Mao Ichiyama, Suguru Osako clinch Japan’s last Olympic marathon spots

first_img RELATED PHOTOS GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES KEYWORDS IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Lake Biwa Marathon, Nagoya Women’s Marathon, Suguru Osako, Mao Ichiyama center_img Mao Ichiyama crosses the finish line to win the Nagoya Women’s Marathon on Sunday with a time of 2 hours, 20 minutes and 29 seconds, earning the 22-year-old Japan’s last spot in the women’s marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. | KYODO The 22-year-old Ichiyama pulled ahead after passing the 30-km mark and ran the remainder of the rain-soaked course in Nagoya uncontested. Her time satisfied the 2:21:47 conditional mark set by Mizuki Matsuda at the Osaka Women’s Marathon in January.“I think that the real race started after 30 kilometers, and even though I was alone I was able to finish like I had practiced,” Ichiyama said. “I ran like I expected I would.”Ichiyama clocked the fourth-highest women’s national time and rewrote the highest women’s national time set at an event in Japan, beating 2004 Athens Games gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi’s record of 2:21:18.Thirty-seven-year-old Kayoko Fukushi, who was aiming to compete in her fifth consecutive Olympics, dropped out around the 30-km mark.The race, which started and ended at Nagoya Dome, was limited to elite competitors due to concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak. A special “online marathon” is being offered as a replacement via a smartphone app for general participants who missed out on the event.Osako, 28, secured the last spot on the men’s side since no Japanese entrants at the Lake Biwa Marathon were able to beat the national-record time of 2:05:29 he ran in the Tokyo Marathon on March 1, which was also scaled back to elite runners because of the coronavirus.Kenya’s Evans Chebet crossed the tape first at Otsu’s Ojiyama Stadium in 2:07:29, while Naoya Sakuda posted Japan’s best result of 2:08.59 in fourth place.Shogo Nakamura, Yuma Hattori, Honami Maeda and Ayuko Suzuki had already claimed the other four Olympic marathon spots available for the 2020 hosts.The quartet were granted automatic berths after finishing in the top-two in the men’s and women’s races at last September’s Marathon Grand Championship, a trial for the Olympic races which were originally planned to be held in the Japanese capital.The Olympic marathons and race walking events were moved to Sapporo, host city of the 1972 Winter Games, on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido due to growing concerns about Tokyo’s extreme heat during the summer.The women’s marathon is scheduled for Aug. 8, with the men’s marathon to follow on Aug. 9 ahead of the Olympic closing ceremony in Tokyo. NAGOYA – Mao Ichiyama and Suguru Osako each secured berths at the Tokyo Games based on the results of Sunday’s Nagoya Women’s Marathon and Lake Biwa Marathon, the final selection races for Japan’s Olympic marathon team.Ichiyama won the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in a race record time of 2 hours, 20 minutes and 29 seconds to claim the third and final spot available for Japanese women. Yuka Ando finished second in 2:22:41.last_img read more

Frank Lampard on Hudson-Odoi, Willian talks, Havertz and other possible signings

first_imgChelsea boss Frank Lampard spoke to reporters via video on the eve of his side’s game against Manchester City. Here’s some of what the Blues boss had to say. On Hudson-Odoi and Tomori“We’re all the same as we were for Aston Villa.“Fikayo Tomori is still probably about a week away from training properly with us.“Callum Hudson-Odoi is still searching for fitness. He’s fit but not match fit yet.”On Willian and Pedro signing short-term contract extensions“I’m pleased. Negotiations were relatively easy because both sides wanted the same thing.“The two players wanted to make sure they could see the season out with us. And we need them in the squad because they’re both important players for us. So I’m happy.”On Willian’s longer-term future“We’re still talking. I really don’t want to get into (what might happen) beyond this season.“I want Willian to play his best football for the games we’ve got remaining.“Behind the scenes we can talk. I get on very well with Willian and the club get on very well with him. We’ll see what happens with that one.”On whether he expects more new signings“I don’t know because we have games that we need to complete before the window opens.“That’s something we’ll broach when it comes around. At the moment our only focus can be on the games in hand.”On Kai Havertz“He’s obviously a top player but we’re certainly not going to comment on other players from other teams and it cannot be our focus. Nothing to say.”On whether a bid for Havertz has been made“No. No bids have gone in.”On the prospect of beating City and therefore helping Liverpool win the title“I’ve given absolutely no thought to Liverpool’s situation. It makes no odds to us at all.“I and we respect Liverpool and City as two fantastic teams. In the last two or three seasons they’ve been dominant.“We can only look at what this match means for us. We want to try and win. We go against a great opponent and that’s the only way I see it.”On the ‘White lives matter’ banner made by Burnley fans“We were all disappointed with the banner. One of the really positive things about recent happenings is the togetherness.“Players and clubs are showing – everyone’s showing – that we want to move forward.“It was a small step back but I think the reaction has been another positive move and everybody has reacted in the same way – outside of those people who think differently to the rest of us.”On whether Chelsea can catch third-placed Leicester“We look above us and below us and try to amass as many points as we can.“Leicester have been fantastic this season, we know that. The fact we’re three points off them we can be aware of, but we also have our own tough games in front of us.“We need to absolutely focus on ourselves to try and get as high up the league as we can.“Leicester are one place above us and we obviously set our sights there. But the competition is fierce for the top four.“I’m not focusing on just Leicester, just Manchester United, just Wolves or just Sheffield United or Tottenham. We just focus on ourselves.”On facing City“Of course when you’re playing at City there are benchmarks for you.“We have to say as a club like Chelsea that we want to be at that level, competing for first, competing in cup competitions.“Chelsea in recent history have been there a lot, but at the moment we know we’re in a slightly different situation.“We want to get there and want to close that gap. So when you go to head to head it’s a great opportunity for the players.”[scriptless] Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more