FREE MARCH 2011 WIN!
CK SYDNEY TRA IC S S A L C GIVEAWAY SEE INSIDE
THE SYDNEY TRACK CLASSIC ISSUE
800M WORLD RECORD HOLDER
DANI SAMUELS ANGELO TAYLOR JANA RAWLINSON SALLY PEARSON
04 david rudisha 06 sally pearson 08 angelo taylor 10 jana rawlinson 12 dani samuels 14 steve solomon
women’s pole vault 15 MEN’S LONG JUMP 16 asbel kiprop 17 young guns: juniors to watch 18 Daegu: the 2011 world champs 21
WIN! sydney track classic GIVEAWAY entry on page 22
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800m world record holder
VITAL STATISTICS born: KENYA
AGE: 22 EVENT: 800M PB: 1:41.01 WR career HIGHLIGHTS: 2010 800M WORLD RECORD 2008 AFRICAN CHAMPION 2006 WORLD JUNIOR CHAMP
DAVID RUDISHA The speed at which David Rudisha has risen to the top of the athletics world is surpassed only by the astonishing rate at which he can cover 800m. It’s a combination of raw talent, hard work and good management that has nurtured this talented athlete, taking him from a village in Kenya, to the dizzying heights of being a world record holder and the youngest ever winner of the IAAF World Athlete of the Year. As far as genetics goes, Rudisha is a pedigree athlete, with his father having represented Kenya in the 4 x 400m at the 1968 Olympics and his mother being a former 400m Hurdler. His technique is the perfect balance of power and grace, allowing him to move effortlessly around the track. Such is his efficiency that at times you could be forgiven for thinking he was running a mile. Rudisha first broke the world record for the 800m at the IAAF World Challenge meet in Berlin on 22 August 2010, with a time of 1:41.09. The previous record, held by Kenyanborn Danish runner Wilson Kipketer, had stood since 1997. Rudisha later lowered the mark even further, coming agonizingly close to breaking the 1:41 barrier, clocking 1:41.01 in Rieti, Italy. His splits on the way to this incredible time make for amazing reading. 23.9 seconds for the first 200m, passing 400m in 49.1 before reaching the 600 mark in 1:14.5. A final 200m of 26.5 giving him the magic mark of 1:41.01. Rudisha’s ability to turn the two-lap race into a sprint has seen him become one of the hottest properties on the track and field circuit. Last year at The Sydney Track Classic he ran a personal best over 400m, stopping the clock at 45.50. This year he returns to Homebush, only this time around spectators will be able to see this superstar of the sport in his pet event. How fast will he run? Who knows. If the conditions are right and the pace is on, we may well see the first sub 1:43 on Australian soil – now that would be a spectacle!
VITAL STATISTICS born: australia
AGE: 24 EVENT: 100M Hurdles, 100m, 200m PBâ€™s: 12.50, 11.14, 23.02 career HIGHLIGHTS: 2ND 2008 Olympic games 1st commonwealth games
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olympic silver medalist
Sally Pearson is on a journey that she hopes will take her onto the medal podium again at the Olympic Games. And not just onto it, but atop it. Since 2008 in Beijing, where she exceeded all expectations to win the silver medal in the 100m hurdles and celebrated with unparalleled excitement in her post race interview, the Gold Coast local has had her sights firmly fixed on London. But before she gets there, she has this year’s world championships in Daegu, South Korea to focus on. Hampered by a debilitating back injury two years ago when the world championships were held in Berlin, where she nonetheless made the final, Pearson has a point to prove against her international competitors in the rarified conditions of championship racing. “This year and next year – the next 18 months – are going to be huge,” said Pearson. “I’m not sure if I am excited about it or terrified. It will be the two most important years of my career so far.” Knowing that London will likely be her greatest chance of sporting glory, Pearson and her long-time coach Sharon Hannan have a carefully tailored plan which will see her only compete on the flat in the 100m and 200m this domestic season. Not a slouch over either distances with personal bests of 11.14 seconds and 23.02 seconds respectively, racing over the longer distance is not particularly one of Pearson’s favourite pastimes. “I hate running the 200m. I hate it with a passion,” said Pearson. “But my coach and I know that I have to do it and I know that I have so much more potential in it.” Pearson knows there is much room for improvement over 200m, but in the 100m, given the right conditions, every time she steps on the track she is a threat of breaking the national record of 11.12 seconds held by Melinda Gainsford-Taylor.
Words - Liam Riddings. Pics - Getty Images
VITAL STATISTICS born: USA
AGE: 32 EVENT: 400m hurdles, 400m, 200m PB: 47.25, 44.05, 20.23 career HIGHLIGHTS: 1st 2008 olympic games 1st 2000 olympic games
OLYMPIC 400M HURDLES CHAMP
Eleven years is a long time in the sport of athletics. That’s how long it’s been since Angelo Taylor shocked the world to win gold in the 400m hurdles at the Sydney Olympics. Taylor will return to Sydney Olympic Park, albeit in a much smaller stadium, to contest the Sydney Track Classic. Taylor went into the 2004 Athens Olympics as a gold medal favourite, but failed to qualify for the final. Shortly after the games doctors revealed that a pain in his shins that he’d been trying to ignore was in fact stress fractures. Angelo admits that, whilst at the time it was devastating, the break after Athens helped him both mentally and physically to have such a long and successful career. Not that he hasn’t faced strong criticism from media and would be fans. “I didn’t know if I would run track again because of the injuries,” Taylor said. “I lost a lot of respect among non-athletes. On the web and on athletics chat groups they thought I was all washed up.” In late 2006 Taylor took on a full training load, whilst working full time as an electrician, in an attempt to be fit enough to rekindle his career. In 2007 Taylor silenced his critics by beating Jeremy Wariner and LaShawn Merritt to win the 2007 USA 400m championships and went on to the world championships in Osaka where he took home the bronze medal in the individual event and was part of the 4x400m gold medal winning team. A year later, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Taylor proved his class and longevity by winning gold in the 400m hurdles and as a part of the US 4x400m relay team, joining compatriots Glenn Davis and Edwin Moses as dual winners. Taylor has great range across events with personal bests of 20.23 for 200m, 44.05 for 400m and 47.25 for the 400m hurdles. In any event at the Sydney Track Classic, he will add a lot of class.
BACK ON TRACK
twice 400m Hurdles world champion
VITAL STATISTICS born: australia
AGE: 28 EVENT: 400m hurdles PB: 53.22 career HIGHLIGHTS: 1st 2203 WORLD CHAMPS 1st 2007 WORLD CHAMPs 1st 2002 & 2006 comm games
If you were writing a soap opera it would be difficult to draft a script as elaborate as Jana Rawlinson’s athletics career. A champion on the track, with two world championships in the 400m hurdles, four Commonwealth Games gold and dual world junior championship titles in the 400m and 400m hurdles, the 28-year-old’s career has been supplemented by a colourful array of off track events. From the unfortunate timing of the knee injury, which thwarted her 2004 Olympic campaign, to a public feud with fellow athlete Tamsyn Lewis, to a publicised breakup, breast implants and then removal and marriage make-up, Jana is publicly known for drama. Is it warranted? Is Jana’s life, as complex as it has been, all that much different to any number of people most of know in our everyday life? Or is it just that as an elite sportsperson her personal life spills out into the public domain? I’ve known Jana for a number of years. Albeit, not closely, but close enough to have a little insight into the real Jana, as opposed to the one portrayed in the tabloid media. Like many elite athletes I have met, she is incredibly focused and driven. Like many, when they suffer the almost inevitable setbacks those aspiring to be the best will face in their journey, struggle to cope when their plans don’t come to fruition. But one thing I’ve never been able to accept is that Jana is the type of person who craves for attention in the media. To highlight the point, consider this year’s Sydney Track Classic. At the time of writing this, a little over a week out from the event, there is no public confirmation that Jana will compete. The only story in the media about her was a chance encounter with a photographer who snapped her after attending another media event. Whatever the case may be, this year could be a make or break one for Jana. Her last race was in July, 2009 and of her ten fastest career times, the most recent was recorded in July, 2007. Will we see the start of her comeback at the Sydney Track Classic?
Words by Tim McGrath. Pic - Getty Images
G N I N N I P S
VITAL STATISTICS born: australia
AGE: 22 EVENT: DISCUS PB: 65.84M career HIGHLIGHTS: 1st 2009 WORLD CHAMPS 3rd 2006 Comm. games 1st 2006 WORLD junior CHAMPS 1st 2005 world youth champs
world discus champion
When you become the youngest ever world champion in your event, it places a mountain of expectations on you. So far, discus thrower Dani Samuels has coped well with those expectations, despite the added pressure of public attention following her withdrawal from last year’s Commonwealth Games over security and health concerns. “It was a massive decision and it definitely wasn’t easy. But I have no regrets,” Samuels said. Without the ability to display her peak form, Samuels and coach Denis Knowles went back to the drawing board, working on her strength and making the accompanying modifications to her technique to increase her level of performance. In each of her competitions this year Samuels has improved, most recently throwing 61.00m at the Melbourne Track Classic. Samuels is confident that her preparation for the defence of her world title in Daegu, Korea is moving in the right direction, but has Olympic glory at the forefront of her mind. “The changes in my technique are for the long haul. Ultimately my goal is London in 2012. Although we have world championships this year, I am working on long term improvement,” she said. “I’ve been working towards London since I was 16, so the fact that it is coming up quickly is very exciting.” At the Sydney Track Classic Samuels will face a challenge from USAs Becky Briesch, who holds an impressive personal best of 67.37m, a metre and a half further than Samuels’ best of 65.84m set at the meet last year. “It’s great having an international coming out in Becky Briesch. I really respond well to competition and good competitors, so hopefully it will push me to throw further.”
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one lap wonder Steve solomon
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Eighteen months ago Steve Solomon had plans of being a professional soccer player. Now, the 17-year-old is one of Australia’s best 400m runners. Solomon first came to prominence as a 400m hurdler at the NSW All Schools Championships, and since his selection in the Australian 4x400m relay team for last year’s world junior championships he has gone from strength to strength since. This domestic season he has chosen to focus on the flat, and has improved considerably, first lowering his personal best to 46.44 seconds at the Australian All Schools in December, before shaving three more tenths of a second off the mark with a 46.12 second run to win the Melbourne Track Classic. The performance was inspiring, with Solomon coming from behind in the last 30 metres of the race and falling past the line as he defeated Commonwealth Games silver medalist Sean Wroe and national champion Ben Offereins. “You can’t go into a race as if you’re not going to win it,” Solomon said. “I thought I’m in the race I might as well give myself the best chance of winning it and fortunately although the boys all ran great I guess it was my race tonight.” Being on such an improvement curve, the year 12 student at Cranbrook School is unsure of his athletics plans following this domestic season. “I vaguely considered world champs but year 12 is my primary goal to build a foundation for after athletics,” he said. Despite his success, Solomon has remained level headed. “I’m looking forward to running in Sydney. I have a very supportive family so it will be very special to compete in at my home track,” Solomon said.
WOMEN’S POLE VAULT a alan boyd
world Championships silver
BOYD takes on johnson
AUStralia Versus america Pics - Getty Images
With both her parents, Ray (pole vault) and Denise (200m) being Olympians, Alana Boyd has some impressive pedigree. Initially having success as a teenager in the high jump and the sprint hurdles, Boyd decided to take up her father’s event, being coached by him to Olympic and world championship teams in 2008 and 2009. Following the world championships in 2009 Boyd relocated to Perth to train under Alex Parnov, the coach of Olympic and world champion Steve Hooker. The move paid off, with Boyd claiming the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Recently, she became one of the few Australians to have recorded a qualifying performance this domestic season for the world championships in Daegu, Korea, improving her personal best to 4.60m. A world championship silver medalist in 2009 with a personal best of 4.73m, Chelsea Johnson from the United States of America shares a number of similarities with Alana Boyd. Both took up pole vaulting in their late teens, and both fathers were pole vaulters. In fact, Johnson’s father Jan was the bronze medalist at the 1972 Olympic Games, where Boyd’s father finished 16th. Who will take out this 40-year family rivalry at the Sydney Track Classic?
MEN’S long jump
training partners do battle The long jump at the Sydney Track Classic will be a head to head battle between Mitch Watt and Henry Frayne. The former is the 2009 world championship bronze medallist in the long jump. The latter, the Australian junior triple jump record holder. Both have jumped the same distance so far this in the long jump season at 7.98m, whilst Frayne has been in personal best form in the triple jump, twice jumping 16.91m. The reason for their success as well as their current form, is the expertise of guru jumping coach Gary Bourne, and the strong training squad he has established, which also includes 8.30m jumper Chris Noffke. “I love it up there, it is very relaxed,” said Frayne, who is now based in Brisbane after relocating from Melbourne, and Adelaide prior in his pursuit of excellence. “We have a great training squad and environment, it’s one of the best training squads in the world. “We have sports science a couple of times a week up there and a couple of guys in the top 10 long jumpers in the world.” Watt suffered injury in the latter stages of last domestic season and missed all of the international season, including the Commonwealth Games. Sydney will be a major event in his comeback as he attempts to launch himself out over the world championship qualifying standard of 8.20m. In the back of his mind is also Jai Taurima’s national record of 8.49m set at the 2000 Olympics. “I thought that it might have gone last year. It would be really weird if I broke it, because I can remember Sydney 2000 - I was 12. But that’s the goal.”
turning silver to gold
Pic - Getty Images
It is often said that crossing the line second in an Olympic final is the worst finishing position of them all, with the athlete one place short of sporting immortality. However, by a stroke of modern day Olympic alchemy, the silver medal which Asbel Kiprop was originally awarded at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing has turned to gold. The upgrade in medals came after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a doping test taken at the Games. It wasn’t until April, 2009 when his sample was processed and found positive for CERA, an advanced version of the blood boosting drug EPO. When Ramzi’s ‘B’ sample tested positive in July of the same year the International Olympic Committee moved to strip him of his medal, and announced in November, 2009 – some 15 months after the event was run - that Kiprop was the 1500m Olympic champion. “I am happy because I have gotten what is mine,” Kiprop said. “ It was unfair to compete with a person who was using drugs but at least there is some sense of justice.” Despite now having the gold medal, with New Zealand’s Nick Willis and France’s Mehdi Baala promoted into the silver and bronze positions, Kiprop did not get the experience an Olympic champion deserves. “I am disappointed that he [Ramzi] denied Kenya a chance to have its national anthem played at the stadium,” Kiprop said. “It could have been more special if I had won it in the stadium rather than to be awarded later,” he added. Kiprop will be hoping that come this year’s world championships in Daegu, Korea, that he will have the chance to savour a champion’s moment of glory. After winning the African championships in 2010, he will be one of the favourites.
S N U G G N U O Y stralian track and these are the future stars of au action! field make sure you see them in
alex rowe Slashing his personal best to 1:46.28 18-year-old Alex Rowe is within striking distance of the Australian junior record of 1:45.91 held by former world junior champion Paul Byrne. Rowe made a mature decision last year to bypass the world junior championships, where he would have been an outside shot of a medal, in order to focus on his year 12 exams. The decision paid off on and off the track, with the Victorian now studying biomedicine at university whilst going from strength to strength after a solid winter of training.
amy pejkovic At 180cm in height, 2009 world youth championships silver medalist Amy Pejkovic combines her high jumping talents with the catwalks of the world, appearing as a model in catwalk shows for Chanel and Calvin Klein in Australia and in Cleo, Rush and Marie Claire magazines. The 18-year-old recently had a breakthrough in open level domestic competition, recording her first victory in the Australian Athletics Tour meet in Hobart.
brooke stratton Victoriaâ€™s world youth and world junior representative Brooke Stratton was the fourth ranked long jumper in the open ranks in Australia last season with a personal best of 6.30m. The 17-year-old finished sixth at last yearâ€™s world junior championships in Moncton, Canada on the back of tenth place the year prior at the world youth championships in Sidtriol, Italy.
Pics - Chris Lew & Tim McGrath
Sarah Carli Wollongong’s Sarah Carli has improved dramatically over the past few years after switching her emphasis from cross country running to the 400m hurdles. Coached by Ian Hatfield, who has guided Australian 1500m record holder Ryan Gregson’s career, Carli has run a number of performances under the qualifying standard for this year’s world youth championships.
ANNELIESE rubie A semi-finalist in the 400m at last year’s world junior championships in Moncton, Canada, Anneliese Rubie has improved her speed over 100m and 200m this season, winning the NSW junior titles in both events. The 18-year-old Sydney University student looks set to convert the extra speed into the one lap distance and challenge her personal best of 53.88 seconds.
patrick fakiye Just out of the junior ranks, Sydney sprinter Patrick Fakiye has the distinction of holding the fastest time in the world so far this year (at the beginning of March) in the 100m at 10.40 seconds. Last year Fakiye became the first Australian in two decades to qualify for the 100m final at the world junior championships, where he finished eighth.
anna laman Parramatta middle distance runner Anna Laman has lowered her times considerably this season, firstly by winning the NSW under 18 800m title in 2:07.29 and then recording a swift 1500m run of 4:19.17, which ranks her as the fourth fastest woman in Australia this season, despite being only 15 years of age.
nicholas hough Youth Olympic champion Nicholas Hough has shown so far this season that his talent isn’t limited to the sprint hurdles, with a victory in the 200m at the Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart and a close second behind Australian champion Aaron Rouge-Serret at the Melbourne Track Classic.
STAWELL: AUSTRALIA’S ATHLETICS CAPITAL Eugene, Oregon is known as Track Town USA. Where is Australia’s athletics capital? The answer may not be as obvious as it seems. Some would say Melbourne, on the basis of it being the venue of the IAAF meet and where the national body has its offices. But a city which chooses to transform the it’s main athletics venue at Olympic Park into a football training ground, obviously can’t be the capital of the sport. Progressive minds would say that Sydney could lay claim to the title, on the basis of it hosting the 2000 Olympics and with the Sydney Track Classic being Australia’s premier athletics meet for the past two years. But the athletics doesn’t define the Harbour city in anywhere near the same way as the Northern Grampian town of Stawell, which each Easter plays host to the Stawell Gift. The town is intrinsically and inexorably linked to the event. When there was speculation that for financial reasons the Gift may need to relocate to Ballarat, the population publicly rallied for its survival. They were successful, with the Victorian government injecting funds into the event. Yet it isn’t just the financial influx visitors bring with them to Stawell each year which the locals care about. They are fiercely proud of their event, yet warm and hospitable to those athletes who attend. This is perhaps no better highlighted than the spontaneous act of the townspeople two years ago, when one of the elite sprinters was booked by an over zealous police officer for a minor infringement at an obscure intersection. The good people of Stawell would have none of it – that isn’t the way that you treat a visiting elite athlete – a quick pass around of a hat at one the local pubs that night raised the amount of the fine without fuss. When you look at the history of the The Stawell Gift it is easy to see how it has become part of the psyche of locals as well as an iconic event in the Australian sporting landscape. This year will be the 130th running of the famous footrace, which commenced in 1878 and has only been interrupted by world war. The feature event, over 120m, is one where many a man has sought and made a fortune, not just through the prize money, but by backing themselves with the bookies at the event. It’s the egalitarian nature of the event, with a slight whiff of mischief in attempting to beat the handicapper and bookies, that evokes the interest of the Australian public. There is much more to the Stawell Gift than its feature event, with distances ranging from 70m right up to 3200m. With handicapping theoretically giving each athlete the same chance of taking out an event, athletes are assured of getting a hard run, before being able to unwind at one of the many overflowing pubs in town of an evening.
FROM STAWELL TO THE OLYMPICS
Australian Olympians who won the Austr • • • •
1990, Dean Capobianco - 1992 & 1996 1991, Steve Brimbacombe - 1996 Olym 1992, Andrew McManus - 2004 Olympic 2003 and 2005, Joshua Ross - 2004 Oly
VITAL information Date: 22nd to 26th April, 2011 (Easter weekend) Venue: Central Park, Stawell 3 hours from Melbourne Event distances: 70m to 3200m Prize Money: $120,000 across carnival Race entry: Vic Athletic League - www.val.org.au Accommodation: Stawell Central Television Coverage: Live coverage of Finals Day nationally on One HD and internationally via the Australia Network Website: www.stawellgift.com
ralia Post Stawell Gift:
Olympics mpics cs ympics
DAEGU - korea
home of the 2011 iaaf world championships
The IAAF World Championships is this year’s biggest track and field event. It will see the world’s leading athletes converge on the colourful and vibrant city of Daegu, Korea, for the chance to take home the title of being the world’s best in their chosen event. This edition will be the fourth IAAF World Championships in Athletics to be held outside of Europe, and the first games in mainland Asia. So the organisers are making a big effort to showcase all that Korea has to offer. From interesting history and unique culture, to spectacular landmarks, amazing temples and delicious food, there’s something for everybody in this special place. Located in the heart of the southeastern region of the Korean Peninsula, Daegu is a major hub, with its convenient transportation networks connecting to every city in Korea within two hours. Seven expressways, the high speed Korean Express Train (KTX), an international airport and an hour’s drive to the harbour makes Daegu an easily accessible destination. So for travelers it’s the perfect place to base yourself before exploring the rest of the country. The championships will be held in Daegu Stadium, the second largest sports complex in South Korea with a seating capacity of over 66,000. The Teflon roof, which resembles
24 insideathletics.com.au the thatched roofs of traditional Korean houses, provides natural light and was designed to give optimum viewing for spectators. The stadium has also been built for performance, using state of the art technology to get the most out of the athletes. So you can expect fast times, long jumps, big throws and above all else, loads of excitement! Beyond attending the championships, there’s plenty to see and do in Daegu. The shopping is fantastic, as are the traditional markets. Here you can find all sorts of gadgets, art and clothing, which make great gifts for friends and family back home. Plus you can try some of the local delicacies that Korea is famous for. Yangnyeongsi, in Namseongno, is the oldest market for Korean medicinal herbs in the country, with a history spanning 350 years. For sightseeing there are several must do’s. The most well known sight in the city is the stone Buddha called Gatbawi, which sits on the top of Gwanbong Mountain. Then there’s Haeinsa, a Buddhist temple that houses the Tripitaka Koreana. This is a woodblock edition of the Tripitaka and one of the world’s oldest complete collections of the Buddhist scriptures. Next is Dalseong Park, which sits inside a 1500-year-old earth fortress. This is a historic part of the city and contains the city’s only zoo. Finally there’s Apsan, in the southern part of the city. This mountain park has many trails, Buddhist temples, a Korean War museum, and a gondola ride to the peak – great for views of the area!
WIN! sydney track classic GIVEAWAY enter now!!!
go in the draw to win a 42” PLASMA tV
Attend the Sydney Track Classic, complete the form below and place it in the barrel at the Korea Tourism Organization tent. *Only one entry per person. Only a correct answer can win the prize.
TITLE Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms FIRST NAME ___________________SURNAME______________________ AGE________ mobile NUMBER__________________________________________________________ EMAIL ADDRESS______________________________________________________________________ FILL IN THE BLANKS correctly TO ENTER THE DRAW:
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A special Sydney Track Classic edition of Inside Athletics. Free print versions available at the meet.
Published on Mar 15, 2011
A special Sydney Track Classic edition of Inside Athletics. Free print versions available at the meet.