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Greg Rutherford inducted into England Athletics hall of fame

The England Athletics hall of fame class of 2021 held its celebration was staged on Saturday (23) at the NEC in Birmingham that saw the 2012 Olympic long jump gold medallist’s achievements recognized.

The Hall of Fame included:

Greg Rutherford

won the Olympic gold in 2012; he took Commonwealth gold wearing England colours in Glasgow 2014 and also earned European and world titles during his brilliant career.

Paul Nihill

The European champion and Olympic silver medallist from the 1960s died 10 months ago from coronavirus and was a legendary race walker.

Cherry Alexander

The European Athletics vice president was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2019 for her contribution to athletics.

 Tony Jarrett

World silver medallist in the sprint hurdles in 1993 and 1995; he won Commonwealth titles in 1990 and 1998 and currently coaches the next generation.

Sheila Sherwood

1970 Commonwealth games long jump champion and 1968 Olympic silver medallist. Altogether she competed in three Olympics.

Lloyd Cowan

The former hurdler found his true calling as a coach and guided, among others, Christine Ohuruogu, Andy Turner and his son Dwayne.

Verona Elder

Multiple European indoor 400m champion and also won 400m silver and 4x400m golds at the Commonwealth Games.

Jason Gardener

Won the world indoor 60m title in 2004, four European indoor 60m golds and was part of the Olympic 4x100m winning team in 2004.

Italy furious after world’s fastest man excluded from 2021 Athlete of the year list

The Italian Olympic movement is furious over the exclusion of sprinter Marcell Jacobs from the nominees list for male athlete of the year by World Athletics, with a senior official calling it “a lack of respect” and “profoundly wrong.”

The sport’s governing body announced a list of 10 nominees for the prestigious award but found no room for the only man to win two golds on the track at the Tokyo Olympics. Jacobs was the surprise Olympic champion in the 100 metres – the signature event of track and field – and also helped Italy to gold in the 4×100 relay.

“It’s profoundly wrong,” Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò said Friday, a day after the nominees were announced. “We’re very upset.”

Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi, who tied for Olympic gold with Mutaz Barshim in his event moments before Jacobs won the 100, also failed to make the cut. Malagò said the omissions amount to “a lack of respect toward our two athletes.”

The 10 nominees are Joshua Cheptegei, Ryan Crouser, Mondo Duplantis, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Eliud Kipchoge, Pedro Pichardo, Daniel Stahl, Miltiadis Tentoglou, Damian Warner and Karsten Warholm. The nominees were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of World Athletics. The winner will be announced in December.

Jacobs, also won the 60 meters at the European Indoor championships in March, did not compete after the Olympics, when he withdrew from his remaining Diamond League events to recover from a knee injury. “As always, the World Athletics Awards will recognise athletes who have performed at the highest level across the year, taking into account not only the Olympic Games, but the one-day meeting circuits,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said.


Olympic sprint star shot and killed in Ecuador

Olympic sprinter Alex Quinonez has been killed in his home city of Guayaquil.

The death was confirmed by Roberto Ibáñez, president of the Guayas Sports Federation, through his social media account twitter.

“My heart is totally shattered, I can’t find words to describe the emptiness I feel,” said Ibáñez.

“Rest in peace dear Alex, I will miss you all my life.”

The Ecuador Olympic Committee would his passing also.

According to reports Quinonez, 32, was shot dead by unknown persons on Friday alongside a friend, outside a shopping centre in Colinas de la Florida, in Guayaquil. A police investigation into the tragedy is currently ongoing.

The Ecuadorian sprinter competed in 100m and 200m.

At the London 2012 Olympics, he clocked a national record of 20.28 seconds in the heats and went on to finish seventh in the final.

Quinonez won broze at the 2019 World Championships in Qatar, behind Noah Lyles of the United States, and Andre De Grasse of Canada.


UK Athletics CEO Joanna Coates and performance director Sara Symington resign

UK Athletics has plummeted to a new low with the dramatic resignations of CEO Joanna Coates and performance director Sara Symington.

Coates walked out of the crisis-hit organisation following her participation in a fiery board meeting on Wednesday. Coates, the former chief of England Netball, departs after less than two tumultuous years in the post. Following her appointment in March 2020, her reign has been plagued by in-fighting and characterised by unpopular decisions.

Symington, a former Team GB cyclist who competed at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, was appointed even more recently, in August 2020, and returns to her former sport. She takes over a newly-created role as head of the Olympic and Paralympic Programme for the Great Britain Cycling Team (GBCT).

Mark Munro, current UK Athletics development director, will take over as interim CEO for six months and will work with the board to start the recruitment process for both roles.

UK Athletics chair Ian Beattie said: “I’d like to thank Jo and Sara for their work during their time at UK Athletics and I wish them both all the best for the future.”

Mo Farah dropped from funding by UK Athletics

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has been left off funding by the British Athletics Olympic Programme.

Farah was included on the Olympic World Class Programme funding in 2020, which British Athletics rolled over after the Tokyo Olympics was postponed for a year by the pandemic.

But he failed to reach the Games in Japan after missing the 10,000m qualifying time in the summer.

Farah is yet to announce whether he will return or retire but, with the World and European Championships next year,

British Athletics head coach Christian Malcolm has also refused to close the door on Sir Mo Farah’s career.

He said: “I will welcome any athlete who is out there performing well. Because people have been moved off the world class performance plan doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want them to be part of the team.

“You want that competition, appetite to be back in the team and performing for their country.

“I haven’t spoken to him; we spoke on WhatsApp a couple of months ago. I’m giving him a bit of space and time but I will be in contact with him just to find out what he wants to do.

“Mo Farah is a legend of our sport and deserves to make his decision in his own time.”

Malcolm and British Athletics performance director Sara Symington have come under fire recently.

Disillusioned athletes reportedly asked Lord Seb Coe president of World Athletics to intervene last month such was their lack of confidence in the UKA performance team, but Malcolm asked for time.

He said: “I think its actions. They were good, productive conversations but it’s how we go forward and these things aren’t going to change overnight. There has to be an element of patience.

“Some of the things were warranted, they are understandable, it’s been a challenging year, but some of the other things they didn’t really know the answers to.

“We had good conversations and we intend on doing things a lot better. I just think we have come in and there have been a lot of moving parts within the organisation and, with anything, nobody really likes change do they?”

Kenya to train 10 Sri Lankan in middle and long distance running

Kenya the World long distance running ace has come forward to help Sri Lankan long and middle range distance runners after Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa’s discussion with his Kenyan counterpart, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture Amb. Amina Mohamed.

The meeting was highly successful with the aim of strengthening bilateral ties between the two nations and especially Minister Rajapaksa has focused on lifting the standard of local athletics. Both countries agreed to share their knowledge and seek expert advice from veteran athletes to lift the athletic standard.

Sri Lankan will send ten (10) local middle and long distance athletes who will receive training in Kenya end of this year or during the first quarter of the next year.

The training will help them to reach international level by providing them with comprehensive training. It will be a great opportunity for Lankan athletes to train in Kenya, a country which has dominated long distance running.

Kenya is a power house in producing producing top ranked champion athletes in Eliud Kipchoge (World Marathon record holder), Ezekiel Kemboi (3000m Steeplechase), Hellen Obiri (5000m – Women’s), Beatrice Chepkoech (World 3000m Steeplechase record holder) Brigid Kosgei(World women marathon record Holder) Faith Kipyegon (Oylumpic 1500m Champion).

10 Days to Jerusalem Marathon

The After 10th edition of the Jerusalem International Marathon will be held on 29, October 2021 at Sacher park, Jerusalem.

The marathon was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 10th Jerusalem International Winner Marathon will be held on October 29, with the participation of tens of thousands of runners from around Israel and the world.

The traditional marathon had been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic but it is back with its usual breathtaking scenery, which integrates a challenge to the runners and spectacular landscapes that tell the story of Jerusalem throughout the city’s 3,000 years:

The Israel Museum, the Supreme Court, the seat of Israel’s presidency, the walls of the old city and the Armenian Quarter, the Tower of David, the Khan theater, the Sultan’s Pool and more.

In the previous marathon, which took place in 2019, 4,400 runners participated from 76 countries around the world. A 25% increase in the number of participants from abroad. Many are expected to come due to the fact that Israel is spearheading the fight against COVID-19.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion expressed this by stating that “the return of the marathon excites and thrills us all. It is without a doubt the biggest sporting event to be held after a prolonged period of waiting and recuperating.”

The men’s marathon since its inception in 2010 has been won seven times by Kenya’s two times by Ethiopians. In women category Kenya has won five times with Ethiopian taking it four times.

The race course record in men’s division is 2:16.09 that was set in 2014 by Ronald Kurgat and women course record is 2:38.24 that was set by Joan Kigen in 2016.

The marathon will be held in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health in effect on the day of the race. It will feature six different races: Full marathon (42.2 km); half marathon (21.1 km); 10 km, 5 km; family race (1.7 km), and community race (800 meters).

UK Athletics names only 17 athletes on top-level funding for next Olympics

UK ATHLETICS has announced its list of athletes who will receive potentially career-defining funding as the summer Olympics scheduled for Paris in 2024 heave into view.

Among them is Keely Hodgkinson, who has been offered top level funding on the British Athletics Olympic world class programme.

The 19-year-old won 800m silver at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer, smashing Kelly Holmes’s British record, which had stood since 1995, by almost a second.

In March she became the youngest British winner at the European Athletics Indoor Championships for more than half a century and the youngest ever 800m European indoor champion, despite not being on full funding.

Performance director Sara Symington said: “As we start the Paris cycle, and longer-term Los Angeles 2028, we made a number of informed decisions in regard to the world-class programme membership that aligns with our strategic priorities.

“We will work closely with the 67 athlete-and-coach pairings that we are offering membership to, and will look to add support and value in their journey via their individual athlete plan,” she droned.

“The selection process is robust and lengthy and we use a lot of data which is complemented by the knowledge of our event leads to inform the decision-making process.

“We have given careful consideration to those athletes who meet the selection criteria and performance matrix which align to the future ambitions of the world class programme.”

Josh Kerr moves up to podium-level funding after winning 1500m bronze in Japan, as do Andrew Pozzi, Jemma Reekie and Jazmin Sawyers.

Alex Bell, who came seventh in the 800m final, has been offered podium funding just two years after saying she was considering taking legal action against UK Athletics after being overlooked for funding for Tokyo.

They join Dina Asher-Smith, Laura Muir, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Adam Gemili, with just 17 athletes on top-level funding. Reece Prescod and Zharnel Hughes have been downgraded to relay funding only, despite Hughes reaching the 100m Olympic final.

Olympic finalists Lizzie Bird, Jake Heyward and Marc Scott are among the athletes to be offered membership at podium potential level. Andrew Butchart, CJ Ujah and Tom Bosworth have seen their funding cut.


Swindon Half Marathon runners angry after being given 25 per cent refunds

RUNNERS let down by the late cancellation of the Swindon Half Marathon are angry after being told they will only get a quarter of their race fee back.

The annual event was cancelled at the beginning of September – just 11 days before it was due to take place.

All entrants received an email from The Race Organiser – the company behind the event – saying that low turnout and high costs were responsible for the decision. But they were shocked to read a subsequent email which informed them they would only be getting 25 per cent of the race fee back.

Early bird entrants paid £39 or £37 – the latter if they are affiliated to a club. This email read: “Unfortunately, with such high non-negotiable contractor fees to meet, it is now clear that we’re unable to offer full refunds without compromising the future of our business and all forthcoming events.

“With remaining funds and the number of runners requesting a refund, we’re able to make an equal offer of 25 per cent of the paid entry fee to all those making a refund request.”

Angelica Morrison from Gorse Hill says that the Swindon running community isn’t happy.

“There is now bad feeling in the Swindon running community as The Race Organiser had declared the race was full but then had to cancel it because of ‘low-turnout’,” said the 53-year-old.

“The general view is that people don’t want to do it next year. They don’t want to touch this company.”

A spokesman said: “We’ve tried to be comprehensive in our direct communications to runners, so would rather continue to respond to enquiries personally rather than add further comment.”


Married couple ‘truly sorry’ after ‘cheating’ at London Marathon

A married couple have apologized after ‘cheating’ at this year’s London Marathon.

Monika Czarnecka and her husband Piotr were seen running the iconic 26.2 mile course together while wearing the same number (11250).

It was subsequently found that only Monika was registered for the event last Sunday on 3 October, with Piotr producing a fake race number in order to accompany her along the route to offer “moral support”.

The game was up after both runners posted their efforts on Strava before later deleting the entries. The couple finished in 21,697th place in a time of 4:40:58 with Monika, from Buckinghamshire, telling the Mail: “I’m truly sorry for what we’ve done and didn’t want to cause any harm.

“The supporters were amazing, and their cheering and clapping helped me finish the marathon and it hurts to think that I’ve let them down. “This was my first marathon and I needed Piotr’s support because I was worried sick that I wouldn’t be able to finish it.”

Monika Czarnecka and her husband Piotr have been accused of cheating. Photos show the pair running in vests with the same number on. PHOTO: TWITTER

While Piotr moved to accept full responsibility, adding: “It was all my idea and I take full responsibility for it. I know it’s wrong and I’m truly sorry, but I did what I did to support my wife.” A total of around 40,000 runners ran in the capital to The Mall, with a further 40,000 competing virtually.

Despite so many on the streets of London, acquiring a place can be notoriously tricky, with a record 457,861 applicants for the 2020 race, which eventually became the 2021 race due to Covid-19. Those selected at complete random are then charged £49 ($66) (UK residents) to race.

With many left disappointed for years at their bad luck, an inevitable backlash on social media followed after the controversy involving the couple. One tweet read: “I’ve had 9 rejections in 9 years. This kind of thing is incredibly frustrating. Next year is my last chance. I’m not holding out any hope.”

While another runner added: “It’s not fair if we are paying around £200 for a charity place, stressing raising £2k, and you get virtuals or fakes on course really.”

The London Marathon confirmed that an investigation is underway. A spokesperson said: “We are aware of the images that show two runners wearing identical numbers and we are investigating. “We take any incident where a participant cheats or forges numbers extremely seriously.”