Monday, July 26, 2010

Four athletes with Washington ties set to compete in Barcelona at European Championships...

Four athletes with Washington connections are among the competitors participating in the European Championships that begin Tuesday in Barcelona, Spain at the Estadi Olimpic (photo of meet mascot Barni courtesy bcn2010.0rg).

On the meet's opening day, two-time Swiss Olympian and former Husky Christian Belz will run in the men's 10000. Belz, who just ducked underneath the qualifying standard of 29:00 in early May at the Stanford Invitational, is finally back competing at a high level after a series of injuries derailed his chance of making the Swiss Olympic team in Beijing two years ago.

On Friday, Sweden's Ebba Jungmark, who in her one season at Washington State in the 2007-08 academic year won an NCAA indoor high jump title, will try to be one of twelve jumpers that will advance to Sunday's finals.

Also slated to run on Friday in the women's 1500 is Norway's Ingvill Måkestad, a former Husky, who is one of the top seeds in the championships, after setting a personal best of 4:04.22 on July 16th at the Paris Diamond League meeting.

Måkestad is currently ranked #21 in the world on the most recent IAAF list in the 1500.

The finals for the women's 1500 is slated for Sunday, the final day of the meet.

You can read Ingvill's thoughts on the European Championships here on her blog, (translated link here via

In the men's discus qualifying on Saturday, former University of Washington thrower Mart Israel from Estonia looks to make a final in a major championship for the first time as a senior.

Israel currently is the eleventh furthest thrower in the world this season, with a season best mark of 217-6 (66.31m).

The men's discus finals will be held on Sunday.

Some links to help you follow the European Championships include the daily start lists for the meet, and statistician Mark Butler's predictions on who will win each event.

European Champs entries

Ebba Jungmark SWE HJ (seeded 16; sb 1.90; pr 1.92) Fri 7/30 Q; Sun 8/1 final
Ingvill Måkestad NOR 1500 (seeded 6) Fri 7/30 SF; Sun 8/1 final

Christian Belz SUI 10000 (seeded 23 28:56.05) Tue 7/27 final
Mart Israel (seeded 7 66.31) Sat 7/31 Q; Sun 8/1 final

TWIT (This week in track)…

Other than the European Championships, this is a quiet week for Americans competing at the highest levels of the sport.

Javelin thrower Kara Patterson from Vancouver posted her remaining schedule for the 2010 season on her blog, which you can read here, along with her thoughts on the Monaco meet.

Speaking of Patterson, she is still in the running for the diamond awarded to the winner in each event of the season-long Samsung Diamond League series, according to Track & Field News. You can read who the magazine thinks will win in each event here…

The US Olympic Committee and German auto maker BMW signed a sponsorship deal Monday, with USA Track & Field one of the beneficiaries of the contract.

BMW Group’s sponsorship of USA Bobsled & Skeleton, US Speedskating, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field will include support for coaching and training programs, as well as increasing awareness of the NGBs and their athletes.

You can read the US Olympic Committee release here...

Speaking of USA Track & Field, here's a great post by one of the best Olympic writers, Phil Hersh, on the USATF Board of Directors' apparent ploy to oust current CEO Doug Logan.

In the Chicago Tribune, he writes, "USA Track & Field's volunteer board of directors is turning an annual review of its salaried CEO, Doug Logan, into a power play that could result in his being forced out after barely two years in the job, according to both media reports and Tribune sources."

In his blog, he further states that it's "Just another example of the old axiom that the only amateurs left in the Olympics are those running them."

To read the rest of his post, please click here.

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