Thursday, 13 July 2017 11:26

Mo Farah announces last track appearance after World Championships

Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah says his last race on the track in Britain will be at the Grand Prix in Birmingham in August.

Farah, 34, said last year that he will focus on marathons after this year's World Championships in London, which run from 4-13 August.

But he will now compete in the Diamond League at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on the track on 20 August.

"I'm sure it will be a day I remember for the rest of my life," he said.

Farah won the 5,000m and 10,000m golds at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.

And he will attempt a third successive 5,000m/10,000m double at the World Championships next month.

He ran at the Anniversary Games on Sunday at the London Stadium as he finalised his World Championships preparations with a win the 3,000m with a time of 7:35.15.

The five-time world champion added: "I'll be looking for a good final performance to thank the fans for all their support over the years."


A German Man Will Probably Break The Javelin World Record This Year

Johannes Vetter, the unenviable fourth-placer in the Olympic javelin competition in Rio last summer, caused a ruckus on track and field Twitter on Tuesday by improving his best from 89.68m to 94.44m at the Spitzen Leichtathletik meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The 24-year-old German is now the No. 2-ranked man in world history in the javelin, and his performance ranks No. 6 all-time, as the top five throws are all owned by world-record holder Jan Železny of the Czech Republic, who threw his world-beater of 98.48m in 1996.

But it wasn't just one magic throw that has the world aghast. Vetter's progression in the event saw him throw over 90.00m four consecutive times: 90.75m, 91.06m, 93.06m, and then, his winning mark of 94.44m. A fatigued Vetter then closed the competition with a throw of 89.50m. Remember, prior to the competition in Lucerne, he had never thrown over 90.00m before.

Only Železny himself has thrown over 90.00m four or more times in one series, in 1995 and 1997.

The runner-up in the competition was reigning Olympic champion Thomas Rohler, also of Germany, who mustered 89.45m on the day. Vetter's compatriot had stunned the world earlier this year in Doha, where he heaved a tremendous personal best of 93.90m to land the No. 7 mark in world history and take over the No. 2 all-time performer position.

Now, of course, he'll have to settle for third and also relinquish his national record to Vetter.

"I had a lot of adrenaline after the first two attempts," Vetter told the IAAF. "The first throw over 90 meters pushed me. I achieved my goal of this season and set the German record. I am without words. It's incredible that I produced four throws over 90 meters two days after winning the German title.

"The reason for German success is that we have a good team. We are good friends and we have good coaches. After the warm-up I expected to throw 90 meters, but 94.44 in incredible. I need some days for it to sink it in. The javelin throw will be one of the greatest highlights of the World Championships in London."

 

94,44m! German-Record! Second best throw ever! Four times over 90m... Speechless! ?#coach #boris #and #me #are #speechless

A post shared by Johannes Vetter (@johannes_vetter) on

The duo have created a thrilling rivalry this season for athletics fans, as Rohler won their first five contests in 2017--including the Diamond League meetings in Doha and Rome--while Vetter has captured wins in their last three head-to-head battles at the German national championships, the Paris Diamond League and, on Tuesday, in Lucerne.

Rohler left a foreboding message on social media. "The WR hunt is on for team germany javelin," he captioned a video of himself throwing for second place in Switzerland.


World championships in Treasure's sights

Prince George high jumper wins fourth straight national title

Winning never gets old for Prince George high jumper Alyx Treasure.
She's owned the national championship title the past three years and made it four in a row when she jumped 1.92 metres (six-foot-three) to win the competition Sunday in Ottawa.
"I was really happy with the win and the competition itself went really well," said Treasure, reached in Madrid, Spain, where she's entered in a IAAF World Challenge meet on Friday.

"I definitely wanted to jump world standard (1.94 m) and that was a hard pill to swallow when I was close. It was just some technical mistakes. The bar isn't a problem for me to jump. It's just timing-wise and I haven't been able to be with my coach. It was the first competition in months that I've had my coach."
Since 2012, Treasure has been working with Cliff Rovelto, the head coach at Kansas State University. She graduated from K-State in 2015 but stayed in Kansas with Rovelto and used that as her base last summer when she represented Canada at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She made the finals In Rio, jumping a personal-best 1.94 m and finished 17th.

Now in her first season on the pro circuit, Treasure is discovering the hectic schedule and long trips to different times zones, competing in events without Rovelto around to offer his expertise, has been a difficult adjustment. But she wouldn't trade it for anything.
"It's been tough, it's been a year of hard-earned lessons, how to be on the circuit, how to be a professional," she said. "The difference of being able to jump in your country and then having to travel across the world repetitively with training and all that, has been a learning curve," she said.

"I'm happy with the way I've dealt with everything but, ideally, I have some things I have to figure out before I start jumping the way I want."
Treasure, who turned 25 on May 15, will be in Podova, Italy for another IAAF meet on Sunday. She's waiting to find out if she will be invited to a Diamond League meet in Monte Carlo, Monaco on July 21 and could have one other meet on her schedule before the world championships in London, England, Aug. 4-13.
"I still need to jump standard for me to official make the team and if I do not make standard then I have to wait on invites," Treasure said. "It's a safer bet for me just to jump (1.94) this week."

Treasure has been living in Toronto, where the national team trains, but tries to get back to Manhattan, Kan., as much as she can to train with Rovelto. Her season highlight so far came May 25 when she competed in Jamaica, where her father Steve is from, and won the silver medal, jumping 1.90 m at the Jamaican International in Kingston. Now ranked 19th in the world, Treasure jumped in two indoor meets in the winter and established a new indoor personal best 1.89m in Slovakia Feb. 8. She's had five outdoor meets this season and her passport is starting to fill up with international entry stamps.

"It's tiring, no one really realized how much sleeping and travel it is," she said. "It's not as exciting as you kind of envision it but the competitions are great. I can't get that anywhere else. I can come to Europe for a couple of weeks and I'm jumping against the best in the world at every competition. This is where I need to be if I want to be competitive.
"Coming off of the (Olympics) last year (world championships) is definitely on the radar as the next step this year. It hasn't been on my mind consistently until recently and now it's time to get into that mind frame."


Spangler Named Head Cross Country Coach

BOSTON – Paul Spangler has been named head cross country coach at Boston University, as announced by Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Robyne Johnson on Wednesday.

Spangler comes to BU after coaching distance runners at Florida for over five years. Since his arrival at Gainesville in January of 2012, Spangler's cross country athletes have earned 21 USTFCCCA All-Region accolades and 16 All-SEC honors, including eight first-team all-conference selections.



He led the Florida women to the 2012 SEC Championship to become the first coach in school history to win a league title in his debut season. The Gators later advanced to the NCAA Women's Cross Country Championship for the 12th time in program history.

"This is a great hire for our program," Johnson said. "Paul is an experienced coach and recruiter. We are very pleased to be able to add such a great coach and mentor to our staff."



In addition to his success in cross country, Spangler has also guided athletes to outstanding achievements on the track. At Florida, his Gators earned 36 USTFCCCA All-America plaudits. He also coached two USTFCCCA South Region Women's Track Athletes of the Year and Gator distance runners have earned three national runner-up finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.



Spangler has also coached two Olympians and three Gators that competed at IAAF World Championships in either track or cross country. Most recently, Spangler coached Eddie Garcia, the U.S. Virgin Islands record holder in the indoor and outdoor 5,000 meters, indoor 3,000 meters, and outdoor 10,000 meters to a berth in the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.



A native of Brooksville, Florida, Spangler graduated from the University of Alabama in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in education before earning his master's degree in sports administration while coaching at Florida State. He spent four seasons as an assistant with the Seminoles before becoming the head cross country coach and assistant track & field coach at the Virginia Military Institute in 2002.



Spangler's appointment comes after longtime distance coach Bruce Lehane announced his retirement following a legendary career of over 35 years at BU. Lehane, who will be inducted into the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame in November, coached 50 All-Americans, two NCAA Division I national champions and two Olympians. BU named the Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational after Lehane in February in honor of his incredible contributions to the Terrier track and field program.