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Track to Beijing winds through Europe

15 July 2008
www.wcsn.com

By Dave Ungrady

A small group of U.S. athletes who will compete at the Beijing Olympics next month will fine-tune their fitness this week at two meets in Europe.

First time Olympians Christian Smith, Erin Donohue and Mary Wineberg will compete July 16 in the Meeting Internacional d'athlletisme, an IAAF National Permit meet in Liege, Belgium.

Smith dove at the finish line in the 800 meters at the recent U.S. Olympic trials to grab third place and the final Olympic spot by .06 seconds and will run the event in Liege. Donohue, 25, finished second in the 1,500 meters at the trials and will also run the 800 meters. Wineberg is scheduled to compete in the 200 meters in a field that includes American LaShaunte'a Moore, a 2004 Olympian in the event.

Kim Gevaert of Belgium, the European champion in the 100 meters, headlines that race in Liege.

At the International Meeting Ciutat de Barcelona, an EAA Area Permit meet in Spain on July 19, two-time U.S. Olympian Hazel Clark will run the 800 meters for the first time since winning the event at the recent Olympic trials. Ian Waltz, a 2004 Olympian and the trials champion in the discuss, will compete in the event in Barcelona.

Dusty Jonas, the final U.S. Olympic qualifier in the high jump, will compete in the event along with fellow American Jaime Nieto, who finished second at the trials but did not reach the Olympic "A" standard and will not compete in the Beijing games.

Other athletes who have qualified to compete in the Beijing games and who are scheduled to run in Barcelona include Jamaican 200-meter national champion Veronica Campbell Brown, the world champion in the 100 meters; Francis Obikwelu of Portugal, the silver medalist in the 100 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympics, in the 100 meters; Olympic heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft, in the triple jump; Wilfred Bungei of Kenya, the 800-meter winner at the recent Kenyan Olympic trials, in the 800.



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