Tuesday, December 1, 2009

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


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."

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