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Track & Field

Track & Field (373)

By Dave Hunter (July 30, 2017)
In the wide-sweeping mosaic of collegiate track & field, there definitely are recognized pockets of event excellence. When you think about high jump proficiency, you think of Cliff Rovelto's program at Kansas State. The 400 meters? Well, Baylor's Clyde Hart and his one-lap thoroughbreds led by Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner certainly come to mind. Top flight hurdling encourages many to reflect upon South Carolina's Curtis Frye and his prodigies Lashinda Demus and Terrence Trammell. And terrific sprinting and horizontal jumping immediately prompt thoughts of Florida's Mike "Mouse" Holloway and his legion of dash men and sky pilots at the University of Flight.
Well there may be a new university poised to join this fraternity of event excellence. The University of Akron - with 5 NCAA pole vault championships since 2014 - is making quite a name for itself in this vertical jump and is increasingly being recognized as an incubator of collegiate pole vault superiority. Canadian Olympian Shawn Barber kicked off the current streak when he captured the 2014 NCAA indoor vault crown. German athlete Annika Roloff followed suit for the Zips when she was victorious in the 2014 NCAA outdoor championship vault. Barber kept it rolling in 2015 - his storybook year - when he successfully defended his NCAA indoor title, captured its outdoor vault crown, and later won the world championship pole vault gold medal in Beijing.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has extended World Championships invitations to Olympic hammer throwers Kibwé Johnson and Rudy Winkler, as well as Team USATF rising stars Alex Young in the men’s hammer throw and Ariana Ince in the women’s javelin throw. All athletes have accepted and will compete in London early next month.
Johnson, who with the invitation has made his fourth IAAF World Championships team, is a two-time Olympian with a season’s best of 74.32m/243-10. Johnson is a two-time Pan American Games gold medalist and five-time USATF champion.
The 2016 Olympic Trials gold medalist in the men’s hammer throw, Winkler won the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships crown to become Cornell’s first NCAA throws champion. The 2016 and 2017 USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Men's Field Athlete of the Year, Winkler is a three-time First Team All-American and competed for Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he finished 18th.
Young is a two-time USATF Champion in 2017, winning the men’s weight throw and men’s hammer throw at the USATF Indoor and Outdoor Championships this year. Young recently finished his collegiate eligibility at Southeastern Louisiana University and his personal best of 73.75m/241-11 came from USATF Outdoors in Sacramento this year.
Ince was the runner-up at the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships and finished eighth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the women’s javelin. Ince is now a volunteer assistant coach at her alma mater, Rice University, and holds a personal best of 61.38m/201-4 from earlier this month.
Team USATF opens up competition on August 4 at Olympic Stadium in London. Fans can follow along with #TeamUSATF at #London2017 on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
Friday, 28 July 2017 19:32

Spikes Skype Bot is launched

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SPIKES, the official Skype Bot for the world of international track and field athletics, is launched today to mark ‘One Week To Go’ to the start of the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (4-13 August).

INDIANAPOLIS -- After her record-breaking 800m performance at Monaco Diamond League on Friday, 2016 Rio Olympian and World Indoor silver medalist Ajee’ Wilson is awarded USATF Athlete of the Week honors.

Leeds Beckett University, in cooperation with the IAAF, will carry out the biggest biomechanics research project ever conducted in athletics during next month’s IAAF World Championships London 2017.

Reigning 200m world champion Dafne Schippers will go head-to-head with Britain’s finest sprinters in a post-world championship celebration showdown at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham on Sunday 20 August.

From our friends at RunBlogRun, here are some deep thoughts from Stuart Weir on the Monaco DL, and how it adds to the excitement of the buildup to the London 2017 World Championships, August 4-13.
Winners and Losers
If an athlete wins gold at the World Championships, no one will remember a bad Diamond League performance. And projecting forward it is important not to rule someone out of World Championship contention on the back of a poor result in Lausanne or Monaco.
Now ignoring the caveat, what can we learn about London from what happened in Monaco?
Kori Carter (USA, women's 400H) is in the form of her life. She ran a sub 53 PR in the US Trials and then won the race in Monaco.
Mariya Lasitskene (Russian high jumper but competing as a neutral in London) cleared 2.05 in Monaco and looks untouchable.
Hellen Obiri (Kenya, 5000m) is another athlete in the form of her life, winning the 3000m in Monaco and races everywhere else you can mention.
Wayde Van Niekerk (South Africa 400 - or anything from 100 to 800!) won in Monaco and talked without arrogance about when, rather than if, he would go sub 43.
Renaud Lavillenie (France, pole vault) is one of my favourite athletes. He is the only one you can compare to Bolt for the way he can reduce an arena to silent concentration when he is about to jump. In Monaco he failed at 5.82 and the days when he was always threatening six metres have been few and far-between recently.
Asbel Kiprop (Kenya 1500) came to Monaco in July 2016 not having lost a 1500m race for a year. He was beaten that night, finished out of the medals in Rio and since then little has gone right. In Monaco this week he finished 11th.
Of course, both might turn it around in the next two weeks - but for both the customary swagger and sense of being in control looks to have vanished.
There are so many races in London that I can't wait for:
Can Mo Farah retain his 5000m and 10000m titles?
Can Elaine Thompson dominate the 100m and the 200m like she did in Rio?
The men's 100m
Can Christian Taylor not only retain his world title but also get beyond Jonathan Edwards' 22 year old world record?
To that list I am adding the women's 800m. Can either Francine Niyonsaba or Ajee' Wilson who pushed Caster Semanya so hard in Monaco actually beat her in London?
If Only
Skarika Nelvis (USA, 100H) looks to be in the form of her life. She won the Diamond League race in Lausanne and lost to Kendra Harrison in Monaco only by a hundredth of a second in a photo finish. But Nelvis failed to make the US team for London.
But with all this happening, I think I am going to enjoy the IAAF World Championships in London next month.
By Alfonz Juck on July 23, 2017 
Wlodarczyk 80.79 WL
BIALYSTOK (POL, Jul 23): Anita Wlodarczyk won hammer during last day of Polish Championships with World leading 80.79 m, it is her 5th best ever and 6th competition in total over 80 meters. Malwina Kopron behind her improved to 75.11 and third Joanna Fiodorow 73.82. In men shot put Michal Haratyk won with 21.53 personal best clearly over Konrad Bukowiecki 20.21. Piotr Lisek improved is outdoor PB to 585 to win the pole vault ahead of Pawel Wojciechowski 570. Sylwester Bednarek cleared 230 in high jump and Karol Zalewski won the 200 m in 20.69 (+0.7). Damian Czykier topped 110 m hurdles in 13.44 (+0.2) and Anna Kielbasinska was the best in women 200 m 23.27 (-0.7). Adam Kszczot in his first race at 1500 m since 2010 clocked PB 3:38.31 and clearly beat national record holder Marcin Lewandowski 3:41.82. Sofia Ennaoui won tactical women 1500 m in 4:16.56.
RunBlogRun opines: One of the biggest lines of of bs in televised sports is the lack of coverage of the hammer throw. And the biggest line is the the lack of coverage of Anita Wlodarczyk. The night after the Doha DL, I was one of about thirty people, including three security guards, to watch Anita Wlodarczyk give a hammer demo in Doha, Quatar. To the IAAF's credit, they put together an impressive field in the hammer, but, due to safety issues, put the hammer the night after the DL meeting.
Anita Wlodarczyk is one of the finest athletes, male or female in the world. Her domination of the hammer throw is an impressive as Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, or Elaine Thompson. The lack of understanding of the event is what hurts it, and the fouls scare the hell out of people. But mind you, put Tim Hutchings, Dwight Stones and Larry Rawson together, all three with different skills, to provide coverage of the discipline, give it some terrestrial TV and bring in a sponsor (Stanley Tools-suggested years ago by some real track fans), and the hammer could be cool. Hell, it should be cool. Anita Wlodardczyk is the hammer goddess. Watch her throw six times in a competition and you will be fixated on the hammer.

It was as the men’s 400m field exited the final bend in last Friday night’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco that a tantalising glimpse of the Post-Bolt athletics world was revealed.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Four reigning World champions and eight 2016 Olympic individual gold medalists will lead 132 athletes on the Team USATF roster for the 2017 IAAF World Championships, held August 4-13 in London, England. Representing the U.S. in the delegation announced Monday by USA Track & Field are 77 Olympians, including 13 Olympic medalists from 2012 who will return to London Stadium for another chance at the podium.Overall, 39 World Championships and/or Olympic medalists are part of the Team USATF roster.