IAAF World Junior Championships

Runner with age discrepancy withdrawn from World Junior Championships

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A Bahrain runner whose age eligibility was questioned for the World Junior Championships was pulled out of the meet before her event, according to the Oregonian.

The 1500m runner Amsale Getaneh is listed with a June 14, 1996, birthdate on the IAAF website, which would make her eligible to compete in the championships, whose age limit is 19.

But the newspaper reported it obtained a photo copy of what appears to be an Ethiopian passport for Getaneh with a Jan. 18, 1990 birthday, which would make her five years too old for the World Junior Championships.

The IAAF — the International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body of international track & field — investigated and concluded Getaneh was too old to be eligible.

An IAAF spokesman said officials contacted members of the federation from Bahrain “to clarify why their athlete has two passports because we received an Ethiopian passport showing her date of birth as ’90 and not ’96.

“They decided they didn’t want to create problems in the competition and disturb the good relationship between the Bahrain association and the IAAF. They decided to cancel the participation of the athlete.”

A six-year difference is more than some of the most infamous age falsifications in sports, such as 2001 Little League World Series baseball player Danny Almonte (two years difference) and 2000 Chinese Olympic gymnast Dong Fangxiao (three years difference).

Video: Mary Cain emerges from Kenyan box to win 3000m

Ashton Eaton named male IAAF Athlete of the Year

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American decathlete Ashton Eaton was named the 2015 male Athlete of the Year by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body for track and field. Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, the reigning world champion in the 1500m, was named the female IAAF Athlete of the Year.

Eaton is the first decathlete and just the eighth American man to win the title. Tyson Gay in 2007 was the last American man to be named.

The honor came due to Eaton’s world-record-setting performance at the world championships held in Beijing this past August. There he beat the previous record, his own from the 2012 Olympic Trials, by nine points. He also set a world record for running the fastest 400m portion of the decathlon in 45.00 seconds.

In the IAAF press release, Eaton said, “Athletes spend the most vigorous years of human life, arguably called the ‘best years’, working to hone their abilities. So, when an athlete competes, what people are witnessing is the manifestation of what a human being is capable of when they choose to direct all of their time and effort towards something.

“I’m grateful and thankful to the IAAF for excellent competitions, the canvases that allow us to display our work.”

He also acknowledged sprinter Usain Bolt and triple jumper Christian Taylor, who were also up for the title: “While I’m honored that I am considered the ‘artist’ of the year, I did not beat Usain and Christian; my work simply differed in design. They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I’m flattered to be among them.”

Dibaba has been unbeaten in the 1500m over five races in 2015. Along with winning gold and setting a world record in the 1500 at the Beijing World Championships, Diababa won a bronze medal in the 5000m event.

She gratefully accepted the award, saying, “After being a finalist and narrowly missing out on this award one year ago, I am very proud to be recognized by the fans and experts of our sport.

“I had a great season and truly enjoyed competing around the world, from Monaco where I managed to establish a world record, to Beijing where I finally captured my first world outdoor title.”

Dibaba was recently featured in a family-themed promotional video for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

MORE: Seb Coe splits from Nike as IAAF president


Olympians celebrate Thanksgiving

Meryl Davis
Team USA/ Twitter
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Nov. 26 – or Thanksgiving to the rest of us – is oftentimes a typical training day for many Olympians and Olympic hopefuls. Here’s a look at how some of them spent the day training, competing, celebrating, and being thankful.

Workout football and food😁👍!!! Happy thanksgiving everyone!!!

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Happy Thanksgiving from our cold cuts Turkey to yours! #family #happyhappyheart

A photo posted by @cammileadams on

Happy Thanksgiving from the SwimMAC Parade crew!

A photo posted by Tyler Clary (@tylerclary) on


MORE: NBC’s Thanksgiving Rio promo