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Articles tagged #Eunice Kirwa
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Kenyan runner Felix Kirwa has been suspended for nine months

Kenyan long-distance runner Felix Kirwa has been suspended for nine months after testing positive for the banned stimulant strychnine, which is commonly known as rat poison.

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which has banned the runner from competition until November 14, also stripped Kirwa of his second place at the 2018 Singapore Marathon.

The 23-year-old insists that the banned substance accidentally entered his body through herbal medicines which he consumed for therapeutic reasons.

The AIU said the athlete violated anti-doping ruling as "he did not exercise utmost caution to ensure that he did not use a prohibited substance."

Strychnine is a strong performance enhancement stimulant which helps athletes to increase running stamina and boost endurance over long distances.

However, the banned drug has serious side effects, including restlessness and muscle spasms.

Kirwa is the brother of 2016 Olympic women’s marathon silver medalist Eunice Kirwa, who represented Bahrain at the Games. She was also provisionally suspended last month after failing a drug test.

(06/13/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bedan Karoki and Eunice Kirwa, both past winners of the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, will return to defend their titles this weekend

Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, Also known as the ‘Naoko Takahashi Cup’ as it is held in the home town of the 2000 Olympic marathon champion, the men’s course record of 1:00:02 was set by Karoki when he won in 2014, while the women’s course record of 1:07:44 was set by world record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2017.

Karoki, world ranked No.13 in road running, will be aiming to become just the second two-time men’s champion in Gifu. Since his last run in Gifu, Karoki earned world silver medals at cross-country in 2015 and at the half marathon in 2016.

He also improved his half marathon PB to 58:42 in 2018 and earlier this year clocked a marathon best of 2:06:48 to finish second in Tokyo.

His main challengers are Eritrea’s Samuel Tsegay, who has a best of 59:21, Abraham Kipyatich, world ranked No.79, and Uganda’s Abdallah Mande, world ranked No.30. Tsegay’s best was recorded back in 2014, but Kipyatich and Mande both set PBs at various distances in 2018 so will likely be bigger threats to Karoki.

Yuki Kawauchi, the 2018 Boston Marathon champion, is the most famous Japanese runner in the field, but national half marathon record-holder Yuta Shitara is the fastest of the domestic entrants. Shitara’s half marathon best is 60:17 recorded in 2017.

Two time Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon champion Eunice Kirwa Jepkirui leads the loaded women’s field. The Olympic marathon silver medallist set an Asian half marathon record of 1:06:46 in Istanbul in 2017 in what was her last race over the distance.

The 2015 world bronze medallist didn’t race at all in 2018, though, and she may need to be at her best if she hopes to win her third title in Gifu.

Joan Melly Chelimo, world ranked No.3 in road running, has the fastest PB of the field. The Kenyan clocked 1:05:04 in Prague last year, making her the fourth-fastest woman in history for the distance.

Ruth Chepngetich, world ranked No.1 in the marathon, heads to Gifu in the form of her life. She won this year’s Dubai Marathon in 2:17:08, the third-fastest time in history, and followed it with half marathon performances of 1:06:09 and 1:05:29.

World marathon champion Rose Chelimo will be aiming to improve on her PB of 1:08:08, while Ana Dulce Felix, Mimi Belete and Gotytom Gebreslase are also in the field.

(04/26/2019) ⚡AMP
by Ken Nakamura
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Gifu Half Marathon

Gifu Half Marathon

The Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon is an annual half marathon road running competition held in Gifu, Japan. First held in 2011, the race is also called the Naoko Takahashi Cup, named after Naoko Takashi, the retired local runner who won the marathon at the 2000 Sidney Olympics and broke the marathon world record in 2001, becoming the first woman to...

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Tokyo Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki will compete in the Gifu Half Marathon on April 28 in Japan

Tokyo Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki believes he is on a good trajectory to dominate the road races and will hope to add the Gifu Half Marathon title to his collection on Sunday.

Karoki hopes to make the Kenya team to this year's World Championships in Doha, Qatar, but would prefer to run in the marathon, having failed on three occasions to win the 10,000m race.

"I have always had a fast-paced first phase of my marathon races, or even on track, but I am not strong in finishing," said Karoki on Tuesday. "I have the much-needed experience in marathon and track and I hope for a break this time around."

Karoki faces Jorum Okumbo and Japanese former marathon record-holder Yuta Shitara.

The fastest entrant in the women's race is Chepngetich's teammate Joan Chelimo, who clocked 65:04 to win in Prague last year.

However, Chepngetich is certain her strong preparations for the race will pay dividends, enabling her prevail and win gold over the 21km distance.

"I want to use the race as part of my preparation for the marathon," she said on Tuesday in Nairobi. "There are stronger and faster athletes in the race, but it will not be important on race day because how you run on that day is what is important. I hope to be successful."

Bahrain's Olympic marathon silver medalist Eunice Kirwa will also be staking her claim to the title in her bid to dominate the Asian road races.

Kirwa, who trains and lives in Eldoret and raced for Kenya until 2013, will have to be cautious of the challenge her former teammates will pose.

Also featuring will be world marathon champion Rose Chelimo of Bahrain and Japan's Miyuki Uehara.

Chelimo has had a poor season this year, finishing in position 41 at the World Half Marathon championships, and was eighth at the Tokyo Marathon in March.

However, a win on her return to Japan in Nagano will boost her credentials as she prepares to defend her crown at the 2019 World Championships in Doha this October.

"I did everything right in my preparations for the Tokyo Marathon, but I was not lucky enough to win," said Chelimo.

(04/16/2019) ⚡AMP
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Gifu Half Marathon

Gifu Half Marathon

The Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon is an annual half marathon road running competition held in Gifu, Japan. First held in 2011, the race is also called the Naoko Takahashi Cup, named after Naoko Takashi, the retired local runner who won the marathon at the 2000 Sidney Olympics and broke the marathon world record in 2001, becoming the first woman to...

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Sineard Diver improved her 40 Plus world record at Marugame Half Marathon clocking 1:08:55

Betsy Saina pulled away from Ayuko Suzuki in the final kilometer of the Marugame Half Marathon to successfully defend her title at the IAAF Silver Label road race in 1:07:49 on Sunday Feb 3.

Abdi Nageeye, meanwhile, caught front-running Simon Kariuki just before the 20-kilometer point and went on to win in 1:00:24, taking 46 seconds off the Dutch record set 20 years ago by Greg van Hest.

Saina and Suzuki ran together, passing five kilometers in 16:02, 10 kilometers in 32:06 and 15 kilometers in 48:15. They were still together at 20 kilometers, reached in 1:04:25, but Saina then made her move and pulled away from Suzuki to win in 1:07:49, smashing her previous best of 1:09:17 set in Marugame last year.

The Kenyan became the fifth woman to win back-to-back Marugame Half Marathon titles, joining Eunice Kirwa (2016 and 2017), Tiki Gelana (2012 and 2013), Kayoko Fukushi (2006, 2007 and 2011) and Yasuko Hashimoto (2003 and 2004). Her time is also the third fastest time in Marugame.

Despite missing out on victory, Suzuki was still pleased with her 1:07:55 half marathon debut.

“I am bit disappointed to be out kicked at the end of the race, but it was good that I was able to keep the steady pace all the way,” said Suzuki.

41-year-old Sinead Diver finished third in 1:08:55, improving her own world W40 best by 25 seconds. Charlotte Purdue was fourth in 1:09:46, her first sub-70-minute performance. Mao Ichiyama, who will be running the Tokyo Marathon in four weeks, was sixth in 1:10:49, about a minute shy of her PR.

Before Diver, American marathon record holder Deena Kastor held the record at 1:09:37. 

The lead group in the men’s race went through five kilometers in 14:16 and then Japan-based Kenyan Simon Kariuki pulled away from the pack. He went through 10 kilometres in 28:24, about 20 seconds ahead of the chase pack, and managed to maintain that lead up to 15 kilometres, which he reached in 42:46.

Nageeye then started to reel in Kariuki and took the lead just before 20 kilometres, which he passed in 57:18. The 29-year-old continued to pull away from his competitors in the closing stages to win in 1:00:24, improving his PB by one minute and 44 seconds.

Kariuki finished second in 1:00:43, a PR by 42 seconds. Australia’s Jack Rayner was third in 1:01:36, while fourth-placed Takato Suzuki was the first Japanese finisher, just ahead of Masao Kizu, both credited with PRs of 1:01:45.

(02/04/2019) ⚡AMP
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Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon

The Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon is an annual road running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional races attract over 1000 entries each year, and hosted by the Sankei Shimbun, Sankei Sports, Okayama Broadcasting, BS Fuji. The race in Marugame was first held in 1947...

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