For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Sunderland start set for exit
SUNDERLAND Harriers look set to lose their star athlete, Eritrean Olympic Games standard-bearer Weynay Ghebresilasie.
The 19-year-old steeplechaser, who set up home on Wearside last year after choosing to seek asylum in the UK rather than return to his African country, has moved to Birmingham, where there is a large Eritrean community.
Ghebresilasie, who won the Sunderland 10K earlier this year and was the Harriers' top performer in last season's Start Fitness North-East Harrier League, was helped to settle in the town and continue his athletics career by members of the Sunderland club and was accompanied on several visits to hospital during investigations into a suspected blood disorder.
He returned to his Olympic event last weekend, winning the steeplechase in a British Milers Club meeting at Stretford in a time of 9 mins 2.34 secs, well outside his personal-best of 8:28.99 recorded in Belgium while representing Eritrea in May of last year. If he wishes to join a new club in the Midlands he must first resign from Sunderland.
Sunderland Harriers lost two of their best UK runners two years ago when brothers Patrick and Jack Martin resigned after moving to Manchester, joining up with Stockport Harriers.
n The Start Fitness North-East Harrier League, using a new colour-coded numbering system in the coming new season, have warned that any runners using the wrong numbers will face automatic disqualification.
The new number colours are: men blue, women red, junior (boys and girls) green, and under-11s (boys and girls) orange.
The League starts on Saturday, September 28 with the traditional Sherman Cup (men) and Davison Shield (women) fixture, but with the usual venue at Temple Park, South Shields, unavailable the meeting will be held at Hedley Farm, Tanfield, hosted by Gateshead Harriers.
The other fixtures are - October 28 Shibdon (host club Blaydon Harriers); November 24 Bedewell Park (Jarrow & Hebburn); November 30 Wallington Hall (Morpeth); February 8 Wrekenton (Saltwell); March 1 Alnwick Gardens (Alnwick); March 22 Prudhoe (Tynedale).
n Gateshead Harriers host their annual Tartan Games at Gateshead International Stadium tomorrow (10.15am).
Chris Tomlinson failed to make an impression in the Diamond League meeting in Sweden. He could only manage 7.87m - the same distance Greg Rutherford jumped in the World Championships in Moscow.