had traveled to Addis Ababa for weekend of activities culminating in their participation in the UNICEF 10 K youth challenge.
The darling lady from Bahamas, who won a highly competitive 400m final at the IAAF World Championships in Helsinki last summer, donated her gold medal winning bodysuit to the Americas project Ambassador Debbie Ferguson following her 49.55 seconds win in Helsinki.
The 29-year-old Williams-Darling was the revelation of the 2004 summer season during which not only did she win the Olympic title in Athens but she also won a share of the TDK Golden League Jackpot.
Last week, Athens 2004 double Olympic champion Kelly Holmes donated her competition vest to the IAAF.
The 35-year-old, who won an incredible 800m / 1500m double at the 2004 Games, presented a Great Britain and Northern …
Korir, 25, equalled his former course record of 1:03:05 to place second while Joseph's training partner and fellow countryman John Yuda took the third position from the hordes of Kenyans and other local runners in 1:04:21.
Joseph told reporters after the race: "When Korir did not want to respond when I asked him to take the lead, I thought then that I was going to win.
"I was third in this race in 2002, so now I am very glad to win it."
The race organised by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and sponsored by Africa's telecoms giant MTN is already tagged the "biggest and best Lagos marathon ever".
A sure clash between three champions - Reigning world half marathon champion Fabiano Joseph of Tanzania, defending champion John Korir of Kenya, who set the course record of 63:05 in winning last year and Charles Kiama, win…
The Federation's technical Chairman, Sunday Bada - a former national 400m champion, said they are embarking on an enlightment campaign for athletes and officials on consequence of doping preparatory to the Commonwealth Games 2006.
These he said include a series of educational talks, symposia etc., and will form part of activities for the athletes during the Commonwealth camping slated for Abuja.
I have been on the phone all day. An excited Kenyan friend of mine have been harassing me all day to share the good news with me. Like we have all been hoping for a major IAAF competition to come to Africa, so we can all get together on home soil.
The East African country, the most successful nation in the history of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, got the nod to host the competition for the first time after a vibrant audio-visual presentation at the IAAF Council Meeting in Moscow.
So the port city of Mombassa would take the mantle after the 34 th edition next year on Fukuoka, Japan.
Obviously we are over the moon here at AthleticsAfrica.Com and we wish the Mayor of Mombasa,Taib Ali Taib and all the member of delegation to the IAAF Council - Paul Tergat, Catherine Ndereba an others - Congratulations and a job well done.
Now in the aftermath, the organisers of the 2005 Toyota Great Ethiopian Run, one of Africa’s largest road races - with 25,000 places sold out already - are worried about the conduct of the November 27 race.
Event Coordinator Richard Nerurkar told IAAF freelancer Elshadai Negash: "For the time being, we are making preparations...We are naturally concerned at what has been happening throughout the town, but we hope that the situation will calm down in the coming days."
Well, It would be a shame, if the race is put off. It's always rare to see Africa's top stars run on Africa soil, so this opportunity should not be missed.
However, Tergat and Ramaala will have to contend in London with the two-time Olympic Champion and four-time World Champion, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who signed a three year deal with the London Marathon back in January 2005.
The 32-year-old Gebrselassie, had earlier won the Amsterdam marathon in 2:06:20 last month
Race Director Dave Bedford said: "This exciting rematch will be eagerly anticip…
Yet again, Ethiopian Olympic and two-time world champion Kenenisa Bekele re-writes his world 10,000m record, after narrowly missing it in Hengelo last May, with a 26:17.53 clocking at the 29th Van Damme Memorial - IAAF/TDK Golden League meeting in Brussels.
It was a family affair as his younger brother Tariku, set the pace and help drove him through the halfway mark (5k) five seconds inside world record pace.
Will Nigeria get any medal out of the 10th world athletics championships in Helsinki today? Undisputed Africa's best sprinting nation is getting a bashing in here in Finland.
The men's 4x100m relay team-our best chance of a medal - crashed out yesterday in lane 1. The women's team doesn't look good though they made it to the final, But out in lane 8, with the slowest qualifying time, only a miracle will do.
Let's hope the men's 4x400m team save our pride as usual (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004) tommorrow.
Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba has claimed one half of her double target in Helsinki, after leading two of her countrywomen to a clean sweep of the 10,000m at the 10th IAAF world championships in Athletics.
Tirunesh will next challenge for the women's 5,000m title which starts on Wednesday evening, August 10, 2005.
Aliu out, but Emedolu, Zakari and Fasuba through to Semi-Finals tommorrow. Nigerian Uchenna Emedolu (10.16), Olusoji Fasuba(10.24) and Ghanaian Aziz Zakari (10.41) all qualified for tommorrow's Semi-Finals.
Reigning All- African games champion, Deji Aliu of Nigeria is out of the 100m contention here in Helsinki. He had looked very uncomfortable while qualifying for the quarter-finals of the men's 100m this morning.
Aliu was fifth with 10.39 seconds in the Quarter-finals Heat 3 won by former Nigerian sprinter Francis Obikwelu of Portugal in 10.19 seconds.
He had placed third in Heat 8 behind Briton Jason Gardener (10.19 secs) and fellow African Aziz Zakari of Ghana (10.30 secs) with 10.36 secs.
The 30-year-old, who had struggled with injuries this season, was tensed through all phases of the race and just managed to hold on to the third position.
Invite your friends and colleagues to join millions of other track and field enthusiast to discuss topical issues relating to the growth a…
Wow, was priviledged yesterday to see the first woman to soar over 5 metres in the Pole Vault at the London Grand Prix! Yelena Isinbayeva - what a dame!
Despite the uncertainty of the bomb threats in the city, and amidst the fears, I was glad i finally did go to Crystal Palace. Disappointed though that injury prevented world's fastest man ASAFA POWELL from completing his duel with Olympic champion JUSTIN GATLIN in the 100 metres, nevertheless the drama was worth it.
Kenenisa Bekele won the 5,000 metres as usual, but was chased all the way home by Austalian Craig Mottram.
Poor Wallace Spearmon, sad to miss out of Helsinki after his excertions at the NCAA, showed his full recovery with a stunning 19.89 seconds win in the 200 metres.
Nigerian duo shine in Thessaloniki Nigerian sprint champions Endurance Ojokolo and Uchenna Emedolu continued their good form on a rainy day at the IAAF Grand Prix II "THESSALONIKI 2005" Meeting in Greece.
Ethiopia’s double World record-holder in the 5,000m and 10,000m, Kenenisa Bekele and his brother Tariku were runaway winners in the 3,000m at the 30th edition of Athletissima, IAAF Super Grand Prix meeting in Lausanne.
Olympic 10,000m silver medallist, Sileshi Sihine, has secured a place in the Ethiopian World Championships team after setting a meet record in the 10,000m at the Memorial Josefa Odlozila (IAAF Grand Prix II) meeting in Prague.
Sihine, 22, who has suffered a knee injury all through last winter, took the record to cleaners in 26:57.27, relegating countryman Gezhagne Mamo and Kenya’s Geoffrey Kingeno to the second (27:38.49) and third (27:41.78) positions respectively.
The Ethiopian, who was a bronze medallist at the Paris 2003 world championships, said after the race he was disappointed with his form inspite of the record.
Kenya athletics governing body, (AK) has released a list of 37 athletes to represent the country at the 10th IAAF World Athletics Championships from August 6 -14 in Helsinki, Finland. Olympic 3000m Steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi and silver medallist Brimin Kipruto, are included in the team, but bronze medallist Paul Koech, who was fifth at the Kenya trials misses out. Athletics Kenya officials however delayed the naming of the third athlete to join both Kemboi and Kipruto in the team to the championships. Read More
The talkpoint of the 16th NNPC/ExxonMobil Nigeria track and field championship will be the expected showdown between in-form Olusoji Fasuba and old-horse Deji Aliu and Uchenna Emedolu.
The three Nigerian sprinters are in the top 20 of the recent (13th June) IAAF world ranking and were part of the Nigerian Bronze winning 4X100m relay quartet at the Athens 2004 Olympics.
Fasuba, 20, is the highest ranked Nigerian at 10th position in the world. The reigning Africa Champion from Brazaville African Athletics Championships in 2004 has been in terrific form this outdoor season.
He sped to a 10.09 clocking to equal his personal best in the 100m at the African Athletics Confederation (AAC) Permit Meeting at Kasarani, Nairobi on 7th May, and returned 10.17 to finished second at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet on 9th June.
He also took a sprint double (10.20 seconds in 100m and 20.62 seconds in 200m) in an earlier AAC meet in Bamako on 6th April.
All-Africa Games (Abuja 2003) winner and former Wo…
Sponsors of the 16th Mobil/NNPC Track and Field Championship/World Athletics Championships trials has introduced cash rewards for the first time in the history of the competition, which started in 1990, reports Nigeriansportsonline.com.
Events winners will each receive N50,000 (£200) while runners-up will receive N30,000(£120) and third place finishers will get N20,000 (£80) each.
The name sponsor of the meet, Mobil Oil Producing Unlimited expects this token to engender more competition among participating athletes at the annual meet. It would also provide an opportunity for local athletes who could not take part in the IAAF Grand Prix and other international meets to earn some money at home.
IAAF news report - Elfenesh Alemu (fourth at the Athens Olympic Marathon), Ethiopian National Marathon record holder Gete Wami are the surprise omission as Ethiopia announced its provisional Marathon squad for the 10th IAAF World Championships to be held in Helsinki, Finland (August 6-14 2005).
But two-time Olympic 10,000m champion Derartu Tulu is in line to make her major championship marathon debut after making the squad, while there are a lot of fresh talent throughout the men’s squad as Ethiopia begins life without its established stars.
National Marathon team coach Zelalem Desta said that the technical committee of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) decided to drop Alemu after she repeatedly turned down invitations to join the National team training.
Alemu, the fastest Ethiopian women marathoner in 2005 with her 2:27.03 for second place in Boston and one of the world’s top female marathoners, will therefore miss the chance to make her fourth appearance at the World Cham…
Breaking News - Asafa Powell breaks the WORLD 100 METRES RECORD IN GREECE!!! while Aziz Zakari who was second sets a new African Season best of 9.99 seconds at the IAAF GP meet this evening in Athens, Greece AthleticsAfrica.Com
IAAF NEWS FLASH - Tuesday 14 June 2005
World 100m record for Powell - 9.77 seconds Athens, Greece - In the last few minutes, Asafa Powell of Jamaica has, subject to ratification, broken the World 100 metres record at the Athens Super Grand Prix Tsiklitiria 2005.
Powell's time was clocked as 9.78 seconds equalling the existing World record - Tim Montgomery, USA, Paris, France, 14/09/2002 - but a few minutes later this was rounded down officially to 9.77 (wind 1.6m/s). His reaction time at the start was 0.150.
“I knew that I could do it," commented Powell. "I did my best. It feels great to be the fastest man of the world."
How fast can you go this season?
“Who knows? 9 something...I love Greece and I will come back here next year.”
Nigeria's Fatimoh Omolola Mohammed has continued to impress in the US National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) championships.
University of Texas, El Paso's Junior Fatimoh Muhammed is ranked eighth in 800 metres in the country, with her personal best of 2:05.28, despite failing to get to the finals at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California at the weekend.
The 21-year-old, Management major, came fourth in her opening round of the 800 metres with a time of 2:06.04 and moved on to the semifinals with the 15th-best time.
Her path to the finals was however halted after she finished seventh in her semifinal heat with a time of 2:06.98.
This year had been quite remarkable for the Abeokuta-born athlete, who is a cousin to Nigeria's foremost female quarter miler and Atlanta Olympics bronze medallist Falilat Ogunkoya.
At the NCAA Midwest Track and Field Regional in Norman, Oklahoma on May 27th, she edged out Iowa…
Nigeria's newest sensation, Olusoji Fasuba continues his good run of form yesterday in Ostrava. Fasuba finished hot on World leader Asafa Powell of Jamaica heels in 10.17 seconds. In the process, defeating two other Nigerans, Former World Junior Champion in 1995, Deji Aliu (4th in 10.22) and UTEP graduate Aaron Egbelle (5th in 10.31)
Sorry for being away from the blog for a while. no explanation really, but exams taking its toll. It's no longer news that reigning Olympic 1500m Silver medallist Bernard Lagat has defected to the US. Anyway, just wondering why African athletes are not just contented with being 'settled' in the developed nations. Must they always lose their nationalities completely? One scenario i forsee come 2008 Olympics is this: African athletes may dominate the medals podium, but none of the medals will count for African countries. What a shame that will be! However, i am delighted that the IAAF has come strongly against this and the new rules on change of nationalities should at least deter other not so patriotic athletes from following the same footsteps. Probably not as draconic as that proposed by the Kenyan Sports Minister. But I can feel his anger.
Been wondering where i've been? So what's been happening to me.
I've been away in Abuja, Nigeria for the past few weeks marketing the website. Internet connections has been slow and electricity been erractic, so i have not been able to update this blog as often as i 'd like. Moreover, i 've been on the road.
The Africa athletes award niteis on 11 March, while the Africa versus USA track and Field challenge comes up at the Abuja National Stadium on 12 March, so yours truly got to meet the ''who and whos'' in African athletics in Abuja.
Anyway, never mind, i shall keep you posted on this blog and on the website with live vids and gists from the award nite and the meet.
Hectic day. couldn't write much today. guess i have to get more writers.
By the way, a new star has been born in South Africa, he is Godfrey Khotso Mokoena, the World Junior Triple Jump champion. More about him later, but watch out for him at the Absa series in Potchefstroom on February 4th.
Hey guys, freelance writers are wanted on the website. do contact the Editor.
Yep, after months of procrastination, i've finally set this thing up. I created this as the African athletics marketplace. A forum for spreading the good tidings and instigating the much needed development of track and field in Africa. I hope you will follow my musings and thots as I zig-zaged all over Europe this indoor season to see the cream of African talents in their efforts to win laurels for their respective countries. You can also make your contributions and lets know you if you are an African athlete out there competing. Your story is worth our while. For more news, check AthleticsAfrica.com. Well, so long for now. looking forward to read your posts soon. Y.