MAY 2006 - VOL. 6, N. 5 (N. 58)
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FEATURED WORLDWIDE RUNNING NEWS
• NETHERLANDS / Haile Gebrselassie sets new world record
On Sunday March 12th, 2006 Haile Gebrselassie scored his third world best of the 2006 - after his 55:48 on 20km and 58:55 on half marathon both in Tempe (Usa/Florida), on January 15th - by clocking 1:11:37 on 25 kilometres at Alphen aan den Rijn. The Ethiopian wonderman bettered the world record of Kenyan Paul Kosgei who ran 1:12:45 on May 9th 2004 at Berlin with 1:08 minutes. On a clear sunny day, with a winterly temperature which varied from minus one Celsius to plus two, the African was far too strong for his opponents. The 25 kilometres was incorporated in the normal 20 kilometres of Alphen, one of the most famous races in The Netherlands. Gebrselassie and six others ran first five kilometres on an extra loop before passing the start line of the 20 kilometres race. Source: www.arrs.net
• FLORIDA (USA) / Disney's Wide World of Sports launches women's sports initiative
Capitalizing on the wealth of female athletes competing at Walt Disney World Resort annually, Disney's Wide World of Sports is launching a wide-ranging women's sports initiative aimed at creating more opportunities for female sports fans and athletes. This exciting initiative will be rolled out over the next several months and will involve new events, product development and community outreach. For example, Disney's Wide World of Sports will explore ways to develop customized sports events; create sports products and merchandise ergonomically designed for women and girls; and partner with local women's and girls' organizations and clubs to host a unique genre of sports clinics, seminars and expos that promote women's health and fitness. The initiative kicks off with the all new Disney's Minnie Marathon presented by Lady Foot Locker, May 5-7. Disney's Minnie Marathon will feature the "Women Run the World" 15K, the "Go Red for Women" 5K and the one-mile "Fun Run/Walk" at Walt Disney World Resort. "As women's sports continue to flourish nationally, there is tremendous growth potential for women's sports in a variety of areas", said Erin Wallace, Senior Vice President of Walt Disney World Operations. "Through this women's sports initiative, we want to elevate the sports experience for the thousands of girls and women athletes and fans who annually come to Disney's Wide World of Sports". Women and girls make up 54 percent of the more than one million athletes who have competed at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex since 1997.
• FINLAND / Finnish Half Marathon Championships results
On April 8th in Hamina, low temperatures (2 °C) did not slow down national 1500m champion Johanna Lehtinen (nee Risku) at the Finnish Half Marathon Championships. Each improving her P.R. by six minutes, Lehtinen won the women's division in 75:19 and Johanna Kykyri finished second in 75:51. Defending champion Maija Oravamäki, who just returned from training in Kenya, and was suffering stomach cramps during the race, crossed third in 76:59. Orienteering World Champs bronze medalist Minna Kauppi finished fourth in 78:11. Jussi Utriainen rebounded from his Vattenfall Berlin Half Marathon 12th place to collect a fourth men's title in 65:51 in front of Tuomo Lehtinen's (husband of women's winner Johanna) 66:13, Vesa Erojärvi's 67:38 and Juha Hellsten's 68:11. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
• USA / Ironman events ban lifted
By mutual agreement and order from Court of Arbitration & Sport, resolution No. 1, adopted at the 2005 International Triathlon Union Congress held in Gamagori, Japan was rescinded. As a result, there is no longer an ITU ban prohibiting national governing bodies from sanctioning Ironman or World Triathlon Corporation affiliated events. President Les MacDonald and the ITU organization acknowledge that the 1998 Settlement Agreement resolving litigation between WTC and ITU remains in effect and enforceable, and that WTC is in good standing under the 1998 agreement. "Ironman will continue to focus on the Ironman experience and the pursuit of excellence. We remain committed to the sport of triathlon by strengthening industry relationships and through our continued support of the national federations", says Ben Fertic, President and CEO of Ironman. World Triathlon Corporation, owners and organizers of Ironman, is a Florida-based company recognized for athletic excellence, performance and quality products. Ironman consists of two world championship event series that are fed by more than 40 qualifying events worldwide. The qualifying series includes the Ironman 70.3 events in addition to two regional championships, Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid and the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt, Germany. Each year, more than 40,000 athletes compete for slots in the Ford Ironman World Championship held every October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and the Ford Ironman World Championship 70.3 held every November in Clearwater, Florida. The Ironman brand has been featured in a range of media outlets to include NBC, CNN Headline News, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and USA Today. Source: www.transitiontimes.com
• ETHIOPIA / Addis Ababa Club Championships
With many of the bigger names forgoing the high-elevation Addis Ababa Club Championships (7-16 April 2006) in anticipation of the coming National Champs, some newcomers made their marks. Elsahdai Negash reports for the Iaaf that World Cross long course 7th-placer Mestawet Tufa may have been the favorite in the women's 5000m, but juniors 6th-placer Werkitu Ayanu surprised her senior rival as well as Belaynesh Zemedkin with a 16:00.39 win in front of Tufa's 16:02.64 and Zemedkin's 16:16.83. Then in the men's equivalent, African champion Maregu Zewdie looked to have the race sewn up in the final lap, when overtaken by Dereje Tadesse and Sahle Warga. Tadesse claimed the 14:18.80 victory, with Warga second in 14:19.12 and Zewdie third in 14:19.78. Derebe Alemu assumed the women's 10,000m lead, only to find herself passed by Prisons teammate Genet Teka, the pair timed in 34:55.29 and 35:02.10 ahead of Abebu Gela's 35:36.85. The men's 25 lapper featured perennial World Cross team member Tessema Abshiro, who paceset for some of Haile Gebrselassie's recent half marathon world record effort at "Rock'n'Roll Arizona" in Phoenix. Abshiro won in 29:30.59, with Abebe Hunde second in 29:30.89, and Chala Leme third in 29:32.04. Reprinted with permission from "Running Stats" (www.runningstats.com)
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