2009 Athletes of the Year Finalists

>> November 21, 2009

The world-wide Athletics family will gather for yet another prestigious celebration when the 2009 World Athletics Gala is held at the Salle des Etoiles of the Sporting Club d’Eté this Sunday 22 November.

Hosted by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack, the World Athletics Gala will be highlighted by the announcements of the Male and the Female World Athlete of the Year 2009, with the awards presented live on stage.

Five men & women athletes are in the run for 2009 World Athlete of the Year.
The winners of the 2009 World Athlete of the Year Awards will be announced live, on stage, during the 2009 World athletics gala, which will take place in Monaco on 22 November 2009.

The five finalists for the men’s category are as follows:

Kenenisa Bekele
27 years old

• Became the first man ever to win a 5000/10,000m double at the IAAF WCh
• Has set a Championship record 26:46.31 in the longer event in Berlin
• Has won his third share of the ÅF Golden League Jackpot
• Has set the fastest times in the world this year at 5000 and 10,000m
• Remained undefeated at 3000, 5000 and 10,000m through 2009

Usain Bolt
23 years old

• Won three gold medals at the 100,200 and 4×100m at the WCh
• Set two World records 9.58 at 100m and 19.19 at 200m in Berlin
• Won the World Athletics Final 200m in a competition record 19.68
• Has run 5 times under 9.90 and 3 times under 19.60
• Remained undefeated in finals at 100, 200 and 400m throughout 2009

Tyson Gay
27 years old

• Won the 100m silver medal at the Berlin World Championships
• Has become the second fastest 100m runner of all time at 9.69
• Has improved the American record three times and run 6 times under 9.95
• Won the World Athletics Final 100m in 9.88
• Has become the third fastest 200m of all-time at 19.58

Steve Hooker
27 years old

• Won the Berlin WCh Pole Vault through injury taking only 2 jumps
• Has become the second highest pole vaulter of all-time with a 6.06 (indoor)
• Has cleared the highest bar in 16 years
• Has jumped 3 times over 6 metres (indoors)
• Has won 8 out of 10 competitions (indoors and outdoors) in 2009

Andreas Thorkildsen
27 years old

• Won the Berlin World Championships Javelin Throw gold medal
• Has established the year’s farthest throw at 91.28m
• Has thrown 5 times over 88 metres in 2009
• Won the World Athletics Final at 87.75m
• Has won 9 out of 13 competitions in 2009

The five finalists for the women’s category are as follows:

Yelena Isinbayeva
27 years old

o Set a World outdoor record 5.06m in Zürich
o Set a World Indoor record 5.00m in Donetsk
o Has won her second share of the ÅF Golden League Jackpot
o Has set the four highest marks in the world in 2009
o Has won 12 out 14 competitions (indoors and outdoors) in 2009

Sanya Richards
24 years old

o Finally struck 400m gold in Berlin and anchored the US 4x400m to a 2nd gold medal
o Has won her third share of the ÅF Golden League Jackpot
o Won the World Athletics Final 400m in 49.95
o Has set the 4 fastest times in the world in 2009
o Has won 10 out of 11 competitions in 2009

Valerie Vili
25 years old

o Won the Shot Put gold medal at the Berlin World Championships
o Has improved the Oceania record twice and broken 21 metres for the first time
o Has set 9 of the ten farthest throws in the world in 2009 and the best in 5 years
o Won the World Athletics Final in a competition record 21.07m
o Has remained undefeated throughout 2009

Blanka Vlasic
26 years old

o Won the High Jump gold medal at the Berlin World Championships
o Has become the sole second all-time outdoor performer at 2.08m
o Has cleared the highest bar outdoors in 22 years!
o Has jumped 14 times over 2 metres and 8 times over 2.03m
o Has won 19 out of 23 competitions (indoors and outdoors) in 2009

Anita Wlodarczyk
24 years old

o Won the Hammer Throw gold medal at the Berlin World Championships
o Set a 77.96m World record in Berlin
o Has set the two farthest throws in the world in 2009
o Has thrown 9 times over 75 metres
o Has won 12 out of 14 competitions in 2009

Source: IAAF


Some of the Video Highlights from the 18th Asian Athletics Championship 2009 (click here)

>> November 12, 2009


18th Asian Athletics Championship 2009 Guangzhou (CHN) , 10-14 Nov - FULL RESULTS

To view FULL RESULTS kindly click the title above.

110m hurdles: 1 Liu Xiang (Chn) 13.50s, 2 Shi Dong Peng (Chn) 13.67, 3 Park Tae-kyong (Kor) 13.82... 5 Robani Hassan (Mas) 14.06;

3,000m steeplechase: 1 Tarek Mubarek Taher (Brn) 8:33.58s, 2 Lin Xiang Qian (Chn) 8:34.13, 3 Abubaker Ali Kamal (Qat) 8:34.73;

20km walk: 1 Li Jian Bo (Chn) 1:22:55s, 2 Chu Ya Fei (Chn) 1:22:56, 3 Park Chil-sung (Kor) 1:24:51... 6 Teoh Boon Lim (Mas) 1:32:39, 7 Lo Choon Sieng (Mas) 1:35:20.

Long jump: 1 Li Jin Zhe (Chn) 8.16m, 2 Hussain Taher Al Saba (Ksa) 7.96, 3 Yu Zhen Wei (Chn) 7.96.

100m: 1 Zhang Peimeng (Chn) 10.28s, 2 Naoki Tsukahara (Jpn) 10.32, 3 Guo Fan (Chn) 10.37, 4 Suryo Agung Wibowo (Ina) 10.41, 5 Barakat Al Harthi (Oma) 10.45, 6 Shehan Ambepitiya (Sri) 10.49, 7 Sathya Suresh (Ind) 10.62, 8 Abdul Najeeb (Ind) 10.63.

400m: 1 Liu Xiaosheng (Chn) 46.55s, 2 Yuzo Kanemaru (Jpn) 46.60, 3 Ismail Al-Sibyani (Ksa) 46.84.

1,500m: 1 Othman Shaween (Ksa) 3:46.08s, 2 Chaminda Wijekon (Sri) 3:47.01, 3 Hamza Chatholi (Ind) 3:48.44... 9 M. Vadivellan (Mas) 3:55.32.

Pole vault: 1 Liu Feiliang (Chn) 5.60m, 2 Yang Quan (Chn) 5.45, 3 Daichi Sawano (Jpn) 5.45.

Shot put: 1 Om Prakash Singh Karhana (Ind) 19.87m, 2 Chang Ming-Huang (Tai) 19.34, 3 Zhang Jun (Chn) 19.15.

Hammer throw: 1 Dishov Nazarov (Tjk) 76.92m, 2 Ali Zenkawi (Kuw) 73.45m, 3 Ma Liang (Chn) 70.08m.

5000m: 1 James Kwalia C Kurui (Qat) 14:02.90, 2 Hasan Mahboob (Brn) 14:03.44, 3 Essa Ismail Rasheed (Qat) 14:04.52.

3,000m steeplechase: 1 Yoshika Tatsumi (Jpn) 10:05.94s, 2 Sudha Singh (Ind) 10:10.77, 3 Kiran Tiwari (Ind) 10:34.55... 5 Melinder Kaur (Mas) 11:07.36;

Pole vault: 1 Li Caixia (Chn) 4.30m, 2 Wu Sha (Chn) 4.15, 3 Choi Yun-hee (Kor) 4.00... 5 Roslinda Samsu (Mas) 3.60;

Javelin: 1 Liu Chun Hua (Chn) 57.93, 2 Li Ling Wei (Chn) 55.13, 3 Kim Kyong-ae (Kor) 53.84.

100m: 1 Chisato Fukushima (Jpn) 11.27s, 2 Vu Thi Huong (Vie) 11.50s, 3 Jyothi Hiriyur Manjunath (Ind) 11.60s, 4 Tao Yu Jia (Chn) 11.63, 5 Mayumi Watanabe (Jpn) 11.72, 6 Chan Jue (Chn) 11.78, 7 Jintara Seangdee (Tha) 11.95.

400m: 1 Asami Tanno (Jpn) 53.32s, 2 Chen Lin (Chn) 53.55, 3 Manjeet Kaur (Ind) 53.66.

1,500m: 1 Zhou Hai Yan (Chn) 4:32.74s, 2 Liu Fang (Chn) 4:33.35, 3 Truong Thanh Hang (Vie) 4:33.46... 9 K. Ganthimanthi (Mas) 4:41.35.

100m hurdles: 1 Sun Ya Wei (Chn) 13.19s, 2 Asuka Terada (Jpn) 13.20, 3 Dedeh Erawati (Ina) 13.32.

Triple jump: 1 Olga Rypakova (Kaz) 14.53m, 2 Xu Ting Ting (Chn) 14.11, 3 Irina Litvinenko (Kaz) 13.99.

Hammer: 1 Zhang Wen Xiu (Chn) 72.07m, 2 Hao Shu Ai (Chn) 65.87, 3 Yuka Murofushi (Jpn) 61.99... 7 Tan Song Hwa (Mas) 54.19.

Long Jump: 1 Marestella Torres (Phi) 6.51m SB, 2 Chen Ya Ling (Chn) 6.28m, 3 Sachiko Masumi (Jap) 6.28m.

5000m: 1 Zue Fei (Chn)16:05.19, 2 Tejitu Daba Chalchissa (BRN) 16:05.45 PB, 3 Kavita Raut (Ind) 16:05.90 PB.

Shot put: Gong Li Jiou (Chi) 19.04m, 2 Liu Xiang Rong (Chi) 17.55m, 3 Leyla Rajabi (Iri) 16.71m.

Click the title for full results.

Malaysian athletes in action;

Last updated 13th Nov. 1.00pm.


The Greatest Male Sprinters of All Time

>> October 07, 2009

The greatest sprinters of all time based on  achievements in the World Championship, Olympic Games and World Records performances.

Carl Lewis (born July 1, 1961) is a retired American track and field athlete who won 10 Olympic medals including 9 gold, and 10 World Championships medals, of which 8 were gold, in a career that spanned from 1979 when he first achieved a world ranking to 1996 when he last won an Olympic title and subsequently retired. Lewis was a dominant sprinter and long jumper who topped the world rankings in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump events frequently from 1981 to the early 1990s, was named Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News in 1982, 1983 and 1984, and set world records in the 100 m, 4 x 100 m and 4 x 200 m relays. His world record in the indoor long jump has stood since 1984 and his 65 consecutive victories in the long jump achieved over a span of 10 years is one of the sport’s longest undefeated streaks.


>>> Olympic Games
LOS ANGELES 1984: 4 GOLD (1 Relay); SEOUL 1988: 2 Gold; BARCELONA 1992: 2 Gold (1 Relay); ATLANTA 1996: 1 Gold

>>> IAAF World Championships
HELSINKI 1983: 3 GOLD (1 Relay); ROME 1987: 3 Gold (1 Relay); TOKYO 1991: 2 Gold (1 Relay); STUTTGART 1993: 1 Gold

>>> World Records
100m – 3 + 2 tied-WR (never ratified by IAAF); 4x100m – 6

Michael Johnson (born September 13, 1967) is a retired American sprinter. He won four Olympic gold medals and was crowned world champion eight times. Johnson currently holds the world record in the 400 m and 4 x 400 m relay and formerly held the world record in the 200 m and Indoor 400 m. His 200 m time of 19.32 at the Atlanta Olympics stood as a record for over 12 years. He is the only male athlete in history to win both the 200 m and 400 m events at the same Olympics, a feat he accomplished at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Johnson is also the only man to successfully defend his Olympic title in the 400 m. Aside from his Olympic success Johnson accumulated eight gold medals at World Championships, and is thus tied with Carl Lewis for the most medals won by any athlete in history.

>>> Olympic Games
BARCELONA 1992 - 1 Gold; ATLANTA 1996 -2 Gold; SYDNEY 2000 -2 Gold (1 DSQ-4x400m)

>>> IAAF World Championships
TOKYO 1991- 1 Gold; STUTTGART 1993- 2 Gold; GOTHENBURG 1995- 3 Gold; ATHENS 1997: 1 Gold ; SEVILLE 1999- 1 Gold

>>> World Records
200m - 2; 400m - 3 (2 indoor); 4x400m -2 ; 300m (world best)

Usain Bolt ( born 21 August 1986), is a Jamaican sprinter and a three-time Olympic gold medalist. He holds the world record for the 100 metres, the 200 metres and, along with his teammates, the 4x100 metres relay. He also holds the Olympic record for all three of these races. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Bolt became the first man to win three sprinting events at a single Olympics since Carl Lewis in 1984, and the first man to set world records in all three at a single Olympics. In 2009 he became the first man to hold the 100 and 200 m world and Olympic titles at the same time. In August 2009, a year after the Beijing Olympics, he lowered his own 100 m and 200 m world records to 9.58 s and 19.19 s respectively at the 2009 World Championships. His record breaking margin in 100 m is the highest since the start of digital time measurements.

>>> Olympic Games
BEIJING 2008 - 3 Gold (1 Relay)

>>> IAAF World Championships
BERLIN 2009 - 3 Gold (1 Relay)

>>> World Records
100m - 3; 200m - 2; 4x100m - 1
>>> *Current WR holder for 100m, 200m, 4x100m (World best mark 150m, 14.35s)

Maurice Greene (born July 23, 1974) is an American former track and field sprinter. He is a former 100 m world record holder with a time of 9.79s (1999-2005). He won two Olympic gold medals and was a five-time World Champion which included three golds at the 1999 World Championships, a feat which had previously only been done by Carl Lewis. He was the 1999 Indoor World Champion and remains the world record holder in the 60 meter dash (set twice) and the joint-fastest man over 50 meters. Maurice Greene is the only sprinter to hold the 60 m and 100 m world records at the same time. Greene ran 53 sub-10 second 100 m races during his career, which at the time was more than any other sprinter in history.

>>> Olympic Games
SYDNEY 2000 - 2 Gold

>>> IAAF World Championships
ATHENS 1997- 1 Gold ; SEVILLE 1999- 3 Gold ; EDMONTON 2001- 1 Gold

>>> World Records
2 (1 indoor) ; 1 tied-WR (indoor) ; 1 WR (not ratified)
*Having runs 53 times sub 10s in 100m.


Who is better in 200m? Michael Johnson or Usain Bolt

>> September 29, 2009

The greatest men in history require no introduction! Even if you are not a sports fan, you have probably heard their names being mentioned everywhere.

The likes of Jesse Owens, Bob Hayes, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Maurice Greene, and even the latest superstar whose trademark "lightning pose" Usain Bolt is known to everybody.

The two athletes that go into my mind because of their enthralling performances, in the same event, are Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt.

These two are dissimilar in "many ways."

Johnson's physic is more of that of a long sprint, but Bolt's physic would give an advantage over the shorter sprint distances.

In terms of "time", Johnson's prime time has long been over, a decade ago, while Bolt is still gearing up and leveraging his "empire".

Back in the 1996 Olympics, Johnson shattered the world record in what was considered "a magic time" of 19.32s.

He broke his own world record (19.66s) by more than three-tenths of a second that he set in the U.S. Olympic trial a few weeks earlier.

The process of the record setting was not easy. Just like others, Johnson had to go through three rounds (heats, quarters, and semis) before his final 200m race. Prior to that, he took the Olympic 400m Gold in a time of 43.49s, in a new Olympic record.

But prior to that, he had to run three preliminaries rounds. In other words, Johnson had to run a 1.8km sprint prior to his 200m finals. Details as follows;

Michael Johnson in 1996 Olympics

400m Heats (26 July) - 45.80s
400m Quarters (27 July) - 44.62s
400m Semis (28 July) - 44.59s
400m Finals (30 July) - 43.49s - OR

200m Heats (31 July) - 20.55s
200m Quarters (31 July) - 20.37s
200m Semis (1 Aug) - 20.27s
200m Finals (1 Aug) - 19.32s - OR / WR

Meanwhile, Usain Bolt has gone through similar rounds in 2009 as Johnson (1996) but with the shorter total distance which covered much more less than Johnson with (only) 1.0km, before destroying his WR (19.30s) from the Beijing Olympics, with a time of 19.19s.

Comparison between Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt

1 - Distance - If you were to compare the process of getting to the "destination" (Johnson vs Bolt at 200m - times, golds, records), Johnson appeared in a more "disadvantage" due to the extra "sprint" distances he had to cover before commencing his world record campaign (see above).

When you have to run more races (heats, quarters, semis; multiple events), it taxes the body a lot (lactate accumulation, etc.). So you need better recovery in order to deal with this. Note that Johnson injured his hamstring right after the 200m (he withdrew from the 4x400m).

2 - Running surface or track quality. The track surface at Olympic Stadium at Berlin (where Bolt set 19.19) is called Polytan M  which is the latest and the best version of a track that ever been built. It is harder, thus, much more springy (better rebound) than the track surface (Mondo) at the 1996 Olympic stadium.

The Polytan M track at Berlin contains a three-layer synthetic surface that provides a better elasticity and energy return during every strike that occurs on the track, which can give an added advantage to a sprinter (i.e. Usain Bolt) every time he/she hit (strike) the track surface. This enables a faster sprinting to be achieved.

Furthermore, the IAAF has recently awarded a Class 1 Certificate to the Polytan M, confirming that the quality of the running track is truly outstanding.

3 - Sports science. There has been a lot of changes in coaching practice, as a result of "advancement" in sports science knowledge. This allows better training approaches and methodologies than that since 1996 or earlier.

Training methods change when there are new scientific findings related to training. More importantly, the new knowledge today is more easily disseminated and learned, because of technologies, the internet, etc.

The seminar/workshops are being organized more regularly, so understanding with regards to physiology and biomechanics is more easily captured - this will influence our coaching practice.

There are others. More stories will be discussed in the next posts.


Selangor Open Athletics Meet 2009

>> September 14, 2009

The Championships was held on July 11 - 12 at the MBPJ Stadium in Petaling Jaya, approximately 40km away from Kuala Lumpur.

Over 30 teams from various sports club, schools club, associations and institutions including the national athletes of MSN were taking part at the meet.



Usain Bolt breaks 100m world record with 9.58s to win 2009 World championships

>> August 17, 2009

What an electrifying night in Berlin!

Usain Bolt has broken the 100m world record with a time of 9.58s and won his first gold medal at the World Championship in athletics.

He eclipsed his own world record of 9.69s he set last year during the Beijing Olympic Games.

In contrast to the very popular "internet talk" (i.e., to win by his second half speed), the 6"5 Jamaican led the field right from the beginning; he reacted to the gun quickly at 0.146s - a standard reaction time by a world-class sprinter.

How would you imagine a 9.58s in the 100m? it's a phenomenon feat - one of the greatest sports performances and greatest improvements of a world record.

His clocked time was a "huge jump" in sprint timing from an "outstanding" (9.69) to a further level of "outstanding" - simply difficult to describe - maybe the history below can help!

Ben Johnson ran 9.79 in 1988 Olympics - this performance was annulled a few days later (anabolic steroid).

Carl Lewis's 9.92 had been recognized as world record when Johnson's 9.83 time (from 1987) was also deleted from the IAAF record book.

Lewis had renewed Leroy Burrell's world record of 9.90 with a 9.86 clocking to win the 1991 world championships - broken by Burrell again in 1994 with 9.85. 

Two years later, Donavon Bailey lowered the world record to 9.84 during the 1996 Olympics. 

During the world championships in 1999, Maurice Greene improved Bailey's world record by 0.05, with 9.79s - the largest improvement of 100m world record since 1968!

Then, Asafa Power set four world records from 2005 to 2007 with 9.77, 9.77, 9.77, and 9.74!

In May 2008, Usain Bolt "appeared" out of nowhere to break Powell's record by 0.02 at New York (9.72).

Two months later, Bolt renewed his record to 9.69 during the Olympics, despite his "showboating" and "chest slapping" at the last 20m of his race.

His time would have been faster - perhaps around 9.66? His split times seemed to suggest so.

Regardless of the story above, an improvement from 9.69 to 9.58 was unimaginable!

Bolt is impressive, he's relatively taller (1.96m) and muscular; he took 41 strides to complete his race, likely produced "optimal" stride length and stride frequency (combination; largely determine success in the 100m) as well.

The wind-speed was normal but favorable (+0.9 = ~0.045 advantage); the track is super fast (Polytan type); plus genetics?

In the final race, Tyson Gay was second at 9.71, renewing his American record by 0.06 - also phenomenon! 

Asafa Powell the four times world record holder was third in 9.84 - also impressive; a time that would win most of the past world championships.

What a race yesterday!


MASUM Withdraws from Universiade due to Influenza A Outbreak

>> August 08, 2009

There are thousands of confirmed deaths of the Influenza A H1N1 around Europe. There was also a widespread belief that participation in the World University Games (25th Universiade) in Belgrade, Serbia last month (1-12 July) would expose athletes and officials with the risks of infection. As a result, Team Malaysia opted to pull out from the biannual multisports event.

It's a great deal for me as my first chance of competing in the major sporting event - my first one in such a global meet - had been demolished by that decision. This news was known to me right when I turn on my TV after coming back from training. The headline reads "...MASUM withdraws from Universiade due to Influenza A outbreak..." Oh wow, hmm? was my first reaction. I was a bit upset and straightaway had a phone call with the guys in-charge, and no one knows about it! I was about to prepare to collect by team attire. It was just one day before a one-week final centralised training. I would have competed in the men's 100m and 4x100m.

Now we know that the Universiade was held successfully. As far as I know, no cases related to H1N1 were reported by the media in athletes or officials during the games. There were over 6000 athletes taking part in 15 sports, who represented at least >140 nations. Team Malaysia was scheduled to send a strong contingent of >30 athletes. The next edition is scheduled in 2011 at Shenzhen, China.


KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 (Bernama)-- The Malaysian Universities Sports Council (MASUM) has decided to withdraw from the World University Games (Universiade) in Belgrade, Serbia next month, following a directive from the Higher Education Ministry.

According to the Higher Education Ministry's Sports Division secretary Dr Shaharudin Ismail, the directive was issued to MASUM so as avoid any risk of the Influenza A(H1NI) outbreak.

Dr Shaharudin said the directive was in line with advise from the Health Ministry, National Sports Institute and National Sports Council to prevent athletes from the risk of being infected by the disease.

"Although Serbia is free from H1N1, the risk of infection remains high as the Universiade will see participation from all over the world and athletes will be exposed to infection," he told Bernama when contacted here today.
He added that MASUM would do the necessary procedures for the withdrawal and hoped the organisers of the Universiade would understand the reason for the withdrawal.

An earlier article in the newspaper...

The Universiade is an International multi-sport event, organised for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) every two years and would feature university students from all over the world from July 1-12.

MASUM was expected to send 30 athletes to Belgrade in batches on June 24, June 28 and July 1 while selected athletes were supposed to check into the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) campus on June 20, for centralised training.

Yesterday, the National Sports Institute had also advised national sports associations against competing overseas after the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the pandemic alert for Influenza A(H1N1) from level 5 to 6.

Source: Bernama



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