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News Archive Rios wins Lake Biwa Marathon in debut finish

Jose Rios of Spain won the 59th annual Lake Biwa Marathon in Otsu on Sunday (7

March). In only his second marathon (he did not finish in Rotterdam last year),

Rios the European 10,000m bronze medallist, recorded a debut finish time of


The race was also a qualifying race for the Japanese Olympic Marathon team.

Finishing second as the first Japanese was Tadayuki Ojima, who could only

finish 7th in Fukuoka Marathon last December. Thus he kept his Olympic hope

alive. Ojima improved his personal best which stood at 2:08:48, recorded in the

2003 Fukuoka Marathon, by 30 seconds.

The race started at 12:30 PM from Ojiyama stadium in Otsu under quite a bad

condition. It was snowing and the wind was also quite strong. Fortunately for

the runners, the bad weather lasted only for 15 minutes after the start. The

huge pack of around 70 runners led by three pace setters - Kiprono, Chipu and

Jesus - passed 5Km in 15:10. Soon after one of the pace makers, Kiprono, fell

behind, leaving only Abner Chipu and Luis Jesus with the pacing duty. As the

weather turned for the better the pace increased and as expected the pack

started to dwindle in number, reducing to 37 runners.

By 10Km but Pavel Loskutov, the European marathon medallist had been

dropped, but 32 other runners together in the front, the only other major

casualty during 10Km (29:55) to 20Km (1:00:20) was Silvio Guerra. In the next

10km, the pack shrunk again with the major casualties were Japhet Kosgei (KEN)

at 23Km, Alene Emere (ETH) at 25Km, Yoshiteru Morishita at 26Km and Alberto

Juzdado (ESP) at 27Km.

After 30Km (1:30:42), Chipu, left the race and the real racing started.

First, Shin-ichi Watanabe picked up the pace to strung out the field. Then at

33Km, Yuko Matsumiya, a twin brother of Takayuki Matsumiya, 30Km world record

holder, surged.

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