A round-up of some of the latest athletics news, including reports that Russian marathoner Liliya Shobukhova is now working as a coach
Shobukhova ends racing career
Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova has announced her retirement from competitive distance running, informs Russian news agency TASS.
“I have made a personal decision to wrap up with my sports career,” Shobukhova told TASS. “I have been coaching children since January and have no intentions now of coming back.”
Shobukhova ran 2:18:20 in the Chicago Marathon in 2011 to become the second fastest female marathon runner in history but the Russian athlete was later suspended for abnormalities in her biological passport and stripped of all results from October 9, 2009.
400m world record could be broken in 2016, says Merritt
LaShawn Merritt believes that Michael Johnson’s 400m world record of 43.18 could be broken this summer.
“This year is going to be fast, it makes the event a lot more interesting,” he said. “Is the world record in danger? I believe so, with so many athletes running in the 43 low.”
Merritt hopes a new diet and further experience will help him to challenge the likes of Wayde van Niekerk and Kirani James later this summer.
“I want to stay sharp, be ready for the US trials and always improve. I am training hard, I am on a more strict diet that I’ve ever been on and I keep learning more,” he said. “I am more passionate than ever and there’s a lot of untapped potential in me.”
With information from Doha Diamond League organisers.
McLeod surprised with 13.08
Omar McLeod didn’t expect to run 13.08 for the 110m hurdles at the Drake Relays last weekend. “I really was kind of surprised knowing that it was my season opener, and with the weather really cold and windy,” he said. “I know that it will be completely different on Friday (at the Doha Diamond League).”
Similarly, he didn’t expect to run 9.99 for 100m to become the first athlete in history to break 10-seconds for 100m and 13-seconds for the 110m hurdles.
“It was my first 100 in five or six years. I didn’t know what I was doing out there. I didn’t even know what to do in the last 20 metres. I was over-striding, and was wondering, ‘What the heck is going on?’ Because it feels so awkward when you don’t have barriers in the way,” he said.
McLeod will face team-mate Hansle Parchment and 2013 world champion David Oliver on Friday.
Switzerland Olympic selections
Swiss Olympics has confirmed Olympic Rio selection for marathon runners Tadesse Abraham, Christian Kreienbuhl and Maja Neuenschwander.
Zbaren out with injury
European under-23 champion and world 100m hurdles finalist Noemi Zbaren will miss the remainder of the season due to a cruciate ligament rupture in her left knee, according to Swiss Athletics.
Zbaren was playing basketball when she ruptured her ACL and will undergo surgery on Monday.
Germany’s Euro half-marathon team named
The German athletics federation has named a 12-strong team for the half-marathon at the European Championships in Amsterdam.
The men’s team is made up of Arne Gabius, Hendrik Pfeiffer, Manuel Stockert, Jens Nerkamp, Julian Flugel and Nico Sonnenberg, while the women’s team is comprised of Anja Scherl, Franziska Reng, Sabrina Mockenhaupt, Katharina Heinig, Anna Hahner and Melina Trankle.
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