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Dream of `Successful World Cup` Runs

Posted February. 28, 2002 10:34,   


Experts say championship candidates of 2002 Korea Japan World Cup are 6 nations including France, Argentina, Brazil, England, Portugal, and Italy.

Then, which country out of 32 final World Cup participants would be the best in marathons?

2002 Donga Seoul International Marathon is to take place on March 17 as `festival wishing for the success of Korea Japan World Cup`, while 26 countries out 32 final participants sent their runners.

Winner of the 1998 France World Cup title, France sent the strongest runner for the marathon also. Driss El Himer, who won last year’s Amsterdam tournament by 2 hours 7 minutes 2 seconds, is the man. Himer’s timing ranks in the second place among last year’s records. Besides, he became the substantial No.1 man, as he overran the world’s first ranker, Kenya’s Josephat Kiprono, by 4 seconds in last year’s Amsterdam tournament.

Rising soccer power, Japan, is also not so yielding. Japan’s representative is Asia’s best record holder, Fujita Atsushi (2 hours 6 minutes 51 seconds). Young and passionate Fujita, who is 25 years old, stirred the entire nation by setting Japan’s best record at 2000 Fukuoka Marathon. However, Fujita has not been showing a good record for 2 years since then.

Considering so, another Japanese representative Morishita Yoshiteru is a dark horse. 30 year-old Morishita set a good record of 2 hours 7 minutes 59 seconds last year, and is recently in a good shape.

Famous for its `crossbar-defense` in soccer, Italy is sending Giacomo Leone of 2 hours 7 minutes 52 seconds. Eternal soccer nation Brazil is counting on Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima of 2 hours 8 minutes 31 seconds for victory.

What about the ones in the same World Cup group as Korea? Rising soccer power Portugal’s runner is Antonio Susa in the 2 hours 13 minute- range.

Korea’s first competitor, Poland, is also in the 2 hours 11 minute- range. The two nations are not very threatening in marathons. Experts say U.S.A., which has the runner in 2 hours 9 minute range, is little better, but on a similar level with Poland and Portugal.

However, Lee Bong-Ju will not participate this time, which will make Korea have a good and fair competition with these countries. Lee is to run at the Boston Marathon in April, and that is why he is missing this Donga Marathon.

First time World Cup participant, China, is to put out world’s 6th female ranker, Wei Yenyan, to seek a title in ladies division. Wei Yenyan’s record is 2 hours 24 minutes 2 seconds. She is to crash with Korea’s best record holder, Kwon Eun-Ju (2 hours 26 minutes 12 seconds). South Africa is also seeking victory with Gert Thys of 2 hours 6 minutes 33 seconds.

Meanwhile, Donga Marathon authorities said, “Among the final 32 World Cup participants, Germany, Argentina, England, Croatia, Denmark, Ireland, and Slovania could not participate in this marathon, because they had no befitting runners.”