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Japanese Women Marathon `Hot and Hotter`

Posted August. 14, 2001 08:39,   


Japanese Women marathon exercises its strong force in the world stages.

In 2001 World track and field competition held in Edmonton, Canada on August 13, Japan lost a gold medal to Lydia Simon (2 hr 26 min 01 sec, Romania). However, Tosa Reiko (2 hr 26 min 06 sec) won the silver medal only by 5 sec difference, Shibui Yoko (2 hr 26 min 18 sec) was the fourth and Matsuo Kazumi (2 hr 29 min 57 sec) was the ninth.

Thus, there were 3 Japanese players in the `Top 10` category. Although Japan lost a laurel in the personal competition, she won a World Cup competition (group) by 7 hr 22 min 36 sec. World Cup is given to a team whose best three records added up out of 5 participants, in which Japan has been the winner three times in a row since 1997.

Although there were 6 players who quit running out of 58 Japanese participants, five hopeful players, including Matsuoka Rie (24, 2 hr 34 min 11 sec, 22nd) and Okamoto Yukiko (2 hr 42 min 25 sec, 37th), completed the full course.

For Korea, Yoon Sun-Sook (Seoul Civil Development Corporation) was the only participant but was the 16th with 2 hr 33 min 09 sec, which is below her personal record (2 hr 32 min 09 sec).

Meanwhile, on the last day of this competition, Hicham El Guerrouj (Moroco) won the Men`s 1500 m by 3 min 30 sec 68, winning the gold medal three times in a row. Yan Zelezny (Cheko) threw 92 m 80 in the javelin throw, winning the gold medal three times since 1993 and 1995.

For Women`s 800 m, Maria Mutola (Mozambic) was faster than Stephanie Graf (Austria, 1 min 57 sec 20) by 0.03 sec, winning the gold medal by 1 min 57 sec 17. Thus, she won the `triple crown`, including Sidney Olympic games and 2001 Indoor Track and Field competition.

For the US teams, they won Men`s 400 m relay (37 sec 96) and 1600 m relay (2 min 57 sec 54), following the Women`s 400 m relay the previous day. They swept 3 relay games, showing off the strong aspect in terms of sprinting. However, since the last runner dropped the baton during the Women`s 1600 m replay game, they missed the dream of sweeping all the relay games for the first time, though they were the first until the 3rd runner. In this women`s relay, Jamaica (3 min 20 sec 65) became the winner for the first time.

Meanwhile, the overall results showed that the US won the competition 5 times in a row by 9 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals, beating Russia who earned 6 gold, 7 silver, 6 bronze medals. The next competition will be held in Paris in 2003.

Yang Jong-Koo yjongk@donga.com