News Archive

News Archive

Yoko Shibui wins the 31st real,- BERLIN-MARATHON of the women

Yoko Shibui was philosophical about the incident which may have cost her an

Asian record in the real,-Berlin Marathon Sunday morning.

As she sped through the Brandenburg Gate with just 200 metres to run to the

finish line, an over-zealous official tried to direct her to the channel that

separated the women from the men finishers.. In doing so, he managed to stand

right in her path, so she had to stop and go around him, causing her to lose

momentum. She finished in 2hr 19min 41sec, just two seconds outside the Asian

record that Sun Yingjie of China ran in Beijing almost a year ago.

"right" />“I think it did cost me some time,” said Shibui after the

race, “but I’m not going to dwell on that. I’m just happy I

won and broke Takahashi’s national record”.

It was in Berlin three years ago that Takahashi, the Sydney Olympic champion

became the first woman under 2hr 20min, with her 2.19.46. Since then, first

Catherine Ndereba of Kenya, then Britain’s Paula Radcliffe (twice) have

taken the world record down to 2.15.25.

Radcliffe dropped out of the Olympic marathon in Athens five weeks ago, but

Ndereba was a close second to another Japanese winner, Mizuki Noguchi.

It was a superb return to form for Shibui, who has spent two years

overcoming injuries in the wake of her third behind Radcliffe’s first

world record in Chicago 2002. “It has not been a good time,” said

Shibui, “I even thought about giving up running. But I’m glad now

that I didn’t”.

And to ensure that she didn’t relent on Sunday morning, her coach

Hideo Suzuki scrawled a message on the water-bottle she picked up at half-way.

It read, “Don’t Give Up”.

Pat Butcher