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Articles tagged #Almaz Ayana
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Ethiopia´s Almaz Ayana hopes to be successful in Doha on September 28

The ability to overcome challenges appears to be part of Almaz Ayana’s DNA.

By working hard to climb to the summit of global distance running, despite hailing from a modest rural background, to triumphing in the 10,000m on her season’s debut at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, no challenge appears beyond the capability of the world and Olympic 10,000m champion.

Yet the latest task to return to full fitness after undergoing surgery on both knees is, arguably, Ayana’s greatest obstacle to date as she builds up for what she hope will be a successful defence of her world 10,000m title in Doha on 28 September.

Born the seventh youngest of nine siblings in western Ethiopia, Ayana first engaged in running when registering for a school race at about the age of 13 or 14.

Having no clue as to how she would perform, she recalled finishing “second or third” over 1500m but faced a significant obstacle to her progress.

“When I started racing there was a girl at my school who always finished number one,” explains the quietly-spoken and unfailingly polite Ayana. “I was afraid of that girl but somebody told me that I have to beat her. I listened to that person, beat that girl and later joined a project (a training group for beginners) in my local area.”

Encouraged by how hard work could reap rewards, she moved to Addis Ababa and joined the Defence Force Club. A coach there advised her to try the steeplechase and she quickly advanced to the international level. In 2010 she placed fifth in the steeplechase at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Moncton, Canada and later that year shattered the world U20 record with a stunning 9:22.51 for third in Brussels.

African and Continental Cup 5000m victories followed in 2014 but it was the 2015 campaign when Ayana emerged as a world-class star. In Shanghai she ran a blistering 14:14.32 performance to climb to third on the world all-times list – behind Dibaba and Defar – with the kind of fearless front-running performance which has become her signature.

Then at the World Championships in Beijing later that year, a blistering final 3000m of 8:19 enabled Ayana to quell the considerable threat of compatriot Genzebe Dibaba to bank 5000m gold inside the crucible of the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

In 2016 the Ethiopian then entered another realm by obliterating the 23-year-old world 10,000m record by more than 14 seconds with a jaw-dropping time of 29:17.45 to claim the Olympic title in Rio.

(07/23/2019) ⚡AMP
by iaaf
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Your guide to this year's Prefontaine Classic

The Prefontaine Classic relocated, temporarily, and it brought the best fields of the Diamond League season with it to Stanford, California on Sunday June 30.

That includes the world’s fastest man and woman this year (Christian Coleman and Elaine Thompson), the athlete who has made the most worldwide headlines this season (Caster Semenya) and a bevy of other reigning Olympic and world champions.

Notably, Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will compete for the first time since 2017. World 100m champions Justin Gatlin and Tori Bowie are in their first Diamond League meets in more than one year. It’s the first Diamond League in two years for 2008 Olympic 400m champ LaShawn Merritt. It’s also the first race of 2019 for Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz.

NBC and NBC Sports Gold air live coverage Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Pacific.

The Pre Classic has been held annually since 1975 in Eugene, Ore. But Hayward Field’s reconstruction ahead of the 2020 Olympic Trials forced a move to Cobb Track and Angell Field at Stanford.

Here are the Pre Classic entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Pacific):

Here are 10 events to watch:

Men’s Pole Vault — 12:43 p.m.The Big Three of the event meet for the first time this season: 2012 Olympic champion and world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France, 2017 World champion Sam Kendricksand 2018 and 2019 world leader Mondo Duplantis of Sweden, who just turned pro after his freshman year at LSU. Lavillenie has competed just once this season due to injury. Duplantis was beaten at NCAAs by Chris Nilsen (also in the Pre field). But Kendricks has been hot, winning the first three Diamond League pole vaults this season (though Lavillenie and Nilsen weren’t in any of those fields and Duplantis just one).

Women’s High Jump — 1:08 p.m.U.S. champion Vashti Cunningham takes another crack at Russian Mariya Lasitskene, who has just two losses in the last three years. Cunningham is 0-7 versus Lasitskene but has this spring already bettered her top clearance of 2018. Lasitskene, though, appears in top form after taking three attempts at a world record 2.10 meters in Ostrava last week.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase — 1:11 p.m.Six of the eight fastest in history, headlined by world gold and silver medalists Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs. The only time either Coburn or Frerichs won a steeple that included any of the four fastest Kenyans in history was at those 2017 Worlds. Another chance Sunday.

Women’s 100m — 1:27 p.m.NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson would have been the favorite here in her pro debut if not for what happened Friday. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time Olympic 100m champion, clocked her fastest time in six years (10.73 seconds) to become the fastest mom in history and No. 2 in the world this year behind Rio gold medalist Elaine Thompson. Also watch reigning world champ Tori Bowie, who is coming back from a quad tear and coaching change.

Women’s 800m — 1:47 p.m.Caster Semenya races her trademark event for the first time since a Swiss Supreme Court ruled her eligible while it deliberates on her appeal against a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision to uphold an IAAF rule capping testosterone in women’s events from the 400m through the mile. The Swiss court ruling applies only to Semenya and not the other Rio Olympic medalists, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui, who are also affected by the new rule. So Semenya’s closest threat at Pre is American record holder Ajeé Wilson, but Semenya has won 30 straight 800m races dating to 2015.

Men’s Shot Put — 2:01 p.m.Olympic champion Ryan Crouser had a sterling record at Hayward Field, taking NCAA, Pre Classic and Olympic Trials titles. He’s pretty strong in California, too, recording his personal best (22.74 meters) in Long Beach in April. Nobody has been within a foot and a half of that this season, but the last two world champions (New Zealand’s Tom Walsh and American Joe Kovacs) will try to snap his undefeated 2019 on Sunday.

Men’s 400m — 2:19 p.m.Lost some sizzle with the withdrawal of 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James, who has missed time with Graves’ disease and, more recently, his mother’s death. Instead, the three fastest Americans of the last decade line up — 2018 and 2019 world leader Michael Norman (43.45 from April 20), 2017 world No. 2 Fred Kerley and 2008 Olympic championLaShawn Merritt.

Women’s 200m — 2:25 p.m.Strongest sprint field of the meet: 2016 Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, 2015 and 2017 World champion Dafne Schippers and 2018 world leader Dina Asher-Smith. Should produce the fastest time in the world this year, which is currently 22.16, and the favorite for world champs.

Men’s 100m — 2:39 p.m.Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman go head-to-head for the first time since the 2017 Worlds, where Gatlin took gold, Usain Bolt silver and Coleman bronze. Coleman is the world’s fastest man this Olympic cycle (9.79) and this year (9.85). Gatlin, 37, hasn’t broken 10 seconds since beating Bolt but has a bye to defend his title in Doha in September.

Men’s Mile — 2:51 p.m.Olympic 1500m champ Matthew Centrowitz races on the track for the first time since July 22, eyeing his first win in the Pre mile in his sixth try. The foes are formidable, including the top two milers since Rio — Kenyans Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi — Norwegian brothers Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, who on March 3 broke the 22-year-old indoor mile world record. Nobody has been within four seconds of the outdoor mile word record (Hicham El Guerrouj‘s 3:43.13 in 1999) since 2007.

(06/29/2019) ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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Impressive International field will be racing at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford

World 5000m and cross-country champion Hellen Obiri will be making her sixth appearance at the Prefontaine Classic. She set meeting records at 1500m in 2013 and 2014, then won the 5000m in 2016.

The Kenyan, who won the 5000m IAAF Diamond League title in 2018, is undefeated this year and won the 3000m at the opening leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Doha earlier this month in a world-leading 8:25.60.

Multiple world record-holder and five-time world indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba has won all three of her past Pre Classic appearances and her 14:19.76 victory in 2015 is the fastest 5000m ever run in the US.

Sifan Hassan won the 1500m Diamond League trophy in 2015 and followed it with world indoor gold over the same distance in 2016. The Dutch athlete is one of the most versatile runners in history, boasting an 800m PB of 1:56.81 and a half marathon PB of 1:05:15. She also holds the European 5000m record and the world 5km record.

Olympic 10,000m champion and world record-holder Almaz Ayana will be competing in the US for the first time. The Ethiopian won the 2015 world 5000m title, 2016 5000m Diamond Trophy and 2017 world 10,000m title, but missed all of last year with a knee injury.

Obiri, Dibaba, Ayana and Hassan are among the seven fastest women of all time at 5000m, but this will be the first time they have all raced one another at any distance.

The addition of world and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya adds further interest. Although she has contested the distance in low-key domestic races in South Africa, this will be her first international 3000m race.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey and Senbere Teferi, ranked eighth and ninth respectively on the world 5000m all-time list, are also in the field. Gidey is a two-time world U20 cross-country champion, while Teferi earned world silver medals at 5000m and cross country in 2015.

The field also includes two-time Ethiopian champion Fantu Worku, versatile Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech Kipkurui, world U20 cross-country champion Beatrice Chebet, 2017 world cross-country bronze medallist Lilian Kasait Rengeruk, double European indoor silver medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen, 2016 European 5000m and 10,000m champion Yasmin Can, European 1500m bronze medallist Laura Weightman, six-time NCAA champion Karissa Schweizer and USA’s Rachel Schneider.

(05/22/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field will be the venue for this year's 45th NIKE Prefontaine Classic/IAAF Diamond League meet on Sunday, June 30.With the ongoing construction of Hayward Field in advance of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2021 IAAF World Championships, an alternate site for America's flagship invitational meet was required. After an extensive search in...

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IAAF releases the biggest ever biomechanics study for Track and Field

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) today released the results of, what they claim, is the largest biomechanical study in the sport’s history. Almost everything that moved in the Olympic Stadium at last year’s IAAF World Championships was recorded by 49 high-speed cameras and has now been measured and analyzed as part of the study.  "Biomechanics are crucial to the development of athletes where milliseconds and millimeters can make the difference between qualifying for a final, or not, and winning a medal, or not," says IAAF President Sebastian Coe. Among the highlights of the research was that on the steeplechase, which was recorded in detail for the first time. It is claimed the outstanding technique of American athletes Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase clearly showed that medals were won and lost in the water. The research showed in detail that the United States team’s effective water jump clearance techniques were key to their performances.  The data captured on women's 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, meanwhile, shows a difference of up to 20 centimeters between the length of her strides from right to left - her right to left is longer than left to right. While it is hoped the reports will provide useful insight for coaches and athletes, it is anticipated they will also help the sport innovate by providing new data and graphics that can be shared with the media and fans around the world. (07/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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