Casa Italia played host to the annual AIPS and Laureus Media receptions at the Ellington Hotel, Berlin yesterday.
Stealing the show was the dynamic women’s 100m World Champion sprinter, Jamaican Shelly Ann Fraser, and 100m silver medallist Kerron Stewart, who appeared with the ever joyful Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture Olivia “Babsy” Grange, in their campaign to beat the cheats. “If you cheat you will get caught. We don’t need to cheat. We will succeed on our own merit,” Fraser said as they proudly unveiled Jamaica’s new anti-doping campaign video.
Also announced at the reception was a new partnership between the Tokyo and Rome Marathons. President of the Tokyo Marathon Koji Sakurai and Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara presented the partnership alongside the President of the Rome Marathon, Enrico Castrucci. Mr Castrucci described Ethiopian Gold Medalist athlete Abebe Bikila – who was winner at the Rome Olympics of 1960 and the Tokyo games four years later – as a perfect symbol of the partnership. The impending Marathons are set for Tokyo on February 28th and then Rome on March 21st.
The “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation” has been responsible for raising over 20 million euro towards sport-based social projects all over the world. Academy members Edwin Moses, Naqal el Moutawakel, Lord Sebastian Coe, Kip Keino and Sergey Bubka presented a video at the event thanking the media for its continued support and its valued role in aiding the nominee selection process for Laureus World Sport.
Proud representation from Germany at the event came from World Champion women’s javelin thrower Steffi Nerius. Also present were Kenya’s 10,000m women’s gold medallist Linet Chepkwemoi Masai, 800m silver medallist Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei and Men’s 10,000m bronze medallist Moses Ndiema Masai.
From Italy were world record holding 50km race walker Alex Schwazer, due to race today, and Stefano Baldini, the 2004 Athens Olympic gold medalist.
Special Guests came in the welcome form of former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, HRH Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein of Jordan, AIPS Executive Committee members Nickolai Dolgopolov and Evelyn Watta, Chairman of the AIPS Athletics Commission Yannis Theodorakopolous, Berlin 2009 media director Stefan Thies and actress Nastassia Kinski, as well as sporting legend Wilson Kipketer and City Olympic High Jump gold medallist Dick Fosbury.