Saturday, December 29, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Melissa Breen

Melissa Breen is this week's Track Beauty! 

Photo from Trailpilot/Wikimedia
The 22-year old is a top-ranked Australian elite sprinter. Breen had won national titles in both the 100m and the 200m since 2009.[1] To date, her major championship curriculum vitae include stints at the Commonwealth Games, the World Championships, and most recently, the 2012 London Olympic Games.[2]

Her progression from 2007 to 2008 was particularly impressive, where the then 17-18 year old Breen shaved off 0.41s from her 100m time best (11.74s to 11.33s).[3] To date, she has personal bests of 11.27s and 23.30s in the 100m and 200m, which she both set in 2012.[4]

Breen finished 6th place in her 100m dash heat, registering a time of 11.34s in her Olympic debut.[5]

  1. "Athlete Bio - Melissa Breen." Retrieved 12-29-2012.
  2. "Melissa Breen." Retrieved 12-29-2012.
  3. "Athlete Bio - Melissa Breen."
  4. "Melissa Breen."
  5. Ibid.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Vira Rebryk Віра Вікторівна Ребрик

Vira Rebryk is this week's Track Beauty!

The 23-year old Ukrainian is the reigning World Junior record holder for the javelin throw. She set the U20 standard of 63.01m at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz back in 2008.[1] Naturally, her track record as an age-group athlete was immaculate, having won World Youth and World Junior silvers and the European Junior title on top of her World Junior gold medal.[2]

Photo from TrailPilot/Wikimedia
Despite runner-up finishes at the Universiade and the European U23 Championships and a finals appearance at the Berlin World Championships, the Ukrainian javelin prodigy had struggled in her transition to the senior ranks.[3] Rebryk failed to progress beyond the qualifying rounds of the 2010 European Championships and the 2011 World Championships. 

Vira finally made her breakthrough at the Helsinki European Championships this year, where she threw the javelin to a new personal best 66.86m.[4] Her monster throw propelled the Ukrainian to joint fourth place in the 2012 top list. Unfortunately, she failed to replicate her stellar form at the London Olympic Games a month later.

But then again, her performance in Helsinki has emphasized the point that Rebryk will be a major contender in the event in the years to come.

  1. "Vira Rebryk." Retrieved 12-29-2012.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.

Monday, December 17, 2012

“Forever Alone Guy Meets His Dream Athlete”

Check out this  cool clip from LMAOfy! Featuring our favorite hurdler, Michelle Jenneke, and the Forever Alone guy.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Elizaveta Savlinis Елизавета Савлинис

Elizaveta Savlinis Елизавета Савлинис is this week's Track Beauty!

Photo from Rifat Junisov/Рифат Юнисов
Savlinis specializes in the 200m dash. Her breakout year in the half-lap came in 2012, when she went under the 23-second barrier for the first time in her career. Elizaveta has a personal best of 22.62s, which she set in 2011 and 2012.[1]

The 25-year old is a fixture in the formidable Russian relay squad. She was part of the 4x100m relay team that finished in fifth place at the Daegu World Championships.[2] Although the Russian women were surely capable of bigger things in light of their stories pedigree in the team events, they did set a season's best of 42.78s in the qualifying round. 

Her best finish in her specialist event is sixth place in the Daegu World Championships. She made her Olympic debut in London this year, but her qualifying time of 23.23s was good enough for only fifth in her heat.[2]

  1. "Elizabeta Savlinis." Retrieved 12-16-2012. 
  2. "2011 World Championships in Athletics – Women's 4 × 100 metres relay." Retrieved 12-16-2012.
  3. "Elizabeta Savlinis." 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Marika Popowicz

Marika Popowicz is this week's Track Beauty!
Photo from Erik Van Leeuwen
Popowicz is a Polish sprinter who specializes in the 100m and 200m. Marika has a personal best of 11.38s and 23.15s in the aforesaid events, set during her breakout season in 2009.[1]

The young Polish speedster racked brought home multiple individual medals as well as a relay medal from the World Military Games and the World University Games.[2] That same year, she finished third place in both the 100m and the 200m at the European U23 Championships.[3] Marika was also part of the silver medal-winning Polish 4x100m quarter.[4]

Popowicz is a mainstay of Poland's formidable 4x100m relay teams the past few years. She made a smooth transition from the junior and U23 ranks to the seniors, having been part back-to-back bronze medal relay performances at the European Championships in 2010 and 2012. 

  1. "Marika Popowicz." Retrieved 12-11-2012.
  2. "Marika Popowicz." Retrieved 12-11-2012.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

"The Fighting Filipinas: Toni Rivero and Annie Albania" by Joboy Quintos

As an athlete and a patriotic Filipino, it kills me to think that the Philippines has yet to win its first Olympic gold medal. The Philippines has a proud albeit forgotten sports tradition. Mediocrity has been the rule, not the exception. Back in the pre-World War II years, the Philippines - then a Commonwealth of the United States - had won bronze medals in swimming (Teofilo Yldefonso), athletics (Simeon Toribio and Miguel White) and boxing (Jose Villanueva). In the last half century, however, the Philippines had won only 4 Olympic medals, all from amateur boxing.

Read hurdler49's "World Beaters"

We had a couple of close shaves with the gold, with Anthony Villanueva (Jose Villanueva's son) and Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco yielding to their respective opponents at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1996 Atlanta Games, respectively.

Despite the dearth in Olympic-level talent, our best hopes for a landmark Olympic Gold are none other than our very own version of Superb Señoras. It's ironic to think that for a patriarchal society like the Philippines, the country's front liners in Olympic competition are its women.

Antoinette Rivero made her Olympic debut in Athens 2004. Even though she was just 16-years old at that time, her experience belied her competitive fire. In Athens, she narrowly lost to Greek fighter in the quarterfinals and to a South Korean in the repechage, missing out on a chance for an Olympic podium finish. 4 years later in Beijing, Rivero faltered in the opening round.

The inclusion of Women's Amateur Boxing at the 2012 London Olympics is a big boost to the Philippines' quest for a gold medal. The Filipina amateur boxers are bright hopes, with Annie Albania shining the brightest. Albania, fighting in the 51-kg category, is a three-time Southeast Asian Games medalist. In 2010, she beat hometown bet Ren Cancan to wrest the gold medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

Let's just hope that Albania doesn't push through with her planned retirement.

Article by Joboy Quintos

Monday, December 3, 2012

Track Beauty of the Week: Tiffany Porter

Tiffany Porter is this week's Track Beauty!
Photo from SuperSport
Porter is an American-born sprint hurdler who competes for Great Britain. Before carrying Team GB's colors, Tiffany had won bronze for her country of birth at the 2006 World Junior Championships. [1] She started representing her mother's country in 2011, to some degree of controversy. 

Her impact on the British record books has been instantaneous, as she rewrote national sprint hurdling records many times over. Porter's personal best of 7.80s in the 60m hurdles is the standing British national record. [2] However, Tiffany's national benchmark of 12.56s in the 100m hurdles was bettered by the prolific Jess Ennis at the London Olympic Games. [3]

To date, Porter had won silver medals at the 2011 European Indoors and the 2012 World Indoors, on top of her 4th place finish at the Daegu World Championships.[4] With her appointment as British team captain for the 2012 World Indoors team, and the warm reception she received from British fans at her home Olympics, the so-called "plastic Brit" controversy seemed to have taken a back seat.

  1. "Tiffany Porter." Retrieved 12-2-2012.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.