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Kenya's Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon to take on Genzebe in Ostrava

After settling for another world record near-miss in the Brussels Diamond League on Friday, Kenya's Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon is set to resume her special rivalry with Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Ostrava on Sept. 8.

Having finished just 17 hundredths of a second short at last month's opening Diamond League meeting in Monaco, Kipyegon seemed on track to achieve her ambition with 200 meters remaining, but faltered slightly over the final few meters to cross the line in 2:29.92.

The Kenyan now will return to her 1,500m specialty against Dibaba with hope of continuing her perfect start to Diamond League series at the Ostrava Golden Spike (Czech Republic) on Tuesday.

"I'm happy with the win, the record didn't come out as we had planned but I'm satisfied with my general performance, now I will concentrate on the next competition, the Ostrava meeting," Kipyegon told Xinhua on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Kenya's world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei's track debut ended in disappointment after losing the battle to The Dutch world 1,500m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan who went to break the World Hour record after she reached 18,930 meters as the hour elapsed, beating the existing mark of 18,517 meters set by Ethiopia's Dire Tune in 2008.

Kosgei was later disqualified for infringement after she was found to have stepped on the rail.

In the men's One Hour event, Britain's and Olympic champion Mo Farah held off the challenge of his training partner, home athlete Bashir Abdi, to set a new mark of 21,330m - eclipsing the 2007 mark of 21,285m set by Haile Gebrselassie. Abdi finished eight meters behind.

(09/05/2020) Views: 85 ⚡AMP
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Hassan and Farah break one-hour world records in Brussels

Britain's Mo Farah and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands set respective men’s and women’s world one-hour records* at the Wanda Diamond League exhibition meeting at the King Baudouin Stadium tonight.

Britain’s multiple world and Olympic champion held off the challenge of his training partner, home athlete Bashir Abdi, to set a new mark of 21,330m – eclipsing the 2007 mark of 21,285m set by Haile Gebrselassie. Abdi finished eight metres behind.

Hassan’s record also came after a titanic battle with Kenya’s world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei, although it later transpired the latter had been disqualified for stepping on to the infield in the closing stages.

The Dutch world 1500m and 10,000m champion reached 18,930 metres as the hour elapsed, beating the existing mark of 18,517 metres set by Ethiopia’s Dire Tune in 2008.

Moving into the final quarter of an hour, Tune’s mark seemed certain to be bettered, given that both women were more than a minute ahead of world record pace. The only question remained – which champion would secure it?

As they shadowed each other, swapping the lead but never getting away from each other, it was impossible to predict who would triumph. Hassan said afterwards that she thought Kosgei would “run away from her”.

But when the gun went to mark the final minute with the pair halfway down the back straight, Hassan moved ahead once more, and this time it was decisive.

Looking once behind her, the Dutch athlete took off, pumping her arms, going for broke. Kosgei, baring her teeth, did everything in her power to stay in touch, but there was no catching up, and when the 60 minutes elapsed, Hassan slowed to a halt halfway down the back straight after a crazy sprint finish.

"I didn't feel good before the start of the race, I even puked," revealed Hassan. "After 30 minutes of racing, I finally felt better. It was in the final 20 minutes that I gained the confidence I needed. When there were only two minutes left on the clock, the fun began. I just gave everything I had left. I am so happy with the win and the world record. It wasn't easy."

As the men’s race moved into the final quarter of an hour, the ghostly figure of the current world record holder, Gebrselassie, was shown in virtual shape, running at their side. They were bang on the pace.

With 10 minutes to go, they moved ahead of the world record schedule. They passed 18,000 metres in 50:43.

Inside the final five minutes, the home runner, who the day before had confessed that he expected Farah to beat him, moved to the lead, but the multiple champion was shadowing him still.

As advertised, the Wavelight visual pace-guidance system employing differently coloured LED lights installed on the inside edge of the track made the pursuit of records on the night immediately intelligible.

With three minutes remaining, both men were 30 metres clear of the leading blue lights, showing the intended pace, and the green lights snaking behind them, showing the actual world record pace.

A second world record appeared in the offing – and the same question was being asked. Who would break it?

The gun went to mark one minute to go, then Farah made a significant break. He charged around the bend as the final seconds ticked away, and at the same spot where Hassan had earlier triumphed, Farah did too, taking a few seconds to realise it was all over.

“The world record is yours, Mo!” said the stadium MC.

Abdi had the consolation of lowering the world best for 20,000m from 56:26 to 56:20.2*, having led his friend through that mark.

"I was very excited to be back on the track," said Farah. "I knew I was in a great shape after the hard work I did in the last six weeks. At a certain point, with just 10 laps to go, it became tough so I was happy that Bashir took the lead, but I felt great with just one minute to go. A fast last lap is still my best tactic."

Kenya’s Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon had to settle for another near miss as she attempted to beat the world 1000m record of 2:28.98 set on this track in 1996 by Russia’s double Olympic champion Svetlana Masterkova.

Having finished just 17 hundredths of a second short at last month’s opening Diamond League meeting in Monaco, Kipyegon seemed on track to achieve her ambition with 200 metres remaining, but faltered slightly over the final few metres to cross the line in 2:29.92.

Norway’s 19-year-old European 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who has already reduced the European record to 3:28.68, made a bold effort to improve on that but his honourable solo effort saw him finish in 3:30.69, with Jesus Gomez of Spain a distant second in 3:34.64.

In the pole vault, Sweden’s 20-year-old world record-holder Mondo Duplantis saw the last challenger, home vaulter Ben Broeders, fall away with a best of 5.70m.

The European champion then went on to clear a meeting record of 6.00m at his first attempt before having another crack at 6.15m, a centimetre higher than the best outdoor clearance ever made, by Sergey Bubka in 1994. He didn’t make it. But surely his time will come sooner rather than later.

Twenty-year-old Rani Rosius, who had won the Belgian title in 11.39, needed 11.43 to earn another prestige victory in the women’s 100m, with France’s Carolle Zahl second in 11.56.

Britain’s world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson had said the day before that this meeting – where she was competing in the 100m hurdles and the high jump – was effectively the highlight of her season, and she had a reasonably satisfactory result in the first of them, which was won by home champion Anne Zagre in 13.21.

Despite an uncertain start, Johnson-Thompson drew on her strength to take fourth place in 13.57 – inside her previous season’s best of 13.73.

Zagre was chased home by Denmark’s Mette Graversgaard, who clocked 13.26, and Belgian compatriot Sarah Missinne, who ran a season’s best of 13.55.

Johnson-Thompson went on to equal her season’s best of 1.84m in a high jump won by Australia’s Nicola McDermott with 1.91m.

Poland’s Iga Baumgart-Witan won the women’s 400m in 52.13, while the men’s 200m went to Italy’s Eseosa Desalu in 20.39.

(09/05/2020) Views: 93 ⚡AMP
by Mike Rowbottom for World Athletics
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Bashir Abdi and Sir Mo Farah talk about their upcoming one hour world record attempt

When the global implications of COVID-19 were made clear in early March, the UK’s Mo Farah and Belgium’s Bashir Abdi immediately thought about their families. Abdi had just come off of a stellar performance at the Tokyo Marathon – finishing 2nd in a time of 2:04.51 to break his own national record. He then went to Belgium to spend some time with his family but was planning to return to Ethiopia for a training camp in the spring. Farah was still in Ethiopia, training through an injury and looking to find his next race. Deciding to transition back down to the track from the roads meant that he wanted to sharpen his skills a few times in the leadup to the Olympic Games.

Neither, however, had any plans to line up at the beginning of September in an empty stadium in Belgium to break a world record. But since the end of July, the two have been training in Font-Romeu, France, with the goal of breaking Haile Gebrselassie’s one hour record. On September 4, they will be chasing a distance, rather than a time, at the reimagined AG Memorial Van Damme competition.

Months earlier, in highland Ethiopia, Farah was focused on getting into some races. “At that time I wasn’t thinking anything except finding a race to test myself,” he said. “I was supposed to go leave at the end of March but so many countries were going into lockdown and I left quickly to make sure I didn’t get stuck and could get back to the UK to be with my family.”

With his four children at home due to school closures, Farah embraced the time with his family after his safe arrival. It allowed him to recover from his injury and was a welcome distraction to the Olympic Games being cancelled. He even got some of his competitive juices flowing while being a stay-at-home dad, challenging his kids and his wife to competitions like mini-triathlons, and shooting football penalties in a dizzied state.

Abdi was in Belgium but was so sure of his plans to return to Ethiopia in April, that he left many of his belongings in a house the Mudane team rents outside of Addis Ababa. Instead, he trained in the uncertainty in a much colder and damper Belgium, and was able to care for his wife before she gave birth in June. “Cancelling the Olympics was obviously sad to hear, especially after getting so much motivation from the race in Tokyo,” Abdi said. “But the most important thing is health, and it was nice to get to spend more time with my family. It would have been a difficult period welcoming in a new child and training for the Games.”

Even as they both embraced the circumstances and stayed in shape at home, the itch to compete lingered. Thus, as soon as the idea was presented to chase the record, they were in.

While in cycling, the one hour record is an oft-contested event, in running it is far more rare. Although the event has roots dating back to the mid-1800s, it never garnered comparable popularity, despite legends such as Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zatopek, Jos Hermens, and the current record holder, Haile Gebreselassie, owning impressive titles at various points.

To get the record, Farah will have to beat Gebreselassie’s distance of 21,285 meters, which he ran in 2007 at the 46th Golden Spike Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic. However, Gebreselassie had an important asset on his side, which Farah and Abdi will not: a packed stadium. Because of the pandemic, the event will be closed off to spectators. In the final meters when they are throwing down the hammer, the arena will remain still and silent.

But little phases Farah at this point in his career, whose accomplishments are too long to list. “I’ve been running since I was 12 and over the years you just learn from races what works for you and what doesn’t work for you,” he said. Obviously this is a different style of running, but he plans to employ similar tactics for this attempt. “It’s really first just about getting fit – once I’m fit enough to run under 60 minutes for a half marathon I can build smaller components from there.”

(08/28/2020) Views: 234 ⚡AMP
by Hannah Borenstein
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Brigid Kosgei will be targeting records in Brussels

Brigid Kosgei is set to make her serious track debut at the AG Memorial Van Damme Diamond League meeting in Brussels on September 4, when she will join Sifan Hassan in attacking the one-hour world record.

Netherlands’ Hassan was announced for the event earlier this month, with the world 1500m and 10,000m champion targeting Dire Tune’s 2008 mark of 18,517km.

Now world marathon record-holder Kosgei has been added to the field as she works toward the defence of her title at the elite-only Virgin Money London Marathon on October 4.

According to her World Athletics profile, the Brussels meeting will be Kosgei’s first serious track event, with only road performances – including her incredible 2:14:04 marathon in Chicago last October – listed so far.

The 26-year-old has a half-marathon PB of 64:28 which she set when winning the Great North Run last year. Although that course is not record-eligible, Kosgei’s performance there is the fastest ever half-marathon time run by a woman.

The Kenyan’s best time for 15km is 48:54.

The meeting will also include a men’s one-hour event, with Britain’s four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah among those targeting Haile Gebrselassie’s 21,285km mark.

He will be joined by his training partner Bashir Abdi of Belgium and Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon will aim to break the world 1000m record of 2:28.98 – a mark she missed by just 17 hundredths of a second in Monaco – when she lines up at the AG Memorial Van Damme.

The women’s 1000m replaces the 4x400m mixed relay event which had originally been planned, with the Borlée brothers having decided to end their season due to “slight injuries”.

Another change to the programme is the cancellation of the triathlon which had been set to see Belgium’s Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam and Britain’s world gold medalist Katarina Johnson-Thompson go head-to-head in the 100m hurdles, shot put and high jump.

Thiam has withdrawn from the meeting due to injury and Johnson-Thompson will now contest just the hurdles and high jump.

According to organizers, Thiam is suffering “continuous pain at the Achilles tendons and does not want to take any risk”.

The triathlon shot put will be replaced by a women’s 100m, while Brazil’s Olympic champion Thiago Braz has been added to the pole vault field alongside world record-holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden.

Organizers had initially hoped to be able to welcome around 9000 spectators “in a safe and secure way” but the event is now set to take place behind closed doors.

(08/28/2020) Views: 110 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Sifan Hassan of Netherlands is expected to break first World record in Brussels after covid-19 lockdown.

AG Memorial Van Damme Organisers have comfirmed that one-mile record holder will be trying to break at Wanda Diamond league Meeting in Brussels on September 4, 2020.

 

Wolrd Champion in 1500m and 10 000m is highly expected to break 12 years 18.517km world record in 60 minutes.The record is currently held by Ethiopia's Dire Tune which she set in 2008.She is expected to do it after a difficult situation of covid-19 that has affected the entire world.During her interview about her preparedness, she has  said ; "This is a strange and difficult season , but i have been able to continue with my training as well as i could and i feel fit and healthy.There are very few occasions to compete these days and am delighted with the invitation from AG Memorial Van Damme to attack the one hour world record.It is a strong record but i take the challenge with both hands and i believe that i'm in the right shape to succeed."Said Hassan.

Women world record is familiarised with the place having race several races in Belgium.She set her 3000m national record 2014 and one-mile 2015 in the King Baudouin Stadium.Last year ,she also won 5000m title in Belgian Capital.2019 at her best season, she managed to broke one mile world record 4:12:33 in Monaco,European record in 3000m of 8:18:49 in Stanford and another 5000m European record of 14:22:12 in London.

Men 21.285km that is currently held by Haile Gabreselassie will be great fight between Sir Mo Farah of Britain and Bashir Abdi of Belgium.Sondre Moen who is expected to break Hermen 1975 European record will also be joining men challenge record challenge.

Other event that will take place is 1500m that Norwegian brothers Henrik,Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen are going to participate.

(08/11/2020) Views: 87 ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir
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World 1500m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan will attempt to break the one-hour world record at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels on September 4

Organizers of the AG Memorial Van Damme have announced that world 1500m and 10,000m champion Sifan Hassan will attempt to break the one-hour world record at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels on September 4.

The Dutch distance runner will have to cover more than 18.517km within 60 minutes to break the record set in 2008 by Ethiopia’s Dire Tune. If she is at her best, that distance should be within Hassan’s capabilities; when she set a half marathon PB of 1:05:15 in 2018, Hassan covered roughly 19.375km during the first hour.

Hassan is familiar with the track in the King Baudouin Stadium. Having set national records there for 3000m in 2014 and the mile in 2015, last year she secured the Diamond League title over 5000m in the Belgian capital. Aside from her unique double at the World Championships in Doha, Hassan’s momentous 2019 season also included a world mile record of 4:12.33 in Monaco, a European 3000m record of 8:18.49 in Stanford, and a European 5000m record of 14:22.12 in London.

“This is a strange and difficult season, but I have been able to continue my training as well as I could and I feel fit and healthy,” said Hassan. “There are very few occasions to compete these days and I am delighted with the invitation from the AG Memorial Van Damme to attack the one hour world record. It is a strong record but I take the challenge with both hands and I believe that I’m in the right shape to succeed.”

An attack on the men’s one-hour world record (Haile Gebreselassie’s 21.285km) had been previously announced with four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah and Belgian Bashir Abdi set to take on the challenge. They will now be joined by Norway’s Sondre Moen, who has set his sights on breaking the European record of 20.944km set by Jos Hermens in 1976.

A men’s 1500m has been added to the programme and it will be headlined by Norwegian brothers Henrik, Filip and Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

(08/11/2020) Views: 113 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Mo Farah: Briton returns to track to take on hour record

Briton Mo Farah will return to the track for the first time since 2017 in a bid to break the men's one-hour world record at the meeting in Brussels on 4 September.

The 37-year-old, winner of multiple world and Olympic titles, will aim to better Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie's 13-year-old record of 21.285km.

European 10,000m silver medallist Bashir Abdi will line up against Farah.

Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh and Birhane Dibaba will go for the women's record.

That mark of 18.517km was recorded by their compatriot Dire Tune in 2008.

The one-hour run is where athletes try to cover as much distance as possible within one hour.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Britain's world heptathlon champion, will look to finish higher than Olympic champion Nafi Thiam once again when they compete in a 'triathlon' contest featuring 100m hurdles, shot put and high jump.

(06/27/2020) Views: 173 ⚡AMP
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Mo Farah is returning to the track

Briton Mo Farah will return to the track for the first time since 2017 in a bid to break the men's one-hour world record at the meeting in Brussels on 4 September.

The 37-year-old, winner of multiple world and Olympic titles, will aim to better Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie's 13-year-old record of 21.285km.

European 10,000m silver medalist Bashir Abdi will line up against Farah.

Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh and Birhane Dibaba will go for the women's record.

That mark of 18.517km was recorded by their compatriot Dire Tune in 2008.

The one-hour run is where athletes try to cover as much distance as possible within one hour.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Britain's world heptathlon champion, will look to finish higher than Olympic champion Nafi Thiam once again when they compete in a 'triathlon' contest featuring 100m hurdles, shot put and high jump.

(06/24/2020) Views: 143 ⚡AMP
by Athletics
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Somali-Belgian athlete Bashir Abdi sets sights on European record after sub-2:05 clocking in Tokyo

Bashir Abdi became only the second European athlete in history to break the 2:05-barrier for the marathon in the Tokyo Marathon on 1 March and he harbours aspirations of becoming the fastest.

The 31-year-old shattered his own national record with 2:04:49 to take the runner-up spot in the Japanese capital ahead of a prospective second successive Olympic appearance. And what is most remarkable about his ascent is he former amateur football player only started running at the age of 18.  

Abdi was born in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu and arrived in Belgium in 2002 at the age of 13. Back then running made no sense as he was a football addict. “As a kid I could not even understand why people would run in circles. Chasing a football made sense but skinny people running in circles did not at all. That was until I started running at the age of 18 and I have never regretted that decision”. 

Now Abdi is second on the European all-time marathon list with  2:04:49, his third consecutive Belgian record in only his fourth marathon after previous record runs in London (2:07:03) and Chicago (2:06:14) last year. Abdi came second in Tokyo, only 34 seconds behind Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, in a race which was devoid of the mass participation element due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I expected a finishing time around 2:05, because I have had the best preparation ever towards a marathon. My trainer Gary [Lough] made that very clear during the last weeks of altitude training in Sululta, Ethiopia. I was however surprised by the fact that I finished in second place in a World Marathon Major. To start with about 200 athletes in what normally is a race with 38,000 runners was a rather odd experience. It felt as if I was running a tiny street race in my hometown Ghent.” 

Abdi made his marathon debut back in April 2018 in Rotterdam with a solid 2:10:46 clocking despite bloodying his knees in a collision at the start. Now he is a sub-2:05 marathoner who is considered to be one of the outsiders to win a medal at the Olympic marathon in Sapporo.  

Abdi closed exceptionally quickly in the Chicago Marathon last October and he also ran faster than any other athlete in the Tokyo Marathon between the 35 kilometre checkpoint and the finish. His finish speed could be a great weapon at the Olympics.  

“I received wonderful reactions on my Tokyo performance, but for me finishing in the top eight would be great already. To my account there are six or seven runners that top the bill such as Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese. I also doubt that I will be able to use the same tactics towards Sapporo, as I am not as experienced in the marathon, because I have had the benefit of pacers in my past four races. 

“The conditions will also be fairly different. Both Chicago and Tokyo were somehow similar to what I am used to in Belgium. Together with the Belgian Olympic Team we will prepare towards Sapporo as much as possible. Workouts in a heat chamber will be part of that preparation, combined with the usual altitude camp in Sululta” 

Abdi also has something else to look forward to during his build-up to the Olympics. In June he will become a father for the second time. His daughter Kadra celebrated her first birthday back in October. There is only one race on his schedule before Sapporo so far.   

“Becoming a father for the second time is something I am looking really forward to. I have a great wife who understands that sacrifices have to be made to perform at this level, especially in a year like this. Thanks to apps like Facetime and social media I am able to stay in touch with my family when I am on training camps. My baby daughter even recognises me thanks to social media, so it is somehow a blessing.  

2020 is all about the Olympics for Abdi but he is already thinking about the 2021 season - namely the Belgian half marathon record of 60:18 and more importantly the European marathon record of Kaan Kigen Ozbilen which stands at 2:04:16.   

(03/19/2020) Views: 305 ⚡AMP
by Quinten Lafort
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Birhanu Legese win the Tokyo Marathon clocking 2:04:15 while Suguru Osako sets a new Japanese record with 2:05:29

The Tokyo marathon mass race was cancelled  because of the worldwide panic concerning the Coronavirus.  However, the elite race took place as scheduled.  What a race it was.  Perfect running weather.  Birhanu Legese from Ethiopia was the overall winner clocking 2:04:15.  He also won last year. 

Suguru Osako was the first Japanese across the line  setting a new national record with 2:05:29. This giving him a big pay day.  Lonah Cemtai Salpeter set a new course record in winning the women's race clocking 2:17:45.  Legese, wearing Nike's much-discussed carbon-plated shoes, hit the front before the 40 kilometre mark, winning by more than half a minute but missing out on Wilson Kipsang's 2017 record of 2:03.58.

Somali-born Belgian Bashir Abdi (2:04.49) pipped Ethiopian Sisay Lemma (2:04.51) to second place in a race for the line.

Japan's Suguru Osako finished fourth in 2:05.29, improving his own national record by 21 seconds and locking up Japan's third and final spot in the men's field for the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

Lonah Korlima Chemtai Salpeter, who runs for Israel, won the women's race in a record time of 2:17.45, 50 seconds ahead of Birhane Dibaba with her fellow Ethiopian Sutume Asefa Kebede a distant third two minutes back.

Sarah Chepchirchir owned the previous women's record of 2:19:47 from the 2017 race.

Suguru Osako's national record brought him a 100 million yen bonus (US$950,000) from the Japan Corporate Track and Field Federation as part of their "Project Exceed" initiative to improve performances in the build-up to the Olympics Games.  "It is not clear if the same person can be paid the bonus twice," says Bob Anderson, MBR editor.  "This is still being confirmed."

Suguru Osako (Ōsako Suguru, born 23 May 1991) is a Japanese long-distance runner. He won the 10,000 metres gold medal at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen and holds the Asian junior record for the half marathon. He held the Japanese National Record for the marathon of 2:05.50 set at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, where he finished third.

 

(02/29/2020) Views: 704 ⚡AMP
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Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an IAAF Gold Label marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors. (2020) The Tokyo Marathon Foundation said it will cancel the running event for non-professional runners as the coronavirus outbreak pressures cities and institutions to scrap large events. Sponsored by Tokyo...

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Belgium’s Bashir Abdi and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola signed a successful farewell to 2019, taking convincing victories at the 55th San Silvestre Vallecana on Tuesday

Belgium’s Bashir Abdi and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola signed a successful farewell to 2019, taking convincing victories at the 55th San Silvestre Vallecana, a World Athletics Gold Label road race.

While Bashir got the better of Uganda’s Mande Bushendich in 27:47, Tola beat Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich by seven seconds, winning in 30:50. The downhill nature of the course means times achieved here are not valid for PB or record purposes.

On a pleasant windless night with the thermometer reaching 9C, the race kicked off at a moderate pace as a 10-man pack covered the opening kilometer in 2:48. Spain’s Toni Abadía moved to the front and opened a 30-meter gap by the second kilometer; shortly afterwards Jesús Ramos joined Abadía in the lead and the local pair went through three kilometers in 8:04.

The main favorites were about 40 meters behind, led by Turkey’s Aras Kaya, the Ugandan trio of Moses Kurong, Boniface Sikowo and last year’s third-place finisher Bushendich plus Bashir Abdi.

The Spaniards’ lead was to be short lived and before reaching the halfway point (13:30) they were caught by the chasing group with Kurong making most of the pacing duties. The key movement came with the clock reading 19:00 when Abdi broke away from the heading pack to build a two-second advantage on Bushendich and five over Abadía with 2.5km to go.

Abdi, the European 10,000m silver medalist, who had remained in the middle of the leading group for the first half of the race, proved to be in fine form over the tough final stages. At the tape, the Belgian was timed at 27:47, his first ever sub-28-minute clocking on the roads, while Bushendich finished in 27:51. Abadía managed the fastest ever time by a Spaniard here with 27:56, some consolation for recording his fourth third-place finish in Madrid.

“After competing at the Chicago Marathon (where he set a Belgian record of 2:06:14), I rested for several weeks but then I resumed training and I felt good today,” said Abdi, who was born in Somalia but fled the country at the age of 12. “The closing two kilometers were very tough but I reserved my energy in the first half and the tactic paid off.

“This year I have broken the Belgian record twice (2:07:03 in London and 2:06:14 in Chicago) and I would like to get close to the European record (2:04:16) in some of my next outings over the distance,” said Abdi, who will run a half marathon in the Netherlands on 12 January before contesting the Tokyo Marathon in March. “I would like to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, but also understand the decision to move the road events venue to Sapporo due to the weather conditions.”

The anticipated clash between Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich and Ethiopia’s Helen Bekele Tola didn’t disappoint.

Sandwiched between a large pack of men, the two women were evenly matched for the first three kilometers which they covered in 8:56, clearly ahead of Portugal’s Carla Salomé Rocha (9:20) and Uganda’s late addition to the field Juliet Chekwel (9:24),

Chepngetich, who had declared at the pre-race press conference that she was not yet in the same kind of form which led her to the gold medal in Doha, could not follow in the Ethiopian’s footsteps before reaching halfway (14:50 vs 14:54); by then Rocha kept her four-second margin on the Ugandan (15:29/15:33).

In the second half, 25-year-old Tola managed to extend her lead to eight seconds with about two kilometers to go while Rocha also widened her advantage on Chekwel to another eight seconds.

Tola confirmed her supremacy during the uphill closing section and romped home in 30:50, the fourth fastest time ever recorded at this race. Meanwhile, Rocha completed the podium more than a minute behind the winner (31:52) but 21 seconds clear of Chekwel.

“I have beaten the recent world champion and that’s great for me,” said Tola, who is based in Geneva where she is coached by Tesfaye Eticha. “I feel in great shape and look forward to running under 2:20 in Tokyo in March.”

(01/02/2020) Views: 410 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...

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Ugandan Mande Bushendich and Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich will be the main favorites at the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana

The Ugandan Mande Bushendich and the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich are the main favorites in the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana, which takes place on December 31 through the streets of the center of Madrid and that this Monday presents its favorites of the international elite test .

Ugandan Mande Bushendich returns to Vallecas after his third place last year wanting to climb to the top of the podium. In the record race last year he registered 27:24, and this year he has already dropped 28 minutes in Holland, although in the spring, which makes him run as one of the favorites.

Another candidate for the victory will be the Belgian-Somali Bashir Abdi, silver in the Berlin Europeans in 10,000 meters and that 'shattered' the Belgian marathon record a few months ago, with 2h06: 14 in Chicago. Also, Ugandan Moses Kurong, fourth in the Gothenburg Half Marathon 2019 and third in Barcelona in 2018.

The San Silvestre Vallecana women's will feature the Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, current marathon world champion in Doha 2019, and victories in the Dubai Marathon and the Istanbul Half Marathon this year. Second in 2018 at the Paris Marathon, Chepngetich will seek to follow the path of his compatriot Brigid Kosgei, who flew last year to set the new test record, with 29:54.

The Ethiopian Helen Bekele Tola is postulated as one of her rivals for victory. Second in the Tokyo Marathon and fourth in Berlin in this 2019, in Spain it has already won in 2017 in the Barcelona Marathon. It has 31:13 as a personal mark in a '10K' en route.

Among the women spain runners, the 23-year-old Carmela Cardama, a university runner of 10,000 meters in the United States and who is the fastest national in the history with her age, beats Alessandra Aguilar.

She was the leader of the Spanish team that won team silver in the 2019 European Cup of 10,000 meters. The San Silvestre Vallecana arrives in great shape, as evidenced by its recent national record in indoor track at 5,000 meters, the tenth best Spanish mark in the distance including outdoors.

(12/27/2019) Views: 503 ⚡AMP
by Dani Sanchez
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San Silvestre Vallecana

San Silvestre Vallecana

Every year on 31st December, since 1964, Madrid stages the most multitudinous athletics event in Spain.Sport and celebration come together in a 10-kilometre race in which fancy dress and artificial snow play a part. Keep an eye out for when registration opens because places run out fast! The event consists of two different competitions: a fun run (participants must be...

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Kenyans Mary Keitany and Brigid Kosgei will clash on the streets of Newcastle, U.K. in the Great North Run on Sunday

The two last met in London in April, with Kosgei snatching the gold medal in dominant style heralding a changing of the guard from the aging Keitany to the new girl on the bloc.

But the veteran Keitany will seek another chance to prove she is no spent force in their big clash over the half marathon distance in Newcastle, in a race won last year by Vivian Cheruiyot with Kosgei coming in second.

Keitany is preparing for the defense of her New York Marathon title on November 3, while Kosgei will be putting her Chicago Marathon gold on the line on October 13.

"Another chance to gauge my preparations for Chicago Marathon. I will be running in Newcastle," said Kosgei on Wednesday.

Keitany has a PB of 64:55 for the half marathon, whereas Kosgei clocked a best of 65:28 for the 13.1 mile-distance earlier this year.

2009 world 10,000m champion Linet Masai, together with her younger sister Magdalyne Masai, will also bolster the Kenyan presence in Newcastle.

The leading locals in the women's race at the Great North Run are Charlotte Purdue and Steph Twell.

In the men's race, Britain's Mo Farah will face opposition from Ethiopia's world marathon silver medalist Tamirat Tola, world fourth-placer Callum Hawkins and training partner Bashir Abdi.

There is big British interest in the event, with Purdue using the race as part of her build up to this year's World Marathon Championships in Doha.

(09/05/2019) Views: 730 ⚡AMP
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Great North Run

Great North Run

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster believes Britain is ready to welcome the world with open arms after the launch of the event's most ambitious plan to date. The Great World Run campaign seeks to recruit one runner from every country in the United Nations – 193 in total – to take part in the iconic half marathon in...

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Mo Farah retained the Vitality Big Half title as he outkicked Bashir Abdi of Belgium and Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya to take the win in a thrilling sprint finish

Farah, the 2018 Chicago Marathon champion, clocked a time of 61 minutes and 14 seconds, which proved too much for training partner Abdi and former London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru.

Abdi was second in 61:16 and Wanjiru third in 61:17.

Farah said: "The conditions weren't great today so I'm pleased to win, although it would have been nice to run a bit faster and really test myself. I'm happy with the win and with how my preparations are going ahead of the London Marathon in April.

"The London Marathon is still quite a long way away but I'm happy with my progress and it was nice to be able to race today."

The women's race was won by last year's champion Charlotte Purdue in 70:38, with Steph Twell second in 71:33 and Charlotte Arter third in 71:44.

(03/11/2019) Views: 879 ⚡AMP
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The Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half

Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, in partnership with Sported,The Vitality Big Half is a community running festival, taking place in London in March. This one-day event offers a host of running distances, from a challenging half marathon to a free one-mile course, as well as a family-friendly festival of food, music and activities. What’s happening? Take part with friends...

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Joshua Cheptegei will return to action at the Dam tot Damloop

Now recovered from the knee injury that has kept him out of racing since April, world silver medallist Joshua Cheptegei will return to action on Sunday at the Dam tot Damloop, a 10-mile IAAF Silver Label road race from Amsterdam to Zaandam. The 22-year-old Ugandan pushed Mo Farah all the way in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, ultimately taking the silver medal just 0.43 behind the multiple world and Olympic champion. Earlier this year, Cheptegei won the 5000m and 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games and looked poised for a promising track season but was then side-lined by a knee injury. Cheptegei, who last year came within four seconds of the world best for 15km at the Zevenheuvelenloop in Nijmegen, will be making his second appearance at the Dam tot Damloop after finishing second in 2016. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi looks set to be Cheptegei’s main opponent on Sunday. The 29-year-old took the 10,000m silver medal at the recent European Championships and has competed at the Dam tot Damloop on four previous occasions. (09/21/2018) Views: 938 ⚡AMP
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Commonwealth champion Joshua Cheptegei will be the runner to beat at the Dam tot Damloop 10 Miler

Joshua Cheptegei from Ugandan won silver last year at the 10,000 meters at the World Championships in London and this year was the fastest in the 5000 and 10,000 meters at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.  He will be going for gold at the up coming Dam tot Damloop ten mile race. Belgian's Bashir Abdi (silver 10,000 meters EK Berlin) and Ethiopian's Ayele Abshero are also candidates for the victory for the race that runs from Amsterdam to Zaandam.  The Dutch toppers Khalid Choukoud and Michel Butter are also running. In total, 46,000 runners will participate at the Dam tot Damloop race. (09/11/2018) Views: 895 ⚡AMP
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Mo Farah wins the Great North Run half marathon beating Jake Robertson by 31 seconds

Mo Farah won for the fifth time the Great North Run Half marathon in a course record of 59 minutes and 26 seconds on Sunday in Newcastle, UK.   New Zealand's Jake Robertson was 31 seconds back in second. London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot from Kenya won the women's race for a second time in three years.  Farah narrowly missed out on his half marathon personal best, finishing four seconds outside it after fading inside the final 200m, having pulled clear of Robertson with about two miles to go. Robertson, who finished a close second to Farah last year, clocked 59:57, with Belgium's Bashir Abdi third in 60:43. "Training's different now as I'm not in the track season, I've been doing a lot more long runs and in terms of endurance I'm definitely fitter," said four-time Olympic champion Farah. "Just coming into that headwind it was so tough, I wasn't going smooth, I was going up and down. I honestly thought I could beat my personal best today, but those last two miles really hurt." Olympic and world champion Cheruiyot posted a personal best of 67:43 to win the women's race ahead of compatriots Brigid Kosgei (67:52) and Joyciline Jepkosgei (68.10).   (09/09/2018) Views: 1,016 ⚡AMP
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