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Articles tagged #Asher-Smith
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Dina Asher-Smith back on track and could go to European Indoor Champs

Dina Asher-Smith will return to competition next week for the first time since becoming world 200 meters champion more than a year ago.

On the day the British Indoor Athletics Championships were cancelled for the first time since 1961, the nation's fastest ever woman was confirmed for the Gold Series meet in the German city of Karlsruhe.

Asher-Smith will contest her first 60m for three years on Friday in a race also featuring Poland's European indoor champion Ewa Swoboda.

Pandemic-permitting she will then move on to Dusseldorf and another indoor race two days later.

Given the limited opportunities for competition ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Asher-Smith could even take part in the European Indoor Championships in Poland on the first weekend of March. Her management have not ruled out the possibility.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese government have categorically denied a report that this summer's Olympics and Paralympics are to be cancelled.

“This is exhausting,” Paralympic star Stef Reid said in response to the ever-changing speculation.

Five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft agreed: “This is our livelihoods being played with.

"We’re all aware there’s a chance the Games might not go ahead, but until an official decision is announced, please leave us to work and dream!”

(01/23/2021) Views: 23 ⚡AMP
by Alex Spink
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European Athletics Indoor Championships

European Athletics Indoor Championships

The 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships is coming to Glasgow, March 1-3. Witness six sessions of action-packed sport over three days of intense competition in the intimate Emirates Arena as some of the best athletes in the world compete for prestigious European titles. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this thrilling event and get closer to the action. Glasgow’s Emirates...

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British sprints coach Lloyd Cowan died at the age of 58

During his 20-year coaching career, Cowan guided many leading British sprinters, including 2008 Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu, 2010 European 110m hurdles champion Andy Turner and his son Dwayne Cowan, part of Britain’s bronze medal-winning 4x400m quartet at the 2017 World Championships.

A talented athlete in his own right, Cowan was selected for the 1984 Olympics in the 110m hurdles but was unable to take his place on the team due to illness. Ten years later, he represented England at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria and narrowly missed out on making the final.

After retiring from competitive athletics in his late 30s, he moved into coaching and soon made a name for himself as one of the leading sprints coaches in the UK.

Ohuruogu was one of Cowan’s first major successes. She won the Commonwealth title in 2006, world titles in 2007 and 2013, and the Olympic title in 2008.

Turner, under Cowan’s guidance, also became a frequent medallist at major championships. He won European bronze in 2006, European gold in 2010 and world bronze in 2011.

Cowan also coached several national champions and international relay medallists, including European 4x100m champion Bianca Williams, 2008 Olympic 100m hurdles finalist Sarah Claxton, 2012 world indoor 4x400m champion Shana Cox, 2009 world 4x100m bronze medallist Simeon Williamson, European indoor 4x400m silver medallist Amber Anning, and sub-10-second 100m sprinter James Dasaolu.

In 2013 Cowan was appointed lead sprints coach at UK Athletics. Later that year, he was awarded the prestigious Ron Pickering Memorial Award for Services to Athletics, and in 2015 he was appointed MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).

But it was the success of his son, Dwayne, which made Cowan most proud. A relative latecomer to the sport, Dwayne established himself as one of the top 400m runners in the UK in 2017. He won the 400m at the European Team Championships, clocked a PB of 45.34, and reached the semifinals at the World Championships in London before helping Britain to bronze in the 4x400m, recording the team’s fastest split (44.2).

“There will never be another Lloyd Cowan,” said Turner. “He knew me better than anyone. We had some amazing times and even better stories along the way. He made such a huge impact on my life. I owe him everything. I hope he realised how many lives he changed and how loved he was.”

World 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith paid tribute to the larger-than-life character. “Rest in power, Lloyd,” she said. “He was one of the pillars of our community and always had words of calm, wisdom and care for everyone. He knew when to make you laugh, when to be serious and most of all knew how to make you believe in yourself.”

“A really sad start to the athletics year,” added World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “He was a great coach, mentor and teammate. A massive loss to the sport.”

(01/12/2021) Views: 56 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Amy Hunt looks forward to the Olympics in Tokyo

The delay of the Games to sprinter Amy Hunt and the teenage sprinter’s eyes light up and she smiles. “We’ve been given this extra year and it’s a year to get fitter and faster before trying to make our first Olympic team. So I think it’s worked out really well for me.

“There are no negatives for young athletes like me when it comes to having the Olympics pushed back because we’ll have a better chance of being selected when those trials come around.”

In 2019 Hunt won the European under-20 200m title and set world under-18 and British under-20 records at the distance. This year another great sequence of results has led to her being named AW readers’ junior female athlete of the year again in 2020.

In February she won the British indoor 60m title in 7.39 before improving to 7.36 for fourth at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow. Then, when outdoor track meets started, she raced exclusively at 100m instead of 200m at events ranging from the British Champs in Manchester, where she was fourth, to her first Diamond League in Doha, where she placed sixth.

“I can’t describe how good it was to go to my first Diamond League in Doha,” she says. “To experience the hype and energy there was really fun.”

She turns 19 in May and is looking forward to returning to her specialist distance of 200m after spending 2020 working on her ability get out the blocks quickly. “We also felt the biggest gains were to be made over 100m and we treated it almost as a freebie year,” she explains.

“We stripped back and focused on that start again and it definitely really helped and I saw an improvement in my start. At the British Champs I felt really confident and able to put together a first 20m.”

She adds: “It was interesting to have the focus on the 100m because going into an event knowing it’s not your favorite event and to be one of the slowest was an interesting process for me to learn. It was good to head into a race not being too star-struck and to just focus on my lane.”

She has also stepped up her training on the track and in the gym. “Heading into next year I’m in a really good position,” she says.”I have more confidence in my technical abilities and during what has been effectively a free year I’ve upped the amount of time I’ve done in the gym. Now three a week and I’m seeing a lot of gains from that.”

She adds: “This winter increased track sessions and gym so I now train six days a week. It was rough for my body to deal with for the first two weeks but I’m not getting used to that kind of exertions and I’m discovering recovery techniques that work for me.

“I really do enjoy winter training in a bit of a sadistic way. I’ve liked being back on the track and in the gym this winter. If you want to get to a certain level, you have to love what you’re doing. My coach Joe is always cracking jokes and creates a really good environment to be in.”

So what really motivates her to put on her kit and start training? Is it the Olympics or World Under-20 Championships next year? Or the idea of improving her PBs?

“I think it’s a combination,” she says. “But the most important to me is putting the work in so my idols become my rivals. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. I want to be the best that I can be and be up there with those people who I used to idolize and now want to race.”

As for those idols, she says: “A younger me definitely looked up to Allyson Felix a lot. I’ve always looked up to Dina (Asher-Smith) because she’s always such an amazing role model for the sport. She encompasses a lot of values that I hold dear to myself too.

“Shaunae Miller-Uibo is an amazing athlete and people like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have gone away and had a baby and returned to run well so there are lots of amazing female role models out there.”

So far she has not spent much time with any of them. The only time she has bumped into Asher-Smith, for example, was the Great CityGames in 2017. But she adds: “Hopefully I’ll be meeting most of them next year in Tokyo!”

(12/26/2020) Views: 65 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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U.K.’s Dina Asher-Smith has said the stakes are a bit too high for her to jump back into racing

While the track community celebrated a return to elite and high-profile racing over the weekend at the Monaco Diamond League, not every athlete is ready to get back into competitions just yet. According to an Athletics Weekly report, British 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith has said she might skip the entire 2020 track season if the global pandemic doesn’t improve. She said it “comes down to how safe the races are,” and that she isn’t “in the mood for racing for racing’s sake this year.”

Not worth the risk

After her world championship win in Doha in 2019, Asher-Smith showed the world that she’s a threat for gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Her immediate focus is working toward the 2021 Games, but that isn’t her only goal. She said she will be eyeing Tokyo, the Commonwealth Games, two European Championships and the Paris Games, all in the next four years. At just 24 years old, Asher-Smith will likely be a force to be reckoned with for at least the next two Summer Olympics, and while she would of course like to race this year, it’s hardly a priority for her.

“We’re going to have a very intense four years,” she said. “So it’s better to build that foundation. That’s what I’d prefer to do.” She added that since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, she doesn’t “fancy running any risk” and that “it’s about making smart decisions at the moment.”

Asher-Smith won’t miss too much if she skips the 2020 season as a whole. Even if she wanted, she couldn’t qualify for Tokyo 2021 right now since Olympic qualification won’t be open for track athletes until December 1. She will miss out on minor racing opportunities, but that doesn’t appear to be a big concern of hers.

“I don’t fancy catching coronavirus at an event,” she said. She also noted that she has spent the pandemic working “on the things that you don’t normally get the luxury or the time to be able to do,” such as taking extensive looks into her psychology, nutrition and even her personal marketing as an athlete. 

“In elite sport, you’re always chasing the next thing and the next. You never get a time to sit back and reflect.” Whether she races or not this year, Asher-Smith appears to be confident that she will be ready to compete at next summer’s Olympics, and if her pandemic training has gone as well as she says, then the rest of the sprinting world better be on high alert come Tokyo.

(08/18/2020) Views: 147 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Athletes will not be punished at Commonwealth Games 2022 who take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Commonwealth Games authorities have promised not to ban or punish any athlete at Birmingham 2022 who takes a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

That decision, which has been revealed by the Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, David Grevemberg, is in direct contrast to the International Olympic Committee, which has warned athletes they will be thrown out if they protest on the field of play or the podium during the Tokyo Games.

Grevemberg said it is especially vital athletes are given a platform in such turbulent times. “People say are we opening Pandora’s box but no, we are respecting people’s rights to voice opinions,” he said.

“The Black Lives movement is challenging all institutions to really look introspectively at what we can do to be more fair, more free, have better equality and have better systems of justice that look after people. Sport is no different.

“We are comfortable with the uncomfortable conversation and we need to embrace it. We maybe have more responsibility because of the shared history of the Commonwealth so we need to find solutions that don’t build walls but rather build bridges.”

Grevemberg said the Commonwealth Games Federation had been working on many of the problems raised by Black Lives Matter since 2015 as part of its Transformation 2022 project. He also pointed out that athlete activism had long been part of the Games.

“You go back to Cathy Freeman,” he said. “The reason her moment was so powerful at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 was because of what she did at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria in 1994 when she wrapped herself in the Aboriginal flag after the 200 and 400 metres. That had a profound impact.”

Grevemberg also confirmed the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been pushed back 24 hours to 28 July to help athletes recover from the rearranged world championships in Eugene that month.

The athletics programme will also be held later in the competition and run over five days and not seven in an effort to persuade Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson to try to win gold medals in Birmingham as well as Eugene and at the European championships in Munich during that summer.

“It’s a challenge and athletes like a challenge,” Grevemberg said. “You could almost create it as a grand slam in terms of hitting all three golds in particular events in three major championships. I think it’s a wonderful challenge – to do the unprecedented.”

(06/14/2020) Views: 213 ⚡AMP
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Double Olympic and three-time world 800m champion Caster Semenya is currently unable to contest her favored event unless she takes medication

Caster Semenya has announced she will compete over 200 meters this year in a bid to make the Tokyo Olympics.

Semenya, 29, is currently unable to compete internationally at distances from 400m to the mile under World Athletics regulations requiring women in those events who have naturally occurring high levels of testosterone – termed athletes of different sexual development [DSD] – to take medication.

The South African double Olympic and triple world 800m champion has repeatedly refused to take the required medication and did not defend her world title in Doha last year. Instead, she has now decided to turn her attention to a distance that does not fall under the regulations.

"As you are all aware, I am unable to compete in the 800m and defend my title at the Tokyo Olympic Games later this year," said Semenya on Friday.

"My dream has always been, and will continue to be, to compete at the highest level of sport, and so in order to pursue my goals and dreams, I have decided to change events, and compete in the 200m.

"This decision has not been an easy one, but as always, I look forward to the challenge, and will work hard, doing all I can to qualify for Tokyo and compete to the best of my ability for South Africa."

Having operated predominantly in middle-distance events during her career, Semenya has few 200m races under her belt prior to this year. Her official personal best of 24.26sec was set last month, although she clocked an unratified 23.49sec at a low-key South African event on Friday.

She would still need to improve significantly on that to secure her place in Tokyo by meeting the Olympic qualifying standard of 22.80sec.

By way of reference, even the 23.49sec she recorded on Friday would have placed her just 18th in the British rankings last year. Dina Asher-Smith's winning time in claiming world gold was 21.88sec.

Semenya's legal challenge against World Athletics' testosterone regulations remains ongoing as she challenges a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport which found in favor of the governing body.

(03/17/2020) Views: 264 ⚡AMP
by Ben Bloom
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Four-time 100m world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce says she believes she can keep the younger generation at bay to win Olympic gold in Tokyo

The 33-year-old became the oldest women to win a world or Olympic 100m title with victory in Doha in September.

She only came back to competition early last year after spending two years away from the sport to have her son Zyon.

"I definitely believe it's possible, considering the year I had and the room to improve," the Jamaican said.

"There are things that I do personally that I missed out on and have gone light on.

"That time out actually gave me the time to just mentally refocus on the goals that I want to achieve and I'm going to soldier on and I'm definitely looking forward to making it to my fourth Olympic Games."

Fraser-Pryce won 100m gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, before taking bronze behind compatriot Elaine Thompson and American Tori Bowie at Rio 2016.

She also confirmed that she intends to double up by competing in the 200m, the event in which 24-year-old Briton Dina Asher-Smith won gold in Doha.

"The plan last year was to do the double, and my coach decided he didn't want me doing the double, considering I just came back off a break," added Fraser-Pryce, who is a nominee for the World Sportswoman of the Year at the Laureus Awards in Berlin on 17 February.

"So, this year we are attempting to do the 100 and the 200, and my programme has been geared towards that."

Fraser-Pryce began training ten weeks after Zyon's birth in 2017, but had to run with a special band stabilising her stomach following a caesarean section.

Zyon accompanied her on a lap of honour after her 100m triumph in Doha.

(02/07/2020) Views: 349 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Dina Asher-Smith, four-time European gold medallist will race in front of the London Stadium for the final time before going for a first solo Olympic sprint title at Tokyo 2020

Asher-Smith will take on a world class field at the Diamond League event in London, where British fans will get a chance to give their heroes a rousing send-off before they board the plane for Japan.

The news follows the recent announcement that Asher-Smith’s British teammate and fellow world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson will also compete at the Müller Anniversary Games, along with the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow (February 15) and Müller Grand Prix Gateshead (August 16).

“I’ve always been vocal about my love of competing in front of a home crowd, so to finish my Olympic preparations by competing at the London Stadium will be special and truly is the best send-off I could ask for,” said Asher-Smith.

“2019 has been a whirlwind of a year – the best of my career so far. I hope 2020 can be even better, and to put in a great performance at the Müller Anniversary Games would be a huge boost for me ahead of Tokyo.”

(12/11/2019) Views: 574 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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The IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha attendances were a disaster and will impact Qatar's chances of ever hosting an Olympic Games

The empty Doha stadium at the World Athletics Championships has scuppered Qatar's chances of landing an Olympic Games for at least 20 years, bidding experts believe.

The tiny Middle East nation was previously beaten by Tokyo to next summer's games, and has hinted it could launch renewed bids for either 2032 or 2036.

However, one source close to the International Olympic Committee said dismal attendances for the athletics is seen a "disaster" for any potential application.

Michael R Payne, the former marketing director of the IOC, also told the Daily Telegraph that poor local interest would be a "red line".

"In terms of the Olympics, I'd go straight back to the drawing board," he said. "Clearly the first question is going to be 'why would the hosting of our championship be any different'. It's such a fundamental red line to cross. There is an issue of respect for the athletes. How do they feel having trained all their lives for this? Clearly something has gone very wrong. For an Olympics, expectation would probably be now that you would see one or other Middle East country coming forward before Qatar."

The athletics had sent a "very negative signal as to Doha's ability to host any major event", Payne added. Qatar was controversially awarded football's 2022 World Cup, but FIFA insists there is enough local interest across the region to ensure any local allocations of tickets sell out.

On Sunday night Denise Lewis was among leading figures in athletics to criticise organisers after eventual silver medalist Dina Asher-Smith ran sprint finals in front of rows of empty seats in the 40,000-capacity stadium. Payne, who now works as a consultant strategic adviser, said the athletics had illustrated the dangers of building "empty cathedrals". 

He added. "You can build the greatest stadiums, you can have unlimited budgets to do incredible ceremonies and make it all work, but you do need to have to people in the stadium," he said. "I think it is incomprehensible for athletes in any sport to compete in their world championships in front of an empty stadium.

"It sends a terrible image and I'm sure the television ratings will be negatively impacted. At the end of the day, what's the point of building big stadiums for the people in the country - it's an empty cathedral."

Speaking on the BBC,  2000 Olympic heptathlon champion Lewis said the IAAF has "let down" the athletes competing in the Qatar capital city. "I can't deny, I walked into the stadium and thought 'is this the World Championships?'' Lewis said.

(10/06/2019) Views: 679 ⚡AMP
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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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Dina Asher-Smith wins gold in national record of 21.88, at world 200m making history for Great Britain

Not so long ago Dina Asher-Smith studied history. Now, with each thunderous stride on the track, she makes it. And on a balmy desert night she summoned up a performance of shock and awe to become the first British female sprinter to win a world championship title.

This was not so much a race as a 91-step exhibition of Asher-Smith’s staggering athletic talents. The usual rocketing start. Then a bend so geometrically perfect it could have been drawn by a compass. And, finally, grace and power right to the finish. Long before she crossed the line in 21.88 sec – a time that lowered her own national record – gold was in the bag.

Then, after a little jig of joy, the scale of her accomplishment began to hit, and her eyes began to water. “Normally I am so chatty and full of energy, but I am lost for words,” she said. “Everybody keeps saying world champion, world title, but it hasn’t sunk in and honestly I don’t think it ever will. I have dreamed of this and now it’s real.”

Such was Asher-Smith’s symphony of destruction that her nearest rivals, the US silver medallist Brittany Brown, who ran 22.22sec, and the Swiss athlete Mujinga Kambundji, who claimed bronze in 22.51, were barely in her slipstream. The champagne, however, will be put on ice until after the 4x100m relay final on Saturday.

It is 15 years since Asher-Smith was persuaded to do her first cross-country race at primary school and hated it. Halfway round she nearly stopped – only for her parents to promise her an ice cream if she kept going. She ended up finishing fifth out of 400 and a glorious track and field career was born.

After Wednesday night’s win she paid tribute to her coach, John Blackie, who has known her since she was eight – and knew, even then, that she was a little bit special. “I wasn’t the fastest when I was younger, but I worked so hard with my coach John,” she said, smiling. “That we’re champions together means so much to me.”

There were also the warmest of words for her father, Winston, and her mother, Julie, who have proudly followed her journey through windswept local athletics tracks to arenas around the world. “My mum and dad have been to every single one. English schools. National athletics league. Junior competitions. All the way through to the world championships and Olympics.”

She knows that next year’s Olympics will be tougher – especially as the world’s best 200m runner, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, was unable to compete here because of scheduling clashes with her favourite event, the 400m. But Asher-Smith’s achievements in Doha should not be played down. Her 200m time was so fast it would have won 13 of the 17 world championships.

“Obviously you want to run in front of a stacked field but at the same time a world title is a world title,” said Asher-Smith, who looked back to her first moment on the world stage when she won 200m and 4x100m relay golds at the European Junior Championships in 2013.

(10/03/2019) Views: 744 ⚡AMP
by Sean Ingle
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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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Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce unstoppable taking fourth world title

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce completed a quartet of 100m titles.

This very special athlete once again demonstrated her outrageous gift on another unforgettable night of athletics excellence inside the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce added title number four, a decade after winning her maiden crown – and coming just 13 months after giving birth to her son, it is surely her finest world title date.

The double Olympic champion made he characteristic bullet-like start and had already established a clear advantage on the seven-strong field by 30 metres.

The 32-year-old Jamaican superstar then simply accelerated from the opposition to stop the clock in 10.71 – exactly the same time she ran to win her second world title in Moscow and within 0.01 of her lifetime best.

Behind, Great Britain earned their first medal in this event in World Championship history as Dina Asher-Smith chipped 0.02 from her national record to claim silver in 10.83. Marie Josee Ta-Lou of Ivory Coast added the bronze in 10.90 to the silver medal she grabbed at the 2017 edition.

(09/30/2019) Views: 765 ⚡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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A British team of 72 athletes has been named for the IAAF World Championships in Doha

A 72-strong squad has been announced for the global event in Qatar, taking place from Sept 27 to Oct 6.

Dina Asher-Smith, Zharnel Hughes and Adam Gemili have all been confirmed for sprint doubles, with Gemili also joined on the 4x100m squad by his fellow reigning world relay champions Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and CJ Ujah.

In total, 44 athletes return to the world stage after having earned selection for London two years ago, including British 1500m champion Laura Muir and world indoor hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi, while 24 athletes will make a World Championships debut for GB & NI in Doha, including European indoor silver medallists Jamie Webb and Tim Duckworth and British champions Ojie Edoburun, Neil Gourley, Harry Coppell and Ben Williams.

Kyle Langford has been handed the third men’s 800m spot, while Jake Wightman has secured a 1500m place.

Mo Farah has not yet confirmed whether he will race as the defending 10,000m champion and the team does not currently feature any male athletes in that event, but Eilish McColgan and Steph Twell have been named for the 25-lap discipline, with McColgan set to double up in the 5000m where she will be joined by Jessica Judd and Laura Weightman.

A first wave of athlete selections was announced in May, with Callum Hawkins confirmed for the men’s marathon, although Dewi Griffiths has withdrawn through injury.

Charlotte Purdue and Tish Jones will run the women’s marathon.

British Athletics states that any invites for the championships will be considered “in line with the British Athletics selection policy”.

The governing body adds: “Given the timelines outlined by the IAAF as to when these invites will be received, appeals will not be considered.”

British Athletics performance director Neil Black said: “It gives me great pleasure to name the 72 athletes selected to compete for Great Britain & Northern Ireland at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, starting later this month. Given the standard of performances from British athletes this season, and the strength in depth we possess in several events, finalizing the team was far from easy and there were some tough decisions to make.

“In the 72 athletes, I truly believe we have selected the strongest team possible to compete for medals on the global stage. The team is full of world-class athletes who over the past two years since we were hosts in London have proven that they belong on the global stage.

“It is great to see so many athletes return having competed in London and also see so many make the step up to the world level for the first time. We have selected more women than men once again for a major championships and special mention needs to go to Martyn Rooney, who is competing at his eighth world championships, a truly remarkable feat for a great athlete.

“The championships are going to be held in a challenging climate at the end of what has been a long season already but what pleases me the most is how our athletes have approached the challenge and are ensuring that they peak when it matters most. The next three and a half weeks are key in preparing for the championships and I look forward to watching our athletes flourish in Doha.”

(09/03/2019) Views: 793 ⚡AMP
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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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Reece Prescod and Laura Muir, two of Britain’s leading medal hopes, will both be absent from the world Championships for Doha

Britain have suffered a worrying double injury blow ahead of next month’s World Championships, with Reece Prescod on the verge of missing the event and Laura Muir facing a race against time to regain full fitness.

With that latter event serving as the national trials for the Doha World Championships, any athlete who does not compete will have to rely on the selectors to be given the sole discretionary spot available per event.

That should be a given in the 1500m for Muir, who injured her calf when triumphing at the London Anniversary Games last month but has finished in the top three at all five Diamond League races she has contested this summer.

She is hoping to return to racing at the start of September, although a six-week absence from competition is far from ideal preparation for the four-time European champion, who has her sights firmly set on making the podium in Doha.

Prescod’s situation is more serious, with the double reigning national 100m champion and European silver medalist looking unlikely to recover from a hamstring problem in time to gain selection for the World Championships.

Prescod opened his season by running 9.97 seconds in Shanghai in May, but hobbled over the line when picking up the injury during only his second outdoor race at June’s Oslo Diamond League.

With the British selectors meeting just eight days after the national trials in Birmingham, Prescod has little chance of proving his form and fitness following two and a half months out.

Selecting someone who has completed just one race at full speed all summer would be a major risk and it is understood Prescod does not want to be considered for the team if he is not in good enough shape to make the world final in Doha.

His absence would be a significant blow to a British team short of genuine individual medal contenders. Dina Asher-Smith (100m and 200m), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (heptathlon) and Muir are all expected to make the World Championships podium, while Prescod’s fellow 100m sprinter Zharnel Hughes has strong claims after winning European gold last year.

The rest of the British contingent head to Doha with varying levels of aspiration, rather than expectation, of winning a medal.

Muir has repeatedly come within touching distance of a first global outdoor medal, having finished fifth and fourth over 1500m the last two World Championships and seventh at the Olympics.

(08/14/2019) Views: 974 ⚡AMP
by Ben Bloom
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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) Views: 961 ⚡AMP
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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Paula Radcliffe is the first major client of a new PR firm that uses Nick Davies

Paula Radcliffe has made the curious decision to join a PR company that uses former IAAF communications chief Nick Davies. Last year Davies was fired after 24 years at the world governing body of athletics for lying to investigators about receiving secret payments totalling €30,000 ($40,000US) from the disgraced former IAAF marketing executive Papa Massata Diack. But Radcliffe, who serves as vice-chair of the IAAF athletes commission, has become the first major client of the new sports division at London-based Pagefield PR. Parker insisted that is not the case and that he heads the sports division, which also lists Dina Asher-Smith as a client. He said Davies does not work on Radcliffe's or any other account. He was also keen to stress that Davies was cleared of corruption, was not banned from working in athletics and insisted he 'deserves a second chance'. Davies was cleared of corruption after he was suspended by the IAAF in June 2016 following allegations that he was one of three officials who took money to delay naming Russian drug cheats ahead of the World Championships in Moscow in 2013. But he was fired. Having initially denied it to the IAAF ethics board, Davies eventually admitted receiving payments of €25,000 and then €5,000 in cash from Papa Diack, the son of similarly disgraced former IAAF president Lamine Diack, in envelopes. On Wednesday night Radcliffe said she was 'really happy' with Pagefield. 'I don't see what the issue is,' she said. 'Nick is a genuinely decent guy who made a mistake. He's admitted it, paid for it and I don't think he should have to pay for it for the rest of his life.'     (05/31/2018) Views: 943 ⚡AMP
by Matt Lawton/ Daily Mail
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