Yoko Shibui Wins Osaka Ladies Marathon, by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder


Yoko Shibui won the Osaka Ladies marathon, dashing Lidia Simon's hope of a fourth win at this top marathon. Shibui will make the Japanese team to Berlin 2009-she was last on a World Championship team to Edmonton in 2001, where she took fourth.

Rob Meyers won the New Balance Games, a nice way to starting the season. winning in 3:59.92.

German Fernandez had a rough fall at the NCAA cross country. His first race indoors was a fast one! Running 3:56.50 for the mile, German broke the world and american junior bests for the indoor mile in Fayetteville, Arkansas!

EME NEWS (JAN 25, 2009)

Shibui wins Ladies Marathon OSAKA (JPN, Jan 25): Breaking away from the lead pack at 28.5Km and covering the 30 to 35Km in 16:11, Yoko Shibui convincingly won the 2009 Osaka Ladies Marathon with 2:23:42. "I was not consciously picking up the pace, but I just run faster and faster," said Shibui after the race. "I was never able to pick up the pace at the end of the race. I think I have figured out how to win the marathon," Shibui continued. Despite a slow early pace (none of the 5Km lap time was under 17 minutes until 30 to 35Km) the winning time was quite respectable. It was twelfth fastest time on the course. It was also the fourth fastest in Shibui's eleven marathon career. For Shibui, who said "I will continue to run the marathon until I win one" after the fourth place finish in the 2008 Tokyo Women's marathon, it was her third marathon victory of her marathon career, having won her debut at 2001 Osaka Ladies Marathon with the world marathon debut record (at the time) and then the 2004 Berlin Marathon with the national record. Thus her quest for a marathon victory is fulfilled after the draught that lasted more than four years. As a winner of the World Championships qualifying race, Shibui clinched a spot on the marathon team for the World Championships in Berlin; she will be running her second World Championships marathon, having finished fourth in Edmonton eight years ago. Yukiko Akaba, a marathon debutante finished second with 2:25:40. "The marathon felt shorter than what I have expected, so I was able to enjoy the race. But I was bit disappointed because I could not win it," said Akaba after the race. She was followed by Yumiko Hara in 2:26:57 and Miki Ohira with 2:27:08. Lidia Simon of Romania, 2001 World Champion, was fifth in 2:27:14. She just edged Mika Okunaga, who improved her marathon best from 2:27:52 to 2:27:16 in sixth place. Ruth Wanjiru, a Kenyan, who lives in Japan and runs for Second Wind AC was seventh in 2:27:38. Madoka Ogi, was eighth in 2:27:56, thus eclipsing the best time for the eighth place in Osaka, which was 2:28:06, recorded last year. Another debutante, Akane Wakita, a protégé of Yoshio Koide, was ninth in 2:31:16. Incidentally, her time is similar but slightly faster than Naoko Takahashi's marathon debut time, which was 2:31:32, recorded in the 1997 Osaka Ladies marathon.


VERMILLION (USA, Jan 24): US Champion and olympic finalist Derek Miles opened his season at the Graphic Edge Alumni Open in the Dakota Dome. He made first attempt clearances at 560 and 570 and became the 2009 World indoor leader with a final attempt clearance of 582. His next meet will be Millrose Games on Friday.

VIENNA (AUT, Jan 24): Two excellent marks at Season Opening meet in Vienna´s Ferry Dusika Hall. Austrian Clemens Zeller clocked 46.74 at 400 m and qualified for Torino European Indoor Championships. Zeller was also the fastest at 200 m (21.34). Czech Jaroslav Ruza posted solid 1:48.96 to win the 800 m. Slovenian Sabina Veit was the best at 200 m (23.99). Fast 60 m winner was Hungarian Peter Miklos who improved to 6.65 and beat world finalist Matic Osovnikar of Slovenia (6.71).

HIRSON (FRA, Jan 24): Russian Aleksey Dmitrik won with 226 the High Jump Meeting in France. Tie for second with Italian Filipo Campioli, home Abdoulaye Diarra and Belarussian Artyom Zaytsev (all 223). Italian Rafalea Lamera was the best woman with 183 cm.

HAMBURG (GER, Jan 24): German sprinter Stefan Schwab clocked 6.65 60 m win at regional championships and achieved the norm for European Championships in Torino.

NEW YORK (USA, Jan 24): Reigning USA indoor 1500 m champion Rob Myers got his season off to a solid start with a come-from-behind victory in the invitational mile at the 14th annual New Balance Games at the Armory Track & Field Center in Upper Manhattan. He clocked 3:59.92 ahead of Briton Neil Speaight (4:00.31) and New Zealand´s Adrian Blincoe (4:00.33) who worked for the pace a lot.

FAYETTEVILLE (USA, Jan 24): Oklahoma State freshman German Fernandez competed for the first time since his injury suffered at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Fernandez set a new world junior indoor record in the mile run and one of the fastest times in collegiate indoor history with his winning performance of 3:56.50. The old world indoor junior record was held by Geoffrey Rono of Kenya who ran 3:58.60 in 2006. Dorian Ulrey of Arkansas, who transferred to the Hogs from Northern Iowa, finished second in 3:57.60. Both times met the NCAA automatic standard as well. The two fastest indoor collegiate times are set by North Carolina's Tony Waldrop with his hand-timed performance of 3:55.0 set in 1974 and Michigan's Nate Brannen who clocked 3:55.11 back in 2005. Writes Track Shark.

MOSCOW (RUS, Jan 24): Yevgeniya Zolotova clocked good 4:10.42 1500 m win at Moscow City Championships first day. 800 m European Indoor medallist Oksana Zbrozhek was second in 4:13.49 and Yelena Sidorchenkova was faster in another race with 4:12.80. Interesting 60 metres as Yuna Mekhti-Zade won in 7.26 over European indoor medallist Yevgeniya Polyakova (7.27), Olympic relay winner Aleksandra Fedoriva (7.39) and veteran Irina Privalova 7.40 at age of 40. Unexperienced Oksana Sukhachova beat with 52.38 clearly world-class Natalya Antyukh (52.96). World Indoor champion Olesya Zykina won another race in 53.41. Aleksandra Antonova won the 60 m hurdles in 8.21, but Tatyana Dektyareva clocked faster 8.15 in heats. Yelena Sokolova leaped to 650 in Long Jump. In men events Olympic 800 m winner Yuriy Borzakovskiy tested his shape with 3:46.45 1500 m win of his race. But faster was Vyacheslav Sokolov in another race achieving 3:43.00. World junior champion Konstantin Shabanov won the 60 m Hurdles (7.88), but world indoor medallist Yevgeniy Borisov was faster in heats with 7.70. Pavel Gerasimov cleared 560 in Pole Vault and Maksim Babarykin posted good 46.87 at 400 m.

HUSTOPECE (CZE, Jan 24): Addition - British former European indoor champion Dalton Grant at age of 42 cleared 208 and had very close attempts at 213 what would be new world indoor masters best in category 40+. He wants continue to try to break the mark, next possibility at Banska Bystrica High Jump meet on February 11.


NAIROBI (KEN): Elite Sports Management International (ESMI) director, Hussein Makke, has been re-instated as a Kenyan athletes representative by Athletics Kenya, The Standard informs.

LISBOA (POR): Double European sprint champion Francis Obikwelu is semi-retired. This year (his last as athlete) he will only run for his club (Sporting) at European Champion Clubs Cup (Castellon, Spain, 30/31 May) and at Portuguese Clubs Championship (Leiria, 13/14 June). He is now living in Algarve (Albufeira) and is the new trainer of Olusoji Fasuba and his wife Ngozi Nwokocha, who are also there. All three were in Nigeria at Christmas and returned to Europe this week.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

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