Skip to main content

Shibui, Kobayashi, Dita and More to Run Final Yokohama International Women's Ekiden

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/news/20090212-OYT1T00998.htm
http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/090213/spg0902130502000-n1.htm
http://www.asahi.com/sports/update/0212/TKY200902120294.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/p-sp-tp0-20090213-460245.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Click photo for a preview video of the 2009 Yokohama International Women's Ekiden (viewing area may be limited).

On Feb. 12 the Yokohama International Women's Ekiden organizing committee held a press conference to announce the lineup of the Japanese national team for this year's 27th and final running scheduled for Feb. 22. Leading the team are Beijing Olympians Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki). Shibui, who will compete in the marathon at this summer's World Championships in Berlin, set a stage record the last time she ran Yokohama in 2002. Kobayashi has run the 1st leg for the last three years, winning the stage in 2008.

Joining Shibui and Kobayashi are a strong squad made up of 2008 Tokyo International Women's Marathon runner-up Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC), #1-ranked university runner Kazue Kojima (Ritsumeikan Univ.) and rising stars Ryoko Kisaki (Team Daihatsu) and Kaori Urata (Team Tenmaya). Kano set a stage record on Yokohama's 5th leg in 2005, and Kojima has extensive successful experience in international ekidens despite her young age. With such an impressive membership the Japanese national team will be hungry for its first win in four years.

Along with the Japanese national team and seven regional Japanese squads, teams from six other countries including Russia, Romania, the U.S.A., Kenya, Finland and China will compete. Among the foreign athletes scheduled to run are Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Constantina Dita (Romania) and 10000 m specialists Maria Konovalova and Inga Abitova (Russia). Complete lineups for the other thirteen teams are available here.

The Yokohama International Women's Ekiden covers a six-stage, 42.195 km course beginning and ending at Yokohama's Akarenga arts space. With last year's demise of the Tokyo International Women's Marathon, the ekiden is being replaced with a new Yokohama International Women's Marathon to take place in November. The final edition of the Yokohama International Women's Ekiden will be broadcast live nationwide on NTV beginning at 12:00 noon on Feb. 22. International viewers should be able to watch online for free through one of the sites listed here.

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Judging from the times given on the entries, it looks like it will be quite a battle between Japan, Kenya and Russia. Deena Kastor said she was coming, but her name is not on the entry list....

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …