ON YOUR MARKS — April

Multi-event legends Jackie Joyner-Kersee & Rafer Johnson were on hand at UCLA for the annual meet named in their honor. (BILL LEUNG)

211 LAPS OF FUN: The annual indoor marathon at New York City’s Armory produced a “World Record” on April 13. Former Arizona Stater C.J. Albertson ran 2:17:59.4, a little more than a minute slower than his road best. The women’s winner, Stephanie Pezzullo, did not score a record with her 2:42:11.3…

Olympic hurdle champ Dawn Harper-Nelson kept her promise to have a baby after retirement, giving birth to a girl, Harper Renee, in mid-April…

Feyisa Lelisa, who was self-exiled from Ethiopia after his political protest at the finish of the Rio Olympic marathon, was given a $17,000 reward from the Ethiopian government for his silver medal. He has been home since October…

With the IAAF reversing itself on the 30-second limit for trials in the field events, USATF has pushed through an emergency amendment to its own rules to also go back to the more popular 60-second limit…

Russia’s State Duma is close to passing a bill criminalizing athletic doping. The fine will be all of about $770…

Jay Balaban is the newest board member for the USATF Foundation. He’s the CEO of Connected Apparel, a women’s dress brand…

China banned three runners for life after they were implicated in cheating schemes at the Boston Marathon. One allowed someone else to run with his bib number while the other two falsified their entry standards…

In a related note, China is reportedly using facial-recognition technology to battle road race cheating…

The world’s largest ever exhibition of track & field memorabilia will be on display in Doha’s largest mall for 6 months, culminating with the end of the World Championships in October. The display is part of IAAF’s Heritage program.

May 9 has been set as that date that Japanese residents can apply for tickets to the ’20 Olympics. The lottery will run for 19 days, with results announced a month later. International sales will begin June 14, the same day as a law banning the resale of tickets. The most expensive tickets, outside of the opening and closing ceremonies, are for athletics, with the top rate being $1100…

Brent McFarlane, Canada’s 2000 Olympic coach and a noted authority on the hurdles, has died at 70…

Munich is bidding to host the ’22 European Championships…

Geneva is planning on packing the sprinters in. The reconstruction of the track will include 12 (yes, twelve) straightaway lanes…

Jessica Davis, the ’11 Pac-12 200m champ for USC, is now on the U.S. national bobsled team…

King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, home of the Van Damme Memorial, has been saved from the wrecking ball as had been planned. The Belgian football union reached an agreement with the organizers of the DL meet to instead renovate the stadium and keep the track…

WADA is planning to introduce a new method of blood testing for doping prior to the ’20 Olympics. Instead of drawing blood from a vein—the current procedure—the new method involves a much less invasive finger prick and as little as a few spots of dried blood can be tested effectively…

Of mice and men… and running: New research seems to indicate that human endurance capabilities are related to a mutation that caused the effective loss of an endurance-inhibiting gene called CMAH some 2-3 million years ago. When the active gene is blocked in mice, they apparently become serious distance runners…

A Paris city councillor has called for a referendum on whether to cancel the ’24 Olympics to be held in that city. Paris ’24 organizers have dismissed the move, which was based on a survey that claims 62% of the locals want the Games canceled. Organizers have pointed out that other polls show the opposite result and that most French are in strong support of hosting the Games…

Dr. Sherif el-Refee, a medical expert from the United Arab Emirates speaking in support of the IAAF position on the Semenya case, has suggested the introduction of a third sex into athletics, to accommodate female athletes with high testosterone counts…

Yuki Kawauchi, the ’18 Boston Marathon champ, has inked a sponsorship with Yamaha’s music division. Apparently the incessant marathoner (he now has 92 to his name) was an avid pianist before he took up running. □

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