#DAEGU2011 UPDATES: Semenya defence in doubt, IAAF insists Blade Runner runs 1st leg and many more...

SOUTH AFRICA: Caster Semenya's manager says the global 800m champion will only defend her title in Daegu, South Korea next week if she can handle the emotional difficulties with which she is faced. “It's whether she handles the emotion that will determine how she does,” Jukka Harkonen was quoted.

USA: US top sprinter Walter Dix is ready to challenge Usain Bolt and other Jamaican sprinters. “I’m enjoying myself in Korea,” he said. “My goal is to win in the 100, 200, and 4x100-meter relay to come out with triple golds, a triple crown and that’s what I’m focusing on,” Korean media are saying.

ETHIOPIA: “I’m ready for the challenge and looking forward to it,” Kenenisa Bekele said while travelling to Daegu from Seoul. Dressed in a designer brown jacket and jeans, the usually reclusive Kenenisa would not be drawn to speculate on his chances, only waiting for the men 10000m final where he is seeking a fifth straight crown. Informs capitalfm.co.ke.

JAMAICA: Defending champion Usain Bolt has expressed disappointment about the withdrawal of his fellow countryman Asafa Powell from the men's 100m field at the upcoming IAAF World Athletics Championships. “It’s really sad,” Bolt told BBC Sport. “ Bolt added: "It’s really sad. I was looking forward to it (the battle). It was going to be a showdown and it was gonna be good.” Powell still may be able to run individual races after the World Championships. Writes TrackAlerts.

USA: World hurdles leader David Oliver will face arguably the toughest assignment of his career when he lines up against former and reigning Olympic champions Liu Xiang and Dayron Robles in what on paper looks to the stand out race of the Championships. "I'm never nervous. I've raced them several times and I talk to them all the the time. They're pretty cool guys, Liu's English is getting better since I first met him in 2006. I think it will be really tough. We all knew coming into the season it was going to be about mastering these three rounds. But my main rival is always the same - the hurdles," says Oliver. Informs David Martin.

USA: 2007 World champion at 5000 m Bernard Lagat admits Mo Farah starts favourite to win the 5000 metres gold medal but also fancies his chances of regaining the title. Lagat competing at his fifth Championships which have reaped 1500 gold, silver and bronze medals and over 5,000 first and second places, needs no reminding of what personal qualities will be needed if he is again to stand on the podium. Pole vaulter Jenny Suhr arrived to Daegu and took part at a press conference on Friday.

TV: The IAAF is delighted to confirm that the 1945 athletes from the 202 teams of the IAAF National Member Federations participating at the 13th edition of the IAAF World Championships, Daegu 2011 (27 Aug to 4 Sep), will be watched by viewers in excess of 200 territories worldwide. The sales of broadcasting rights for the IAAF World Athletics Series of which the World Championships is the pinnacle, are brokered by Dentsu, the IAAF Commercial Partner for media rights outside Europe and Africa, and IEC in Sports, the IAAF Media Agency for Europe and Africa. In last minute moves a deal with RUV, the public broadcaster in the territory of Iceland, has been confirmed for Daegu 2011, while following the conclusion of an extensive deal with newly launched channel SPTV in Croatia, a second agreement in this territory with public broadcaster HRT has also been finalised in time for Daegu.

MARATHON: Race Results Weekly informs that the 55 women on the start list will be battling the soaking humidity as much as each other for the medals. Like the last world championships marathon in Berlin, the athletes will neither start nor finish the race in the main stadium. Instead, they will both begin and end their 42.195-kilometer trek in the Gukchae-bosang Memorial Park in downtown. The course is comprised of two 15-kilometer loops, followed by a 12.195 kilometer circuit. According to IAAF officials, the course is basically flat, with a total of just 20 meters in elevation changes. Favorites per RRW are Kenyans Edna Kiplagat and Sharon Cherop, Ethiopians Aselefech Mergia and Atsede Bayisa, Japanese Yoshimi Ozaki and Chinese Zhu Xiaolin.

AUSTRALIA: The Flame’s two defending world champions, Steve Hooker and Dani Samuels, will be in action on the opening day of competition and both believe the ability to be a proven championship performer is the key to success. “I’m probably at a point now where my jumps a bit inconsistent, I can be anywhere in a 50cm range form a 5.40 and a 5.90. I reckon, anywhere in that range depending on the day and how it comes together. I’m realistic that it’s going to be a real fight for me out there. In Berlin I was in the position where I actually had something wrong with me physically but I was mentally confident in my jump and knew I could put together jumps when I needed to, so right now it’s the exact opposite of that," said Hooker. Informs Athletics Australia.


JAMAICA: Talented junior 400 m hurdler Ristananna Tracey has injured her wrist. This was confirmed by her MVP Track Club president Bruce James. Tracey is down to compete in the women's 400m hurdles. The 19 year old booked her spot on the Jamaican team to Deagu with a second place finish in a Jamaican junior record of 54.58. James added that the former Edwin Allen student "fell in training and hurt her wrist". However, while no information has been coming from the Jamaica's management team on the issue, James said the injury would not prevent her from competing. Informs TrackAlerts.

SOUTH AFRICA: Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius heard from IAAF he should run the first leg of South African 4x400 m team. In other legs it could be dangerous for other runners. IOC President Jacques Rogge sees no problems in Pistorius participation at London 2012 Games in case he will meet the criteria of his national olympic committee and IAAF.

SWITZERLAND: Swiss 5000 m runner Sabine Fischer is questionable for the World Championships race because of her foot problem. Her final test will be on Saturday.

IOC: Following the tradition established at previous IAAF World Championships, the IAAF Council met the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today, on the eve of the start of nine days of competition in Daegu. The Meeting was chaired jointly by IAAF President Lamine Diack and IOC President Jacques Rogge, and was followed by a press conference. “This meeting has been an opportunity for to take stock of our problems, many of which our organisations have in common. This morning our meeting went very well. As usual we took stock of the general situation of the Olympic movement and the different deadlines like London next year. We’ve also discussed what will happen in Nanjing (Youth Olympic Games), we’ve discussed doping problems and we’ve discussed other issues. I want the IOC Members to see track and field at its best, for track and field IS the No.1 event in the Olympic Games,” said IAAF President Lamine Diack.

MERRITT: Jacques Rogge also said in case of 400 m world champion LaShawn Merritt: “We discussed this situation this morning with the IAAF. The position of the IOC is very clear – it’s not a matter of sanction, it’s a matter of eligibility. To be able to participate in the Olympic Games, we think that the athlete cannot have been sanctioned for more than six months. There is a disagreement from some athletes and there was a case with Merritt who launched a case against us. We agreed together with the United States Olympic Committee to have a ruling by the court of arbitration. They have had the hearings and the decision will be reached by the end of September.”


BULGARIA: European champion Vania Stambolova while having her last training before leaving for Doha was not allowed to enter the National Stadium in Sofia. It was because a soccer match of European League CSKA Sofia vs. Steaua Bucuresti was planned later for the day. On Friday Stambolova who will compete in the 400 m hurdles departed for Korea.

[Brought to you courtesy of Alfonz Juck/EME News]

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