Bolt Bids farewell to Jamaican Home crowd in Kingston after winning his last homeland race


It was dubbed ‘Salute to a Legend’ and that’s precisely what the 35,000-strong crowd did after Usain Bolt won the 100m at the Racers Grand Prix on Saturday (10).

Minutes before the fireworks lit up the clear night sky, the multiple world and Olympic champion shared centre stage with sprint relay colleagues Jevaughn Minzie and Nickel Ashmeade in a sentimental and symbolic 100m race.

Bolt, competing in his season opener and his final race in Jamaica, showed signs of race rustiness early on, allowing training partner Minzie to get a jump start. However, midway he bolted into the fray, in his inimitable way, then zoomed away from the field for a comfortable win in 10.03 (0.2).

Incidentally, Bolt’s first ever international 100m race some 10 years ago produced the same time. It was, of course, almost half a second shy of his 9.58 world record from 2009, but having missed a block of training following the death of his friend Germaine Mason, Bolt wasn’t overly concerned with what the clock said.

“It was one of my worst races,” he said. “My execution wasn’t all that great. I wasn’t worried about the time; I just wanted to compete in front of my fans.”

IAAF President Sebastian Coe attended the meeting and paid tribute to a man who will leave an incredible lasting legacy in athletics.

“I am here just to thank someone who has changed the face of our sport, and has encouraged so many young people to our sport, and the journey now has to continue,” said Coe.

“This is an extraordinary career that is coming to a close and we are very excited, of course, that that career will close fittingly in a World Championships stadium. If you look at his record, everywhere and everything that he (Bolt) has done, he has always been the best.”

On a warm night for sprinting, the international men’s 100m held earlier in the evening provided an acid test for the contenders to the soon-to-be-vacated throne of the world’s fastest man. South African record-holder Akani Simbine, who has already bettered the 10-second barrier six times this season and won at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha, found 2011 world champion Yohan Blake in a no-nonsense mood.

Blake rocketed out of the blocks and sped away from the field en route to a 9.97 (0.6m/s) victory, delighting the vociferous home crowd. Simbine took second place in 10.00 followed by Keston Bledman in 10.22.

IAAF world U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 ,only 30 days to go, venues-MISC & KU


Today marks 30 days to go until the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017, the 10th edition of the biennial event which this year takes place in the Kenyan capital.

It will also be the final edition of the championships as the IAAF will move its focus for the under-18 age group on to continental championships.

Nevertheless, the IAAF World U18 Championships has proved to be a crucial stepping stone in the development of many of our sport's stars.

At the first edition of the championships in 1999, held in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, talented teenagers such as Australia's Jana Pittman, Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva, Jamaica's Veronica Campbell, France's Ladji Doucouré, Hungary’s Krisztian Pars and Kenya's Stephen Cherono first came to international attention when they won gold medals.

All have since gone on to win at the Olympic Games or IAAF World Championships, and in some cases both.

This group subsequently became household names in their own countries and gained wider recognition beyond their national boundaries with not only specialist athletics fans, but often with the general public as well.
Winners from the following two championships are also now in their early 30s and many have already made a big impact as well.

US sprinter Allyson Felix and New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams were among the winners in 2001 while Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt lit up the 2003 edition.

Bolt had the same effect on his rivals back then that he had on his opponents at the past four IAAF World Championships and three Olympic Games, winning the 2003 world youth 200m title by more than half a second in a championship record of 20.40.

“The World Youths were a big part of my education as an athlete,” said Bolt. “They were in Canada and it was the first time I'd raced outside of the Caribbean. I remember I went there feeling confident about what I could do on the track, but it was all those other things, like food and a being in a strange city, that made me think 'It's a really big world out there’,”

Names from 2005 onwards that leap out of the list of winners include: Ekaterini Stefanidi, Dani Samuels (2005); David Storl, Christian Taylor, Darya Klishina (2007); Isiah Koech, Kirani James, Mercy Cherono, Katrina Johnson-Thompson (2009); Conseslus Kipruto, Ajee Wilson, Faith Kipyegon (2011); and Yomif Kejelcha (2013).

One thing is certain: the IAAF World U18 Championships provides a vision of the future personalities and top performers of the sport.

The geographical spread of the origins of the past winners also gives a sense of the global appeal of the championships and the sport's importance to developing generations around the world. This was the intention of former IAAF President Primo Nebiolo, the moving force behind the establishment of the championships.

“I personally campaigned hard for this new addition to the World Athletics Series because we must fight harder than ever to gain the attention of young people today,” said Nebiolo in 1999, just ahead of the first championships.

“The IAAF World Youth Championships is not just another athletics competition; it is an opportunity for youngsters to gain valuable experience, to improve personal bests and to build friendly relationships with their rivals from every corner of the world,” he added.

Even though 1999 is the date in the history books marking the first time that the IAAF World Youth Championships – as it was then known – was held, its genesis can be traced back to several years before.

Nebiolo, who witnessed first-hand his brainchild coming to fruition before sadly passing away later that year, had campaigned since the mid-1990s for such a championship at a younger age group below the IAAF World Junior Championships, which had been going strong since 1986.

“The IAAF is one of the few international sports federations which does not organise world-level competition for athletes younger than juniors,” he said in 1996, inspired in particular by the international football tournaments for younger age-group players.

The IAAF Council in March 1997 put forward a proposal to the IAAF Congress that was being held later that year, before the IAAF World Championships in Athens, for such a championship to be established. Congress then gave its seal of approval to an event for under-18 athletes.

In March 1998, the bid by Bydgoszcz to become the first host was accepted by the IAAF Council.

Completing the gestation cycle, just after 17:30 on Friday 16 July 1999, Ladji Doucouré took just 13.26 to go over 10 barriers and win the boys’ 110m hurdles gold medal and be crowned the first ever world youth champion.

“Whatever, I have done since then, winning that gold medal will always have a special place in my heart,” said the Frenchman.

After Bydgoszcz staged the inaugural championships, subsequent hosts have been: 2001 – Debrecen (Hungary), 2003 – Sherbrooke (Canada), 2005 – Marrakech (Morocco), 2007 – Ostrava (Czech Republic), 2009 – Südtirol (Italy), 2011 – Lille (France), 2013 – Donetsk (Ukraine) and 2015 – Cali (Colombia).

The success of the championships can be gauged by the fact that it started off as a three-day affair, with 1055 boys and girls from 131 of the IAAF member federations competing.

The championships have now grown to be a five-day event with record numbers being set of 1407 athletes in action at the 2013 edition and 177 nations taking part in 2005.

People of all ages and abilities round the world pledge to run on global world running day


Millions of people of all ages and abilities from more than 150 countries around the world are expected to run on Global Running Day on Wednesday (7), coming together to celebrate the power and benefits of running and fitness.

Running events and activations will be taking place from New York to New Zealand, including group runs, family fun runs, virtual and in-person races, treadmill challenges, and a host of other activities.

With a treadmill challenge world-record attempt in New York, a night run in Tokyo, a city run in Dubai and a 5km race in Tunis, all corners of the world will be participating in Global Running Day.

“Running is life and one of the core elements of athletics,” said IAAF CEO Olivier Gers. “We are delighted to unite with the worldwide running community for the second Global Running Day on June 7, motivating our 214 national member federations, our running legends and our staff members to make a pledge with the goal of together inspiring a million children to run.”

Pledging for Global Running Day and the second annual Million Kid Run remains open through June 7 on Runners of all ages and abilities can pledge to run on June 7 and add their name to the list of people from all over the world who are coming together to celebrate the sport on Global Running Day.

The second annual Million Kid Run will once again be the centrepiece of Global Running Day. The Million Kid Run is about making fitness fun and inspiring kids to embrace running as a way to get moving and stay healthy. From a school administrator pledging students, to a youth coach pledging their running team, to a parent pledging their child, kids around the world will come together to celebrate the power and benefits of running and fitness.

Last year, more than 2.5 million people from 177 countries, including nearly 700,000 kids, pledged to run 9.2 million miles on Global Running Day. This year, people are being asked to share why they are running and taking part in the day.

Running organisations and groups, individuals, school administrators, coaches, and parents can visit to pledge, explore group runs and other events happening around the world, and find information on running activities for all people of all ages and abilities.

The world is welcome to engage with Global Running Day socially by using the #GlobalRunningDay hashtag and creating a customized Global Running Day bib. Global Running Day toolkits for events, communications and social media are also available on the website.

Kenya Long Course National Championships from June 2nd-4th at Kasarani Aquatic Centre


The Kenya National Long course Swimming Championships is a long course National championship in Kenya hosted by the Kenya Swimming Federation in collaboration with Kenya School of Swimming and Otters Swimming for all qualified swimmers as one of the selection meets to various international galas.

We expect to host over 300 swimmers, team officials, coaches, family and friends from across the country and the African continent. The event will pump hundreds of thousands of shillings into the local economy and give our city the opportunity to profiles our athletes and our programs on the national stage. Many of elite Kenyan swimmers that have represented Kenya at various international meets will be present to showcase talent, expertise and motivate the next generation of swimmers. The parents will volunteer their time to run the event and deliver a great competing environment for the athletes.

Jepkosgei retains edinburg Marathon Title,kiplagat beats Kositany to win men's road race


Eddah Jepkosgei and Julius Kiplagat Korir extended Kenya’s dominance of the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday (28) by claiming comprehensive victories at the IAAF Bronze Label road race.

Kiplagat Korir emerged as the strongest among a four-strong group of his compatriots who seized control in Scotland’s capital after barely one-quarter distance.

For a long while, the current course record of 2:15:26 looked under threat but past half-way, the pace rapidly slowed.

With pre-race favourite Joel Kositany first to succumb to the windy conditions, past runner-up Japhet Koech was next to fall off the front as the race headed towards its conclusion, leaving only Stanley Kiprotich Bett left to put Kiplagat Korir under pressure.

But with four miles remaining, a decisive break came and there was no response with the 35-year-old crossing the line in 2:17:13, one minute and 56 seconds ahead of Kiprotich Bett with Koech returning to the podium in third.

“My plan was always to win the race,” Kiplagat Korir confirmed. “But I didn’t expect everyone to be so strong, especially in the opening part. The speed was pretty fast for the first 10 kilometres, moving out of the city.

“Then I had to use a lot of energy to keep going at that rate before I eventually pulled away. Once we went into the wind, we were talking about staying together to help get through it as a group.

“It was hard course with a lot of turns and long climbs. But the biggest challenge was the wind off the sea. That was not easy.”

Jepkosgei was exhausted by the finish but she looked ultra-comfortable in repeating her victory of 12 months earlier in Edinburgh in a time of 2:37:46.

Well clear from early on, the Kenyan slashed two minutes off her 2016 mark to end up with a huge margin over Belarusian Olympian Olga Dubovskaya who was making her return to the marathon following pregnancy.

“It was a very tough race with the wind en route,” Jepkosgei said. “And the second half was much more difficult. The first part I was able to feel comfortable but when we reached the coast, I was struggling to keep up at the same pace.

“But I managed it and it is nice to win again, especially with a time that is two minutes less than in 2016. I’d like to come back next year and do that again.”

In third place was the sole domestic runner to make the podium in Dianne Lauder who saved her best to last to clock 2:54:48 with last year’s runner-up Hayley Haining withdrawing mid-race due to fatigue.

“I’m pleased with the result but not the time,” the Scot said. “I had to take a few stops and my head probably was in the right place. So to come in the top three is OK in those circumstances. I felt better towards the end and started picking people off and that got me through.”

Italy’s Pasquale Roberto Rutigliano won the adjoining Edinburgh Half Marathon in 1:09:39 ahead of Patryk Gierjatowicz and Arron Larkin while Scottish veteran Avril Mason landed the women’s title in 1:19:49 by a mere eight seconds from Molly Browne.

Eliud Kiptanui Survives harsh conditions to win the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui crushed a world-class field to win the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon on Sunday (28), winning the IAAF Gold Label road race in 2:10:14.

Most noteworthy was that Kiptanui, who has a best of 2:05:21 when he finished second at the 2015 Berlin Marathon, was a late addition to the field after failing to finish the Vienna Marathon last month.

This time he ran away from Ethiopian Seboka Dibaba and his fellow Kenyan Levy Matebo in the closing three kilometres to win in 2:10:14 and earn himself CDN$40,000. The Ethiopian, trying to extend his country’s grip on this race to five consecutive victories, was no match for Kiptanui, but he fought his way back to take second place after Matebo had forged ahead temporarily.

Dibaba’s time was 2:10:31 with Matebo (2:10:38) snatching third place by one second from Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro, whose 2:10:48 in fourth place was a huge personal best and more indicative of his potential at this distance.

The temperature was 13C at the 7:00am start but with no cloud cover and no wind it rose quickly to about 18C midway through the race. Remarkably, three pacers had led a six-man pack through the half-way point in 1:03:40.

“After the pacemakers dropped out (at about 31km) I decided to push the pace,” said Kiptanui. “Then I was in a position to take the pace. I had enough energy. I knew when I was in front I had a lot of energy. I was making a decision at which place to go. That’s why I came first. I was not worried.

“The conditions were a little bit warm; that’s why we couldn't make a good time,” he added. “I had no intention of running for time, I just wanted to win. It has been a long time since I won a race.”

Kiptanui explained it was visa problems that conspired against his racing performance in Vienna. He only arrived the day before the marathon and got to 30km feeling tired and decided to save himself for another day. His decision was obviously a wise one.

“I knew the competition was strong,” he added. “You cannot ignore anyone, they must be prepared when they come here.”

Dibaba was pleased with the fact he battled back for second place and earned CDN$20,000 which is double the third place money.

“I am happy that I am second,” he said. “The weather was really nice the course was nice except there were a few hills which make you more tired.”

The women’s race became another battle of attrition with 22-year-old Ethiopian Hiwot Gebrekidan charging through the first half in 1:11:11, 20 seconds ahead of the field. Over the next half hour she extended this to about two minutes, but in the closing kilometres she withered under the heat.

With the dedicated pacemaker visibly imploring her to continue, she was running slower than 4:00 per kilometre. Her compatriot Guteni Imana pulled back the deficit and passed her in the last kilometre.

Imana crossed the line in 2:30:18 with Gebrekidan holding second place in 2:30:53.

“I was not really expecting to win this race,” Imana said. “I thought I might be second or third. I was a little bit uncomfortable with a sharp feeling in my stomach, but when I felt a little relieved I ran a faster pace.

This makes eight consecutive years the women’s race at the Ottawa Marathon has been won by an Ethiopian runner and again the top four were from the East African nation. Aberash Fayesa finished third in 2:31:27.

Defending champion Koren Jelala and 2015 winner Aberu Mekuria were among the pre-race favourites but suffered in the conditions. Mekuria finished fourth in 2:33:46 while Jelela, pointing to a pain in her back, was ninth.

Early leader Gebrekidan needed medical assistance at the finish and she was quickly whisked away for treatment. Once recovered, she was all smiles at the post-race press conference.

“It was really difficult,” she said of her second marathon, “especially the last three kilometres was really hard for me. I was not able to turn the legs, so it was very hard. The reason I am so happy is that I finished second.”

Kimetei and Jelagat break course record in karlovy vary Half Marathon,czech Republic


Both course records fell at the Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon as Kenyan duo Wilfred Kimitei and Yvonne Jelagat triumphed at the IAAF Gold Label Race on Saturday (20).

A group of eight men passed through 10km in 28:59. Kenya’s Peter Lemuya and Morocco’s Moussab Hadout fell back from the pack before the leaders passed through 15 kilometres in 43:22, paced by Timothy Kimeli.

But Kimeli decided to stay in the race and ran alongside Kimitei, Edwin Kiplagat and Evans Cheruiyot for the final few kilometres. Kimitei proved to have the stronger finish and stormed home to win in 1:00:54 as just five seconds separated the first four men to cross the finish.

Kimitei’s winning time took seven seconds off the race record with compatriots Edwin Kimutai Kiplagat and Timothy Kimeli following closely behind, sharing a time of 1:00:57.

“The race wasn’t at all easy,” said Kimitei, the African 10,000m silver medallist. “The hills were pretty tough but I kept enough strength for the finish.”

Just two athletes remained in contention before the half-way point of the women’s race as Sutume Asefa and Yvonne Jelagat reached 10km in 32:04, more than 20 seconds ahead of their nearest pursuers.

Asefa then gradually pulled away from Jelagat and the Ethiopian looked as though she was on her way to victory. But Jelagat found another gear in the final kilometre and reeled in Asefa, winning in 1:08:19 to take 48 seconds off the race record.

Asefa was second in 1:08:40, also finishing well inside the previous race record, while Kenya’s Marion Limo took third in 1:11:21.

“I’m pleased that I pulled it off and made my coach happy,” said Jelagat, whose previous best of 1:09:04 was set on her debut at the distance in Prague last month. “I had quite a lot of energy left at the end which meant I was able to speed up. When I saw Sutume was struggling, I seized the opportunity and it paid off.”

Jelagat broke the race record of Joyciline Jepkosgei who debuted here in 2016 with 1:09:07. Jepkosgei is now the world record-holder with her 1:04:52 run in Prague last month.

Although the Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon course is pretty rugged, the ‘city of colonnades’ offers plenty of opportunities to run fast. “Today we got to see just how fast Karlovy Vary can be,” said RunCzech Running League President Carlo Capalbo. “I’m delighted that the men and women have met our expectations and ran so competitively and fast.”

Organisers for the IAAF

1 Wilfred Kimitei (KEN) 1:00:54
2 Edwin Kimutai Kiplagat (KEN) 1:00:57
3 Timothy Kimeli (KEN) 1:00:57
4 Evans Cheruiyot (KEN) 1:00:59
5 Shadrack Korir Kimining (KEN) 1:01:37
6 Donald Mitei (KEN) 1:02:11
7 Moussab Hadout (MAR) 1:02:20

1 Yvonne Jelagat (KEN) 1:08:19
2 Sutume Asefa (ETH) 1:08:40
3 Marion Jepkirui Limo (KEN) 1:11:21
4 Ayantu Gemechu (ETH) 1:11:49
5 Mercy Jerotich Kibarus (KEN) 1:13:44
6 Polline Wanjiku Njeru (KEN) 1:13:51
7 Olga Kotovska (UKR) 1:14:18

Chemutai eclipses course record at gothenberg half marathon race, Sweden


Fancy Chemutai enhanced her reputation as one of the rising stars of the road racing circuit with a course record on a warm and blustery day in the Gothenburg Half Marathon on Saturday (20) in 1:07:58.

Chemutai has only raced twice internationally but the 22-year-old excelled in both races. She finished third at the Prague Half Marathon on 1 April, clocking 1:06:58 on her debut at the distance before claiming her first overseas win in Gothenburg ahead of one of the in-form athletes on the roads this year.

After a steady opening 5km split of 15:51, defending champion and course record-holder Violah Jepchumba asserted the pressure on Chemutai with a 15:32 split through 10km in 31:23. Chemutai lost contact for the first time in the eighth kilometre but fought back to level terms with her fellow Kenyan, who finished one place ahead of Chemutai at the Prague Half Marathon last month in 1:05:22.

Rocking from side to side, Jepchumba was visibly working hard and her front-running efforts seemed to be reaping their reward. She eked out another small gap just before the 15km checkpoint in 47:48 but Chemutai countered it again on the gradual incline over the Gota Alv Bridge, one of two bridges on the course.

Despite slowing markedly after an aggressive start, the course record – and the event’s first ever sub-68-minute winning time – were still in touch as they raced back through the city centre and out towards the finish-line in the Slottsskogen Stadium.

Chemutai opened up a small gap on Jepchumba through the 20km checkpoint in 1:04:31 which she duly extended on the series of small undulations in the last two kilometres to ensure her first ever international win. Chemutai broke the tape in 1:07:58 to eclipse the course record by three seconds and take the scalp of Jepchumba, who had to settle for second in 1:08:10.

Margaret Agai made it a Kenyan clean sweep in 1:09:43 with Beatrice Mutai, the older sister of Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, fourth in 1:10:14.

Geoffrey Yegon provided the first half of the Kenyan double in Gothenburg with victory in 1:00:19.

Three athletes were still in contention heading into the last kilometre but the runner-up from last year went one better this time, defeating Seoul Marathon winner Amos Kipruto (1:00:24) and Leonard Langat (1:00:33) while 2013 world cross-country champion Japheth Korir finished fifth in 1:01:39.

Defending champion and course record-holder Richard Mengich dropped out before the 15km checkpoint.

Korio and Cheptai earns Kenya an impressive double at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2017


Alex Korio and Irene Cheptai made it a Kenyan double at the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2017 race, winning at the 10th edition of this IAAF Bronze Label Road Race in 28:12 and 31:51 respectively, on Sunday (20).

Cheptai caught the eye in particular with an impressive performance that will confirm her rising status in the world of distance running and reinforce the belief that she can be among the medallists over the same distance on the track at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 this coming August.

She continued her unbeaten year, which includes a win at the World Cross Country Championships in March, with the second fastest time ever seen in the Bengaluru women’s race.

A conservative first half saw nine women pass three kilometres in 9:51 and five runners – Cheptai and her Kenyan compatriots Gladys Chesir, Helah Kiprop and Magdalyne Masai as well as Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa – were still together as the halfway point was reached in 16:19, at this stage well outside course-record pace.

However, Cheptai was looking comfortable and always to the fore during the first five kilometres and soon took matters into her own hands.

She gradually went through the gears in the seventh and eighth kilometres as her rivals one-by-one slipped away as they struggled to stay with the race favourite.

Despite being on her own at the front, her tempo didn’t drop over the final two kilometres and she crossed the line in the Sree Kanteerava Stadium just three seconds outside the course record of 31:48, set by another Kenyan runner Lucy Kabuu in 2014, after running the second half of the course in 15:32.

“I wasn’t confident at the start,” said Cheptai, partially explaining why she had not pushed the pace harder during the opening kilometres. “But from eight kilometres I grew in confidence and knew that I was going to win, and I was trying for the course record from seven kilometres.”

Degefa, the last of Cheptai’s opponents to succumb, hung on to take second place in 32:00 while the 2012 women’s winner Kiprop closed the gap on Degefa in the closing stages of the race but was third on this occasion in 32:02.

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