International athletics news round-up including results from the world pole vault champion’s season opener, details on Vivian Cheruiyot’s Olympic hopes and Joe Kovacs’ plans to miss the indoor season

Barber opens with 5.88m

Pole vault world champion Shawn Barber opened his indoor campaign at a meet in Texas with 5.88m. The Canadian also attempted 6.00m. In the second half of January he is expected at indoor meetings in Europe for his first pro indoor season.

Demi Payne went over 4.52m from a short run-up.

Kovacs no indoor season

Shot put world champion Joe Kovacs will not compete during the indoor season, he confirmed to EME NEWS.

“I will prepare for the outdoor season,” said the eighth best shot putter of all-time with his 22.56m from last year.

That means the top two from the Beijing World Championships will both not be in Portland at the World Indoor Championships as also Germany’s David Storl is missing the winter competition.

Cheruiyot targets Rio double

World 10,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot is aiming to win the 5,000m and 10,000m double at Rio 2016, reports Xinhua.

The 32-year-old Kenyan, who won the double at the 2011 World Championships, still has to get approval from Athletics Kenya to do both events.

“My shape is improving every day and I know I have the capacity to hold out any challenge,” said Cheruiyot.

Beejay Lee joins Altis

The Altis training group has announced the arrival of sub-10 second 100m sprinter Beejay Lee. The US athlete finished fouth in the 200m and sixth in the 100m at last year’s US Championships. His PBs are 6.61, 9.99 and 20.11.

Lee was also a member of the gold medal-winning USA 4x100m quartet at the 2015 Pan Am Games.

His arrival comes shortly after Canadian world medallist Andre De Grasse joined the Phoenix-based group.

Three former winners for Dubai Marathon

The Dubai Marathon on January 22 will feature three former female champions. Joining 2013 champion Tirfi Tsegaye in the line-up are fellow Ethiopians Mamitu Daska and Mula Seboka, who won the race in 2010 and 2014 respectively.

Daska didn’t race over the marathon distance in 2015, but performed well at shorter distances; she was the runner-up at the RAK half-marathon in the third fastest time of the year, won the All Africa Games half-marathon title and placed eighth at the world cross-country.

Tsegaye had a very good 2015, placing third at the London Marathon and eighth at the World Championships. Seboka was the fastest marathoner of the three in 2015, running 2:21:56 for sixth in Dubai.

On the men’s side, Ethiopians Ayele Abshero and Tsegaye Kebede have been confirmed.

Jonathan Davies among nominees for European Athlete of the Month

Voting is underway to decide the European Athletes of the Month for December. Individual European cross-country champions Jonathan Davies of Great Britain (U23), Yemaneberhan Crippa of Italy (junior) and Ali Kaya of Turkey (senior) are among the male candidates. Also on the list are Spanish runner Carles Castillejo and Spanish walker Alvaro Martin.

The women’s candidates include the three individual European cross-country champions: Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany (junior), Louise Carton of Belgium (U23) and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands (senior). Also making the list is Brussels CrossCup champion Fionnuala McCormack of Ireland and young Finnish vaulter Wilma Murto, who set a European Youth best last month.

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