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

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …