ON YOUR MARKS — January

USTFCCCA’s ’21 Bowerman Awards went to Athing Mu of Texas A&M and JuVaughn Harrison of LSU. (ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE)

BUT SHE WON’T QUADRUPLE WILL SHE? Triple Olympic track medalist Sifan Hassan says, “I want to run a marathon a year before the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.”…

Athing Mu says she may be interested in a 400/800 double at the next Games, something a woman has never before triumphed in. She also expressed interest in trying the 400H…

A trio of marathoners no longer with the Hoka stable: Scott Fauble (2:09:42) and Rory Linkletter (2:12:52) have changed coaches and moved on. Sid Vaughn (2:14:28) didn’t get his contract renewed…

What was once the Nike Oregon Project finally has a new name. Pete Julian’s training group now goes by the appellation, “Union Athletics Club.”…

Usain Bolt may finally get his chance to play cricket. The sprint legend’s oft-expressed desire to pursue what he calls his first love has been noted by an Indian sports channel that is sponsoring a T20 league that will likely play in the Middle East, where cricket is growing in popularity…

World javelin champ Neeraj Chopra is planning a 90-day training bloc at the Chula Vista Center in preparation for the Worlds…



Another C19 wrinkle. High jump gold medalist Mariya Lasitskene (and other Russians) may miss indoor competitions in Germany. “The fact is that in Germany not only Russian vaccines against coronavirus are not recognized, but even a negative PCR test does not suit them. They need people to be vaccinated with vaccines that are officially recognized in Germany,” agent Olga Nazarova told TASS…

Monica Chirchir, has died of colon cancer at age 23. The runner-up in the ’19 Kenyan Championships 10,000, she had a PR of 32:28.32 at altitude…

James Butler, 41, assistant cross country coach at New Mexico, died of cancer in December 3 in Albuquerque. He had previously coached at UMKC…

Hungary’s Róbert Fazekas, the WC discus silver medalist in ’03, recently received a heart transplant…

LSU’s JuVaughn Harrison and Texas A&M’s Athing Mu were named winners of USTFCCCA’s Bowerman Awards as the year’s outstanding collegians. The other men’s finalists were Cole Hocker of Oregon and Turner Washington of Arizona State and the women’s were Tyra Gittens of A&M and Tara Davis of Texas…

A GoFundMe started in October by Shelby Houlihan to help cover her legal fees apparently raised only some $15,000 by the end of the year; the fundraising goal had been set at $300K…

More trouble for American coach Rana Reider (“Last Lap,” December), as UK Athletics has confirmed he was investigated for allegedly having an affair with an 18-year-old British athlete he was coaching at the time. His contract with UKA was terminated afterwards…

Paris ’24 is in position to win the race of being the first Olympics with flying taxis, with Airbus leading the project to have electric vehicles with vertical takeoff ready in time for the Games…

May’s Diamond League meet in Birmingham will also be used as a test event for this summer’s Commonwealth Games…

The mayor of Budapest is now greenlighting the ’23 World Championships. His approval had been on hold until the Hungarian government guaranteed healthcare subsidies and put a halt to the transfer of land that had been promised for student housing to a controversial Chinese university…

The Los Angeles ’28 Games have cleared an important organizational hurdle, as a city council committee approved the agreement with LA2028. The organizers assured the city that over half of the projected revenue for the Games has already been contracted…

Glasgow has been announced as the host of the ’24 World Indoor Championships…

Britain’s 800 silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson says, “Currently, I am just an 800m runner but today we have the perspective of trying to get my 400 down as low as we can. But then everyone says to me that I should do a 1500m and I may end up being a 1500m runner, but that can wait.”…

Ana Peleteiro, the Tokyo bronze medalist in the triple jump, has a significant barrier on her bucket list for ’22. “I have not reached the ceiling and I have bigger goals. The first barrier that I would like to break is 15m [49-2½]. They are very close.”…

WA is looking to create a new body, the Independent Research Ethics Committee, to support research in sports science and sports medicine…

Erriyon Knighton wants to make the Worlds podium in ’22, and make a relay team as well. But he says he’s not done with the Junior level yet: “I’d also love to compete at the World U20 Championships in Cali. I feel like I missed an opportunity by not being in Nairobi this year.”…

A WA investigation of cyber-abuse found that among 161 Twitter accounts of ’21 Olympians found hundreds of examples of abuse targeted at athletes, many of them racial and sexual in nature. Females were the targets of 87% of the abuse…

In the era of faster shoes, it’s only logical that the OT Marathon standards would be beefed up for ’24. Men’s standards have been set at 2:18:00 and 1:03:00 (half), each of them a minute faster than in ’20. Women’s standards took a bigger jump, to 2:37:00 (from 2:45:00) and 1:12:00 (from 1:13:00)…

Super shoes may have impacted the marathon heavily, but according to commentator Toni Reavis, they did not increase the number of sub-2:10 (men) or sub-2:27:05 (women) — the numbers being equivalent on the WA scoring tables. This year saw 249 men’s races under 2:10, second to the record 293 in ’19. There were 139 women’s performances under 2:27:05, short of that year’s record of 189…

In light of recent complaints about body fat testing in the Oregon women’s program, the university has now prohibited programs from requiring such tests. Athletes can still request them, but reporting of individual results to coaches is not permitted.

A metal mile marker from the first Olympic marathon has emerged after a runner in England found it at the bottom of a pile at a rummage sale. The 18-mile marker has been donated to the AIMS marathon exhibit in the Berlin Sports Museum…

WADA’s Athlete Committee will be expanded after governance reforms were announced by the organization in late November. Membership will grow from 12 to 20 with 5 being selected by the IOC and International Paralympic Committee…

The course for the ’24 Olympic marathon has been amended to create better shared usage of Games sites as well as better highlight Paris scenery. The marathon will start at Hôtel de Ville, city hall since 1357, and finish at Les Invalides, the iconic museum complex…

With longtime head Jim Spier retiring this year, the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation has posted the position of executive director…

Swedish decathlete Fredrik Samuelsson has initiated a letter-writing campaign to get WA and the EA to reconsider field sizes for the multis. More than 40 athletes competed in each multi in the ’08 Olympics. That number has steadily declined to the 24 this summer in Tokyo. Indoors, multi-eventers at international championships are limited to 12…

Japan-based Kenyan Michael Githae won the Fukuoka Marathon in a PR 2:07:51, a feat notable because he will be the final winner recorded in the 75-year annals of the historic event, which began in 1947 and for years was the de facto “world championships” of the 26-miler. The men’s-only race has been recognized by WA as one of the world’s 6 oldest races; it is being cancelled because of loss of sponsors as well as high TV production costs…

We all knew that the NCAA’s new name/image/likeness rules would funnel more money to college athletes, at least in the big money sports. How much is still hard to say. “It is the wild, wild West,” says Todd Berry of the American Football Coaches Association. “Did anyone expect anything different?” Deals are mushrooming nationwide, and while pay-to-play is a no-no, one Texas group is offering football players $50,000 a year for charitable work…

World champion long jumper Tajay Gayle, also a 10.18 dashman, says, “Well it’s official, I’ll be running the 100m next season. Sigh… didn’t wanna to do this to the sprinters but oh well.”

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