Saturday, September 22, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Jenny Elbe

Jenny Elbe is this week's Track Beauty!

Photo from Frank/Wikimedia Commons
The 22-year is an up and coming German triple jumper. Although she missed the "B" standard by four centimeters, Elbe had a fruitful 2012 season. The Technical University of Dresden student made her first major senior team in the European Championships in Helsinki. Elbe registered a best mark of 13.98m, missing out on a finals appearance by three places. 

She has a personal best of 14.06m outdoors and 14.02m indoors which she both set this season. These are her first ever forays into fourteen-meter jumps. 

Jenny has won numerous German national titles in age-group competition. As an 18-year old, she finished in 10th place at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, notching 13.01m in the final. Elbe performed much better at the 2009 European Junior Championships in Novi Sad. Her 13.55m effort propelled the German to third place behind Liane Pintsaar (13.89m) of Estonia and Cristina Sandu (13.61m) of Romania.

Elbe's improvement has been gradual the past few years. Expect the talented German to be a legitimate contender in the near future.


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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Yargelis Savigne

Yargelis Savigne is this week's Track Beauty!
Savigne competing at the 2010 Memorial Van Damme. (Photo from Erik van Leeuwen)
The Cuban has been a fixture of elite-level women's triple jumping for the past decade. To say that Savigne's achievements are impressive is an understatement. With three World Championships medals to her name, two of these back-to-back golds, Savigne is undoubtedly one of the big guns in the contemporary athletics circuit.

The 27-year old has a personal best of 15.28m from the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, the sixth-best triple jump outdoors. 

An Olympic medal is the only thing missing from the Cuban's display cabinet. The 2008 Beijing Olympics could have been her time for Olympic glory, having won the World title in stellar fashion a year earlier. Six women went beyond the 15 meter mark in the final. Savigne finished in a distant fifth place with a best mark of 15.05m. Her performance seemed to have dipped since then, as she failed to barge into the top three of the subsequent major internationals. She has not flown beyond 15 meters for the past two years, although she came tantalizingly close in 2011 (14.99m SB)..

Nevertheless, Savigne has been consistent in reaching the finals. In light of her considerable experience - and an obvious desire for an Olympic title - expect the Cuban to stage a comeback of Felix Sanchez proportions in the coming years.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Ásdís Hjálmsdóttir

Ásdís Hjálmsdóttir is this week's Track Beauty!
Ásdís Hjálmsdóttir competing in Switzerland. (Photo from Trailpilot)
Hjálmsdóttir is Iceland's best female javelin thrower. The 26-year old has a personal best of 62.77m from the qualifying rounds at the London Olympic Games. Thanks to Ásdís' classy throw, she barged into the final of the highly comeptitive event. She eventually finished in a respectable 11th place, notching a best throw of 59.08m in the final. 

The javelin thrower has been competing in high level meets since 2001, when she made her international debut at the World Youth Champiomships in Debrecen. Ásdís' record in age group competitions has been solid, with finals appearances at the 2004 World Junior Championships and the 2005 European U23 Championships.

She made her Olympic debut in Beijing. A year later, the Berlin World Championships-bound Hjálmsdóttir bettered the 60m mark for the first time in her career. Her curriculum vitae speaks volumes about her experience.

Prior to the London Olympics, Hjálmsdóttir actually had a forgettable campaign at the Helsinki European Championships, as she crashed out in the qualifying rounds with a sub-par 55.29m. Surely, her superb performance in London more than made up for the disappoint in Helsinki!


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Libania Grenot

Libania Grenot is this week's Track Beauty!

Grenot is Italy's best quarter-miler. The Cuban-born Italian sprinter has a personal best of 50.30s, the standing Italian record in the 400m dash. The 29-year old is a grizzled veteran of the athletics scene. She made her international debut at the World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz in 1999 for her native Cuba, where she finished fifth in the final. 

To date, she has taken part in two editions of the World Championships (2005 and 2009) and at the Beijing and London Olympic Games. She has reached the semifinals in Beijing, Berlin, and London, underlying her stature as a world-class 400m sprinter. 

She switched allegiance to Italy in 2008, having been married to an Italian for the past two years. Libania is a two-time finalist in the European Championships. She almost made it to the podium in Barcelona, but finished in fourth, stopping the clock at 50.43s.