Skip to main content

Yoko Shibui Breaks 7-Year Old 10 km Ekiden Stage Record in Final Tune-Up Before Tokyo International Women`s Marathon

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/p-sp-tp0-20071104-278688.html

translated by Brett Larner

Yoko Shibui displayed peak form before her attempt to make the Beijing Olympic team at the Tokyo International Women`s Marathon. On the 10 km 3rd stage of the East Japan Jitsugyodan Women`s Ekiden Shibui broke her personal stage best by 3 seconds, running 31:06 to take the top spot away from rivals Dai-Ichi Seimei and lead Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo to its 8th straight East Japan victory.

Shibui showed both the strength and speed she will need to beat Athens Olympic gold medallist, and current Japanese national record holder Mizuki Noguchi in Tokyo to make the Olympic team. She started the stage in 2nd place, passed Dai-Ichi Seimei`s Ozaki near the 5 km point, and finished the stage 0:44 ahead of Ozaki. Shibui`s previous best mark on the 3rd stage was set in `00; her new best is just 0:05 short of the stage record of 31:01 (Phyllis, Hokuren). After her run Shibui said "I didn`t do any ekiden training but it went pretty well. I`m looking forward to the race in 2 weeks. When there`s someone else fast running it`s more of a challenge and I can push harder."

After setting her previous stage record 7 years ago Shibui went on to her debut marathon at the `01 Osaka International Women`s Marathon. Recently she has struggled in the marathon, consistently slowing down in the later stages and failing to qualify for Olympic and World Championship teams. Her coach Hideo Suzuki said that this time they have tried to bring back the feeling and training that Shibui had in her most successful races, the `02 Chicago Marathon and `04 Berlin Marathon where she set the then-Japanese national record of 2:19:41. He said that Shibui has been running the workouts at the same level as in her peak days and that with the experience she has gained since that era she is an even match for Noguchi.

With a great run by their ace, Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo was able to pull off a victory. Based on today`s run in looks likely that they will take back the winner`s title from Shiseido at December`s All-Japan Jitsugyodan Women`s Ekiden. Shibui`s teammate Reiko Tosa, already guaranteed a spot on the Beijing Olympic team thanks to her bronze medal performance at the Osaka World Championships, did not run today but is scheduled to run the anchor leg at All-Japan. If Shibui joins Tosa on the team by beating Noguchi, Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo will have one more reason to celebrate.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

One Month Until the Japanese Olympic Marathon Trials

It's one month to go until what's bound to be the best marathon of 2019, Japan's 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, the Sept. 15 Marathon Grand Championship Race. Up to now Japan has typically picked its Olympic and World Championships marathon teams based on performances in a series of specific races, primarily the Fukuoka International Marathon, Tokyo Marathon and Lake Biwa Marathon for men, and the Saitama International Marathon, Osaka International Women's Marathon and Nagoya Women's Marathon for women. This time around they're going with a U.S.-style one-shot trials race, the MGC Race.

People had a nearly two-year window from August, 2017 to April this year to hit tough standards to qualify. Only 34 men and 15 women made it, and after withdrawals for the Doha World Championships the MGC Race's final entry list is just 31 men and 12 women. Swedish Athletics Federation official Lorenzo Nesicalled it "the most difficult marathon race ever to quali…

MGC Race Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier - Naoki Okamoto

Naoki Okamotoage: 35
sponsor: Chugoku Denryoku
graduated from: Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S., Meiji University

best time inside MGC window:
2:11:29, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

PB: 2:11:29, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

other PBs:
5000 m: 13:37.71 (2009) 10000 m: 28:05.84 (2011) half marathon: 1:02:16 (2009)

marathons inside MGC window (Aug. 1 2017 – April 30 2019)
DNF, 2019 Beppu-Oita Marathon
1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon, 2:11:29 – PB
DNF, 2018 Boston Marathon

other major results:
4th, 2019 Shibetsu Half Marathon, 1:03:53
2nd, 2019 New Year Ekiden Fourth Stage (22.4 km), 1:05:13
1st, 2018 Chugoku Corporate Ekiden Sixth Stage (19.0 km), 56:25 – CR
1st, 2018 Ome 30 km Road Race, 1:33:09
21st, 2017 Tokyo Marathon, 2:13:53

We’re picking Okamoto as our official dark horse of the men’s race. The second-oldest man in a field, Okamoto is a journeyman corporate leaguer who never broke 2:12 and whose PBs all came a decade ago. But, nearing the end of his career, over the last two years he has really come on…

Running The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Marathon Course Part One - Women's Marathon Test Run

It's one year until the women's marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. For the second year in a row I went out to run about 31 km of the course at the exact time that the women will be racing it. As with last year, I started outside the Olympic Stadium in Sendagaya, ran up to the 15 km turnaround in Asakusa and back to the 20 km point near Nihonbashi, then cut out the out-and-back sections to 24.5 km and 33 km and instead headed back the 10 km or so to the stadium.


Starting at 6:00 a.m. sharp, I ran a steady pace just under 5:00/km and made it back to the stadium a little after 9:15 a.m. with about 45 minutes of time lost to red lights, shooting video and live Tweeting, buying drinks and the odd pit stop. Every half hour I stopped to take temperature and humidity readings to get an idea of what kind of conditions the women will probably be facing a year from now.


It's been a relatively cool summer so far in Tokyo with an extended rainy season that kept things from heating u…