2008 World Indoor Championships: Holm Tops Rybakov (Again)

Story by Eric.

Yaroslav Rybakov and Stefan Holm had squared off 13 times in international championship settings since 2001, with their most memorable and hard-fought meeting taking place three years ago indoors in Madrid, Spain.

Rybakov had made every final with the exception of one, and had earned one European Indoor and one World Indoor gold; three World Outdoor, two World Indoor and one European indoor silver medals; and had also collected a bronze along the way nearer to the beginning of their rivalry at the 2002 European Indoors for a total of nine medals.

Holm had made every single World indoor/outdoor, European indoor/outdoor and Olympic final contested during the same time frame, and had taken home one more medal than had Rybakov, with six golds (three World Indoor Championships, two European Indoor Championships, and an Olympic title); three silvers and a bronze etched in history's books for his efforts .

Entering Saturday's final - and the duo's 65th career matchup against one another, Rybakov held an advantage over Holm in having the distinction of being the reigning World Indoor Champion (Moscow 2006) and possessing the heighest clearance in the world this year (2.38m).

Holm, on the other hand, had his own running tab going against the Russian - one which had the dimunitive Swede 20 wins up on his rival, including a better placing in Arnstad based on countback at 2.35m. Holm, 31, who has not had a season's best lower than 2.30m since 1997, entered Saturday evening's final with a season's best 2.37m set in Malmö.

Winning Saturday's competitition would be of financial consequence to both competitors, as $40.000 was on the line for the victor, but Holm had one more pressing reason to look forward to winning, and that was to surpass legendary jumper and fellow Swede Patrik Sjöberg's lifetime total of six international championship medals.

Sjöberg, who won the world outdoor title at the inaugural world championships in Rome in 1987, also collected four European Indoor Championships golds (1985, 1987, 1988, 1992) to add to his still-standing national indoor (2.41m) and outdoor (2.42m) records which Holm has been chasing the greater part of four years.

Holm, who has jumped more times over 2.30m than had Sjöberg -- 120-118 -- was a small man in a big event, and was simply looking for respect leading into Saturday's final.

Following an evening of spectacular jumping and gamesmanship, Holm may just have earned one more notch on Sjöberg's belt, though the lanky 43-year-old didn't pay attention to the meet, chosing instead to watch a nationally-televised hockey match.

Holm defeated Rybakov on Saturday to earn his fourth indoor title, and stated he was not congratulated by Sjöberg, though Sjöberg may have gone through Holm's agent, Daniel Wessfeldt, to say a word or two.

"He doesn't have any of my numbers," Holm stated.

One number Holm has is Rybakov's, however, and he dialled it again on Saturday to earn a very important victory in an Olympic year.

Below is a break-down of how the 45th Holm-Rybakov clash took place.


Holm opened at this height and flew over with tremendous clearance. Cuba's Victor Moya, Andra Manson from the USA, Cyprus' Kyriakos Ioannou and Jarolav Baba of the Czech Republic also cleared this height in their first attempts. Rybakov passed at this height, which left all nine jumpers still in the competition.


All nine competitors remained in the competition after making this height - one which saw Holm really inspire, with an estimated 10cm clearance over the bar. Rybakov, Manson, Moya och Baba also cleared this height on their first attempts.


Baba fouled out at this height, but Holm felt the energy in the Spanish-based crowd, and pumped his fist in the air following another excellent jump. Was he sending a message to Rybakov and company? Perhaps, but Rybakov and Moya also cleared the bar on their first attempts, with five other jumpers also clearing this height.


Holm, who had eased over this height in his eight competitions this season, found himself in desperate trouble to both stay in the game and keep his hands around the possibility of taking home the gold - and the cash after fouling on his first two attempts. Rybakov, on the other hand, took control of the competition by easily clearing the bar on his first attempt, and making one doubt if Holm had given too much too soon at both 2.23m and 2.27m. Holm regained the composure which a determined man possesses to raise the stakes, and cleared on his third and final attempt. American Manson och Cyrpriot Ioannou also joined Rybakov and Holm at this height.


Holm didn't play with fire at this height, making a good clearance on his first attempt to join Rybakov, who had continued his perfect evening by clearing this on his first attempt. After six jumps by Manson and Ioannou produced fouls and red flags, as did three unsuccessful attempts by Dragutin Topic, who passed at 2.30m, the fight for the gold took centre stage, with Rybakov holding the advantage and momentum over Holm heading up the the next height.


Rybakov fouled his first attempt, which gave Holm, who sat watching in his warm-up clothes, a very key opportunity to take the lead in the competition and drive the heights according to his plan, not Rybakov's. Holm took off his practice t-shirt, put back on his yellow uniform, and made a very valiant attempt to knock Rybakov off the leaderboard on his first attempt over this height. Holm failed...barely and fell to the mat in disgust and disappointment at himself for having lost out on that chance by a very narrow margin.

Rybakov, nearly five years Holm's junior, cleared 2.34m on his second attempt - the 19th time in his career he had successfully negotiated this standard, and left Holm making a move in this chess match to save his two remaining chances at the next height.


Rybakov fouled on his first attempt, and gave Holm another key opportunity to push himself through to forcing the Russian to either take more attempts here or save his two remaining chances for 2.38m in the event Holm cleared 2.36m. Holm had only cleared 2.36m once this season - at the national championships on 24-February, and had only cleared this height three times in the past three indoor seasons dating back to his super jump of 2.40m in Madrid.

Holm launched himself up to the bar, appeared to have the height to clear it, but he hit it on his way over. The question was only how much punishment the bar had taken by Holm's legs and if it would remain on the uprights. Holm's first-attempt effort, though not technically his best, was rewarded with a clearance, and now forced Rybakov to jump at least 2.38m in order to win.


Rybakov saved his two jumps from the previous height to make good efforts at tying his personal best, a mark which he has jumped on three previous occasions, inlcuding once this season (Moscow). Rybakov and Holm both failed on their first attempts, which left Rybakov, a man who stands at 196cm tall, one single, solitary jump to nail Holm's destiny in the championship annuals as a runner-up. Rybakov looked nervous prior to making his last attempt at tying his lifetime best mark, and was unsuccessful in clearing 2.38m a fourth time. Holm, for the fourth time in his incredible history, earned the right to be named World Indoor Champion.

Holm let out a loud roar in front of the supportive crowd - and in full view of 9 million Swedes glued to the television - and immediately asked the bar to be raised up to 2.41m - a height which is greater than his personal best and sits at exactly Sjöberg's national indoor record.


Holm moved his tape back a few centimetres in order to gain the maximum speed he would need to topple his personal best and tie both the Swedish indoor record and the European Indoor record, which Sjöberg also holds. His first run-up to the bar was excellent -- he was able to transfer his speed into an explosive jump up to the bar, but he was not able to twist his body over it on his first attempt. His second - and final after one miss at 2.38m - would also not produce the desired result of being equal with Sjöberg on paper.

So for the 14th time in the dynamic duo's history, Holm and Rybakov faced off in an international championship setting.

And, for the 43rd time against 22 losses, Holm was able to one-up his Russian counterpart and nail his spot in the history by tying Cuban Javier Sotomayor's World Indoor Championship tally of four gold medals (1989, 1993, 1995, 1999).

Now it's simply for Holm to stop believing a notion that he is, "just Stefan Holm", as he put it to Swedish newspaper Expressen. Holm states that Sjöberg is still best among the two - a fact which Sjöberg readily accepts until Holm can jump as high as Sjöberg did either indoors or outdoors.

Holm appreciates the duals with Rybakov, stating to Expressen:

"I can't say that I enjoy being in that situation - being under stress with two misses, but I am comfortable competing man-to-man like against Rybakov. He knows that if it is just he and I left in a competition, I won't give up, and that must make it very heavy for him."

Holm's indoor season concluded on Saturday, and now all that remains for him is to defend his Olympic title against Rybakov and any other takers in bragging rights for the best jumper during a four-year period. Not even Sjöberg, who had a 12-year streak at 2.30m or above, has the distinction of being called Olympic champion.

IAAF World Indoor Championships
Valencia, 2008-March-8
Men's High Jump

Final Results

1 315 Stefan Holm SWE 2.36m (fourth world indoor title)
2 292 Yaroslav Rybakov RUS 2.34m
3 72 Kyriakos Ioannou CYP 2.30m
3 349 Andra Manson USA 2.30m
5 68 Víctor Moya CUB 2.27m
6 370 Jesse Williams USA 2.27m
6 308 Dragutin Topic SRB 2.27m
8 51 Michael Mason CAN 2.27m
9 74 Jaroslav Bába CZE 2.23m

Foto credits: Aftonbladet

Jones Reports Early to Prison

Story by Eric.

Marion Jones began her six-month sentence in federal prison Friday, punishment for lying to investigators about her use of performance-enhancing drugs and her role in a check-fraud scam.

Jones turned herself in before noon at Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, the Associated Press reported.

FMC Carswell is located in the northeast corner of the Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base, in Fort Worth, approximately two hours from Jones' home in Austin.

Jones was sentenced in January to six months of confinement, and it was widely believed she would spend her time at Federal Prison Camp Bryan - a facility closer in proximity to her home than FMC Carswell.

FPC Bryan is adjacent to a mental-health prison, but Jones was not expected to spend her sentence in one - though the centre also has a lower-security unit and a women's prison camp.

Although FMC Carswell specializes in medical and mental health services, it also has inmates who do not require such care.

FMC Carswell is the only prison in the United States for the chronically ill and dying patients, and has had a mountain of allegations pour up against it for malpractice, misconduct and neglect by staff members - including doctors.

According to the prison's Mortality Review Document, 108 women died at the facility between 1995 - 2005, though autopsy reports have been difficult to obtain by family members.

Accusations of gross medical neglect, rape by prison guards, and toxic exposure for prison workers continue to pile up for the prison, which will not be a walk-in-the-park for Jones, despite her celebrity status.

Marion Jones was an age-group and high school track star, setting the U.S. prep records in the 100m and 200m before graduating from Thousand Oaks High School in Southern California, and attending the University of North Carolina on a basketball and track scholarship.

Jones never materialised as a pure track athlete, but did excel on the hardwood courts, helping lead the Tar Heels to an NCAA title her first year with the team.

Following three years of ups and downs - all exacerbated by injuries, Jones put her foot down 11 years ago - in the spring of 1997 - and dedicated herself to running track and making good of talent which was fleeting.

Jones began training with Trevor Graham shortly after her return to the sport, and, 13 weeks after their partnership began, Jones won two United States titles and qualified for the 1997 IAAF World Outdoor Championships, where she would win gold medals in the 100m and 200m dashes two months later in Athens, Greece.

Jones' rise to stardom was not without its consequence, however, as she was ultimately suspected of taking performance-enhancing drugs during her career.

Jones confessed in 2007-October to having lied to federal authorities investigating her connections to Victor Conte's BALCO laboratory as well as her association and involvement in her ex-boyfriend Tim Montgomery's check-fraud case, and received her sentencing two months ago by Federal judge Kenneth Karas.

Jones, who was not restrained to handcuffs when she checked into prison yesterday, was taken from the base's entry to the prison to be processed, have her photo identification, speak with a prison case worker about the rules, and was then likely passed off to a medical case worker who reviewed Jones' medical history and ascertained if she needed any current subscription medication.

Jones' next step would have been receiving sufficient prison-issued clothing and bedding for the duration of her stay and then being taken to the dormitory where approximately 250 women are housed.

Had Jones self-surrendered this week-end, she may have faced considerable more disadvantage and discomfort, as she would likely not have had access to the commissary, and may have had to spend up to 48 hours in a cordoned-off section of the facility meant for trouble-makers due to not having an assigned bed.

Prisoners in her unit will be awoken today at 06.00 by a mandatory prisoner count, and it will likely be then that Jones, Federal Inmate Number 84868-054, realises that all of the sites, sounds, feelings of emptiness and remorse are not simply part of a bad dream, but will become part of her routine until she is released from prison on or around 2008-September-7.

Jones may already have her approved visitor's register updated, which will enable her the opportunity to have her husband, former Olympian Obadele Thompson, and her children spend time with her today and tomorrow, though that may make enduring her first week alone there even more difficult after she separates from them on Sunday afternoon.

Until such time that Jones is released, however, she will be required to attend an orientation in the next few days, be assigned to a prison job at a rate of $0,13/hour, and will have to hope that her telephone cards are soon activated and her mail pours in.


Contact Marion Jones:

Marion Jones, 84868-054, FMC-Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Ft. Worth, TX 76127.

Friends, family and fans who would like to keep Jones up-to-date with track and field-related news and events - or other news in general, can send up to three magasines per envelope to her. Newspapers may only be sent from the publisher, and hardback books can only be received and distributed if they are from an approved company.

Listen to this news in Swedish (på svenska):

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2008 World Indoor Championships Preview: Men's High Jump (Holm vs Rybakov)

Story written by Eric.

The 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships take place in Valencia, Spain at the week-end, and there are a number of excellent match-ups track fans around the globe are eagerly awaiting.

The women's fields are loaded with superstars who make these championships worthy of their name, and the men have no lack of stars to fill the seats, either.

The second of two particular match-ups to which I am looking forward is the men’s high jump. The 800m was previewed yesterday, now the men’s high jump shall be featured before the week-end's action gets underway.

The men's high jump should light a fire under any serious athletics fan, as there exists a very good possibility that two very fiercely competitive and driven European rivals may produce a break-through mark which has eluded scores of previous champions in the past.

Though the fields are strong across the boards - including the shot put, the 3.000m and the 60m hurdles, Athletics in the News will focus specifically on four athletes among the hundreds competing whom fans should keep their eyes on as the championships unfold.

Abubaker Kaki was featured yesterday. Today you'll learn more about Stefan Holm and Yaroslav Rybakov. Tomorrow, the short series will conclude with Susanna Kallur.

So, again, sit back, enjoy the upcoming live coverage provided by a number of world media outlets and take advantage of the excellent information provided in this report.

Final: Saturday, 8-March at 17.00 CET

Saturday's high jump television coverage:

16.10 - 19.45 (Planeta Sport)
18.00-19.45 (Eurosport)
17.00-20.45 (SVT1, SVT2)

A world championship event is all about winning gold. Let no one fool you or state otherwise - despite how much fun they may have had leaping or jumping on the field or pushing oneself to the brink of exhaustion around the track. Athletes are in it for the money, and gold medals have greater worth than silver. It's simple economics: you win, you earn.

Sure, you may find a Carolina Klüft who'll tell you that winning isn't everything, only giving your best and having fun is what counts. But Klüft, the reigning World, Olympic and European heptathlon champion, hasn't lost a competition in the eight years she has been involved in the event on an international level.

Silver medals and also-ran placing matter little to athletes who live, breathe, eat and sleep around the notion of reaching the pinnacle of success, but, then again, not every world indoor championship is of the same value to all athletes, either.

But, let's forget about placing and medals for a moment and concentrate on pure gut-driven, nail-biting competition and two athletes' unrelenting drive and determination to win at all costs involved.

The first athlete is the reigning world indoor champion - and Russian. His pursuer is a small Swedish man who has the highest clearance over body length in history and has three such world indoor titles under his belt. He is also the reigning Olympic champion and on fire in an Olympic year.

Their “Superbowl” matches have inspired and awed, been thrilling and powerful. They have faced each other 64 times in their careers, with Yaroslav Rybakov taking a 1-0 advantage over Stefan Holm in their very first match-up seven years ago at an indoor invitational in Athens, Greece – 2.30m to 2.27m.

Holm has gone on to defeat the steely Russian 20 more times than he has lost, compiling a 42-22 record against Rybakov, but it is the Russian who has his name last etched in the IAAF championships annual after winning the 2006 edition in front of his home crowd in Moscow.

Rybakov has won nine world or European medals in his illustrious career, and has a personal best indoors of 2.38m set in the 2005 European Indoor Championships in Madrid.

Holm has won one more title than has his counterpart, though six of his have been gold – including three-consecutive world indoor titles (2001, 2003 and 2004). Holm has a personal best indoors of 2.40m set at the same championship event Rybakov established his best.

Together, Holm and Rybakov have been one of the best 1-2 punches this side of Tyson-Holyfield, with several heavyweight swings thrown at a magical barrier 240 centimetres above the tartan floor by both jumpers. Holm has knocked out Rybakov once at this height in a memorable competition three years ago, though Rybakov didn't do down without swinging hard.

Ok, with the hyperbole orgy now over, let’s jump straight on to this week-end’s action – of which there promises to be plenty of excitement from jump to jump from which to choose.

Two metres 40 centimetres is the magic number to keep in mind on Saturday as you watch from one of the television stations listed above, on Versus or perhaps your own local station not listed.

Only five men in the history of this sport have ever jumped that high indoors in their careers. It is a mental barrier akin to, well, jumping 2.40m indoors; there is no rival to this event.

It's rather fitting that exactly three years ago, on the sixth day of March, Stefan Holm and Yaroslav Rybakov damaged my appreciation for high jumping for the rest of time, with Holm clearing 2.40m and making it look so easy.

Holm and Rybakov were competing for status as Europe's best indoor high jumper, with Madrid chosen as the location to conclude who was, in fact, the best our continent had to offer.

Rybakov had defeated Holm in three-consecutive competitions leading up to Madrid, with victories over Holm in Göteborg (2.35m), Arnstad (2.37m) and in front of Holm's home crowd in Karlstad (2.35m) - the latter a numbing victory by five centimetres.

Rybakov opened the Madrid competition by clearing six-straight heights with first-time clearances from 2.24m to 2.36m. He looked incredibly confident and unwavering in his pursuit of victory first and higher heights second.

Rybakov's 2.36m clearance was of particular note, because Holm passed for an attempt at 2.38m and the outright lead; he had also made six-straight first-time clearances up to 2.32m, but had started the competition at a height four centimetres lower than Rybakov.

Taking an attempt at 2.38m was risky, as had Holm failed at that height along with Rybakov, Holm would have played second-fiddle yet once again to his nemesis.

Holm had never cleared 2.38m indoors or outdoors up to this point, so it was a far stretch for him. Both had first-attempt fouls and cleared on second attempt, which forced both athletes to make attempts at 2.40m in order to win.

With Holm making it over 2.38m on his second attempt (which was actually his best jump of the night – 2.40m-2.41m clearance), Rybakov, who was there to win the competition, saved his final attempt for a one-off at 2.42m. He missed, and left Holm victorious and the first athlete in 14 years to breach that incredulous standard.

American Hollis Conway was the last to reach into god-like status when he cleared 2.40m for an American record at the 1991 World Championships in Sevilla.

And so the World Championships have again returned to Spain, and, once again Stefan Holm finds himself in the form of his life yet trailing Rybakov on the world list, 2.38m to 2.37m.

They are again the talk of the inner circles within the sport, with Holm, who is retiring at the end of the summer campaign, making one last-ditch - yet well-planned - attempt at bettering the goal he has of demolishing his personal best mark.

Holm has been compared to former world record-holder Patrik Sjöberg, the current Swedish indoor and outdoor national record-holder, since he first cleared 2.30m several years ago. Holm has received mixed reviews from journalists and fans around the world as to which of the two high jump sensations - jumping in different eras - is the best in Swedish history.

Sjöberg, competing against Sotomajor, the current world record-holder, cleared 2.30m or higher in 118 lifetime competitions. Holm, whose greatest rival is Rybakov – a man who has never cleared higher than his in-season lifetime best of 2.38m, has bettered that mark by two, breaking the record in winning the GE Galan two weeks ago in Stockholm.

Behind Holm is the second Russian qualifier into the meet, Andrey Tereshin, who placed second two years ago with a 2.35m clearance – a mark equal to Rybakov, but one set on count-back.

Tereshin hasn't made international headlines this season, nor has he taken up much space on today's preview.

However, the 1.96m tall Russian has jumped 2.35m, 2.36m, and 2.35m the last three seasons, respectively, and won the 2006 national Russian indoor championships as well (2.36m personal best).

Tereshin has competed in only three international indoor championships in his career, finishing eighth in the aforementioned 2005 European Championships; second in the 2006 World Championships and seventh in last year's European Championships.

Though gaining great exposure to championship competitions, Tereshin has only cleared 2.30m once this season. It appears as though his medal opportunities will be limited to fighting with Kyriakos Ioannou of Cyrus, the Osaka silver medallist, for bronze.

Ioannou has found good form with a 2.32m credit to his name this season.

The best wish one could make is to look into a magic ball and see into the future at what Saturday evening’s competition will deliver. The foregone conclusion is that is impossible, however, so it’s best to let the athletes competing for gold – and that is all that matters in their eyes – play chess and attempt to force one another to make moves which expose their weaknesses and exclude them from higher heights.

It appears from experience that the incredible standard of 2.40m will has a greater chance of remaining elusive than it does of being breached, but, in the spirit of true, gritty competition, anything can – and sometimes does – happen.

Stefan Holm would like to ensure his last indoor competition of his life nets a result higher than 2.41m, for though will he earn the right to be considered best in the world, and, best in our own country; he’s rather certain it will take 2.40m to win, and he’s got the better overall record as well as championship record against anyone in the field – including the defending champion.


2006 World Indoor Champion: Yaroslav Rybakov, RUS, 2.37m
WR 2.43m Javier Sotomajor (CUB) - Budapest, 1989-03-04

World Indoor Leaders in the High Jump 2008:

2.38m, Yaroslav Rybakov, RUS.
2.37m, Stefan Holm, SWE.
2.37m, Andrey Silnov, RUS.
2.36m, Andrey Ukhov, RUS.
2.36m, Andrey Tereshin, RUS.

2006 IAAF Indoor World Championships:

Gold: Jaroslav Rybakov, RUS, 2.37m
Silver: Andrey Tereshin, RUS, 2.35m
Bronze: Linus Thörnblad, SWE, 2.33m



2008 World Indoor Champs Preview: Men's 800m

Story written by Eric.

The 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships take place in Valencia, Spain at the week-end, and there are a number of excellent matchups track fans around the globe are eagerly awaiting.

The women's fields are loaded with superstars which make these championships worthy of their name, and the men have no lack of stars to fill the seats, either.

Two particular match-ups I am looking forward to are the men's 800m and the high jump, with the 800m the first up to be profiled before the week-end's action gets underway.

The first will offer an excellent matchup between experienced veterans against a new player in the game, with the latter a very good possibility of producing a break-through performance between two very fiercely competitive and driven European rivals.

Though the fields are strong across the boards - including the shot put, the 3.000m and the 60m hurdles, Athletics in the News will focus specifically on four athletes among the hundreds competing whom fans should keep their eyes on as the championships unfold.

Sit back, enjoy the upcoming coverage provided by a number of excellent media outlets and take advantage of the excellent information provided in this report.

Final: Sunday, 9-March at 18.40 CET

Yuriy Borzakovskiy came out to play this season, though not the usual game of sit-and-kick that had been most ineffective for the Russian star the past three years following his 2004 Olympic victory.

Borzakovskiy continued to wait until the final 200m - or last lap - to run down opponents, but the difference this season is the 26-year-old has made a concerted effort to stay in the lead pack through 400m instead of attempting to dash from last-to-first. His quick decision-making steps towed plenty of fields to quick times.

Borzakovskiy, the world 800m leader, is not making the trip to Valencia, however, despite only suffering one loss in the indoor season from events ranging from 400m to 1.000m.

Wilfred Bungei, who defeated Borzakovskiy in Stockholm two weeks ago, will also not make the trip to Valencia due to injury.

The absence of both Borzakovskiy and Bungei -- though a blow to a stellar field -- will be quickly forgotten if a young protégé from Africa is able to live up to the exceptional promise he has demonstrated in an abbreviated indoor campaign.

That young man's name is Abubaker Kaki - one which will echo in stadiums near you as the Olympics approach later this summer.

Kaki, 18, is an inexperienced - yet excellent quick-study Sudanese who
has a grand total of three indoor races under his belt in his career, but an athlete who has made the transition to indoor running a smashing success.

a former goalee who was discovered by an athletics coach in Sudan only three years ago, has earned terrific international respect after having run-away victories at 800m in Leipzig, Germany (1.46,06), setting an IAAF World Junior record in the 1.000m run here in Sweden (2.15,77) two weeks ago, and following that effort up with a 2.16,15 on 24-February.

Kaki became the fifth-fastest athlete at the 1.000m distance after his victory in Stockholm, and trails world record -holder Wilson Kipketer's leading standard by a mere 0,81 seconds.

The potential match-up with the finalists I expect to round out the field will produce an excellent fight to the finish between a hungry and un-afraid new-comer and athletes who are experienced, and have multiple international championship medals to their credit - including world indoor, world outdoor, European and Olympic Games.

South African Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, the 2004 world indoor champion and Olympic silver medallist behind Borzakovskiy in Athens, has the most experience and the highest credentials of the contestants attempting to make the final.

Mulaudzi, the top returner from the 2006 IAAF World Championships held in Moscow (silver medal), has raced very sparingly this season, recording a 1.45,25 at altitude, and a 1.46,13 four days ago at Oudtshoorn, South Africa - a race he nearly won by two seconds in a tune-up for Valencia.

Mulaudzi gained world-class status seven years ago when he ran a 1.44,01 at the Zürich Weltklasse meeting. His best time ever recorded indoors is a 1.45,43, with his outdoor best an outstanding 1.42,89 set five years ago in Bruxelles.

As with Kaki, Mulaudzi set his 1.000m personal best and national record, 2.15,86, in Stockholm - though outdoors at last season's DN Galan.

Kaki sped the final 200m of his world junior-record race indoors in Stockholm in 26 seconds, and was the 1.500m bronze medallist at the 2005 World Youth Championships.

Having that type of enduring speed under his belt, Kaki may not be caught by pursuing company if he is left out front with one lap remaining, despite the difference in personal bests between the top-ranked athletes like Mulaudzi and their freshman star.

Another contestant with a very impressive athletics CV is Latvia'
s Dmitrijs Milkevics, third on the world indoor list this season - 0,03 behind Kaki.

Milkevics, the Latvian 800m record-holder, was a star with the University of Nebraska, winning the 2005 NCAA Championships held in Sacramento in 1.44,74.

Milkevics holds a 1.43,67 outdoor personal best set two years ago in Athens.

The IAAF World Indoor Championships have not been viewed by all of the world's top athletes to be a priority to contest - especially in an Olympic year as this one.

That has not stopped great stories from developing in the 12 previous editions, however, nor has it put the breaks on fast running - evidenced by Wilson Kipketer's 1.42,67 world record set 11 years ago in Paris.

The IAAF, who are the sport's world governing body, recently released a statistics booklet for the World Championships which is rich in historical information including trend analysis. Contained in that booklet are winning times and marks as well as other pertinent information any fan would like to have in their collection.

The 2008 field, led by Kaki's 1.46,06 personal best, would not be sufficient to win in most years the event has been contested; six of the 12 finals races have been won with times under 1.46,00.

Kaki, who has stated that he doesn't underestimate his competitors, is likely to challenge the leaders through the 400m mark in about 52 seconds, then make an extended surge for position at the bell. His superlative mixture of strength and speed will make it very challenging for anyone to match strides with him - especially true following his two excellent 1.000m runs over the past two weeks.

If Kaki is able to stay out of trouble and not make mistakes during his race, expect the teenager to run in the neighbourhood of 1.44,7 in the final - a winning time which has only been bettered twice in the World Championships.

First, however, he'll need to make it through the first-round heat on Friday and a tougher semi-final on Saturday, where, historically, athletes this decade who have run in the neighbourhood of 1.47,60 have been unsuccessful in advancing to the final.

Kaki is a precocious star with very high ambitions for himself this season and well into the future. An athlete who enjoys running on the indoor surfaces, Kaki may surpass the record for most championships contested at this distance - a mark which Argentina's Luis Migueles holds at five.

The world indoor championships are contested every other season. The first edition was contested in Paris in 1985.

Trivia: The oldest 800m medallist to-date is Brazil's Osmar dos Santos, who, at 35 years 139 days, won bronze at the 2004 meet in Budapest, Hungary.


2006 World Indoor Champion: Wilfred Bungei, KEN, 1.47,15
WR 1.42,67 Wilson Kipketer (DEN) - Paris, 1997-03-09

World Indoor Leaders in the 800m 2008:

1.45,58, Yuriy Borzakovskiy, RUS.
1.46,06 Abubaker Kaki, SUD.
1.46,09 Dmitrijs Milkevics, LAT.
1.46,24 Dmitry Bogdanov, RUS.
1.46,33 Richard Kiplagat, KEN.

2006 IAAF Indoor World Championships:

Gold: Wilson Bungei, KEN, 1.47,15
Silver: Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, RSA, 1.47,16
Bronze: Yuriy Borzakovskiy, 1.47,38


Listen to a short synopsis of the information contained above:


2008 World Indoor Champs Preview: Women

The 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships take place in Valencia, Spain at the week-end, and there are a number of excellent matchups track fans around the globe are eagerly awaiting.

There have been no shortage of excellent marks this winter season, with Russians Yelena Soboleva (1.500m) and Yelena Isinbayeva (Pole Vault) setting individual world-records in their disciplines.

Athletics in the News names a few of the events and athletes among the hundreds competing whom fans should keep their eyes on as the championships unfold.


Pole Vault:

Yelena Isinbayeva seeks third career World Indoor Pole Vault title after bettering her own World indoor record with 4.95m in Donetsk.

Isinbayeva did surrender her 23-competition unbeaten streak to Svetlana Feofanova in Bydgoszcz, however, with her teammate primed to stake claim to the title she last won in 2003 to go along with the two bronze and one silver medal she has won indoors.

The best of the rest would appear to be US champion Jennifer Stuczynski who has cleared 4.71m while the 2003 World Indoor bronze medallist, Monika Pyrek of Poland, has a successful 4.67m clearance next to her name this indoor season and is another with medal ambitions.

2006 World Indoor Champion: Yelena Isinbayeva, RUS, 4.80m
WR 4.95m * Yelena Isinbaeva (RUS) - Donetsk, 16/02/2008

World Indoor Leaders in the Pole Vault 2008:

4.95m Yelena Isinbaeva RUS
4.75m Yuliya Golubchikova RUS
4.71m Jennifer Stuczynski USA
4.71m Svetlana Feofanova RUS
4.70m Jennifer Stuczynski USA
4.67m Monika Pyrek POL

60m Dash:

American Angela Williams hopes to finally land her first elusive 60m title after winning silver medals at the 2001 and 2003 World Indoor Championships. The 28-year-old won her national title in Boston in 7,11, and appears to have the gold medal within her grasp.

Williams will face strong opposition from the joint-leaders on the World Lists, however, with Nigeria’s Ene Franca Idoko and Russia’s Yevgeniya Polyakova both having run 7,09 seconds.

2006 World Indoor Champion: Me'Lisa Barber, USA, 7,01
WR 6,92 Irina Privalova (RUS) - Madrid, 11/02/1993
WR 6,92 Irina Privalova (RUS) - Madrid, 09/02/1995

World Leaders at 60 Metres 2008:

7,09 Yevgeniya Polyakova RUS
7,09 Ene Franca Idoko NGR
7,11 Angela Williams USA
7,13 Kelly-Ann Baptiste TRI
7,15 Kim Gevaert BEL
7,15 Kelly-Ann Baptiste TRI

1.500m Run:

Russian Yelena Soboleva, the 2006 World Indoor silver medallist, appears ready to supplant gold medallist Yuliya Fomenko after lowering her own World record with 3.58,05 to win her national championships.

Fomenko won't roll over and play dead against her teammate, however, as she did run a personal best 4.00,21 at the National Championships behind Soboleva, and has the experience to defend against Soboleva, whom she defeated by a half-second two years ago when the event was staged in Moscow.

Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain, the 2007 World Outdoor Champion, will be a contender as well, though she has only one race under her belt this indoor season.

2006 World Indoor Champion: Yuliya Chizhenko, RUS, 4.04,70
WR 3.58,05 * Yelena Soboleva (RUS) - Moskva, 10/02/2008

World Indoor Leaders at 1.500 Metres 2008:

3.58,05 Yelena Soboleva RUS
4.00,21 Yuliya Fomenko RUS
4.03,33 Liliana Popescu ROU
4.03,68 Yekaterina Martynova RUS
4.04,30 Maryam Yusuf Jamal BRN

3.000m Run

Meseret Defar aims to secure a hat-trick of World Indoor 3000m titles and join Romania's Gabby Szabo as the only female athletes to accomplish this feat.

The Ethiopian, courting a 15-meet win streak at this distance, has clocked 8.27,93 to lead the world this season, and has also smashed the two-mile world best with a super 9.10,50 run in Boston.

Defar set the current world indoor record last year at the Sparkassen invitational in Stuttgart, running 8.23,72, and also owns the world-record in the 5.000m outdoors, clocking 14.16,63 at the Bislett Golden League in Oslo, Norway last season.

Defar’s countrywoman, Meselech Melkamu, should be her main rival along with New Zealander Kim Smith, who, earlier this winter, set new national records in the mile and two-mile.

Melkamu was right up on Defar's shoulders in the world-record run last winter, running 8.23,74 - two one-hundredths of a second from winning and establishing her own world-record.

2006 World Indoor Champion: Meseret Defar, ETH, 8.38,80
WR 8.23,72 Meseret Defar (ETH) - Stuttgart, 03/02/2007

World Indoor Leaders at 3000 Metres 2008:

8.27,93 Meseret Defar ETH
8.29,48 Meselech Melkamu ETH
8.31,94 Gelete Burika ETH16/02/2008
8.33,37 Tirunesh Dibaba ETH
8.35,86 Mariem Alaoui Selsouli MAR

60m Hurdles:

Every 60m hurdles athlete competing against Susanna Kallur have seen nothing but her back as she has one nine 60m hurdles races this season, and now holds the five-fastest times in the world this year to go along with her 7,68 world record run in Karlsruhe last month.

Kallur's main rival is likely to be US champion LoLo Jones who ran a new personal best of 7,77 for second in Karlsruhe behind Kallur.

Kallur, who is a twin sister and daughter of legendary New York Ranger Anders Kallur - a four-time Stanley Cup winner, was meant to contest her national indoor championships two weeks ago, but pulled out to rest and recuperate following a slate of all-time performance races. Kallur placed third in the 2006 World Indoor Championships contested in Moscow.

2006 World Indoor Champion: Derval O'Rourke, IRE, 7,84
WR 7,68 * Sanna Kallur (SWE) - Karlsruhe, 10/02/2008

World Indoor Leaders at 60 Metres Hurdles 2008:

7,68 Susanna Kallur SWE
7,77 LoLo Jones USA
7,85 Damu Cherry USA
7,89 Yauhenia Valadzko BLR
7,90 Anay Tejeda CUB

High Jump:

Blanka Vlasic, the 2007 World Championships gold medallist, is unbeaten in six competitions this winter - and has a 21-straight indoors/outdoors winning streak.

Vlasic set a new national record of 2.05m in Weinheim last Tuesday, and has her sites set on denying Russia's Yelena Slesarenko a third indoor title.

Slesarenko defeated Vlasic by 2cm in Moscow two years ago, and is also undefeated this season. Vlasic's last loss in a high jump competition was to Slesarenko at the 2007 Olso Golden League meeting in June.

Another threat in the competition will be Germany's Ariane Friedrich, who has jumped over 2.00m three times this winter - including a new lifetime best of 2.02m behind Vlasic in Weinheim.

2006 World Indoor Champion: Yelena Slesarenko, RUS, 2.02m
WR 2.08m Kajsa Bergqvist (SWE) - Arnstadt, 04/02/2006

World Indoor Leaders in the High Jump 2008:

2.05m Blanka Vlašic CRO
2.02m Yelena Slesarenko RUS
2.02m Ariane Friedrich GER
2.00m Yekaterina Savchenko RUS
1.99m Vita Palamar UKR


Radcliffe Awarded Laureus Prize

Laureus World Sports Awards 2008
For immediate publication

(By way of e-mail, of which I am an accredited media member with the Laureus organisation)


ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, March 3, 2008 – A delighted Paula Radcliffe interrupted her pre-Olympic altitude training in New Mexico to receive the 2008 Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award.

Britain’s legendary long distance runner, who had been unable to receive the Laureus Award earlier, said:

“I’m really thrilled to receive this Laureus Award and would like to say a big thank you to the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. I’ve been nominated four times before, and that in itself has always been a special achievement and recognition for me. To finally win it this time really means a great deal – and I thank Laureus for that.

“Hopefully, with a little bit of luck – and a lot of hard work – I’ll be back next year, having achieved what I dream of in Beijing.

“I would also like to say a big thank you to the sport network that I have, mostly my husband Gary but also my family and friends who have made my achievements possible. I think to win a Laureus is an amazing recognition.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to make the ceremony in St Petersburg, and this has been the earliest opportunity I have had to receive the Award. I know there has been some comment on that, but my training schedule here in New Mexico has made things difficult, and this has been the first opportunity.”

Radcliffe, 34, made her comeback to racing in the autumn of 2007 after two years absence to give birth to her first child and to recover from a stress fracture of the lower back. She made her return at the Great North Run half-marathon in Newcastle, UK, in September where she finished second, then five weeks later she won the New York Marathon.

She said: “I think my achievement in New York was probably the key element in me being nominated. I had my daughter Isla in January 2007 then had a few hiccups returning to training, picked-up an injury, had to sit out the World Championships which was very frustrating, then came back to run in the Great North Run which was a stepping stone to New York.

“I wasn’t surprised to win in New York; I wouldn’t have gone to New York if I didn’t feel, from the training indications that I was in shape to win the race. I certainly knew I had a lot of pent-up emotion and determination from the difficulties I’d been through, and also a lot of happiness from the birth of my daughter which contributed to a positive performance.

“I think I surprised a few people who thought that after having a baby I couldn’t come back like that, but I myself never doubted it but neither did the people around me. The most important thing is that I did win and I am now able to build upon that for Beijing.”

The challenge for a gold medal at the Olympics in Beijing is now the paramount focus of Radcliffe’s year.

She said: “I think for any athlete the Olympics is the pinnacle – it’s that little bit more special. Winning a gold at the Olympics is that much better than winning a gold at the World Championships, which I have. I think for me also, having been to three Olympics, where I feel I’ve never been able to achieve my maximum potential, there is an added fire and momentum and, yes, added pressure to perform in Beijing. I also feel that having been through what I have been through in previous Olympics, I’ve already experienced the worst that can happen and I’ve come through and survived, so for me the pressure is less.

“I actually feel that that experience will make me stronger in Beijing. I think you can go into it with a little bit too much pressure on your shoulders. I think my previous experiences will help me treat it like another marathon. What I need to do is go there 100% healthy, 100% fit and then just give it the best shot on the day.

“It will be warm in Bejing, it will be humid – which I think will be a bigger factor, but in the past I have always raced well in hot and humid conditions. Obviously, times will be slower but it will be tougher for everybody, but in some ways that will be better for me because a tougher race means the tougher racers will come to the top.

“There will be strong opposition from the Chinese in their own country, from the Japanese who have a great record at Olympic games, from the Kenyan girls and Ethiopian girls. You can’t go in looking at one single person, but at a group of people from where the danger might come, but also be prepared for someone who comes in really good shape who you might not be expecting and be ready to handle that too,” said Radcliffe.

Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses, a two-time Olympic champion at 400 metres hurdles, said:

"Paula is renowned as a great fighter. She is a runner I admire enormously for her determination and her commitment. When someone is out of running for two years when they are in their 30s you do wonder if they are going to be able to come back as fit and as strong, but Paula certainly showed she was when she won in New York. I wish her all the best for the Beijing Olympics."

The other nominees for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award were British 400 metres runner Christine Ohuruogu, Australian 400 metres hurdler Jana Rawlinson, US golfer Steve Stricker, England rugby player Jonny Wilkinson and the Gt.Britain Rugby League Team.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the only global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury - the 45 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a collection of the world's greatest sportsmen and women. The living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today.

The 2008 Awards were presented in seven categories.

The winners were:
  • Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Roger Federer
  • Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Justine Henin
  • Laureus World Team of the Year: South African Rugby Team
  • Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Lewis Hamilton
  • Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Paula Radcliffe
  • Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Esther Vergeer
  • Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Shaun White
There were three special Awards: The Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ukraine pole vault legend Sergey Bubka, while Dick Pound, who retired after eight years as Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency received the Laureus Spirit of Sport Award. American brothers Brendan and Sean Tuohey were the recipients of the Laureus Sport for Good Award for their work in founding the PeacePlayers International project.

The Patron of Laureus is Nelson Mandela.
At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, President Mandela said: "Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair." This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work.

Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Awards, the Laureus World Sports Academy and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and harness the power of sport to promote social change.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury - the 45 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 180 countries each year.

There is a two-part voting process to find the winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards. Firstly, a Selection Panel of the world's leading sports editors, writers and broadcasters votes to create a shortlist of six nominations in five categories – Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, Laureus World Team of the Year, Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year and Laureus World Comeback of the Year. The nominations for two additional categories - the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year and the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability are produced by Specialist Panels. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy then vote by secret ballot to select the Award winners in all seven categories.

The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Severiano Ballesteros, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, David Douillet, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Hakkinen, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Dan Marino, John McEnroe, Edwin Moses (Chairman), Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexei Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh and Katarina Witt.

The Laureus Academy members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. The Foundation addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Its work focuses on helping young people overcome poverty, homelessness, war, violence, drugs abuse, discrimination and AIDS. Since its inception over 150,000 underprivileged young people have been helped in over 50 projects around the world.

Laureus is supported by its Founding Patrons Richemont and Daimler represented by their brands IWC Schaffhausen and Mercedes-Benz

IWC Schaffhausen
For more than a century, IWC Schaffhausen has been producing precision products of complex functionality and outstanding user-friendliness for watch connoisseurs who expect more from their watch than just having an accurate timekeeper. Since its foundation in 1868, the International Watch Company has built up a reputation as a long-established Swiss watchmaking firm with a passion for inventions, innovative solutions and technical refinements. Today the brand is more successful than at any time in its history. IWC uses this strength in a programme of corporate social responsibility initiatives at home and abroad. In 2005, IWC entered into a long-term commitment to become a Founding Partner of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Mercedes-Benz, the world's oldest automaker, can look back on a unique tradition. The premium brand stands for modern, innovative automobiles, for quality, safety, comfort and design. Mercedes-Benz enjoys an excellent reputation, particularly in the area of safety technology. Many pioneering technical innovations that are standard automotive features today were first seen in a Mercedes-Benz car. The car with the star also has an excellent reputation with regard to quality, value for money and customer satisfaction. Mercedes-Benz is a Founding Partner of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Since the beginning of the Foundations' operations in 2000, Mercedes-Benz has shared and supported the goals and values of this worldwide charity programme where sports play the core role in the fight against social issues - Laureus has become a vital element of the corporate social responsibility programme of Mercedes-Benz


Kosinski (4.39,54) Sets Oregon Mile Record; Sellers (2.29m) Wins First Big-12 Indoor Title

Story written and edited by Eric.

Freshman middle distance runner Alexandra Kosinski continues to impress this winter after setting a University of Oregon indoor record in the mile run on Saturday at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships.

Kosinski, the 2007 Pac-10 Cross Country Newcomer of the Year, posted a winning time of 4.39,54
at the University of Washington’s Dempsey Indoor Facility, and locked an automatic qualifying time into the NCAA Track and Field Indoor Championships scheduled for March 14-15 at the the University of Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville.

Leann Warren, who holds the current outdoor school 1.500m record of 4.05,88 (1982), held the previous Duck indoor record of 4.40,6 set in 1985.

“She certainly was one of the high points today and she ran fantastic,” Associate Head Coach Dan Steele said.

“Nicole (Blood) deserves a lot of the credit for going out hard at the start of the race and taking Alex with her. But at the end, she really looked great and ran away from the rest of the field.”

Kosinski had become used to dispensing of quality fields whilst a talent at Oak Ridge High School, setting the USA National Prep Federation record in the 1.600m run at last year's Meet of Champions in Sacramento (4.38,15) in the first of two races where she set national-leading times.

Kosinski's finishing drive demolished Mission Prep sophomore Jordan Hasay's kick and has gone down in the prep history books as one of the greatest two-person battles ever contested during the regular season. Kosinski doubled back to set a three-second personal best in the 800m, clocking 2.07,84.

Hasay and Kosinski would likely have squared off at the USATF Junior Nationals had Kosinski not been forced to halt her prep campaign one week before the California State Meet due to injury. Hasay went on to run 4.16,98 in the 1.500m in Kosinski's absence, leaving many hard-core fans in want of what might have been.

Kosinski's prep stardom is a thing of the past, however, and the 18-year-old is capitalising on her speed, tenacity and drive to make a great impact on the Oregon Duck programme, and become a national indoor contender in the mile.

Kosinski, a two-time Footlocker National Cross Country Championships qualifier in high school, is equal to Minnesota's Jamie Cheever for the fifth-fastest collegiate mile time in the country - though the order may shake up as a few powerhouse conferences will have their mile finals contested later today.

Michigan senior Nicole Edwards holds the national lead with a superlative 4.33,23 - a time more than three seconds faster than runner-up Sarah Bowman of Tennessee (4.36,51).

Kosinski was the top freshman finisher in the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships, finishing in 13th overall over the 6.000m course to help Oregon finish runner-up to Stanford University for the national title.

Sellers Impressive at Big-12 Conference

Kansas State junior Scott Sellers, the reigning NCAA outdoor champion, is making a terrific push to win his first indoor title next month after earning his first career Big-12 indoor title on Saturday, and the second such honour of his career.

Sellers, the national prep indoor record holder at 2.26m (7-5.25), set a new school record of 2.29m (7-6) in adding a quarter-inch to the record he set at the ISU classic last season.

Sellers narrowly missed his third and final attempt at a would be personal best of 2.23m (7-7.25), but was excited to add an indoor conference title to the won he won last spring.

“It feels good to win another title and my first indoor,” Sellers is quoted as stating on the K-State website (link).

“It wasn’t feeling good early on in the competition. I was all over early and I’d fix one thing and something else would go wrong. But Coach Rovelto and I made some adjustments.”

Sellers, who cleared 2.19m (7-2.50) to finish ninth at his first NCAA competition two years ago, and improved one inch and six spots last season to finish third (2.22m/7-3.50), is now the second-best jumper in the United States this season behind IAAF World Championships qualifier Jesse Williams.

Sellers has high ambitions this season following the indoor campaign and defending his national outdoor title: he plans on making a go at the Olympic team heading for Beijing. By all accounts, Sellers has as good a shot at not just peaking and making the U.S. team, but winning his first national senior title as well.

Sellers, like Kosinski, was a much-dis
cussed prep star, having set the sophomore national record of 2.18m (7-2) during 2003 indoor season - and clearing 2.21m (7-3.25) during the outdoor season. He also established the national junior class record in 2004, clearing 2.26m (7-05.25).

One of Sellers' biggest earlier claims to fame was being named to the
to USA Today-All-USA Track & Field team in 2003 and 2004 whist a student at Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, Texas.

Other Conference News Reports

The Stanford University men's distance medley team won the MPSF title on Friday with a time of 9.31,52. The team, composed of Hakon Devries (1.200m), Andrew Dargie (400m), Jacob Evans (800m) and Garrett Heath (1.600m) ran the fifth-fastest time ever recorded in the university's history.

A Stanford foursome of Gabe Jennings, Evan Kelty, Michael Stember and Jonathan Riley set the school record of 9.28,83 eight years ago - a time which still stands as the current American record and third-fastest collegiate clocking ever recorded.

Arizona State's Ryan Whiting set a MPSF conference and stadium record in the shot put in recording a personal best of 21.47 metres (70-5.25). The previous meet record of 20.00m was set 13 years ago by Olympian John Godina of UCLA. The University of Idaho's Russ Winger set the stadium record of 20.28m two weeks ago (16-February).

Whiting also recorded the second-best mark in Pac-10 history, trailing only Stanford's Terry Albritton, who tossed the shot 21.50m (70-6.50) in 1977.

Another field event of note at the MPSF conference was Norris Frederick's winning long jump of 8.12m (26-7.75) - a mark which is a personal best, leads the NCAA and is second-furthest in the U.S. this season (Brian Johnson, 8.13m/26-8.25).

Frederick, who holds the University of Washington record as the only athlete to jump 7-0 (2.13m) in the high jump and long jump 25 feet (7.62m), had a previous indoor best of 7.79m (25-6.25) set three years ago.

Ole Mississippi's Brittney Reese, a 2007 IAAF World Outdoor Championships qualifier in the long jump, broke her own American collegiate record at the SEC Indoor Championships at the University of Arkansas, leaping 6.87m (22-6.50).

Reese, a junior, set her first collegiate record two weeks ago at the Tyson Invitational in the same facility, jumping 6.81m (22-4.25).

Liberty University's Josh McDougal was named the 2008 Big South Conference Men's Track Performer of the Year after notching wins in the 3.000m (7.54,85) and mile (4.05,73) and adding 20 points towards Liberty's team victory.

McDougal, who is the fastest in the United States indoors this season at 5.000m (13.45,16), won the 3.000m by nearly 30 seconds, and had a six-second margin of victory in the mile.
2008 MPSF Indoor Track & Field Championships
2/29/2008 to 3/1/2008
Dempsey Indoor
Women 1 Mile Run Results

1 Alexandra Kosinski, Oregon 4.39,54. 2 Amanda Miller, Washington 4.43,41p. 3 Nicole Blood, Oregon 4.43,77p. 4 Lauren Centrowitz, Stanford 4.43,94p. 5 Arianna Lambie, Stanford 4.44,15p. 6 Alicia Follmar, Stanford 4.45,47p. 7 Andrea Brown, Washington 4.47,70p. 8 Lindsay Allen, Stanford 4.48,33. 9 Lauren Jirges, UCLA 4.49,12. 10 Karen DeMartini, Washington St. 4.54,02. 11 Shannon Murakami, UCLA 4.54,55. 12 Shelly Splittberger, Arizona 4.55,81. 13 Bailey Schutte, Washington 4.56,16. 14 Anna Fero, Washington 4.56,72. 15 Mackenzie Edwards, Arizona 4.57,06. 16 Missy Barclay, Long Beach St. 4.58,77. 17 Kailey Campbell, Washington 5.04,43. 18 Angelina Cabrera, Arizona 5.10,94.

Big-12 Indoor Championships
Lincoln, Nebraska
Men's High Jump Results

High jump_1, Scott Sellers, Kansas State, 2.29 meters, NCAA
qualifier, 7 feet, 6 inches. 2, Dusty Jonas, Nebraska, 2.26,
automatic qualifier, 7-5. 3, Raymond Harris, Texas, 2.18, NCAA
provisional, 7-1 3-4. 4, Paul Hamilton, Nebraska, 2.13, 6-11 3-4. 5,
Kevin Snyder, Oklahoma; Lyle Leong, Texas Tech; Jason Miller,

Missouri, 2.08, 6-9 3-4. 8, Paul Gill, Oklahoma, 2.08, 6-9 3-4.


Big South Conference
2/29 - 3/1/2008
Men's Mile

1 Josh McDougal, SR Liberty 4.05,73.
2 Matt Elliot, SR Winthrop 4.11,62
3 Anthony Harris, SR Va. Military Institute 4.13,04.

Men's 3.000m

1 Josh McDougal, SR Liberty 7.54,85. 2 Tamas Kovacs, JR High Point
8.22,66. 3 Jarvis Jelen, SR Liberty 8.25,21.

Visit www.trackshark.com for all conference results in entirety.