Jinson Johnson (This photo was downloaded from the athlete’s Facebook page and is being used here for representation purpose)

Jinson Johnson sets new national record in 1500m

Indian middle distance runner Jinson Johnson set a new national record in 1500m for men when he placed second in the discipline at ISTAF Berlin on Sunday (September 1, 2019).

Gold went to Joshua Thompson of the US. Cornelius Tuwei of Kenya placed third.

A specialist in the 800m and 1500m, Jinson clocked three minutes, 35.24 seconds in Berlin, media reports said. The earlier national record was 3:37.62, also in his name; it was set at a competition in Netherlands in June.

With Sunday’s second place finish, Jinson has qualified to participate in the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships due in Doha, Qatar, later this month, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) confirmed in a tweet.

According to Wikipedia, the Internationales Stadionfest (ISTAF) is an annual track and field athletics meet held at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Since 2010, the event has been part of the IAAF World Challenge meetings, the second tier of global one day athletics events.

Jinson also holds the national record in 800m; 1:45.65 set at the National Inter-State Championships held in Guwahati in June 2018.

This photo was downloaded from the Facbook page of the IAAF World Championships and is being used here for representation purpose. No copyright infringement intended.

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich is world champion in women’s marathon

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich struck gold in the women’s marathon at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships which got underway in Doha on September 27.

Running in hot and humid weather conditions, she covered the distance in 2:32:43.

It was the first time a marathon was being run at midnight at a world championship. The choice of that hour was to beat the region’s warm weather. “ On this occasion the challenge was about endurance rather than speed as the race began in temperatures officially estimated at between 30 and 32.7 Centigrade, and humidity of 73 per cent,’’ a report on the IAAF website about the 25 year old-Kenyan athlete’s run, said.

According to it, Bahrain’s Rose Chelimo took silver with timing of 2:33:46 while bronze went to Namibia’s Helalia Johannes, who finished in 2:34:15.

Earlier this year, Ruth Chepngetich had topped the women’s segment of the 2019 Dubai Marathon, with finish time of 2:17:08. She has a personal best of 1:05:30 in the half marathon and 31:12 over the 10 kilometers.

Sebastian Coe, president, IAAF (This photo was downloaded from the IAAF website).

Sebastian Coe gets second term as IAAF president, Adille Sumariwala reelected to IAAF Council

Sebastian Coe has been re-elected to a second term as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), a tweet from the apex body for world athletics, said on September 25, 2019.

He was elected unopposed.

Ximena Restrepo has been voted the first female vice president of the IAAF.

Joining her as IAAF vice presidents are Sergey Bubka, Geoffrey Gardner and Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud.

The newly elected IAAF Council members include Hiroshi Yokokawa, Antti Pihlakoski, Anna Riccardi, Nan Wang, Adille Sumariwalla, Nawal El Moutawakel, Abby Hoffman, Sylvia Barlag, Alberto Juantorena, Willie Banks, Raul Chapado, Dobromir Karamarinov and Beatrice Ayikoru, further  tweets by on the subject by IAAF, said.

AFI announces national team for 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) selection committee has picked a 25-member national team including 16 men and nine women for the 2019 IAAF World Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar, from September 27 to October 6.

According to a statement from AFI (dated September 8), the team is as follows:

Men: Jabir MP (400m hurdles), Jinson Johnson (1500m), Avinash Sable (3000m steeplechase), K T Irfan and Devender Singh (20km race walk), Gopi T (marathon), Sreeshankar M (long jump), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (shot put), Shivpal Singh (javelin throw), Muhammed Anas, Nirmal Noah Tom, Alex Antony, Amoj Jacob, KS Jeevan, Dharun Ayyasamy and Harsh Kumar (4 x 400m men’s & mixed relay).

Women: PU Chitra (1500m),Annu Rani (javelin throw), Hima Das, Vismaya V K, Poovamma M R, Jisna Mathew, Revathi V, SubhaVenkatsan, Vithya R (4 x 400m women’s & mixed relay).

While 400m runner Arokia Rajiv is unavailable due to injury, the selectors decided to discuss the case of javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra who is undergoing rehabilitation program after an elbow surgery, at a later stage. The selection committee approved the names of sprinters Dutee Chand (100m women), Archana Suseentran (200m women) and high jumper Tejaswin Shankar subject to invitation from IAAF based on their world rankings. The committee also decided to conduct confirmatory trial for quarter miler Anjali Devi for selection in the team in individual women’s 400m. The trial will be conducted on September 21 at NS-NIS Patiala.

The AFI selection committee meeting, chaired by Olympian Gurbachan Singh Randhawa, was attended by AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla, Chief Coach Bahadur Singh, Bahadur Singh Saggu, Krishna Poonia, Praveen Jolly,UdayPrabhu amd Paramjit Singh. Former Chief Coach JS Saini and Deputy Chief Coach Radhakrishnan Nair were special invitees, the statement said.

This photo was downloaded from the Ladakh Marathon Facebook page and is being used here for representation purpose.

Shabir Hussain, Jigmet Dolma take top honors in 2019 Ladakh Marathon

Shabir Hussain and Jigmet Dolma were winners of the men’s and women’s race respectively at the 2019 edition of Ladakh Marathon, held on September 8.

In the men’s race, Shabir Hussain breasted the finish tape in two hours, 56 minutes and 51 seconds. He was followed by Jigmet Norboo, who finished in 2:58:58. In third place was Manzoor Hussain with a timing of 3:04:37 hours.

Among women, Jigmet Dolma was the winner with a timing of 3:20:02 hours. Tsetan Dolkar placed second finishing in 3:22:37. In third place was Namgyal Lhamo, who clocked 4:09:38.

In the men’s half marathon segment, Suman Gurung won, crossing the finish line in 1:19:48 hours. Rajkumar Serma came in second with a timing of 1:20:51. Nawang Tsering finished third with a timing of 1:22:34.

In the women’s half marathon, the winner was Tashi Ladol (1:36:27). Stanzin Chondol (1:36:52) placed second and Disket Dolma (1:37:51), third.

Khardung La Challenge: Shabir Hussain, Christena Walter win

Shabir Hussain and Christena Walter were winners of the men’s and women’s race at the 2019 edition of the 72 kilometer-long Khardung La Challenge in Ladakh.

The race starts at Khardung village and about 60 kilometers of the route is above 4,000 meters.

Shabir Hussain finished the distance in six hours, 53 minutes and 34 seconds. Stanzin Norboo was the runner-up finishing just five seconds behind  the winner in 6:53:39 hours. In third place was Rigzin Norboo who finished the ultra-distance in 6:54:31 hours.

Among women, Christena Walter from Ireland was the winner finishing the race in 10:32:44 hours. In second place was Ashwini G, who finished in 10:39:25 hours. Rephica Becky Pde finished the race in third position with a timing of 11:36:50.

The event held on September 6, 2019 had a record number of 120 runners finishing the race within cut-off timing, the organizers of the event said.

Pau Capell (This photo was downloaded from Twitter feed of UTMB)

Pau Capell of Spain, Courtney Dauwalter of US, win 2019 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

Spanish long-distance runner Pau Capell and American Courtney Dauwalter were winners of the men’s and women’s race at the 2019 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB).

UTMB is a single-stage mountain ultra-marathon; it is among the world’s best-known events of its type.

Pau Capell finished the 171 kilometer-UTMB course in 20 hours, 19 minutes and seven seconds.

Xavier Thevenard of France finished in 21:07:56 hours, nearly 49 minutes after Capell. Scott Hawker of New Zealand placed third with a timing of 21:48:04 hours.

In the women’s race, Courtney Dauwalter won with a timing of 24:34:26 hours. Kristin Berglund of Sweden finished in 25:34:12, an hour behind the winner. Spain’s Maite Maiora Elizondo ended in third position with a timing of 25:41:30.

In the overall ranking, Courtney’s position was 21.

In the 101 kilometer-CCC race (Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix), the overall winner was Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando Alzaga who finished the race in 10:28:49 hours. He was followed by Thibaut Garrivier of France who finished in 10:39:01. In third position was Jiri Cipa of Czech Republic. He finished the race in 10:45:37.

Courtney Dauwalter (This photo was downloaded from the Twitter feed of UTMB)

In CCC’s women’s race, Ragna Debats was the winner finishing in 12:10:33 hours. The runner-up was Amanda Basham of United States. She finished in 12:27:06. In third position was Camille Bruyas of France (12:34:26).

Spain’s Pablo Villa Gonzalez was the winner of the men’s race in the 145 kilometer-TDS race, completing it in 18:03:06 hours. In second position was Dmitry Mityaev of Russia (18:16:16) and in third position was Ludovic Pommeret of France (18:37:13).

In TDS women’s race, the winner was Audrey Tanguy of France (21:36:15). In second position was Hillary Allen of United States finishing in 21:52:46 hours and in third position was Kathrin Gotz of Switzerland (23:46:37).

Media technology at athletics events set to grow with 2019 Doha world championships

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), with its technology partners and suppliers, will be introducing an array of new cameras to provide innovative angles on the competition and behind-the-scenes pictures, at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships due in Doha from September 27, 2019.

In collaboration with long-standing timing partner Seiko, IAAF Productions will launch the world-first technology of Block Cam at Khalifa International Stadium. Two miniature cameras have been installed in each starting block which will provide a new dimension to the coverage of the 100m and sprint hurdles, broadcasting pictures of athletes’ faces in the moments before they hear the starting pistol and capturing the explosion of energy as the athletes leave the blocks, an IAAF statement said.

According to the statement, the suite of new cameras being used by IAAF Productions will also include body cameras placed on officials (in the call room and officiating on the race walks course), drones, rail and wire cameras on the back straight, a rail camera in the tunnel between the warm-up track and stadium, a super slo-mo remote camera in the discus cage and hand-held cameras for athletes to take on victory laps.

The 2019 World Championships will also see a quantum leap forward in graphic production and analysis, using the combined expertise of Seiko, Hawkeye, Angular Velocity and Deltatre.

These will display the maximum speed reached by sprinters during a race, their finishing speed, the speed of take off in long jump, triple jump and pole vault, the distance achieved in each of the three phases of the triple jump, and the speed and angle of release of the long throws.

“ We’ve embraced innovation throughout the Championships, showing more behind-the-scenes footage from the moment the athletes arrive at the stadium, through their whole journey to the end of the Event – and with more than 130 cameras inside and outside the stadium, we can’t wait to broadcast these unique Championships to a prospective audience of more than a billion people,’’ Lord added.

India’s Ministry of Sports to create National Centres of Excellence

The Ministry of Sports will create 20 National Centres of Excellence to prepare athletes for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

According to media reports, each such centre will offer funds for four to six specific sports. The Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, has urged state governments and corporates to develop sports centres.

Twenty facilities of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) have been identified as National Centers of Excellence. The centres are in Patiala, Trivandrum, Chandigarh, Sonepat, Lucknow, Guwahati, Imphal, Kolkata, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gandhinagar plus Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Indira Gandhi Stadium, Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium,  Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee Swimming Pool Complex, all in Delhi; National Water Sports Academy (Khelo India), Alleppey, National Boxing Academy (Khelo India), Rohtak and National Wrestling Academy (Khelo India), Aurangabad, media reports said.

(The authors, Latha Venkatraman and Shyam G Menon, are independent journalists based in Mumbai.)


Photo: courtesy Pamela Chapman Markle

Sixty-three-year-old Pamela Chapman-Markle of the US broke the course record in her age category at the 2019 edition of Badwater 135. It was the fourth consecutive time she broke the age category course record at the ultramarathon. She finished with a timing of 34 hours and three minutes, bettering her own record of 34:30:53 hours set during the 2018 edition.

A nurse-anesthetist by profession, Pamela started racing at the age of 55. Her first race was a 100 miler. This interview provides an update to the last one we did, a year ago.

How was your running in the last one year? Was it good, satisfying; were there any setbacks?

It was indeed satisfying for me. My timing at races matters to me. There was nothing to really get depressed about.  I just work harder at training and come back with a vengeance. I did extremely well and am very blessed with how I have completed the races.

During this period you set new course records at several races. Can you detail some of them?

The new records are:

  1. 48 Hour (Across the Years) USATF age record of 153.271 (I was really sick and stopped nine hours early so I could have completed more miles ). I am repeating the 48 hour in November and hope to break the world record and break my 48 hour USATF Record.
  2. Badwater Cape Fear, Badwater Salton Sea, and Badwater 135 – these three races are considered The Badwater ULTRA CUP. You consider the total time you ran to complete all three races; the winner does it the fastest.   I was the female winner.
  3. Mad City 100K – overall USATF age group 100K national winner, 1st Masters, and 3rd overall female.
  4. Keys 100 – age course record
  5. Badwater 135 – new age group course record with a time of 34:03. I beat my record by almost 30 minutes.
  6. Six Days in the Dome – The Redux: 1st female, 2nd overall, 100K USATF Age Record, 12 Hour Age World Record – New USATF Record, 24 Hour USATF Record.

Photo: courtesy Pamela Chapman Markle

Have you incorporated any new elements into your running? How has your recovery been in the last one year after these long ultra-races?

I have done seven ultra-races, so far this year. I have incorporated more interval running. I also try to go to the hills in Austin twice a month.  My recovery has been excellent.  I am blessed to recover as well as I do.

I have started to add one day of strength training in my weekly schedule.  I feel this will help me in recovery.  As far as nutrition goes, I am still trying to figure that out!  For recovery, I am increasing the protein and vegetables in my diet.  As far as racing, I am still trying to figure that out.  I have not found anything that prevents GI distress in me.  Solid foods seem to help after 50 miles.  I will be joyous when this is figured out!

Can you describe your run at the 100K Mad City Ultra races? 

I had a great run until the last 20 miles.  My stomach was not feeling well and I went without fuelling that entire time. I slowed myself down quite a bit.  It was really cold there. I froze which I feel slowed me a bit.

Can you throw light on your 100 mile run at the USATF Championships?

I won the 100 Mile USATF Age Group Race.  I found out after the race that I missed the world record by 11 minutes. So I am challenging it at Tunnel Hill in November this year.

Photo: courtesy Pamela Chapman Markle

You have run Badwater multiple times. What brings you back to it; what makes you want to court it every year as a test of your ability?

I love Badwater in so many ways!  I feel it is a really difficult race to complete.  The challenge takes me back every year.  Not only is it the hottest part of the USA but the climbing from 282 feet below sea level to 8500 feet above and starting late at night to cover 135 miles is quite a challenge.  I really love the Badwater family and the people.

As someone who has run Badwater multiple times, are there any changes you notice to race conditions? Is Badwater warmer than before? At night during the race, is it colder than before? How was the 2019 experience?

For me – the weather in the 2019 experience was cooler than all the other times I have run the race; at night, and during the day.  The people who ran it for the first time had no idea that it was 10 degrees hotter in 2018.

You set a new course record this year. What made it possible? Did it have anything to do with your training or was it how you felt and performed during the race? Was there anything about the overall environment / race conditions that helped?

I believe I had a team that believed in my goal for Badwater.  They are a big part of why I set a new course record.  I fell and broke my nose at about mile 91 and had a slight concussion.  I was so nauseated and couldn’t hold anything down for the remainder of the race.  My team was awesome and forced me to take little sips of fluid until we finished.  My training is spot on now. This has been my fourth time running Badwater.  I will keep trying to better my time again and again!

When you choose your races do you have any preference in terms of weather and terrain? 

I would prefer hot road races but I hardly get to choose my weather or terrain.  I love mountain trail races but I do not live in the mountains.  I still try and race one or two a year.

I would love to start racing overseas.  India would be perfect for me.  I am going to investigate the runs and work some of them into my schedule hopefully in the next couple of years.

Photo: courtesy Pamela Chapman Markle

What are your plans going ahead?

I raced at Six Days in The Dome; 24 hours.  I beat the USATF record for 100K (10:47), I beat my USATF record in the 12 Hour (69 Miles) and this gave me the world age record. I PR’d my 100 miles time in 19:02, and won a USATF 24 hour record, running 118.76 miles.  I came in 1st female, 2nd overall racer.  I had a great race and know I can improve.  I did all this coming off only four weeks of racing Badwater 135.  My muscles were not fully recovered and I had pain from mile 25 on.  It was definitely a chore!  I ran with Zach Bitter and was able to be in the Arena when he won the World Record. That was so much fun! Then there is the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile in September. No woman over 61 has ever completed this race and I intend to complete it. There is the Icarus 48 hours in Florida and Tunnel Hill 100 in November.  I plan to compete for world records at both.

(This interview was conducted by email. The author, Latha Venkatraman, is an independent journalist based in Mumbai. For more on Pamela Chapman Markle please try this link: