Category Archives: Athletics


Athletes generally shy away from making pre-race predictions, Sifan Hassan among them. But the Dutch middle distance star made an exception on the eve of Friday’s Herculis EBS IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, declaring that she was intending to run “three or four seconds” faster than her previous mile lifetime best.

Hassan came up a little short in that prediction, but still crossed the line as the fastest miler of all time, clocking 4:12.33 to break a record which had stood for 23 years.

“I knew I could run fast but the first 800 was a bit slow, so after that I wasn’t thinking it would be a world record,” Hassan said. “When I crossed the line I was so surprised.”

Sifan Hassan
photo credit: © Philippe Fitte

Indeed, her opening 800m of 2:08.5 was nearly a second-and-a-half outside of the pace that propelled Svetlana Masterkova to her 4:12.56 record in Zurich in 1996. But Hassan forged on. Energised by the pulsating cheers of the near-capacity crowd at Stade Louis II, Hassan ran alone from about 1000 metres onwards, covering the final 800m in under 2:01 and the final 400m in just a few ticks over 60 seconds.

Beaming with delight, Hassan fell to the track, shocked by her stellar achievement. “It was a beautiful last lap with the crowd supporting me.”


Liu Hong’s world 50km race walk record of 3:59:15 and Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s world U20 indoor 1500m record of 3:36.02 have been ratified.

Liu, the Olympic champion over 20km, broke the record at the Chinese Race Walk Grand Prix in Huangshan on 9 March, clipping more than five minutes from the previous record of 4:04:36 set by Chinese compatriot Liang Rui at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Taicang last year. It made Liu the first woman in history to break four hours for the 50km event.

It was Liu’s debut over the distance and just her third race since returning to competition after taking a two-year break for maternity leave. The 32-year-old now holds the world records for both of the standard race walking distances, having clocked 1:24:38 for 20km in 2015.

Ingebrigtsen, competing at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Dusseldorf on 20 February, held off world indoor champion Samuel Tefera to win the 1500m in record-breaking time.

Tefera covered the opening 400m in 56.14, with Ingebrigtsen choosing to follow from mid-pack. The Ethiopian built a lead of some four metres with two laps to go, but Ingebrigtsen then began to chip away at the margin.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s
© Gladys Chai von der Laage

The 18-year-old eventually worked his way up on Tefera’s shoulder by the bell, and then made his decisive move heading into the final straight and never looked back, reaching the line in 3:36.02.

Ingebrigtsen’s mark took 0.26 off the previous official world U20 indoor record of 3:36.28, set by Bahrain’s Belal Mansoor Ali in Stockholm in 2007. Ingebrigtsen (3:36.21) and Tefera (3:36.05 in 2018) had both previously bettered Mansoor Ali’s mark, but neither performance could be ratified.



The IAAF today submitted its response on provisional measures to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT), explaining why its DSD regulations should remain in force during an appeal by a single athlete (the appellant) following a “superprovisional order” issued by the SFT and received by the IAAF on 4 June 2019.

The IAAF has specifically requested:

Reversal of the order to the IAAF to super-provisionally suspend the implementation of the DSD Regulations in respect of the appellant.

Dismissal of the appellant’s application to suspend the implementation of the DSD Regulations in respect of the appellant pending the outcome of the appeal.

The IAAF fully respects each individual’s personal dignity and supports the social movement to have people accepted in society based on their chosen legal sex and/or gender identity. However, it is also committed to female athletes having the same opportunities as male athletes to benefit from athletics, be that as elite female athletes participating in fair and meaningful competition, as young girls developing life and sport skills, or as administrators or officials.


This requires a protected category for females where eligibility is based on biology and not on gender identity. This crucial point was accepted and emphasised by the CAS in its 30 April 2019 decision to uphold the DSD Regulations. To define the category based on something other than biology would be category defeating and would deter many girls around the world from choosing competitive and elite sport after puberty.

The IAAF will continue to defend its DSD Regulations and the CAS Award in the appeal proceedings before the SFT, because it continues to believe in equal rights and opportunities for all women and girls in our sport today and in the future.



With 100 days to go until the start of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, action is heating up across the global athletics landscape, promising a full slate of thrilling competition when the sporting world’s attention turns to the Qatari capital from 27 September to 6 October.

With Mutaz Barshim, one of Qatar’s biggest sporting stars, at the centre of attention, the men’s high jump will be among the most eagerly-awaited disciplines on the programme. The 2017 world athlete of the year was forced to the sidelines with an ankle injury for much of 2018, and is now rounding into form just in time. History’s second highest jumper, at 2.43m, is scheduled to return to action at the London leg of the IAAF Diamond League on 20 July in the same stadium where he jumped to the world title two years ago.

© Philippe Fitte

Likewise, a pair of his key competitors, Bogdan Bondarenko of Ukraine, the 2013 world champion who topped 2.42m in 2014, and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi, the 2016 world indoor champion with a 2.39 lifetime best, also appear to be on a successful rebound from injury. Bondarenko cleared 2.31m in Rome in one of his two Diamond League victories this season.

With Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba as its chief driving force, the men’s 400m hurdles has become one the most exciting events on the international circuit. The World Championships final in Doha on 30 September promises to feature one of the greatest showdowns in the event’s history.

Last year, the full-lap hurdles race was all about Samba, who spent much of the season rewriting the all-time list. He ended 2018 as the second fastest man of all time at 46.98, on paper just a few hundredths of a second faster than Rai Benjamin, who ended 2018 equal third fastest after his 47.02 performance at the NCAA Championships. Both have started well – Samba leading the world with 47.27 from Shanghai, and Benjamin clocking 47.58 to win in Rome. But so has reigning world champion Karsten Warholm of Norway, who improved all the way to 47.33 in Oslo to break the European record. Meanwhile, Samba was forced to the Oslo sidelines with a bout of bursitis, an early season injury that adds yet another element of drama to that inevitable showdown.


The men’s flat 400m is promising fireworks with the anticipated face-off between rising US star Michael Norman, who blazed to a 43.45 personal best in his season’s opener in April, and South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk, the reigning world and Olympic champion and world record holder, who also returns to action this season after injury.

On the women’s side, Genzebe Dibaba has illustrated that she’s once again nearing her form of 2015, the year when she broke the world 1500m record and later raced to victory at the World Championships. She’s collected victories in Rome and Rabat clocking 3:56.28 and 3:55.47, respectively, two of the three fastest times of the year.

In the women’s sprints, triple European champion Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain is off to a solid start, clocking 10.94 and 22.18. But so is Jamaica’s 2016 double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, who sped to a 10.89 victory in Rome.

Other protagonists in compelling stories-in-the-making include living hammer throw legend Anita Wlodarcyzk of Poland who is on the mend from an ankle injury in pursuit of a fifth world title. Czech Barbora Spotakova, the reigning world champion in the javelin, is also back in action after taking 2018 off for her second maternity leave. In Doha she’ll be chasing a fourth world title at 38.

For ticketing information, visit the official ticketing website at

For those wanting to travel to Doha for the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, discounted travel packages through Qatar Airways and Discover Qatar are now available. A discount for travel via Qatar Airways can be found here: using the discount code IAAFQA19. Accommodation, tickets and Doha activity packages are available here:


ACCESS BANK LAGOS CITY MARATHON: Registration For 2020 Race Begins with N5000 Payment

Registration for the 2020 edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon opened Monday, June 17, 2019, with intending participants paying a fee according to a statement signed by the organisation Director of Communications and Media Olukayode Thomas.

Upon the payment of the registration fee of N5, 000 for the 10km race and the full marathon, intending participants can register online at or collect registration form at the Marathon Office, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos or any of the Access Bank branches nationwide.

Thomas said foreigners who intend to participate in the 2020 edition slated for February 8, 2020, will pay a registration fee of $US100 (One Hundred United States of America dollar only).

Thomas said the first four editions of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon was free but a fee is being introduced from 2020 so as to comply with the IAAF requirement which stipulates that all top label races must charge a participation fee.

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

He said 10% of the registration fee paid will be donated to five charity organisations selected by members of the public and other stakeholders.

“Payment of registration fee will enable us to raise the standard of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to the standard of other world-class marathons like New York Marathon, Dubai, London, Chicago, and others. It will also attract many tourists to Lagos thus boosting the State’s economy; especially in the areas of hospitality, transports, sales of arts and crafts and the positive stories they leave with will attract genuine investors to Lagos State in future”. Said Thomas


France’s Kevin Mayer has very generously donated the kit he wore when setting the world record for the decathlon to the IAAF Heritage Collection, which is currently on public display for six months in Doha, Qatar.

Mayer, the world decathlon and world indoor heptathlon champion, set the world record with a score of 9126 at the Decastar meeting in Talence, France, in September 2018, surpassing the 9045 which USA’s Ashton Eaton had established at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015. On his way to breaking Eaton’s record, Mayer set personal bests in five events.

The kit that Mayer has donated is made up of the bodysuit which he wore in the long jump, his 1500m spikes and two bib numbers (name and ‘leader’).

Inspiring Aspire

The donation was recently symbolically handed over at the IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition in the City Center Doha shopping mall. The recipient of Mayer’s kit was Mubarak Al-Sulaiti, a 15-year-old Qatari athlete, who competed for Qatar at the U18 Gulf Cooperation Council Athletics Championships.

Al-Sulaiti is training to be a combined eventer at the world renowned Aspire Academy, under the watchful coaching eyes of Martin Brockman and Rudolf Sopko.

High ambitions

“Last September I created my own piece of global athletics history, but as is the fate of all world records it will be beaten,” said Mayer, who will return to Talence for the Decastar meeting this weekend (22-23 June). “I’m therefore really delighted that my bodysuit and spikes will be preserved so the record will not be forgotten. I hope displaying the kit in public helps to inspire young athletes around the world like Mubarak to set their ambitions high and pursue their dreams as I have done.”

Kevin Mayer
© Giancarlo Colombo,

Decastar, which is part of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge, was recently honoured with the award of an IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque.

The IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition, in which Mayer’s kit is on display, was opened on 18 April by IAAF President Sebastian Coe and Dahlan Al Hamad, IAAF Vice President and Director General of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 local organising committee. The exhibition is situated in the City Center Doha, the largest shopping mall in Qatar and will be open to the public until Monday 7 October, one day after the close of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (27 September to 6 October).

The IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition is kindly supported by the International Athletics Foundation, Asics and SEIKO.


Lagos Media Marathon Organisers Urge Gov. Sanwo-Olu To Sustain Culture of Road Races

The organisers of the maiden Lagos Media Marathon have made an appeal to the new governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu to sustain the renewed culture of road races and marathon in the state.

Tony Ubani, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Media race said on Monday that Lagos has been blessed with another visionary leader as he reckons that the first few days in office of Gov. Sanwo-Olu gives room for optimism.

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu

Lagos with its Bronze Label is already on the calendar of the International International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the yearly Lagos Marathon is ranked among the top in the world with the large volume of participants it commands.

Ubani enjoined the new Lagos State Governor to build on the achievements of his predecessor Akinwunmi Ambode by further promoting marathon and road races which have further made Lagos visible on the world’s sports map.

According to Lagos Media Marathon organising chief, aside from the health benefits, the tourism and economic gains from marathon and road races are enormous and should be further explored by the new Lagos State government.

He said: ” With Lagos now at the forefront of marathon and road races in Nigeria and beyond, we are confident that our new governor will keep the flag flying and even take this to the next level”

Ubani revealed that preparations are at top gear for the Lagos Media Marathon and the new governor will be accorded the honour of flagging off this historic race billed to take place later in the year.

“We are working hard to make this race a memorable one, we have also resolved that His Excellency will be the one to flag off the race” Ubani stated.

Gov Sanwo-Olu was the only gubernatorial candidate that personally interfaced with the Sports Writers Association and the general sports community in Lagos during his campaign and for Ubani, his actions even before coming to office suggest better days for sports in the Centre Excellence.

“We would be banking on the Lagos State government for all the support we can get for this Media Race and with what we have seen so far; especially with the visionary leadership displayed within his first few days in office, we are very positive of getting it right from this first edition” Ubani concluded