In a press release dated January 20, 2009, the ASICS America corporation announced that they have re signed their three top athletes, Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor and Lo Lo Jones through 2012.....
The ASICS America corporation, number one in the performance running shoe food chain in terms of specialty sales, re upped their top three athletes: Ryan Hall, 2008 Olympic Trials marathon champion, tenth,Beijing Marathon, Deena Kastor, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, marathon, 2008 OlympicTrials champion, Lo Lo Jones, 2008 Olympic Trials champion, 100m hurdles.
Ryan Hall, a top prep and NCAA champion while at Stanford, woke up the road running world on January 14, 2007, when he ran 59:43 for the half marathon distance, breaking the twenty-two year old ( September 15, 1985) record of road king Mark Curp. In April 2007, Ryan ran 2:08.24 at the FLORA London marathon. On November 4, 2007, Ryan followed his debut with a masterful victory in Central Park, where he ran a 2:09:02 on one of the toughest championship courses in many road fan's recollections. In Beijing,
Ryan ran conservatively for the first half, finishing in tenth place in 2:12:33. His next marathon will be the 2009 BAA Boston Marathon.
Deena Kastor has been championing women's running for over a decade now, and her 2004 bronze medal, plus 2008 Olympic Trials marathon victory showed her toughness. Deena has run well over 5,000 and 10,000 meters, and was, until last April the American record holder at the 10,000 meters on the track. As the first and only American women under 2:20, Deena set her American record winning the FLORA London in 2006. Word is that Deena should be ready for a Fall 2009 marathon!
Lo Lo Jones has been on fire in the hurdles for two years. Her victory at the World Indoor Champs in 2008 in Valencia was her first global title. Lo Lo won the US Olympic Trials, and was brilliant in Beijing, but hit a hurdle with three to go in the final, and her gold medal dreams for 2008 were dashed. Jones is back for 2009, focusing on Berlin.
What is fascinating about ASICS and how their athletics manager, Ben Cesar, develops his athletes is that, like the majority of the footwear companies, ASICS has found a key group of athletes, right for their needs and uses them in advertising, promotions and marketing as well as supports them for their training.
What was also fascinating was the battle over Ryan Hall. ASICS America was dueling with some other footwear companies over an athlete that many see is the future of US male distance running.
ASICS RE-SIGNS ATHLETES HALL, KASTOR AND JONES THROUGH 2012
Irvine, CA (January 20, 2009) – ASICS America Corporation announced today it has re-signed marathon runners Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor, and hurdler, Lolo Jones to contracts through 2012. All three extraordinary athletes represented the U.S. in track and field in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
“These athletes are the best in their events and are great ambassadors for the ASICS brand. Each has qualities that are in line with the company slogan ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body,’” says Benjamin Cesar, ASICS athlete manager. “Ryan is the future of men's distance running in the U.S., Deena is one of the greatest women’s distance runners of all time and Lolo is the current face of USATF.”
Ryan Hall has been a part of the ASICS team since 2005, and is best known for setting a new Men’s U.S. Marathon Trial record on November 3, 2007 in New York City’s Central Park making him part of the Men's U.S. Marathon Team that competed in Beijing. Hall’s next major race will be the Boston Marathon on April 20, 2009 where he is predicted as one of the favorites.
“I couldn't be more happy to stay with ASICS, a brand that has been faithful to me from my first pursuit of breaking the four-minute mile barrier, to qualifying for my first Olympic team, to now, as I pursue winning a major marathon in the U.S.,” says Hall. “As I have matured as a person and an athlete, I have learned how important it is to surround myself with people I trust, who support me through the good and bad seasons, and who are working to make the world a better place.”
Deena Kastor won the Women’s U.S. Marathon Trial on April 20, 2008 in Boston, Mass. earning her a spot at the Summer Games. Although she had to drop out at mile three due to a foot injury, Kastor has been recovering and is expected to return to competition at the Yokohama Ekiden, a long-distance relay in February 22, 2009. Kastor will likely be ready to run a full marathon by the fall of 2009.
“Long before running with the ASICS logo, I have admired the quality of ASICS shoes,” says Kastor. “Since signing with ASICS in 2001, I have learned to respect the standards in which they operate. The acronym , a sound mind in a sound body, is a philosophy that every person within the corporation works under. It is a huge honor for me to continue representing a brand I believe in 100 percent.”
At the 2008 U.S.A. Track & Field Trials (USATF), Lolo Jones set a personal best of 12.29 in the 100 Meter Hurdles, which tied her for the second fastest time in any condition and earning her a trip to the Games in Beijing. Jones was favored to win in Beijing, but hit the ninth hurdle and lost the race in the finals. Her first major return to competition will be at the USATF Championships in June 2009, which is the qualifier for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Outdoor World Championships.
“I have no Olympic medal and by ASICS committing to my dream of achieving that goal over the next four years represents to me that they are willing to support me not dependent on my current medals, but by their belief in my abilities to achieve those future medals with their support,” says Jones. “I am truly grateful for this relationship.”
ASICS Corporation, with more than 50 years of footwear manufacturing experience, offers a full line of performance-driven athletic shoes and technical active sports apparel and accessories. For more information, please visit www.asics.com.
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