Sisay Lemma targets a Vienna return and qualification for Rio

After celebrating his biggest triumph so far Sisay Lemma revealed that he only started training at the age of 17 and did so barefoot at first.

Running alone for more than 15 k the Ethiopian braved windy conditions to take the Vienna City Marathon in 2:07:31 on Sunday. His next major target will be qualification for the Rio Olympic marathon 2016.

Sisay Lemma grew up in the village Chacki which is in the Oromia region, where a large number of world-class runners come from – among them Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba.

“I heard about them when I was at school and of course I knew about Haile Gebrselassie. However I had no ambitions myself at that time to become a runner,” said Sisay Lemma, who grew up on his parents’ farm in high altitude of 3,000 metres.

“I have three sisters, but they are not running.”

“I concentrated on school first and had to help my parents with farm work. So I had 14 hour days. I did not do any sports,” recalls Sisay Lemma, who finally started running and training at the age of 17 when he was still in high school. “For the first two or three months I had no shoes, so I ran barefoot on the grass. It was no problem, but it changes your running style.”

Two-time 1,500 m World Indoor Champion Deresse Mekonnen was among his neighbours and he went to the same school. This was the runner who gave Sisay Lemma some inspiration. His first races came at the age of 19 and he then moved to Addis Abeba when he was 21. In the same year in 2012 he won the Carpi Marathon in Italy with a debut time of 2:11:58.

Sisay Lemma, who is coached by Mohamed Kila and has none of the many prominent Ethiopian marathon runners in his group, then also took the Warsaw Marathon in 2013, improving to 2:09:02. In a high-class Dubai Marathon this January Lemma achieved a fine fifth place with 2:07:06.

“I am in even better shape now than before Dubai,” he said two days before the Vienna City Marathon.

He proofed that on Sunday with victory in 2:07:31.

“Without the wind and with more competition I could have run 2:05. It was my aim to break the course record of 2:05:41,“ said Sisay Lemma.

He added: “I would really like to come back next year and try it again, because it was a great race on a great course and the support of the people was amazing.”

The next Vienna City Marathon is on 10th April 2016 – a date marked in Sisay Lemma’s diary.

With some of the prize money he earns from road racing Sisay Lemma supports his nephew.

“He started running a little bit back home, but now he lives with me in Addis Abeba. He goes to high school and for now concentrates on education. Once he finished school he will go back to Chacki and start training properly. If he does well he could return to Addis to join me,” explained the Vienna City Marathon champion.

Sisay Lemma will now target a fast autumn marathon. Most likely he will either run Berlin in September or Frankfurt in October. The 24 year-old has high ambitions: “I want to make the Rio Olympic team.”

To send email correction or further classifications, please shoot us an email at lcummings [at] world-track.org.

Watch 2015 Carifta Games Live Stream, Live Results

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (Sporting Alert) — Day two at the 2015 Carifta Games gets underway at the Silver Jubilee Stadium on Saturday with a full day’s schedule. Here here are the ways you can watch live streaming and follow live results.

Click Here For Live Streaming Coverage of the Games | Follow Live Results

The Games opened on Friday night with a mini evening schedule that included the semi-final rounds of the 400m dashes.

However, the action will hit full swing with the morning fixtures with action on the track, while the 100m and 400m titles are both up for grabs later in the afternoon session.

On today as well as is the start of the multi-events, with the girls heptathlon and boys octathlon open set to kick-start the morning session.

Jamaica’s Michael O’Hara, who won four gold medals at the just concluded Boys and Girls Champs in Kingston, last week, will look to continue his outstanding form this season when he takes the starting blocks for the 100m semis.

Meanwhile, on Friday night, Jamaica grabbed two golds and a silver medal to lead the medal table standings really early, as Akeem Kerr won the boys open pole vault and Devia Brown and Shyledeen Smith finished first and second in the Under-18 girls discus throw.

Charisma Taylor from the Bahamas won gold in the girls Under-18 triple jump with a leap of 12.01m to add to the bronze Serena Brown captured in the discus throw for the same age group.

Also up and running in the medal collection are Suriname with a silver, with Grenada and Martinique winning bronze medals on Friday night.

Akeem Bloomfield (46.98) of Jamaica and Jamal Walton (47.40) of Cayman Islands lead the way heading into the final of the Under-20 and Under-18 400m, following Friday’s semis.

Christopher Taylor of Jamaica, who ran 48.58 to win his heat in the U18, has been in good form this season and will be aiming to improve his time in the final.

DAY 2 – SATURDAY APRIL 4, 2015 – MORNING SESSION 2 
No. TIME EVENT 
109 09:00 100 Meters Hurdles Girls Open Heptathlon (1)
110 09:05 100 Meters Boys Open Octathlon (1)
111 09:10 High Jump Boys Under 20 Final – (Area 1)
112 09:15 100 Meters Girls Under 18 Heats
113 09:30 High Jump Girls Open Heptathlon (2) – (Area 2)
114 09:35 100 Meters Boys Under 18 Heats
115 09:40 Long Jump Boys Open Octathlon (2) – (Pit 1)
116 09:55 100 Meters Girls Under 20 Heats
117 10:05 Discus Boys Under 20 Final
118 10:10 Shot Put Girls Under 18 Final – (Circle 1)
119 10:15 100 Meters Boys Under 20 Heats
120 10:35 400 Meters Hurdles Girls Under 18 Semi Finals
121 10:50 400 Meters Hurdles Girls Under 20 Semi Finals
122 11:05 400 Meters Hurdles Boys Under 18 Semi Finals
123 11:20 400 Meters Hurdles Boys Under 18 Semi Finals

DAY 2 – SATURDAY APRIL 4, 2015 – EVENING SESSION 3 
No. TIME EVENT 
124 16:30 High Jump Boys Under 18 Final – (Area 1)
125 16:35 Shot Put Boys Open Octathlon (3) – (Circle 2)
126 16:40 Shot Put Girls Open Heptathlon (3) – (Circle 1)
127 16:45 100 Meters Girls Under 18 Semi Finals
128 16:50 Long Jump Girls Under 18 Final – (2 Flights, Pit 1 & 2)
129 17:00 100 Meters Boys Under 18 Semi Finals
130 17:15 100 Meters Girls Under 20 Semi Finals
131 17:30 100 Meters Boys Under 20 Semi Finals
132 17:45 1500 Meters Girls Under 18 Final
133 17:55 1500 Meters Boys Under 18 Final
134 18:00 Javelin Girls Under 18 Final – (North Sector)
135 18.05 1500 Meters Girls Under 20 Final
136 18:10 Shot Put Boys Under 18 Final – (Circle 2)
137 18:15 1500 Meters Boys Under 20 Final
138 18:30 400 Meters Girls Under 18 Final
139 18:40 400 Meters Boys Under 18 Final
140 18:45 Long Jump Girls Under 20 Final – (Pit 2)
141 18:50 400 Meters Girls Under 20 Final
142 19:00 400 Meters Boys Under 20 Final
143 19:15 400 Meters Boys Open Octathlon (4)
144 19:25 200 Meters Girls Open Heptathlon (4)
145 19:45 100 Meters Girls Under 18 Final
146 19:55 100 Meters Boys Under 18 Final
147 20:05 100 Meters Girls Under 20 Final
148 20:15 100 Meters Boys Under 20 Final

Daniel Wanjiru Wins Prague Half Marathon

Daniel Wanjiru stormed to a first major career win, when he took the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon. The 22 year-old Kenyan clocked a personal best of 59:51 with two other runners achieving times inside the hour mark. Wilfred Murgor took second in 59:57, just edging out fellow-Kenyan Leonard Komon who was given the same time.

There was an Ethiopian double triumph in the women’s event: Worknesh Degefa clocked a fine personal best of 67:14 in slightly windy conditions, winning from Yebrgual Melese who crossed the line in 68:21. Diane Nukuri of Burundi was third in 69:33.

There was great depth in both the men’s and the women’s races. Ten men ran times faster than 61 minutes and five women finished inside 70 minutes. 12,500 runners entered the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, which is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

A very fast half marathon developed as soon as Czech’s football legend Pavel Nedved started the race. While he later joined in to run a section of a relay event staged parallel to the half marathon the pacemakers led a big group of almost 20 athletes to a 10 k split time of 28:08. The leading group was on course for a 59 minute finish and even the course record of 58:47 seemed not out of reach.

However the windy conditions finally started to show on the split times. At 15 k (42:44) the projected finishing time was suddenly slightly over the hour mark.

It was between 16 and 17 k when Nicholas Bor, a Kenyan runner who competes for the Run Czech Racing team, pushed the pace. The leading group broke up and among those who could no longer follow were two prominent names: defending champion Peter Kirui and Geoffrey Ronoh, who won last year’s Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon.

Wanjiru and Murgor, who had only arrived in Prague on Friday afternoon after an arduous two day-trip from Kenya, were following Bor while Komon trailed briefly. But the world record holder at 10 and 15 k managed to close the gap.

However when Wanjiru pushed again Komon was beaten and only Murgor could hold on for another kilometre. But shortly after the 20 k mark Wanjiru’s relentless pressure finally steered him clear.

“The line-up here in Prague today was so strong that it felt like a championship race, it was really tough. I learned a lot in this race,” said Daniel Wanjiru, who was third in Prague a year ago with 59:59 and then impressed with a second place earlier this year in Ras Al Khaimah (UAE).

“This victory gives me great motivation for the future.”

After regaining second place with a few hundred metres to go, Komon then just missed out on the runner-up spot, beaten by Murgor. But he was not disappointed with his race: “This was an interesting race and a great competition.

“Everyone was really in good form. It is my first time in Prague and coming in third is fine for me.”

The women’s race was also fast with five women forming an initial leading group. Three of them then passed the 10 k point in 31:56.

Ethiopians Worknesh Degefa, Yebrgual Melese and Afera Godfay had already dropped Lucy Kabuu. The Kenyan, the fastest in the field with a PB of 66:09, had indicated before that she might not be in top shape after the loss of her fater. Kabuu finally finished in sixth place with 70:25.

Godfay was the next one who could not hold on to Degefa while Melese struggled. Shortly before the 15 k mark 24 year-old Degefa, who had won last year’s Lisbon half marathon, was all on her own. Despite improving her personal best by 35 seconds and achieving the fifth fastest time in the world this year Worknesh Degefa had hoped for more.

“My goal was to run a time between 66 and 67 minutes. But it was a hard race,” said the Ethiopian. “It was not only the tough competition but also the wind.

“And then there were sections of cobblestones which I found difficult to run on.”

Results
Men:
1. Daniel Wanjiru KEN 59:51
2. Wilfred Murgor KEN 59:57
3. Leonard Komon KEN 59:57
4. Nicholas Bor KEN 60:09
5. Adugna Takele ETH 60:26
6. Amanuel Mesel ERI 60:26
7. Teshome Mekonen ETH 60:27
8. Geoffrey Ronoh KEN 60:28
9. Felix Kandie KEN 60:42
10. Bernard Bett KEN 60:43
11. Peter Kirui KEN 61:17

Women:
1. Worknesh Degefa ETH 67:14
2. Yebrgual Melese ETH 68:21
3. Diane Nukuri BDI 69:33
4. Viola Jelagat KEN 69:42
5. Afera Godfay ETH 69:51
6. Lucy Kabuu KEN 70:25
7. Lisa Nemec CRO 70:39
8. Lineth Chepkurui KEN 72:08

To send email correction or further classifications, please shoot us an email at lcummings [at] world-track.org.

Boys and Girls 2015 Watch Champs Live Streaming at 1Spot

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Sporting Alert) — Defending champions Calabar High have emerged as the new favourites to retain the men’s title at the Jamaica High School Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, which begins at the National Stadium in Kingston, at 2:00 pm on Tuesday.

The five day championships will conclude on Saturday.

Watch Champs Live Streaming at 1Spot, who will provide premium streaming coverage. TrackAlerts.com will also carry live update of the championships. There will also be live and updated race results online at this link: Live Boys and Girls Champs 2015 Results.

At the start of last weekend the annual “Champs Preview Magazine” predicted that Kingston College (KC) would have finished ahead of Calabar by two points — with the expected top two final scores listed as 306 points for KC and C’Bar earning 304.

However, media reports have suggested that a few of KC’s big earners will not be fully fit, which could contribute to them losing points in the title chase.

It is understood that Class Two sprint star Nathaniel Bann, who was expected to contribute heavily for KC, will not feature at all as he failed to recover from a muscle injury he picked up earlier this year.

It is still unclear as to whether fellow sprint ace Jevaughn Matherson is at his best again — although his camp is reporting that he is fully fit and will compete.

“It will be a tough challenge, but it’s not beyond us and we are quite capable. I am just hoping that the boys will rise to the occasion, and in my mind it will be a close one,” KC’s head coach Neil Harrison, who is in his first season, told the Jamaica Observer.

“This Champs is going to count on the optimally rounded effort of the team.

“If you are going to win this championship, you have to come good in all the different classes and I believe we are quite capable, quite competent in all classes,” Harrison added in the paper.

Veteran Calabar coach Michael Clarke is reporting that his team is fully fit and he too is confident in the preparations done ahead of Champs.

“We are confident what our preparations have brought us thus far and we are waiting to see what it will bring us,” Clarke was quoted as saying in the Jamaica Observer.

“Our strength lies right across. We don’t have any specific areas.”

On the women’s side, meanwhile, defending champions Edwin Allen High are ready to repeat as champions with head coach Michael Dyke revealing that this year’s squad is the most balanced setup they’ve had in years.

“This is the most balanced team we have had in a long time and we will score points just about everywhere,” Dyke told the Observer.

Edwin Allen High, who rattled up over 330 points to win last year’s girls’ title very comfortably — are expected to have thing their way again this season as they seek their third title in four years and earn back-to-back crowns for the first time.

The main expected challengers are Holmwood Technical, St Jago High and Hydel, but the light blues should be too strong to handle.

Matthew Centrowitz Runs Away With Wanamaker Mile At Millrose Games

NEW YORK – Matthew Centrowitz won the men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile title in the 108th NYRR Millrose Games, but it was eight-time champion Bernard Lagat who garnered a larger spotlight and louder applause at the packed Armory New Balance Track & Field Center Saturday night.

Lagat, 40, finished fourth in the Wanamaker Mile but turned in a time of 3:54.91, a masters world record eclipsing Eamonn Coghlan’s previous mark of 3:58.15 in 1994.  Coghlan, owner of seven Wanamaker titles, was one of the first to congratulate Lagat.

“Being able to run my best and run with the young guys, to me that’s a humbling experience,” Lagat said afterward. “For people to yell `Go Kip, Go Kip,’ that really touches me and I want to show them that I can perform very well.”

“Age is just a number and I believe that …I had a lot of plans for this event. I’m leaving here knowing I achieved everything I wanted to do,” Lagat added.

Centrowitz, the 2012 Wanamaker Mile champion, battled New Zealand’s Nick Willis down the stretch. His winning time of 3:51.35 was good enough to edge Willis (3:51.46) at the finish line.

“I didn’t look behind me at all the whole race, but it definitely felt fast at the start. I wanted a faster time for myself, it wasn’t ideal for me to run an xyz, but it was my best effort. It’s a big deal for me to win a second title out of my three attempts at the Wanamaker Mile.”

Ten of the 12 men runners in the race turned in sub-4 minute mile performances, including Chris O’Hare (3:55.35) who became the 100th person to post a sub-4 minute mile at The Armory.

Two-time Olympian Shannon Rowbury continued her strong performance of late to capture the women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile with a 4:24.32 time ahead of runner-up Treniere Moser (4:27.49) and Stephanie Charnigo (4:28.02).  Defending champion Mary Cain finished eighth with a 4:31.31.

“I am disappointed,” Rowbury said. “I knew I had an American record in me today. I’d love to have another opportunity to go after it because I know I’m capable.”

The American record is 4:20.5 by Mary Decker in 1982.

Lagat wasn’t the only one to achieve a world record. Brycen Spratling established the world’s best in the 500m with a 1:00.06 time, ahead of Ken Lowery’ 1987 mark of 1:00.17.

“I didn’t know I was on pace (to break the record) honestly,’’ Spratling said. “I felt like I relaxed a little too much early on in the race. When I saw the time, I mean I looked disappointed. I really wanted to go 59 (seconds). But if that’s the best ever ran and then I just missed out, then I’m OK with it.”

Local favorite Phyllis Francis recorded a memory for the scrapbooks in her professional debut, overtaking 2012 Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross at the finish line with a 53.14 time. Richards-Ross turned in a 53.71 time.

“This is mind blowing right now,” Francis said. “I wasn’t expecting run that time. I told myself to go for it (down the stretch). If I pass out then I’ve got medics right there. So I said to myself to just go for it and I did. I’m lost for words right now.

“I’m ecstatic and happy. (Richards-Ross) is an amazing competitor. I looked up to her as a little girl and my parents told me to look at Sanya … for me to be running at that level and to be running with her is an honor,” Francis added.

To send email correction or further classifications, please shoot us an email at lcummings [at] world-track.org.