Skip to main content

Ozaki, Akaba, Matsumiya Twins, Nakao to Run London Marathon

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/091201/spg0912010000000-n1.htm
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/p-sp-tp0-20091201-571347.html
http://www.shimotsuke.co.jp/news/tochigi/sports/news/20091201/242397

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Nov. 30 it was announced that 2009 Berlin World Championships women's marathon silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (28, Team Daiichi Seimei) and her World Championships teammate Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) will run the April 25th London Marathon. Other women in the field include two-time defending champion Irina Mikitenko (Germany), 2009 World Championships gold medalist Xue Bai (China) and 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist Constantina Dita (Romania).

The men's race will feature men's 5000 m and 30 km national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya, his identical twin brother Yuko (both of Team Konica Minolta) and 2008 World Half Marathon 5th place finisher Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku). At the forefront will be 2008 Beijing Olympics and course record holder Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya).

Both Ozaki and Akaba have been suffering injury problems, in Ozaki's case a knee problem which kept her out of last month's East Japan Jitsugyodan Ekiden Championships. Akaba commented, "I'm running because I wanted to take on a high-level overseas race. Next year I plan to race a lot, and in London I'm looking at a PB at the very least."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…