A look at some of the latest athletics news from the world of the sport, including additions to the Dubai Marathon women’s field and results including a 1.94m high jump by Mariya Kuchina

Melkamu and Demise for Dubai Marathon

Ethiopians Meselech Melkamu and Shure Demise have signed up for the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 20, informs IAAF.

Melkamu finished third in last year’s race before winning in Hamburg and Amsterdam.

“I want to reach times in the marathon that are as good as the results I achieved in the 10,000m,” said Melkamu, whose 2:21:01 PB dates back to her debut in the Frankfurt Marathon in 2012.

Demise finished fourth in this race two years ago in an unofficial world junior record of 2:20:59 and has since won the Toronto Marathon twice.

Other names in the field include fellow Ethiopians Tadelech Bekele (2:22:51 PB) and Yebrqual Melese (2:23:23 PB).

No Worlds for Bekele

Respected Italian long distance coach Renato Canova has said Kenenisa Bekele will not race at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, informs Alberto Stretti.

“This is absolutely not in the plans of Kenenisa. It would be complete nonsense: what will it add to the career and image of Kenenisa if he had the world record and won London in April?” he said.

However, Canova is dubious as to whether Bekele will beat the world record in Dubai.

USATF Running Circuit

An increased prize purse and a new host city highlight the 2017 USATF Running Circuit (USARC) schedule, informs USATF.

The 2017 USATF Running Circuit boasts more than $742,000 in prize money for the  best distance athletes in the country. USATF athletes also will have the opportunity to qualify for various Team USA events.

The 2017 season includes stops in USARC mainstays such as Jacksonville, Des Moines, Grand Rapids, Atlanta, New Haven and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Added for the 2017 USARC season is Sacramento, which also will host the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships.

The New Haven Road Race (20 km) is celebrating the quarter-century mark as a USARC host, while the Gate River Run (15 km) and Fifth Third River Bank Run (25 km) are just behind New Haven with 24 years of USARC championships. The Fifth Third River Bank Run is also celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017.

Kuchina 1.94m in Chelyabinsk

Reigning world high jump champion Mariya Kuchina opened the indoor season with a good performance, clearing 1.94m to win at the second stage of the Russian Indoor Tour, the Lukashevich and Seryodkin Memorial.

The 2013 world champion Svetlana Shkolina returned into the field after a long period of injuries and cleared 1.88m for third place. Runner-up Svetlana Nikolenko went over 1.91m (in and out PB).

In the men’s high jump, London Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov topped the competition with 2.30m over Aleksey Dmitrik and Dmitriy Semyonov (both 2.25m).

Timur Morgunov was best in the men’s pole vault with a meet record and PB-equalling clearance of 5.80m. He also tried to break the Russian under-23 record that stands from 1992 (Maksim Tarasov, 5.82m), but all his attempts at 5.85m were unsuccessful.

In the women’s event Mariya Zakharutkina cleared a 4.40m PB over Olga Mullina and Anastasiya Sadovnikova (both 4.30m).

Kuchina eyes international competition

After opening the season with a 1.94m clearance, Russia’s world high jump champion Mariya Kuchina said that she expected to show a stronger result, but a five-month competitions break had an impact on her first performance.

Kuchina plans to compete at every Russian Indoor Tour meeting where women’s high jump is scheduled.

She also hopes to receive the IAAF’s permission to compete internationally soon.

Fundraising at Chicago Marathon

More than 10,000 runners taking part in last year’s Chicago Marathon raised $16.9 million through the event’s charity programme, informs organisers.

Since the charity programme was officially established in 2002, more than 106,000 runners have raised over $167 million for local, national and global causes.

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