Category Archives: Press Releases

Tsegaye Mekonnen

Mekonnen, Feleke chase rare Ethiopian win in BMW Frankfurt Marathon

Kenyan runners have dominated the men’s race of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon for more than a decade. The past twelve champions of Germany’s oldest city marathon have all come from Kenya.

However this win streak will be tested to the limits and it could well be the Ethiopians who finally make the headlines again this autumn. 30 years ago Frankfurt’s sole Ethiopian male winner in the history of the race, Dereje Nedi, ran a course record of 2:11:18.

Back in 1984 this was a first-class performance and a record that stood for 13 years. Organisers today announced that two highly regarded Ethiopians will compete in the BMW Frankfurt Marathon on 26th October: Tsegaye Mekonnen and Getu Feleke. The women’s race will also feature a world-class runner from this country, Aberu Kebede.

Around 15,000 runners are expected to take part in the BMW Frankfurt Marathon with online race entry still available. The 33rd edition of the event is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.

It was Tsegaye Mekonnen who stunned the world of road running early in the year, when he smashed the unofficial world junior record in his debut at the distance. Winning the highly competitive Dubai Marathon in January with a time of 2:04:32 he became the eleventh fastest marathon runner ever at the age of just 18.

The way he ran away from top-class contenders in the final stages of the race suggests that there is much more to come from Tsegaye Mekonnen.

“I could have run faster, but all of us in the leading group lost some energy during the first part of the race. This was because the pace changed so often. It seemed that the pacemaker was doing some kind of fartlek,” said Tsegaye Mekonnen who turned 19 in the meantime.

With a more even pace expected in Frankfurt he hopes to break the Ethiopian record of 2:03:59. The current national record holder is superstar Haile Gebrselassie, who Mekonnen describes as his idol.

With a sub 2:04 time targeted the course record of Wilson Kipsang, who ran 2:03:42 in 2011, would be within reach. The Kenyan is also the world record holder with 2:03:23 and the current world leader with 2:04:29 – just three seconds faster than Mekonnen’s time from Dubai.

Such fast times would not deter Getu Feleke. Coming back from health problems which stopped him for almost a year in 2013 he clocked an amazing course record of 2:05:41 in the Vienna City Marathon this April despite some stomach problems.

With this time the 27 year-old is the seventh fastest marathon runner in the world this year. Feleke’s PB stands at 2:04:50. But he hopes for much faster times.

“My dream is to break the world record. I train very hard for this,” said Feleke after his Vienna victory, where he smashed the course record by more than a minute.

Aberu Kebede will be among the favourites when she comes to Frankfurt. There was much more Ethiopian success in the women’s race in the past few years.

In 2012 Meselech Melkamu established the present course record of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon with 2:21:01. The aim is now to push that mark to below 2:20. Kebede has already come very close to that barrier of women’s marathon running.

Just 24 years old she is a two time Berlin Marathon champion and also won major marathons in Rotterdam and Tokyo. Kebede ran her personal best of 2:20:30 in Berlin in 2012 and clocked sub 2:25 times on eight occasions.

Information and online entry is available at: www.bmw-frankfurt-marathon.com. Note: Tsegaye Mekonnen winning the Dubai Marathon in January Photo by: www.photorun.net

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

Birell Prague Grand Prix 10k Report

Geoffrey Ronoh upstages Geoffrey Mutai and breaks course record in Birell  wins women’s title

Geoffrey Ronoh is fast making a reputation as the man to challenge and beat the cream of the distance running world.

The Kenyan countered every move that his compatriot Geoffrey Mutai made to win the Birell Prague Grand Prix in warm, humid conditions on Saturday evening, smashing the course record with 27:28, the second fastest time in the world this year.

Mutai, preparing for the defence of his New York Marathon title in early November, finished four seconds behind in 27:32 and Nicholas Bor was third in 27:38. It was a high quality race in general with six men breaking 28 minutes.

Coretti Jepkoech also ran a course record and a personal best to win the women’s title in 31:05, the second fastest time in the world this year. Her fellow Kenyan Esther Chemtai finished a distant second in 31:51 and Flomena Chepchirchir was third in 32:30, all fine runs in testing conditions.

The Birell Prague Grand Prix is an IAAF Gold Label race, the highest category in road racing.

When the mayor of Prague, Tomas Hudecek, fired the starting gun at 7.30pm to set 5,500 runners on their way from Wenceslas Square, Geoffrey Mutai and Geoffrey Ronoh wasted little time in transforming the race into their own duel. Mutai, the world’s fastest marathon runner, pushed the pace, looking lighter in his stride than the tall Ronoh.

The temperature gauge showed 21 degrees Celsius with humidity at 85 percent but the pair maintained the intense pace, Mutai taking the lead with Ronoh in his tracks as 5 km was passed in 13:19, inside world record pace. Mutai sensed this might take its toll.

“Yes, it was good but the humidity was going up and that made it difficult so when I saw the time, I slowed a little, then we pushed again.”

Ronoh, revealing perhaps inexperience in only his fourth international race, admitted he wasn’t aware that they were on world record schedule.

“It didn’t feel tough, it was excellent pace. Yes, it was humid but I train at midday so am used to it and also to counter-attack.”

His cool calculation worked a treat with 22 minutes on the clock. For the first time the orange vest of Ronoh was in front by a couple of metres and the gap grew as they charged uphill across one of Prague’s many bridges.

The advantage was three seconds and Mutai never looked like closing the deficit.

Ronoh slowed a fraction to celebrate in the home straight but then glanced round and realised that Mutai was still coming. A step on the accelerator and he was across the line, winning his first official 10k in a highly impressive 27:28, the second fastest time in the world this year and a course record by six seconds.

What fresh fields can Geoffrey Ronoh conquer? In response, he gave a diplomatic answer which still served as a warning to every marathon contender. “I’ll shall talk with my manager and follow his advice. I believe that with good training I can beat anyone in any road race and the marathon.”

Running 27:32 for second place was still a fine run in the light of Geoffrey Mutai’s marathon ambitions in New York. Half-an-hour after crossing the line, the sweat was still dripping off his forehead as he reflected.

“To run this time gives me confidence that my training is going well. It’s good to have such a strong athlete to push you.”

Correti Jepkoech didn’t need much pressure from her rivals after she drew away from fellow Kenyan Esther Chemtai over the second half. The 20-year-old ran with impressive style, never faltering as she led the entire race to win in 31:05.

“I had been training well and knew my form was good.”

That brief assessment was spot on. Jepkoech finished 55 seconds inside the course record from the inaugural women’s race last year, set by her stablemate Josephine Chepkoech. The latter went on to win the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon for good measure.

The duo’s manager recommended Correti to the elite race organiser, Jana Moberly, for this year. The next race in the RunCzech series is next weekend, September 14, so history might well be pointing to a double success if Jepkoech slips on her racing shoes next Sunday.

Results with bib numbers:

Men:
1. Geoffrey Ronoh KEN / 10 27:28 pb, course record
2. Geoffrey Mutai KEN / 1 27:32
3. Nicholas Bor KEN / 9 27:38 pb
4. Simon Cheprot KEN / 7 27:41 pb
5. Richard Mengich KEN / 25 27:48
6. Kenneth Kipkemoi KEN / 5 27:56
7. Geoffrey Kusuro KEN / 16 28:13
8 Polat Kemboi Arikan TUR / 3 28:30

Women:
1. Correti Jepkoech KEN / F3 31:05 pb, course record
2. Esther Chemtai KEN / F2 31:51
3. Flomena Chepchirchir KEN / F16 32:30
4. Helah Kiprop KEN / F1 32:33
5. Lucy Liavoga KEN / F9 33:12 pb
6. Natalya Popkova RUS / F5 33:25
7. Jen Rhines USA / F17 33:31

More information about the Birell Prague Grand Prix can be found online: www.runczech.com

Please Note: Photos by Birell Prague Grand Prix.

To send email correction or further classifications, please shoot us an email at lcummings [at] world-track.org.
Devon Allen on the Way to Victory in the Hurdles at the 2014 USATF Championships: PHOTO by Shannon Digital Imaging

Oregon Freshman Hurdler Devon Allen Wins USATF’s Athlete of the Week

Visit Shannon Digital Imaging For More Photos

INDIANAPOLIS — University of Oregon freshman hurdler Devon Allen wins USATF’s Athlete of the Week after capturing the 110 meter hurdles title in a stunning upset at the US Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, California, on Sunday, June 29.

Battling temperatures reaching into the 90’s and getting up to 120 degrees on the track at Hornet Stadium on the campus of Sacramento State, Allen (Phoenix, Arizona) finished with a wind-aided 13.16 (13.155) to hold off a stacked field that included defending US champion Ryan Wilson (13.160) and defending world champion David Oliver (13.23).

“I knew I was going to run fast in this league,” Allen said. “I am pretty excited about it. I did not know I finished first when I crossed the finish line, until they announced it.

“Things started clicking in practice, feeling better, and going through things and running faster.”

Allen also won the NCAA Outdoor Championship in the men’s 100mH in June, also running a 13.16. The wide receiver for the Ducks football team is the first person since Renaldo Nehemiah in 1979 to win both the NCAA and USA championships.

Other top performers from the week include:

Inika McPherson (Port Arthur, Texas), swept the 2014 U.S. high jump titles with her mark of 2.00m/6-6.75. She also won the USATF Indoor crown (1.91m/6-3.25) earlier this year and set a new personal best and stadium record. She now holds the world best for a woman to jump over her head as she cleared 37 cm above her height (5’4”).

Everett Capelle (Laguna Beach, California), broke the 7-8 boy’s 1500-meter national record (5:11.00) with his time of 5:09.44 at the USATF Youth Outdoor Championships.

Lena Giger (Highland, Illinois), won the 17-18 women’s hammer throw at Bloomington with a throw of 55.80m/183-01, defeating her next closest opponent by an almost unimaginable 30 feet, breaking the 2012 mark of 54.30m/178-1.75.

Francena McCorory (Hampton, Virginia), ran a world-leading and lifetime-best 49.48 to win the 400 meter over American record-holder and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross. That mark makes her the fifth-fastest woman in U.S. history.

Now in its 13th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2014 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 22, Galen Rupp; January 29, Galen Rupp; February 5, Alexa Efraimson; February 12, Mike Rutt; Feb. 19, Bernard Lagat; Feb. 26,Sharon Day-Monroe; March 3, David Torrence; March 13, Francena McCorory; March 19, Irene Obera; March 26, Duane Solomon; April 2, Maria Michta; April 7, Noah Lyles; April 14, Kendell Williams; April 21, Meb Keflezighi; April 28, Kristi Castlin; May 7, Maria Michta; May 14, Erik Kynard; May 21, Emma Coburn; May 28, Brenda Martinez; June 2, Galen Rupp; June 9, Tori Bowie; June 16, Trayvon Bromell; June 23, Charles Austin; June 30, Devon Allen.

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

Universal Sports to stream World Junior Championships LIVE coverage

Los Angeles - Universal Sports Network will air 13 hours of premier track & field action from the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Ore., from Wednesday, July 23 through Sunday, July 27.

The biennial International meet provides track and field athletes and fans a chance to look into the future of the sport.

Universal Sports’ exclusive LIVE coverage from July 23-27 includes that day’s evening session along with daily analysis and news updates by commentator Ato Boldon from historic Hayward Field. In addition, universalsports.com will stream all events LIVE to authenticated users along with posting video highlights and news from the event.

The 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Ore. will be the largest IAAF event ever contested on U.S. soil. A total of 177 national federations, from Algeria to Zimbabwe, have expressed their intent to compete at the six-day track and field meet where more than 1,750 athletes under the age of 20 are expected to participate. Member federations, including USA Track & Field, have until July 7 to submit their list of final entries for the IAAF World Junior Championships.

Past competitors who have gone on to achieve success at the senior level include Usain BoltAllyson FelixSanya Richards-RossLaShawn Merritt and Kirani James. History has shown that many IAAF World Junior Championship athletes have become gold medalists at the IAAF World Championships and Olympic Games, and are often record breakers as well.

During the week of the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, TV providers DIRECTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, BendBroadband and CenturyLink Prism will offer free previews of Universal Sports Network. To find Universal Sports in your channel lineup, please visit universalsports.com.

Universal Sports Network 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships Broadcast Schedule:

All times ET – Schedule subject to change

Wed., Jul. 23     

10 p.m.-12 a.m. ET LIVE

Events: Women’s Hammer Throw, Women’s Long Jump, Women’s 5000m, Women’s and Men’s 100m

Thur., Jul. 24     

9 p.m.-12 a.m. ET LIVE

Events: Women’s Pole Vault, Men’s Shot Put, Men’s Long Jump, Women’s Javelin, Men’s 110m Hurdles, Men’s 400m, Women’s 800m, Women’s 3000m, Men’s 1500

Fri., Jul. 25         

9 p.m.-12 a.m. ET LIVE

Events: Men’s Hammer Throw, Men’s High Jump, Women’s Shot Put, Men’s 400m Hurdles, Women’s Discus, Women’s and Men’s 200m, Women’s 400m, Men’s 5000m

Sat., Jul. 26        

6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ET LIVE

Events: Men’s Pole Vault, Women’s Triple Jump, Men’s Discus, Women’s 400m Hurdles, Women’s 3000m SC, Women’s and Men’s 4x100m Relay

Sun., Jul. 27       

6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET LIVE

Events: Women’s High Jump, Men’s Triple Jump, Women’s 100m Hurdles, Men’s Javelin, Men’s 3000m SC, Women’s 1500m, Men’s 800m, Women’s and Men’s 4x400m Relay

ABOUT UNIVERSAL SPORTS NETWORK

Universal Sports Network, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, is the premier multi-platform media destination for Olympic-related sports programming in the United States.  Offering more than 1,200 hours of original programming each year, Universal Sports has exclusive rights to world and national championship events in a wide array of sports, including swimming, track and field, gymnastics, cycling, skiing, figure skating and rugby. Whether on television, online, or on the go with mobile and tablet applications, Universal Sports offers a four-screen experience to fans of global sports every day of the year. For more information, please visit universalsports.com.

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

NYRR Millrose Games Tickets Now on Sale

New York - Veteran New York Times’ sportswriter Bill Miller best hold on to his hat this February as the NYRR Millrose Games approaches.

Having covered the Millrose Games since the 1930s, Miller called the 2013 edition “one of the best ever.” But now – with a new and even faster Mondo surface on The Armory’s famed oval – the 107th running might well become just “the best ever.”

And if you want to be there for the excitement of this NYRR Millrose Games on Sat., Feb. 15, you are encouraged to act quickly. Tickets go on sale today (Mon., Dec. 2) at noon.

Fans are urged to visit http://www.NYRRMillroseGames.org to purchase tickets. Further questions can answered by calling The Armory at (212) 923-1803 ext. 7200.

The Games have attracted the top professional, college and high school track & field athletes for more than 100 years, but the intimacy of The Armory has heightened the experience for fans and athletes since the event moved Uptown in 2012. The 2014 NYRR Millrose Games will begin at noon and conclude at 6:30 pm, featuring the prime time window from 3 pm to 5 pm.

Last year’s Games saw more than 65 records broken, including nine national records from five countries and four national high school records (two each from new professional Mary Cain and NCAA cross country champ Edward Cheserek). American records were established by Bernard LagatAlysia Montano and Erik Sowinski while teen superstarAjee Wilson broke her own World Junior record in the 600-meter run.

The Armory and New York Road Runners will be making a series of announcements in regards to participants and other important events related to the NYRR Millrose Games in the near future.

About the NYRR Millrose Games

Since its inception in 1908 at a local armory, the NYRR Millrose Games is one of track and field’s most prestigious annual events. A New York City sports staple, the meet moved to New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory in Washington Heights in 2012 after having called the Madison Square Garden home from 1914 to 2011. The Games – established by employees of Wanamaker’s Department Store – annually feature track & field’s most prolific male and female stars as well as collegiate and high school competitors. More than 200 athletes share the distinction of being both Millrose and Olympic Champions. For more: Please visit www.NYRRMillroseGames.com.

About NYRR

Founded in 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization, whose mission is to help and inspire people through running. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, youth initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to run for life. NYRR’s premier event, the TCS New York City Marathon, features 50,000 participants, from the world’s elite athletes to a wide range of recreational and charity runners, and is part of the World Marathon Majors, an alliance of the world’s six biggest marathons that determines each year’s top male and top female marathoner. For more: Please visit www.nyrr.org.

 

About The Armory Foundation

The Armory is a New York City non-profit institution, with the mission of “Keeping Kids on Track.” Each season the Armory – the proud home of the NYRR Millrose Games - hosts more than 100 track & field meets and welcomes more than 125,000 individual athletes. Besides its many youth sports and educational programs, the Armory runs the Hispanic Games, the New Balance Games, New Balance Nationals Indoors and the Armory Collegiate Invitational, the largest indoor college meet. The Armory is also the home to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. For more: Please visit www.ArmoryTrack.com.

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