IAAF.org: Ndereba and Simon v. young Japanese - Osaka Ladies Marathon preview
2003 World champion Catherine Ndereba and three-time winner Lidia Simon lead the field for Sunday’s Osaka Ladies Marathon.
With the personal best of 2:18:47 from the 2001 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, Ndereba is the fastest runner in the field. The Kenyan is one of the most successful Marathon runners in history, having won gold at the 2003 World Championships in Paris, and silver medals in both the 2004 Olympic Games and 2005 World Championships in Helsinki. A fierce competitor, Ndereba won the last two Boston Marathons, and has a slew of solid runner-up performances, including London and New York in 2003, and Chicago and Boston in 2002. Ndereba has not contested a Marathon in Japan yet, but she has run several Half-marathons in the country, winning the three of the last four Sapporo Half-Marathons. Most recently, she was second in the Sanyo Women’s Half Marathon on 23 December, clocking 1:11:13.
The next fastest runner in the field, with the personal of 2:22:54, is the Romanian Simon, the silver medallist at the 2000 Olympic Games and 2001 World Champion. Simon is very familiar with the Osaka course, having won three straight years from 1998 to 2000. Simon once held the course record of 2:22:54 set in 2000, a performance that is still the fifth fastest. Fifth in Osaka last year, the 32-year-old was 13th at the Miyazaki Women’s Half Marathon on 6 January.
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