Skip to main content

Typhoon Slows Osaka Grand Prix

by Brett Larner

An early-season typhoon brought cold, windy, rainy conditions to this year`s Osaka Grand Prix meet, causing weak results among competitors in all events.

In the most anticipated event of the meet, women`s 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi easily defeated her rivals to win but missed her goal of an Olympic qualifying time. Kobayashi started well, leading the chase back a few meters behind leaders Sonja Roman of Slovakia and Lisa Corrigan of Australia. The two leaders hit 400 m in 64', with Kobayashi tying her national record split of 65' for the first lap. She spent the 2nd lap bridging the gap to the leaders, still on national record pace at 800 m with a 69' second lap.

In the 3rd lap Kobayashi made a move to take the lead but abruptly pulled back into the 1st lane to sit behind Roman and Corrigan, missing her chance to go after her goal time. The three runners hit 1100 m in 3:06, making even an Olympic B-standard 4:08 highly unlikely, then clocked 70` for the 3rd lap. With 200 m to go Kobayashi went past Corrigan, then with 30 m to go outkicked Roman to win in 4:13.96, slower than her 2nd place time at last week`s Cardinal Invitational at Stanford University. Roman held on to 2nd with a 4:14.24, while Corrigan was 3rd in 4:14.44.

In her post-race victory interview Kobayashi expressed disappointment in her time, saying she didn`t feel good in the poor conditions and promising to try again for an Olympic qualifying time. Her national record of 4:07.86 barely brings her under the B-standard 4:08, but Kobayashi already holds an A-standard qualifying time in the 5000 m and thus will likely be in Beijing this August one way or another.

For complete results, visit the Osaka Grand Prix site here.

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Takes Six Minutes Off Kitakyushu Marathon Course Record to Lead Weekend Results

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record. Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in the first 100 m in Kitakyushu and never looked back.

In the hilly first 10 km his pace fluctuated from high-2:12 to high-2:10, but once Kawauchi got into the flatter section of the course he settled out on track for a high-2:11 to low-2:12 time. After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly on the outbound trip to the turnaround near 31 km, but picking it up again after 35 km he marked a 6:34 from 40 km to the finish to stop the clock at 2:11:46,  a 1:05:55 second half …

Kipsang Talking Loud and Aga Mumbling Bold - Tokyo Marathon Preview

After stepping up to the big leagues last year with course records in the 2:03 and 2:19 range, the Tokyo Marathon hopes to go one better this year. Men's course record setter Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) is back, stepping up from a 2:03:50 prediction for Tokyo in January to a 2:02:50 world record prediction at Friday's pre-race press conference. In the unmentioned absence of women's course record breaker Sarah Chepchirchir the top-ranked woman is Ruti Aga (Ethiopia), coming in hot off a 1:06:39 win last month in Houston and turning heads at the press conference with a boldly mumbled 2:18:00 prediction.

Management for both Kipsang and Aga were skeptical to JRN of their athletes' predictions, people from each camp saying times two minutes slower would be more likely, one minute slower in a best-case scenario. But whatever the prediction, Kipsang was clear to fellow past champs Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) and Dickson Chumba (Kenya) about one thing: he wants a more conservative fi…

Kenyans Kabuu, Jemeli and Cheyech Lead Nagoya Women's Marathon Field

The Nagoya Women's Marathon is the largest women-only marathon in the world, one with a long history as an elite race and adapting to the times with a mass-participation field of 20,000. The last few years it has seen a series of dynamic, high-level performances by top Japanese women, from Sairi Maeda's 2:22:48 in 2015 to the 2:23:19 to 2:23:20 sprint finish battle between Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara in 2016 to Yuka Ando's stellar 2:21:36 debut and teammate Mao Kiyota's 2:23:47 breakthrough last year.

Maeda, Ohara and Kiyota all return this year to face the Kenyan trio of Lucy Kabuu, Valary Jemeli and Flomena Cheyech Daniel. Kabuu went to high school in Japan before moving on to the big leagues, but she hasn't finished a marathon since her 2:20:21 in Dubai 2015. Cheyech also used to be based in Japan as is a familiar face here, winning the last two Saitama International Marathons. Jemeli is making her Japanese debut, and with a 2:21:57 win in Prague and a 2:20:53 …