Athletics

Durban confirmed as 2022 host city for Commonwealth Games

Durban will be the first African city to host the Commonwealth Games
The South African athletes at the previous Commonwealth Games


Durban will be the first African city to host the Commonwealth Games after being confirmed as the venue for 2022. The city, on the east coast of South Africa, was the only remaining bidder after Edmonton's bid team withdrew in February for financial reasons. The Games will begin on the 18th of July and finish on 30 July. It will be the 22nd staging of the event, which is held every four years.

Athletes from more than 50 countries - most of which are former British colonies - will compete. The announcement was made at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) general assembly in Auckland. "As a movement we stand together to support the very first games on African soil," said outgoing CGF president, Prince Tunku Imran. Much of the infrastructure is already in place, with an athletics track to be installed at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which was built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.


'Mo Farah is GB's greatest sportsman,' says Brendan Foster

Mo Farah showed at London 2012 he could beat the best of Kenya and Ethiopia
Brendan Foster says that Mo Farrah is the greatest ever


Olympic medallist Brendan Foster has described Mo Farah as Britain's 'greatest sportsman' after claiming the first distance 'triple-double' in history. Farah added the 5,000m to his 10,000m title at the World Championships - a feat he also achieved at the London Olympics in 2012 and the 2013 World Championships. Foster said: "Mo is the greatest sportsman that Britain has ever had."

Farah, 32, responded: "We have had so many legends and to be in the same category as them is amazing." Farah has now gone ahead of Ethiopian, Kenenisa Bekele, who is the only other person to claim an Olympic and world 'double-double' in the distance events. Farah now has five World Championship golds, two Olympic golds and five European golds, and is unbeaten on the track outdoors in a major championships since finishing second in the 10,000m at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.

Foster, working as a BBC commentator at the championships, explained why he put the British runner on such a pedestal. "He's Great Britain's most prolific winner of global golds and he's put former British athletes like Sebastian Coe and Daley Thompson behind him," he told BBC Radio 5 live. "Former rower Sir Steve Redgrave (who won five Olympic golds) was part of a team. Mo is on his own and it's lonely out there. He's ruthless and we've not seen that. We should be enjoying the moment. We'll never see his like again."


YouTube inspired Julius Yego to take up the Javelin

Kenyan, Julius Yego in the process of throwing for the gold
Kenya's gold medallist Julius Yego poses on the podium


Kenya's Julius Yego, who refined his javelin technique from watching YouTube videos of the event, says that his World Championship gold medal was really unbelievable. At 5ft 9ins, the 26-year-old is relatively diminutive within the sport, but he threw a 92.72m distance - which is the longest in the world this year, and a Commonwealth record - to win the competition by nearly four metres.

"I had a serious injury and thought I won't compete in Beijing," he said. "Very few athletes have done what I have done." The 85kg Commonwealth champion, who initially hoped to join the ranks of famous Kenyan runners, has improved his technique after watching YouTube videos of Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic and Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen, who both won Olympic and world titles in the event.

Lord Coe elected as new IAAF president

Lord Coe elected president of the IAAF
Sebastian Coe (right) racing against Steve Cram and Steve Ovett


Sebastian Coe (Lord Coe) has been elected as president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after beating Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka by 115 votes to 92 in a ballot of the governing body’s 50th Congress. The double Olympic 1500 metre champion, takes over as head of a sport battling a public relations crisis with the IAAF accused of failing in its duty to address doping amid allegations that blood doping was rife in athletics.


Lord Coe will replace Senegalese, Lamine Diack, who has run the body for the last 16 years, at the end of the August after the world championships in Beijing. “For most of us in this room, we would conclude that the birth of our children is the biggest moments in our lives,” Coe said, whose initial term will be for four years. “But I have to say that given the opportunity to work with all of you for the future of our sport, is probably the second biggest and momentous occasion in my life.”


Leaked IAAF data says Mo Farah and Usain Bolt are clean

Usain Bolt holding one of his many gold medals
Mo Farah holding up his gold medal


The huge leak of blood data which has so dramatically called athletics’ integrity into question says stars such as Usain Bolt and Mo Farah are clean. The conclusion from the IAAF is stark: that more than a seventh of athletes, around 800 in total, have recorded results that according to an expert are “highly suggestive of doping or at the very least abnormal.” Ten medals at the London 2012 Olympics are said to have been won by athletes in the abnormal range.


The leaked IAAF with revelations reveals a sport in a ‘diabolical state’ according to one expert, who drew parallels with the dirty Tour de France wins by Lance Armstrong when doping infiltrated the peloton. However, the Sunday Times was also quick to point out that the data of Farah and Bolt, who won two and three gold medals at London 2012 respectively, does not indicate any suspicion of doping whatsoever. “Star names such as Mo Farah and Usain Bolt, who have been the subject of whispering campaigns, emerge as clean with no abnormal results,” the paper reports.