MOSCOW (AP): IAAF President Sebastian Coe has met with the new head of the Russian athletics federation, which was banned from world track and field in November over doping. The Russian Federation said yesterday that Coe and Dmitry Shlyakhtin met on Friday in Monaco and discussed “Russian athletics and the way to lead it out of the crisis”. “I was pleased to meet with the new president of Russian athletics,” Coe said in comments provided by the International Association of Athletics Federations. “We held a wide-ranging conversation, including, of course, the current position that Russia finds itself in.” An IAAF task force monitoring Russia’s compliance with reform demands is due to visit Russia today and tomorrow. Coe said he thanked (Shlyakhtin) “for his cooperation” with the task force. According to the Russian Federation, Shlyakhtin briefed Coe on Friday about reforms in Russian track and field, saying that they are “an issue that can’t be solved in one day and which requires systematic and painstaking work”. Shlyakhtin, a former coach and regional politician, was elected last month. Russia’s head coach, Yuri Borzakovsky, said he was “sure” that the ban would be lifted in time for the Olympics in August. Russian athletes “are in a cage now, and when they get out, they’ll rip everyone apart”, he added. Russia was suspended from competition, including the Olympics, after a World Anti-Doping Agency commission accused it of operating a systematic and state-sponsored programme of drug use by star athletes.
SPORTSMAX2Saturday7:45 a.m: Norwich City vs Man City10 a.m: Bournemouth vs SwanseaSPORTSMAXSunday
Local track and field fans are in for a treat today as several of the world’s top athletes will be on show at the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) meet inside the National Stadium. The main events are set to get under way at 7:30 p.m. with the women’s 400 metres hurdles, one of 19 international events. However, action will start as early as 2 p.m. with one of two new events on the programme, the international hammer throw for women. The other new event, the men’s international javelin begins at 4:15 p.m. These will be followed by six Development events, starting at 5:05 p.m. with the women’s 100 metres. The final event of the night, the women’s 400 metres at 9:23, should be one of the most competitive. Jamaica’s trio of Stephenie Ann McPherson, who was third last year, along with Novlene Williams-Mills, fourth a year ago, and Christine Day, who was fifth, will be hoping for a local sweep of the top three places following the withdrawal of last year’s winner, American Sanya Richards-Ross. The Jamaicans will come up against another American, Francena McCorory, runner-up last year and winner of the event two years ago. This event is expected to be a cracker as, fresh in the minds of fans is last year’s World Championships 4×400 metres final in Beijing, when Williams-Mills outwitted McCorory on the anchor leg to give Jamaica a memorable win. With a good record here over the years, Williams-Mills will be hoping to get back to winning ways. The women’s 100m hurdles at 8:27 p.m. should also be hot. World champion Danielle Williams will be engaged in a very tough battle against some fierce rivals. Last year’s winner Jasmin Stowers is out, but her compatriots Sharika Nelvis, American record holder Brianna Rollins (12.26), and 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson will be hoping for a top three sweep. Also in the event is Britain’s record holder Tiffany Porter (12.51). “I am under no pressure whatsoever as I am going into the race to have fun, and if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” Jamaica’s Williams said in a recent interview. Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will be hoping to make it a great night for local fans when they compete in the 100 and 200 metres, respectively. American Tori Bowie ran a world-leading 10.80 seconds in winning the women’s 100 metres at the Doha Diamond League meet yesterday, and Thompson, who won a year ago with 10.97, will be hoping to go faster here. English Gardener of the United States is her main rival. Fraser-Pryce, who was third in this event a year ago, will face the outstanding Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas. Miller was impressive in clocking a Bahamian and meet-record 22.14 in the half-lap event last year and is this year’s world leader in the 400m with a 49.69 run on April 16 in Nassau. Fraser-Pryce will be joined by countrywoman Shericka Jackson, who was a bronze medallist in the 400m at last year’s World Championships. Also down to compete is rising American sprinter Candice McGrone. HOT HURDLES POWELL IN 200m Former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell is down for the 200m where he will face local rival Rasheed Dwyer. In the men’s 100 m Julian Forte, Kemar Bailey Cole and Oshane Bailey will carry Jamaican hopes against the very fast Americans Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers. SELECTED EVENTS 7 p.m. Shot put women – International 7.03 p.m. Triple jump men – International 7.06 p.m. 3000m steeplechase men – International 7:30 p.m. 400m hurdles women – International 7:37 p.m. 400m hurdles men – International 7:40 p.m. High jump men – International. 7:49 p.m. 800m men – International 8 p.m. 1500m women – International 8:07 p.m. Long jump women – International 8:11 p.m. 100m women – International 8:15 p.m. 100m men – International 8:27 p.m. 100m hurdles women – International 8:37 p.m. 110m men – International 8:53 p.m. 200m women – International 9:03 p.m. 200m men – International 9:14 p.m. 400m men – International 9:23 p.m. 400m women – International