Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yoko Shibui Duels With Mizuki Noguchi During Training Run in Kunming, China

http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2007/10/30/0000723759.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

Beijing Olympic women`s marathon hopeful Yoko Shibui returned from a 2-week training camp in Kunming, China on Oct. 29. Shibui, the all-time 2nd-fastest Japanese woman, will face Athens Olympic gold medallist and Japanese national record holder Mizuki Noguchi, `07 Rotterdam Marathon runner-up Hiromi Ominami and other elite women on Nov. 18 in the Tokyo International Women`s Marathon. As an Olympic selection race, Tokyo will feature no pacemakers.

Shibui reported that during a training run in Kunming on Oct. 28 she encountered Noguchi, who was also training in Kunming. "I was doing a hard tempo run and saw Noguchi ahead. I tried to catch up to her but couldn`t make it. She was fast. Maybe." Complementing a rival is a grand gesture, even if it`s weakened with a "maybe."

Getting to the Olympics is everything for Shibui. "I don`t usually pay attention to who else is going to be there. I just want to win." When told that she looks to be in excellent shape and to have lost some weight she replied, "When I take off my warmups on Nov. 3 check out how good I look." The East Japan Jitsugyodan Women`s Ekiden on Nov. 3 will be Shibui`s final tune-up before Tokyo.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Yoko Shibui runs 40km PB in training for Tokyo International Women`s Marathon

http://www.daily.co.jp/newsflash/2007/10/16/0000698768.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

On October 15th, former Japanese women`s marathon national record holder Yoko Shibui (2:19:41, Berlin 2004) broke her 40km PB during a training run as part her preparation for the Tokyo International Women`s Marathon on November 18th. In Tokyo, one of Japan`s Olympic selection races, Shibui will face defending Olympic gold medallist and current Japanese national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (2:19:12, Berlin 2005).Shibui ran this 40km training run to simulate staying with Noguchi, who is heavily favored to win Tokyo. The next day, Shibui left Japan for a high-altitude training camp in Kunming, China.

-----That`s it for the translation. This looks like it`s going to be an incredible race if both Shibui and Noguchi make it to the starting line intact. With Reiko Tosa having secured a spot on the Beijing Olympic team by medalling at the World Championships there are only two slots left but three qualifying races, Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. It`s very unlikely that whoever comes in second in Tokyo will be selected and also probable that the winner will not be selected if the winning times in Osaka and Nagoya are faster. Thus it seems like neither of these sub-2:20 women can afford to run a conservative race. The Tokyo Int`l course is pretty challenging with large uphills in the last few km, but Eri Yamaguchi ran 2:22:12 and Gert Thys ran 2:06:33 there in `99 so fast times are possible. I think that they`ll be going for the course record (Yamaguchi`s time) at an absolute minimum, possibly sub-2:20.

Friday, October 26, 2007

`Takahashi Opts Out of Beijing`

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/25102007/58/takahashi-opts-beijing.html

-----Eurosport`s title is misleading. Q-chan doesn`t have much chance of beating either Shibui or Noguchi in the Tokyo International Women`s Marathon but could win in Osaka or Nagoya and would thus be likely to be selected for the Beijing team. Opting out of Tokyo increases her chances of making the 2008 Beijing Olympic team.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Atsushi Sato Sets New Japanese and Asian Half-Marathon Record

http://www.iaaf.org/WRU07/results/gender=M/discipline=HMAR/combCode=hash/roundCode=f/index.html

written by Brett Larner

Atsushi Sato set a new Japanese and Asian half-marathon record of 1:00:25 at the World Road Running Championships in Udine, Italy on Oct. 14, 2007. Sato placed 9th overall.

Japan-based half-marathon world record holder Samuel Wanjiru, suffering from a knee injury, finished 51st in 1:03:31, behind Japan`s Sato; Kazuhiro Maeda, 30th in a PB of 1:02:08; and Kenji Noguchi, 33rd in a PB of 1:02:20. Tetsuo Nishimura was close behind Wanjiru, finishing 54th in 1:03:41. The Japanese team placed 7th out of 17 teams.

Japan`s women`s team finished 3rd of 8 teams led by Chisato Osaki`s 7th place finish in a PB time of 1:08:56. Other Japanese results included Akane Taira, 12th in 1:09:17 (PB); Yoshimi Ozaki, 13th in 1:09:26 (PB); Yuko Machida, 26th in 1:11:55; and Yurika Nakamura, 39th in 1:13:13.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Samuel Wanjiru Forced to Withdraw from NYC Marathon Due to Contractual Conflicts with Toyota Jitsugyodan Team

http://www.asahi.com/sports/update/1003/SEB200710030020.html

translated by Brett Larner

Kenyan half-marathon world record holder Samuel Wanjiru has been forced to withdraw from his planned full marathon debut at next month`s ING New York City Marathon. As a member of Toyota Kyushu`s jitsugyodan running team, Wanjiru is required to be physically present in Japan for at least 180 days per year. Wanjiru has only 10 days` leave time left and will expend this allowance at the World Road Running Championships in Udine, Italy next week. Toyota Kyushu coach Koichi Morishita stated that Wanjiru has not trained specifically for a marathon at this time and that Toyota Kyushu requires him instead to focus on preparations for the national corporate ekiden championships on Jan. 1, 2008.