A look at some of the latest athletics news from around the world, including comments from Usain Bolt on his training and a change to the Diamond League points system
Combined eventers and relays announced for Portland
World record-holder Ashton Eaton is the standout name in confirmed list of heptathlon participants at the World Indoors next week in Portland.
He will go for a third gold in a row. Ukrainian Oleksiy Kasyanov has world indoor silver from the 2012 edition. The rest of the field is not as experienced in global podium positions. The second US participant is Curtis Beach, two German athletes are Mathias Brugger and Tim Nowak, from Czech Republic is Adam Sebastian Helcelet, from France Jeremy Lelievre, from Sweden Petter Oslon, from Portugal Samuel Remedios and from Spain Jorge Urena, who has the best score so far this year of all the participants.
The remaining participants are African record-holder Algerian Larbi Bourrada and Beijing decathlon eighth-placer Kurt Felix from Grenada.
World silver medallist from Beijing Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada is also the top favourite like her husband, but she will have it tougher as Ukrainian Anastasiya Mokhnyuk leads the 2016 lists with good quality 4745 score.
From the Worlds top 10 only one more athlete is confirmed, the Hungarian Gyorgyi Zsivoczky-Farkas. Another medal contender is another Ukrainian athlete, Alina Fyodorova.
Also in action are Britain’s double world junior champion Morgan Lake, US talent Kendell Williams, Makeba Alcide from St. Lucia, Czech Katerina Cachova, Canada’s Georgia Ellenwood, USA’s Barbara Nwaba, Germany’s Celina Leffler and Jamaican Salcia Slack.
The 4x400m relays also now have confirmed entries with eight men’s teams and six women’s.
The women’s event will be a straight final with top favourite USA along with Jamaica, Nigeria and three European teams: Poland, Romania and Ukraine. From Sopot 2014, medallist Great Britain is missing.
The men’s event only has one European team but it is strong, the Belgium team comprising three Borlee brothers. Also to mention not only the USA but Jamaica, Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago. From Africa is Nigeria and South Africa, outsiders are the team from Guyana. Again, Sopot medallist Great Britain is not sending a team.
Bolt pleased with training
“Training is going very well, my coach is happy that I am working hard and I am feeling good. Everything has been going smoothly and I am really happy with how things are coming together,” Usain Bolt said after the official launch of the Racers Grand Prix at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
Bolt will have several races before he participates in his club’s Grand Prix.
“He will definitely compete in May, but as to the actual date and time I am not able to say (right now) as there are a number of options still available,” his coach Glen Mills commented.
Diamond League points system changed
The IAAF Diamond League scoring system will be changed for the 2016 season. The points system will go from top three (4-2-1) to top six (10-6-4-3-2-1).
With more points up for grabs this season, more athletes will find themselves in the running for Diamond Race glory.
Canada team for Portland
Athletics Canada has named fourteen athletes for the Portland World Indoors.
Headliners are pole vault world champion Shawn Barber, Brianne Theisen-Eaton in the women’s pentathlon and bronze medalist from Sopot in the 1500m, Nicole Sifuentes.
Another medal contender is Tim Nedow for the shot put.
Also in the team are Mobolade Ajomale in the 60m, Philip Osei in the 400m and two runners for 3000m Mohammed Ahmed with Cameron Levins. Crystal Emmanuel is in the 60m, Angela Whyte for the hurdles, the second pentathlete is Georgia Ellenwood, second in the 1500m is Gabriella Stafford and a duo for the 3000m is Jessica O’Connell and Sheila Reid.
Jaysuma Saidy Ndure convicted of domestic violence
Norwegian 100m record-holder Jaysuma Saidy Ndure has been sentenced to 75 days in prison after being convicted of domestic violence, reports AP.
He was also ordered to pay 30,000 kroner in damages to his ex-girlfriend.
Ndure is said to be appealing the ruling.
Ana Claudia Lemos tests positive
Brazilian 100m and 200m record-holder Ana Claudia Lemos has tested positive for the anabolic steroid oxandrolone, the Brazil Anti-Doping organisation has informed.
Lemos has asked for B-sample analysis, agencies are reporting.
The sprinter improved last year to 11.01 in the 100m and her area record in the 200m is 22.48 from 2011.
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