ON YOUR MARKS — December

With a World Champs 100 Wild Card, look for super-vet sprinter Justin Gatlin to run more 200s next year. (GIANCARLO COLOMBO/PHOTO RUN)

Gatlin’s Plan For 2019

We might be seeing more of Justin Gatlin in the 200 next season, according to his new coach Gary Evans, who also works with Bahamian 400 star Steven Gardiner and Jamaican hurdler Omar McLeod. “We have the golden ticket, the automatic bid for the 100 so we are going to focus mostly on 200s outdoors to get him stronger for the top end of his 100,” says Evans. “We’ll be off and on with races. We are not going to go out there and chase everybody that is out there, like he was 28.” Gatlin will turn 37 in February…

You know the competition is tough when you set an American Record and don’t rank No. 1 in your even—or make the Top 10 in AOY voting—and that’s just what happened to 3 U.S. women in ’18: Tori Franklin (triple jump), Courtney Frerichs (steeple) & Gwen Berry (hammer)…

Churandy Martina is another who feels he can outsprint Father Time. Now 34, the Dutch sprinter says, “People think I’m getting older, but I just feel very young, I’m 29 forever. I know I can go even faster.”…

Russia’s Darya Klishina, silver medalist in the WC long jump last year, is now being coached by new Hall Of Famer Dwight Phillips…

Young German distance star Konstanze Klosterhalfen has moved to Oregon where she is being coached by Pete Julian of the Nike Oregon Project…

Not following Kentucky coach Edrick Floréal to Texas, Sydney McLaughlin has announced she will be coached by Olympic 100H gold medalist Joanna Hayes. Hayes has stepped down as an assistant coach at USC, although she will remain with the Trojans as a volunteer coach as she embarks on a career of working with pros.

Fewer Medals For The Home Team?

The IAAF has decided to eliminate the men’s 10,000 for the next World Juniors (U20), scheduled for ’20 in Nairobi. Instead, they’ll run the 3000 & 5000, as the women do. Some distance fans are concerned that this is just a step in eliminating the 25-lapper at the Senior level…

In the adding-events department, The IAAF has submitted a request to the IOC to include the women’s 50K walk in the Tokyo Olympics…

Sprinter/long jumper Tianna Bartoletta will not compete this indoor season…

Stanford’s NCAA javelin runner-up, Jenna Gray, has been named a first team All-America in volleyball, another national title just won by the Cardinal…

Katie Mackey was happy with her win at the USATF National Club XC Champs, the second national title of her career (the first was the ’17 road mile), saying, “Cross country is all about racing. Today was like a game. After all, sport is play.”…

Hurdle king Sergey Shubenkov is preparing for his next career already. He recently defended his masters thesis on planning training cycles for world-class hurdlers. He says, “It’s too early for me to work with high-class athletes. First I have to start with children as a coach.”…

Oregon’s athletic department has been placed on 2 years probation after violations were investigated in several sports. The track program has to vacate any records set while an athlete competed though ineligible. The Ducks are appealing the track penalty.

Bid Catching

Munich is hoping to host the ’22 European Championships…

Poland is putting forth a bid to host the ’24 Euros in Chorzów. Other candidate nations are Belarus (Minsk), Finland (Tampere) & Sweden (Gothenburg). The decision will be made in ’20…

Australia is bidding to host the ’21 World Cross Country Championships…



Victoria, British Columbia, is bidding on hosting the ’20 Pan-Am Cross Country Cup with an eye toward hosting the World XC in ’23…

Russia’s Anna Alminova, who tested positive and lost her ’09 Euro Indoor gold in the 1500, has been appointed a regional minister of sport & youth policy…

A proposal to change IAAF Rule 163.4—the rule that was cited in the many lane-infringement DQs at last year’s World Indoor—has not been accepted. Instead the IAAF Council is asking for more information, leaving the rule unchanged for now…

With Zürich getting a dedicated soccer stadium for its two most prominent clubs,the legendary Letzigrund—home of the Weltklasse meet—will face fewer scheduling conflicts and be able to host more grassroots track events…

The December death of legendary jazz singer Nancy Wilson has a track connection. She was the older sister of high jumper Tony Wilson, who was an SEC champion for Tennessee. He died at 21 of a brain hemorrhage in ’73. The Vols named their annual team MVP awards after him…

The president of the Latvian federation, former Olympic 4th-place long jumper Ineta Radēviča, resigned after it was announced that she has failed a doping retest of London ’12 samples.

Braveheart Redux

Political strife at UK Athletics has apparently led to Scottish officials writing to European Athletics to ask for athletic independence…

The IAAF has hired London-based agency Fifty Digital to fire up its digital and social media offerings. The firm replaces Haymarket, the originator of SPIKES, whose contract expired last year…

Nevada will be adding men’s cross country in the 2019–20 school year, while discontinuing support of its rifle program…

The IAAF got its Athletes Of The Year half right: Eliud Kipchoge (also our No. 1) and Caterine Ibargüen (our No. 5). Our women’s AOY, Caster Semenya, made the IAAF’s original list of 10 nominees, but wasn’t included in the 5 finalists…

On December 13, Italian half-beard jumper Gianmarco Tamberi flew over a “World Record” 8-¾ (2.46) in Verona—with the help of a gymnastics jumping board. It happened as part of the entertainment for a company that manufactures socks and leggings…

France’s Jimmy Gressier took finishline theatrics in an interesting new direction with his victory in the European U23 XC. Planning to slide across the muddy finishline on his knees, he dropped to his knees just before the tape, proudly holding a flag in each hand, and slid for a short way before hitting a snag that caused him to flop forward, taking down the finish banner with his face. He came up smiling and said, “I’m very happy to win for a second time.”


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