Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 3 of the Olympics--Women's marathon...

4:30 pm--Women's marathon is underway...for those of you in the Seattle market, Comcast channel 99 is the way to go.

It looks like CBC will be cutting back and forth between the marathon and other events (they are replaying Michael Phelps' race from last night). We will refer you to Parker Morse's blog on the iaaf.org site, (session 3-morning) as well as the Runner's World site (women's marathon).

Liz Yelling from Great Britain is the early leader. Deena Kastor, the bronze medallist from Athens, has apparently twisted her ankle, according to CBC...

Quoting Parker Morse from the iaaf.org site, "Kastor has yet to record a split at 5km, so it looks like she's out. It was her left foot giving her trouble. The length of the marathon gives tremendous opportunity for this kind of disaster. BBC is reporting that Kastor said she felt something pop."

Larry Eder writes, "At 18.28, Deena Kastor looked to be in distress, stopped, checked the toe of her shoe and looks to have stopped running. She looked visibly distressed."

4:55 pm--The group up front numbers around 40. Blake Russell, who finished third at the Trials in Boston is up there, as is Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain.

5:10 pm--The group goes through 10k at 36:10. On the CBC feed, they are going through the Forbidden City. Paula Radcliffe is about 4 seconds back; Liz Yelling is still the leader. Magdalena Lewy, the surprise second place finisher at the Trials is at 37:24.

5:20 pm--At 49 minutes into the race, Radcliffe is now up front. We will hopefully have 15k splits shortly-stay tuned.

53:52 at 15km for the leaders; CBC is reporting that it's stating to rain a bit--folks on the course have umbrellas. Someone just went down...turns out to be Liz Yelling of Great Britain.

5:30 pm--The three Chinese runners are up there, led by the dangerous Zhou Chunxiu, who has a lot of pressure to produce.

Catherine Ndereba is just stalking everyone in the back, contrary to what CBC's Mark Lee says. Parker in Beijing says, "That's where she always runs in Boston and NYCM. She's canny, that Catherine."

5:40 pm--They just passed 19k, still on 2:30 pace. Reiko Tosa of Japan who won the bronze at the world championships in Osaka last year is in trouble.

A scheduling update--Bernard Lagat will be running in the semis of the 1500 meters tonight at 10:05 pm (7:05 am in Seattle).

Pack is now down to about 25 athletes as they go thru the 1/2 marathon around 1:15. They just showed Paula Radcliffe pulling to the side of the road to relieve herself.

5:50 pm--Some familiar names are up there as Constantina Tomescu-Dita from Romania tries to make a move...Lidia Simon, her teammate, who is a familiar name at the NYC Marathon is there as well. Yurika Nakamura is the lone Japanese runner up there.

5:55 pm--Quotes from Deena Kastor on what happened--"My foot has been sore for the past week. I felt a pop in my foot and I couldn't stand on it. I didn't expect to be finishing the Marathon on a bus."

"We prepare forever for the Marathon, and we had a sound race plan. I was excited to get out, make my country proud and try to win another medal. As athletes, we have ups and downs. Unfortunately, you can't pick the days they come on."

6:05 pm--We are trying to flip back and forth between the splits posted on nbcolympics.com, getting live updates from Beijing, and watching the CBC feed, which is pretty good. Constantina Tomescu-Dita has a 34 second lead on the field, running the last 5k in 16:47, the fastest split of the race, as the runners enter the city's financial district.

Mara Yamauchi from Great Britain, whose web site we plugged back in January is in the chase pack.

6:18 pm--1:45:04 is Tomescu-Dita's split through 30k...pack now down to 11, with two Chinese, Radcliffe, Yamauchi, Ndereba, and a few others.

6:30 pm--Quoting Parker Morse, "Now they're reporting 1:10 for a gap. The pack did seem to have slowed down - Zhou stopped doing the work and nobody else wants to. Someone needs to be brave in there, Dita's suffering but they can't tell.

6:45 pm--With 4.5 k to go, Dita's gap is now almost 1:30!

It's now down to Ndereba & Komu of Kenya, and Zhou and Zou from China with 2k to go. Unless she crashes, no one's catching Dita--she went thru 40k at 2:19:07.

They will run 500 meters when they enter the stadium.

6:58 pm--Dita wins in 2:26:44, Ndereba 2:27.05, Zhou 2:27:06. Radcliffe was 23rd.

Blake Russell will be the only American finishing 27th, 2:33:13.

That's it for now. See you later when Bernard Lagat runs the semis of the 1500m.

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