News Archive

News Archive

BM 02: Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi of Japan racked up another major marathon win this morning

Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi of Japan racked up another major marathon win

this morning (Sunday), taking the real-Berlin Marathon in 2hr 21min 49sec. The

irrepressible Kenyans filled the top five places in the mens race, headed by

the little known Raymond Kipkoech who posted the equal tenth fastest in

history, 2.06.47. Although two minutes slower than her world record time here

last year, Takahashi nevertheless ran the 13th fastest ever and rebuffed the

challenge of Adriana Fernandez, who led the Japanese until 25 kilometres. But

Fernandez had no response when Takahashi surged ahead five minutes later, and

the Mexican finished second in 2.24.11. Helen Kimutai of Kenya was third in a

personal best 2.26.10. Takahashis run confirmed what she had said pre-race

about being only 80% ready. "I had a calf problem at the beginning of

September and couldn train as hard as I wanted, so I didn even consider the

world record, I just wanted to win," said Takahashi for whom this was her

third fastest marathon, three seconds outside her Asian Games victory in

Bangkok in 1998. After a whole year without a race of any kind, Takahashi now

runs in the Tokyo Womens Marathon on November 17. "Its an important race

for me," she said, "because its one of the selection races for Paris,

and I want to run the World Championships next year". Kipkoech only got

into todays race a week ago, but he wasted no time in making his mark on the

world rankings, outsprinting sometime training partner, Simon Biwott, the world

silver medallist, and another Kenyan colleague, Vincent Kipsos, both of whom

also beat 2.07. Kipkoech, from the village of Kapsait, situated at 3000 metres

altitude near the Ugandan border only began running two years ago, "when I

saw my friends Simon Biwott, Eric Kimaiyo, Sammy Korir and Fred Kiprop being

successful". Kipkoech, 23 finished fifth in his first race, the Torino

Marathon in 2000, won in Enschede (Netherlands) in April, and now joins Kiprop

as tenth fastest of all time.