The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Biwako Mainichi Marathon

Today, saw the running of the 63rd Lake Biwa Marathon in Shiga Prefecture, and a fine win by Mubarak Hassan Shami, a Qatari who was born in Kenya (as Richard Yatich), in 2.08.23. Shami, who took silver at the World Championships in Osaka, said in the post-race interview that the conditions were quite tough, with strong winds at times, so his time was excellent. Eritrea's Yared Asmeron ran an awesome race, finishing second and taking about 6 or 7 minutes off his previous best time of 2:15:14. Third was Satoshi Osaki in a time that was pleasing for him, and should see him go to Beijing.

It was funny hearing the clash of English styles as Shami was interviewed. The translator no doubt thought she was speaking English, but sentences like "Did you plan to spurt?" aren't going to be understood by anyone who hasn't heard Japlish terms such as "spurt" and "goal" before. The interviewer was poorly prepared, failing to ask Shami about his battle with Asmeron, or the conditions, or even if he was happy with his time.

Australia's Lee Troop had an awful day, dropping off the pace around the 15km mark, fighting to catch for 5km, but eventually dropping out at 26km - it was a pity he couldn't perform today as he will be Australia's top hope in Beijing, and he's been training with guys like Mottram at altitude in Australia - so he should be flying. Oh well, he's got five months to iron out any problems.

Osaki said he felt the race was too fast at around 20kms - no wonder, I noticed the leaders went through the 5km from 20km to 25km in 14.56! A sub-15 minute 5km after running 20km - just amazing.

1. Mubarak Hassan Shami 2:08:23
2. Yared Asmeron 2:08:34
3. Satoshi Osaki 2:08:36

Likely Japanese mens team for Beijing:
Tsuyoshi Ogata
Atsushi Sato
Satoshi Osaki

With Arata Fujiwara likely 4th pick (although, considering he only ran 4 seconds slower in Tokyo than Osaki did today, and ran a competive race , maybe he could still take the third spot).

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