Haile Wins in 42:42, Kizaki beats Ozaki, Yamauchi gets Oly Qualifier, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Haile Gebrselassie, 2011 BMW Berlin, photo by PhotoRun.net

Haile Gebrselassie continues his return to fitness after the Berlin marathon debacle, and is focused on the Tokyo Marathon, which will be held at the end of February. He needs a fast one there to be selected for the Ethiopian marathon team for London 2012.

At the Yokohama marathon, the first of four Japanese Olympic trials selection marathons, Ryoko Kazaki won in 2:26.32 over Yoshima Ozaki, the favorite, who ran 2:26.49. Mara Yamauchi, the British marathoner who resides in Japan, ran a fine 2:27.24 to get her Olympic qualifier, the temperature was quite warm (22 Celsius, 71.6 Fahrenheit).

The 13th Nike Border Clash, held today at the Nike Global campus, had the state of Washington boys and girls cross country teams dominate the Oregon boys and girls over the 4,387 meter course around the Nike campus. Details to come..


NIJMEGEN (NED, Nov 20): Legendary Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie won the 28th edition of Zevenheuvelenloop (Seven Hills run). He clocked 42:42 at 15 km to beat Kenyan Vincent Kipruto 43:13 and Eritrean Samsom Gezahai 43:55. The 38 years old Gebrselassie had splits 14:38 at 5 km and 28:35 at 10 km. Patrick Stitzinger as fourth was the best European and home runner in 44:28 ahead of Ugandan Peter Kibet 44:30. „The first 5 km were too slow, otherwise I would break the 42 minutes," said Gebrselassie who plans his next marathon for February in Tokyo. It was his third win here after 1994 and 2005. Ethiopian Waganesh Mekasha won the women race in 48:32 ahead of five Japanese runners. It was 7th Ethiopian women win in a row since 2005. Second Aki Odagiri 49:42, third Ayame Takagi 49:43, fourth Erika Ikeda 50:06 and fifth Olympic 2004 marathon winner Mizuki Noguchi in 50:23. It was her first individual race since 2008. Sixth another Japan runner Eri Yagi (51:04) ahead of best Kenyan Elizabeth Cherono (51:38) and best Dutch Miranda Boonstra (51:38). In total 30 000 runners participated.



YOKOHAMA (JPN, Nov 20): First of Japanese olympic qualifying races the 2011 Yokohama International women´s marathon was won by Ryoko Kizaki in warm weather (22 degrees) with 2:26:32. "I almost gave up when Ozaki made her move with 2 km to go, but I kept telling myself not to give up until the last 100m," said Kizaki in the post-race interview. World medalist and favorite Yoshimi Ozaki was second in 2:26:49 and third Briton Mara Yamauchi clocked London standard 2:27:24. Kaoru Nagao, who tried to break the race at 31st km, finished fourth with 2:29:43. Fifth South African surprise Rene Kalmer who is former track miler improved her best to 2:29:59. Sixth Ethiopian Robe Guta achieved 2:32:26, another favorite Kenyan Salina Kosgei was 9th (2:35:26) with another European Kateryna Stetsenko of Ukraine 10th (2:35:44). Two more Olympic qualifying races - Osaka in January and Nagoya in March - are scheduled next year, and some of the biggest names in Japan will be vying for the Olympic team slots. Mizuki Noguchi, the 2004 Olympic champion will run Osaka, while the Asian half marathon record holder, Kayoko Fukushi, who was third in Chicago last month, will run either Osaka or Nagoya. With help from Ken Nakamura.



SORIA (ESP, Nov 20): Kenyan day at 18th Cross Internacional de Soria (IAAF Permit CC circuit). Daegu marathon silver winner Priscah Jeptoo confirmed her favorite role in the 8 km race and clocked 27:20 to easy win. In cloud but good weather second another Kenyan Rebecca Cheptegei (28:08) and third best Spanish Estela Navascues (28:15). Men´s 10 km saw bronze holder from last World CC Champs Vincent Chepkok dominating with front running in 29:48. Second Spanish Ayad Lamdassem got 29:53 and third Eritrean Adhanom Abraha (29:58), another home runner Javier Guerra was fourth. For Spanish runners this was the last possibility to qualify for European CC Championships in Velenje. Note - times unofficial.



CANNES (FRA, Nov 20): In the fourth edition of Alpes Maritimes Marathon from Nice to Cannes for first time a sub 2:10 was registered. Kenyan Lukas Kanda clocked new course record 2:08:40 ahead of Ethiopian Shume Hailu 2:09:07. Two more runners under 2:10 were third Moses Kurgat of Kenya 2:09:31 and fourth another Ethiopian Lema Feyisa 2:09:54. In good weather and 11 degrees the French marathon title went to Alban Chaurin who was 9th overall and also best European in 2:18:53. Teame Shumeye was the best woman in personal best 2:30:53 ahead of Fita Gadise 2:33:52 and Aberash Tola 2:37:13 making it a complete Ethiopian sweep. French title for fourth placer Aline Camboulives clocking 2:38:42.



ELDORET (KEN, Nov 20): Paul Koech won the KASS marathon (the biggest race in this city) in 2:15:49 (debut) ahead of Donald Sambu 2:16:23 and Peter Kosgei 2:16:57. Rita Jeptoo who was fourth in Frankfurt Marathon last month was the best woman in 2:36:15 ahead of Viola Bor 2:41:30 and Faith Cheruto 2:41:42. The winners prize was 1.5 million Kenyan shilling. In the 12 km races wins for Dennis Kipruto 32:33.5 and Joyce Jepkirui 40:39.3. Jeptoo, who was fourth at the 2008 New York Marathon before she broke for maternity leave, said: "I am happy to win here at home as I am used to watching local races only." Informs Elias Makori.







BILLANCOURT (FRA, Nov 20): Ethiopian wins at 15th edition of Boulogne-Billancourt Half Marathon. Sentayehu Merga Ejigu won in 1:01:38 personal best ahead of Estifanos Tekelde 1:01:39, third Kenyan Alfred Cherop in 1:04:19. Also in women race second from Rome marathon this year Haftu Goitetom clocked 1:10:57 PB win over Adhina Tsehay 1:11:09 (also PB) and Lucy Macharia of Kenya 1:11:16.


PALERMO (ITA, Nov 20): Kenyan Benjamin Serem won the 17th Palermo marathon in 2:15:15. Second another Kenyan James Chemchir 2:16:08 and third Ethiopian Werkunesh Seyoum 2:16:53. In women race an Ethiopian win for Worknesh Shashe 2:45:01.


BULLE (SUI, Nov 19): Eritrean Tadesse Abraham won the Corrida Bulloise 8 km road race in 23:29. Best Swiss runner Philipp Bandi was fifth (23:56). Women 6 km winner Kenyan Jane Muia achieved 20:13 beating Ethiopian Tsige Worku (20:15) and best Swiss Patricia Morceli-Buhler (20:27). Abraham who lives in Switzerland won the race for second time and Muia already for third time in a row. Exclusive starter of the race was European champion Viktor Rothlin.


KOBE (JPN, Nov 20): Takuya Nakayama, son of Takeyuki Nakayama, 4th in 1988 and 1992 Olympic marathon, won the Kobe Marathon with 2:24:13. He is a 22 years old college student. Satoko Uetani was the first woman in 2:40:45.


AGEO (JPN, Nov 20): At the Ageo City Half Marathon, one of the world's deepest races, last year's runner-up Cosmas Ondiba became the first Kenyan man to win an Ageo title, running 1:02:27 to beat Toyo University sophomore Yuta Shitara and senior Kento Otsu 2nd and 3rd in 1:02:35 and 1:02:43. Writes Brett Larner.


ISTANBUL (TUR, Nov 20): Home winners at 56th Omar Besim CC race were among 227 participants Yasin Ceylan at 10 km (31:32) and Nilay Esen in women 8 km (28:30).

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