Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Asian Games 2010 (Strategies and Tactics of Middle-East)

Next Issue - Rise of Indian women in long distance races.

Asian Games 2010

Strategies and Tactics of Gulf States.

As for the Middle-East, it was seen that many of the men in the middle distance and long distance events having former top Ethiopian or Kenyan runners running to specifically run for Qatar and Bahrain. If we look at the top three 5000m track winners of Asian Games 2010, the champion was from Bahrain(former Ethiopian) and the second and third position were from Qatar (former Kenyans).

An interesting fact to note is that in 2006 Asiad in Doha, the Kenyan-born runners won the men's 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, 3000m steeplechase and marathon events. Apart from a bronze in the marathon, and two minor medals in the 800m, all the male podium finishers were African.

For the year 2010, Bahrain won the men's 5000, 10,000 and 3000m steeplechase. Bahrain should thank the two former Kenyans (Ali Hasan Mahboob, Tareq Mubarak Taher) and one Ethiopian-born athlete (Bilisuma Shugi Gelassa).
Picture  1 - Ethiopian-born Mimi Gebregeiorges, the 5000m winner dashed hopes of Preeja, from India, of getting the second gold. Mimi ran for Bahrain.

The Gulf kingdom also claimed gold when Maryam Jamal won the 1500m women finals while in the 5000m, Mimi Gebregeiorges won the race. Both were formerly from Ethiopia.

Picture 2 - Maryam Jamal came in first in Asian Games 2010 (1500m women finals)

As for Jamal, who unsuccessfully applied for citizenship in the United States, Switzerland and France before settling on Bahrain, the country's flag an athlete might fly was of little matter, as long as you won. She said ,"Nationality is not important. What counts more is good practice instead of where I come from." Mohammed Shaween, the men's 1500m winner supports Jamal's statement by saying, "I think the competition is quite important," he said when quizzed about his feelings about African athletes changing allegiances.

Picture 3 - Mohammed Shaween is the winner of 1500m men.

"If there is a country providing a chance to train the athletes, I think it doesn't matter which country the athletes represent." It is also known that long distance runners, however, spend more time training, ironically, in the countries of their birth as the lack of altitude and inclement hot temperatures of the Middle-East states make it impractical.

The running under the flag of a borrowed nationality has several advantages. Often competition for places in their home countries is so strong that they might never appear internationally. This is especially so in countries like Ethiopia and Kenya.

There is also the lure of better pay, win bonuses and expenses paid beyond the realms of what they could earn at home.

"You have to look for where you can be looked after," 5000m silver medallist James Kwalia said, adding that facilities in his homeland of Kenya were not as good as in Qatar, for whom he now runs.

Picture  3 - In the 5000m race, James Kwalia, second from left, is a true bred Kenyan, who ran for Qatar in the Asian Games 2010 and became a silver medalist.

Gulf officials were able to rebut back on complaints over athletes switching nationalities, saying that European countries and the United States have long been naturalising other countries' runners for their own purpose.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Strategies and Tactics of China - The Fantastic Four of China

Next Issue - Tomorrow
Middle-East Strategies and Tactics
India's Strategies and Tactics

Asian Games 2010 Report on Middle and Long Distance Events

In the Asian Games 2010, some strategies and tactics employed by China, Middle-East and India were seen, in terms of getting gold medals. China consisted of the 'Fantastic Four' comprising of Si Tianfeng (50km men walk), Wang Hao (20km men walk), Liu Hong (20km women walk) and Zhou Chunxiu (women marathon) who won gold medals for China in these events. Hence, it can be seen that nearly all the men and women gold medalists for China are all walkers. This, I consider as a very good strategic move by China as she has been long been winning gold medals and have been able to break the walk records of Asian Games 2010.

The other area, China seem to triumph is in the marathon, mainly the women race. In the men's marathon, Korea and Japan seem to be a force to be reckon with. It is very hard to penetrate the men's marathon as these two countries, apart from the Gulf states, seem to be developing top marathon runners of the world in the Olympics and well as in World Championships. That was seen even during my days as a competitive runner between 1987 and 1995. China, during 1993, has developed runners like Wang Junxia, world record holder of 10000m and Qu Yunxia, 1500m world record holder. As the African states are coming in to the Asian Games under a different flag, it was a very good strategy to put top runners in the women's marathon. Time and again, China has shown high consistency in developing top runners in women marathon in world arena.

In fact, in 2007, I read in the newspaper that, after the victory of Zhou Chunxiu,  36 year old and 162cm tall, spoke after the London marathon 2007 victory that her next goal was to break the world record for the marathon held by Paula Radcliffe's 2hr 15min 25sec. Many people felt and still feel that it is still possible for her to break the world record if Chunxiu's training and goal-setting is going on well.
Picture 1 - Liu Hong (below), making China proud by getting gold the 20km walk.

Picture 2- Si Tianfeng (below), winning the 50km walk

Picture 3 - Wang Hao (below), winning the 20km walk joyfully with the flag of China

Picture 4 - Zhou Chunxiu - First in Asian Games 2hr 25min 00sec has a personal best of 2hr 19min 51sec, 2006, Seoul International Marathon)
Ranked 1st in the world in 2007 - Track and Field News 2007

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Asian Games MID and Long Distance Record (28.11. 2010)

Middle and Long Distance - Men and Women

Asian Games 2010 Record - 5  records (men) and 2 records (women) were broken.

800m (New Record)
2010 01min 45.45sec IRI Sajjad Moradi Guangzhou

1500m (New Record)
2010 3min 36.49s KSA Mohd Shaween Guangzhou

1994 13min 36.37sec JPN T Takaoka Hiroshima

10000m (New Record)
2010 27min 32.72sec BRN Bilisuma S G Guangzhou
3000m Steeplechase (New Record)
2010 8min 25.89sec BRN Tarek M Taher Guangzhou

1986 2hr 08min 21sec JPN T Nakayama Seoul

20km Walk
1998 1hr 20min 25sec CHN Yu Guohui Bangkok

50km Walk (New Record)
2010 3hr 47min 04sec CHN Si Tianfeng Guangzhou

Women Record as at 28.11.2010

1994 1min 59.85sec Qu Yunxia CHN Hiroshima

2002 4min 06.03sec Sunita Rani IND Busan

1994 8min 52.97sec Zhang Linli CHN Busan

2002 14min 40.41sec Yun Yingjie CHN Busan

3000m Steeplchase (New Record)
2010 9min 55. 67sec Sudha Singh IND Guangzhou

1998 2hr 21min 47sec N Takahasi JPN Bangkok

10000m Walk/Track
1998 43min 57.28sec Liu Hongyu CHN Bangkok

20000m Walk (New Record)
2010 1hr 30min 06sec Liu Hong CHN Guangzhou

Coming Soon - Standard Chartered Marathon (Singapore) 2010

Stories Coming up on our top local runners

Marathon preparation of Dr Ben Tan, Wang Zhiyong, Ashley Liew (fourth from left)and 2009 winner for the Standard Chartered Marathon (Singapore) Mok Ying Ren (left). Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ji Youngjun from Korea wins men's marathon (Asian Games)

News collated from Gulf Today and The Times of India in addition to my comments

Picture 1 - Ji Youngjun winning the men's marathon 2010
Asian Games Marathon 2010 - Let's stand up for the Champions

Picture 2 - (By courtesy of Ashley Liew). A very stable pace of sub 16min for each 5km until the 25km mark.

South Korea’s Ji Youngjun won the men’s marathon title at the Asian Games on Saturday while China’s Zhou Chunxiu defended her women’s crown.

In women's marathon, the two Chinese girls were told by the coach to take the lead at every 3km and break off by surging the pace at the 30km mark, where the leech-like tenacity North Korean runner, Kim Kum-ok, who later during the run came in third, relented to this pressure and allowed the gap to be widened between her and the Chinese girls.

Ji, in the men's marathon, finished seventh in the 2006 Asiad in Doha, by clocking 2hr 11min 11sec, with Japan’s Yukihiro Kitaoka taking silver in 2hr 12min 46sec.

Defending champion Mubarak Hassan Shami of Qatar, formerly Kenyan Richard Yatich, came in third with a time of 2hr 12min 53sec. Later on, after the race, Mubarak Hassan blamed the lack of water along the route was the main reason for his losing. Mubarak's expression during the prize giving was one of disappointment.

Picture 2 - The fruit of labour, winning of Asian Games Marathon by Ji Youngjun of South Korea.

After the 35km mark running on an undulating course, Ji suddenly broke away and was free of the pack. That strategy worked and he was leading the pack all the way till the end, from then onwards.

As for Ji, the South Korean winner, he said, “This is the third time that I’ve taken part in the Asian Games” . “I’m glad I won the gold medal. I trained very, very hard before the race, which is why I really deserve this gold medal.”

Zhou Chunxiu - 2010 Asian Games Women Marathon Champion

Defending Champion Zhou Chunxiu from China is first in Asian Games in Guangzhou  2010.

Picture 1 - Women Marathon (Left to Right), Indonesia's Triyaningsih (313), Kim Kum-ok (160) from North Korea, Zhou Chunxiu (154) and Zhu Xiaolin from China (155)
After running 35km kilometres, at the last 7km stretch , China's Zhou Chunxiu started to pull away from the rest of the field in women's marathon. She became the eventual winner at the Asian Games on Saturday, 27th Nov 2010. She also defended her title which she had won in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. 

Picture 2 - Zhou Chunxiu coming in first in DOHA Asian Games 2006

After Doha Asian Games 2006, she surprisingly claimed the London Marathon title in year 2007 with a time of 2 hr 20 min 38 sec - the fastest time of 2007. She continued her excellent form at the 2007 Osaka World Championships, where she became the only Chinese marathoner to finish on the podium at world class level, winning silver.
Picture 3 - Silver in World Championships in Osaka in 2007

Also, Chunxiu, an Beijing Olympics bronze medallist, clocked a season best of 2hr 25min 00sec, in this Asian Games, with teammate Zhu Xiaolin taking silver (2:26.35) and North Korea's Kim Kum-Ok claiming bronze (2:27.06).

Picture 4 - Zhuo Chunxiu (right) and Zhu Xiaolin (left) are teammates who came in first and second in the Asian Games 2010 women marathon, respectively..

Zhou told the reports that she was sticking to the coach plan all the way during the race that gave her the victory to Chunxiu and a second placing for Zhu Xiaolin. Chunxiu told, "In the first 30km, we carried out the strategy decided by our coach."

"We worked together so each of us took the lead in turn every three kilometres on the basis it would bring honour to our country no matter which of us won the gold medal.

"In the last 10km, the stronger one would take the lead."

Using the coach's strategy, Chunxiu and Xiaolin decided to make a break at the 30km mark in order to drop Kim out of contention of remaining in the pack at the last 10km.

Chunxiu took the cue to push the pace which immediately made Kim to lose ground on the two Chinese runners. Xiaolin, from then on, was doing her best to cling on to Chunxiu, as much as she can. At the 40km mark approximately, Xiaolin was already around a minute behind Chunxiu. Relentlessly, Chunxiu kept pushing the pace till the end and finally won the race in 2hrs 25min 00sec, while her fellow country athlete was second with a time of 2hrs 26min 35sec. Kim, doing a time of 2hrs 27min 06sec, from North Korea finished only 31sec from Xiaolin.

Picture 5 - Kim Kum-Ok (2679) from North Korea was second in Beijing Olympics in 2008.

According to Chunxiu, "This has been my best season in terms of results, which is what I expect because I am an experienced athlete with good basic skills." 

"I did quite well in Seoul in March (when she finished second) and here at the Asian Games.

"I had a personal best performance as well as good training performances. The marathon ended a perfect year for me."
Picture 6 - Asian Games 2010 women marathon champion, Zhou Chunxiu
Her coach Liang Songli, a few years back mentioned, "She is really hard working and can cope under very high pressure. She is also very smart and can always keep a clear mind." Coach Liang Songli had earlier praised Chunxiu for her devotion in training and feels that she is one athlete from China who has come in first in the world arena.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Latest News : Results of 16th Asian Games Athletics (Guangzhou, 2010)

Latest news 
Zhou Chunxiu from China, on her way to a win in Marathon (women)
GUANGZHOU: Women Marathon
1 2hr 25min 00sec CHN Zhou Chunxiu
2 2hr 26min 35sec CHN Zhu Xiaolin
3 2hr 27min 06sec N K  Kim Kum-Ok

Marathon 2010
Ji Youngjun from Korea winning the men's marathon race.
1 2hr 11min 11sec KOR Ji Youngjun
2 2hr 12min 46sec JPN Yukihiro
3 2hr 12min 53sec QAT Mubarak Hasan
4 2hr 14min 48sec CHN Dong Guojian
5 2hr 15min 52sec BRN KKK Yaseen
6 2hr 18min 16sec PRK Pak Song Chal
7 2hr 18min 24sec JPN Tomoyuki Sato
8 2hr 18min 43sec CHN Ren Longyun

5000m Women and 10000m Men Finals held in Aoti Stadium on 26/11/2010

Mimi Belete from Bahrain, staves off a late surge by Preeja Sreedharan (second) and Kavita Raut (third position) from India.


1 15min 15.59sec BRN Mimi Belete Gebgregeiorges
2 15min 15.89sec IND Preeja Sreedharan
3 15min 16.54sec IND Kavita Raut

10000km Men
Bilisuma Shugi from Bahrain outsprints Essa Ismail from Qatar to second position in the dramatic finish in the 10000m men Finals.

1st 27min 37.72sec BRN  Bilisuma Shugi Gelassa
2nd QAT,  Essa Ismail Rashed
3rd BRN Mahboob Mahboob

1500m women 
Asian Games Athletics 2010 - Middle and Long Distance Events

Next Issue (Between 27 and 30 Nov): Dr Benedict Tan's training preparation for the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2010  

W R - World Record
A R - Area Record
PB - Personal Best
SB - Season Best

Please Note:
This blog, if I have the time, will focus on Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2010. Asian Games is a compilation of results of all middle and long distance events. The posting is done so that Hwa Chong cross-country team and others can benefit from the timings in Asia.

800m Men Finals 
Sajad Moradi of Iran won the gold medal in men's 800m of athletics in one minute and 45.45 seconds at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou 
W R - 1min 41.01sec KEN David Rudisha (2010)
A R  - 1min 42.79sec BRN Kamel Yusuf Saad

1 1min 45.45sec IRI   Moradi Sajad
2 1min 45.88sec IRQ Almntfage Adnan
3 1min 46.19sec QAT Bala Musaab Abdelrahman
4 1min 46.48sec JPN Yokota Masato
5 1min 46.86sec KSA Alsalhi Mohammed Obaid
6 1min 47.51sec IOC Alazemi Mohammed M Kh F
7 1min 49.03sec BRN Ali Belal Mansoor
8  Moradi Amir (DNF)

800m Women Finals - Watch  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcbP73k_KZA

W R - 1min 53.28sec TCH Jamila Kratochvilova (1983)
A R  - 1min 55.54sec CHN Liu Dong (1993)
Matsko Margarita from Kazakhstan, winning the 800m, defeating favourites like Jamal Maryam from Bahrain 

1 2min 00.29sec KAZ Matsko Magarita
2 2min 00.91sec VIE Truong Thanh Hang
3 2min 01.36sec IND Lukka Tintu
4 2min 03.73sec JPN Kishikana Akari
5 2min 04.52sec JPN Kubo Ruriko
6 2min 06.07sec BRN Jamal Maryam Yusuf
7 2min 06. 95sec IND Paulose Sinimole
8 2min 08.38sec BRN Regasa Geuzeb Shumi

1500m Men
Heat 1

Heat 2

W R - 3min 26.00sec MAR El Guerrouj Hicham
A R  - 3min 29.14sec BRN Ramzi Rashid
Picture 1 - Shaween Mohammed Othman (744) from Saudi Arabia and Ali Belal Mansoor (338) from Iran are first and second, respectively.
1 3min 36.49sec KSA Shaween Mohammed Othman
2 3min 37. 09sec IRI Moradi Sajad
3 3min 38. 39sec BRN Ali Belal Manjoor
4 3min 39.35sec KSA Noor Emad Hamed
5 3min 41.67sec CHN Zhang Haikun
6 3min 42.79sec IND Singh Sandeep Kara
7 3min 44.25sec IND Catholi Hamza
8 3min 44.77sec KAZ Kossinov Artem

1500m Women
W R - 3min 50.46sec CHN Qu Yunxia (1993)
A R  - 3min 50.46sec CHN Qu Yunxia (1993)
Picture 2 - Jamal Maryam Yusuf, the winner

1 4min 08.22sec BRN Jamal Maryam Yusuf Isa
2 4min 09.58sec VIE Truong Thanh Hang
3 4min 10.42sec BRN Feebre Geionges Mimi
4 4min 11.76sec CHN Su Qian
5 4min 13.46sec IND Khatun Jhuma
6 4min 16.42sec JPN Yoshikawa Mika
7 4min 19.12sec IND O.P. Veetil Jaisha
8 4min 19. 99sec UAE Belayneh Betlhem Desalegn

3000m Steeplechase Men
W R - 7min 53.63sec QAT Shaheen Saif Saaee (2004)
A R  - 7min 53.63sec QAT Shaheen Saif Saaee (2004)
Picture 3- Taher Tareq Mubarak Salem (017) from Bahrain was champion for 3000m steeplechase
1 8min 25.89sec BRN Taher Tareq Mubarak
2 8min 26.27sec QAT Ali Thamer Kamal
3 8min 30.86sec KSA Alamri Ali Ahmad
4 8min 38.71sec QAT Kamil Zakrya Ali
5 8min 41.76sec JPN Takeda Tsuyashi
6 8min 47.34sec IND Elam Singh
7 9min 00.80sec TPE Wu Wen Chien
8 9min 02.93sec PHI Harrera Rene

3000m Steeplechase Women
W R - 8min 58.81sec RUS Galkina Samitova (2008)
A R  - 9min 26.29sec CHN Liu Nian (2007)
Picture 4 - Jin Yuan from China leading the pack with Sudha Singh (297, second runner from left), emerging champion of 3000m Steeplechase.

1 9min 44.67sec IND Sudha Singh
2 9min 55.71sec CHN Jin Yuan
3 10min 01.25sec JPN Hayakari Minori
4 10min 05.60sec BRN Jasim Kareema Saleh
5 10min 18.97sec IND Orchatteri Puthiya Veetil Jaisha
6 11min 00.64sec BRN Tilahun Aster Tesfaye

5000m Men
W R - 12min 37.35sec ETH Bekele Kenenisa (2004)
A R  - 12min 51.98sec QAT Shaheen Saif Saaee (2006)
Picture 5- Mohboob from Bahrain was trailed by C Kirui James from Qatar in the 5000m

1 13min 47.86sec BRN Mahboob Ali Hasan
2 13min 48.55sec QAT C Kurui James Kwalia
3 13min 49.31sec QAT KIBORE Felix Kikwal
4 13min 50.60sec BRN Mostumaa Dejenee Regassa
5 13min 52.34sec KSA Aljoud Abdullah Abdulaziz
6 13min 54.11sec JPN Takezawa Kensuke
7 13min 56.18sec KOR Baek Seungho
8 14min 01.76sec IND Kumar Sunil

5000m Women
1 15min 15.59sec BRN Mimi Belete Gebgregeiorges
2 15min 15.89sec IND Preeja Sreedharan
3 15min 16.54sec IND Kavita Raut

10000m Men Final

W R - 29min 31.78sec CHN Wang Junxia (1993)
A R - 29min 31.78sec CHN Wang Junxia (1993)
Picture  6 - Sreedharan Preeja of India finishes with her hands high up in the air in the 10000m for women

1 31min 50.47sec IND Sreedharan Preeja
2 31min 51.44sec IND Raut Kavita
3 31min 53.27sec BRN Habtegebrei Shitay
4 31min 55.59sec JPN Fukushi Kayoko
5 32min 06.73sec JPN Yoshimoto Kirari
6 32min 16.34sec KGZ Poliupina Viktoriia
7 32min 21.29sec BRN Challhissa Tejitu Daba
8 32min 39.13sec CHN Bai Xue

20km  Men
W R - 1hr 17min 16sec RUS Kanaykin Vladimir (2007)
A R- 1hr 17min 41sec CHN Zhu Hongyun (2005)
Picture 7 - Wang Han finishes first in the Asian Games 20km with the flag of China

1 1hr 20min 50sec CHN Wang Hao
2 1hr 21min 57sec CHN Chu Yafei
3 1hr 22min 47sec KOR Kim Hyunsub
4 1hr 24min 60sec JPN Fujisawa Isamu
5 1hr 25min 50sec JPN Suzuki Yushki
6 1hr 26min 33sec IND Harminder Singh
7 1hr 28min 06sec IND Baljinder Singh
8 1hr 36min 41sec UAE Sarwashi Ayoob Mohd

20km Walk Women

Picture 8 - Liu Hong (110) from China, after trailing Fushise Masumi (427) from Japan wins the 20km walk
1 1hr 30min 06sec CHN Liu Hong
2 1hr 30min 34sec JPN Fushise Masumi
3 1hr 32min 34sec CHN Li Yanfei
4 1hr 35min 13sec JPN Kawasaki Mayi
5 1hr 40min 24sec KOR Jeon Yeongeun
6 1hr 46min 45sec MYA Tan Kay Khing Myo

50km Walk Men
W R - 3hr 34min 14sec RUS Nizhegorodov Denis (2002)
A R - 3hr 36min 06sec CHN Yu Chaohong (2008)
Picture 9 - Si Tianfeng from China came in first in the 50km walk.

1 3hr 47min 04sec CHN Si Tianfeng
2 3hr 47min 34sec CHN Li Lei
3 3hr 47min 41sec JPN Morioka Koichiro
4 3hr 53min 24sec KOR Yim Junghyun
5 3hr 53min 52sec KOR Kim Dongyoung

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Latest News - Penang Bridge Marathon (21st November 2010, Sunday)

Sheryl Loh - Does it again, another sub 42min for 10km.

My friend Venugopal, one of the top Malaysian runner,  whom I met in Bali few years back, finished his half -marathon race and informed me about Penang Bridge run from Malaysia while I was in Singapore. He told me that he ran the men's race and came in first with a time of 1hr 14min. He had to start his race around 3am. He also found the weather to be humid although there was no sun and this may have affected his race. Venugopal told me in the phone that the weather was making him feel  a bit uncomfortable, even though the race started in the early hours of the morning.

His friend Sharharudin Bin Hashim, 35, a policeman came in first for the men closed section (Malayian section) with a time of 2hr 47min 26sec. Official results of the event will take some days to be out.  The marathon race started at about 2am. Venugopal told me in the phone that it started raining between 4 :30am and 5:15pm. He also commented from Malaysia that the whole morning was spent by the runners in light drizzle. In the women section Clerk Ch'ng Lay Khim, 42, came in as the best finisher in th4e wome4n's fulll marathon witha time of 3hr 52min 08secs.

Mr Chan Meng Hui, another of my friend, who is about 80 years of age, the tour organiser told me from there that 24000 odd from 69 countries took part in it. 200 flights were cancelled because the run consist of running on the bridge, for a certain distance. The interesting thing about the run is that Mr Chan found Goh Shu Wei, 28, proposed to his girlfriend, teacher Miss Chan Yen Nee, to marry just 10 metres before the finish line.

As expected, in the Men Open Marathon, the Kenyans dominated the top nine positions. First, second and third position went to Alex Melly, Robert Kipilagat Kosgey and James C. Tallam, who recorded 2hr 24min 30sec, 2hr 27min 43sec and 2hr 27min 49sec, respectively. Mr Chan told me that in the Women Open section Jepkemboi Chesire, 25, came in as the champion with a time of 2hr 59min 14sec to beat Lucy Karimi Mugambi who ran 3hrs 06min 07sec
In the 10km men open race, Wong Kang Yan, a member of our training group did a time of 40min 39sec, which was a personal best time. In the past, his personal best time was 47min plus. His main target for this year is to do a sub 4 hours for the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2010.  

Coming back to the Penang Bridge race, in the 10km junior section for the boys was dominated mainly by boys fromThailand. Venugopal told me that not many Malaysian runners who are students of elite calibre turned up for the race. However, from the timing, it was found that the 10km time of the junior race was fast.

The men open and women open 10km started at 6:15am. In the women race, Sheryl Loh was able to replicate the 10km time by doing a sub 42min for the race before she sets off for her medicine course in Monash University (Australia) . I was talking to her from Singapore and she responded to my questions.

An interview with Sheryl Loh

How did you find the race route?
The race route was interesting, especially the stretch leading up the Penang Bridge which was particularly scenic. However, there were no distance markers at each kilometer, which would have been very helpful in keeping track of my timing for each kilometre splits.

What was your timing for the race?
I ran the 10km in 41min 39secs.

How do you find the weather there in Penang?
When I started my race at 6.15am, it was much colder than expected, especially compared to races in Singapore where the start times are later and the weather is more humid. This was probably due to showers in the early hours of the morning, around 5am when I reached the event start site. Many half-marathoners and full marathoners had to finish their races in the pouring rain!

What position did you get?
I got 4th position in the Women's Open category for the 10km run.

Are you happy with the pace that you had set for your self?
Yes. I wish that I could have run a personal best (sub 41min25secs), however I did my best given the race conditions (very cold weather, did not warm up adequately) and I am very happy that I managed to sub 42min for my race. This is the second time I am doing it.

What was your strategy for the race?
I tried to control my pace at the start instead of going out too fast, which was a mistake I made during the Great Eastern 10km race in October. It was difficult to stick to my race plan due to the lack of distance markers so I just ran at a pace that I felt I could comfortably sustain for the 10km. Because my friend Kang Yan was running the Men's Open 10km as well, he helped to pace me for the first 7km. I really appreciate that. 

Any more race that you are preparing for?
As for now, I have not decided anything yet. I have been told by my coach to to do a transition phase of relaxing for 2-3 weeks by not running much. However, he has allowed me to do a 20min jog per day as I like to run every day. After 3weeks, I shall start my new season.

Do you feel good that you have done two sub 42minutes within a month?
Yes. I would like to thank my coach Mr Ram for his invaluable guidance and training partners Kang Yan, and running buddy Marissa Sng from Bendemeer Secondary School, as well as Mr Chan Meng Hui who helped to handle the trip logistics.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tim Dickinson - 2hr 23min 35sec in London Marathon 2002

Tim Dickinson -  A Great Friend Indeed

Since the Singapore Standard Standard Chartered Marathon race is coming, I have decided to write on my friend who later on took up marathon and did 2hrs 23min and 35sec for the London Marathon 2002.

When I was in Loughborough University of Technonogy, England, one such person who I have gratitude and appreciation, for showing me the direction to my marathon achievement, is Tim Dickinson. One or two weeks into running with the Loughborough Athletics Club members, Tim introduced himself to me. He was very kind to me. I was not used to any runners there and I was not in talking terms with any athletes there, earlier on. No Singaporean athletes were training there. I heard that one or two students who ran with the club gave up their training with the club runners for two reasons. One was because of the weather, it was too cold for them . The second reason was because of the Loughborough Athletics runners were too fast to catch up.

Tim introduced me to great friends like Gordon Reid (best junior from Scotland), Tony Bignell and most importantly my coach by he name of Alan Guilder. It was because of Tim that I could go for my daily runs with my coach in the morning. From Oct 1992 to June 1993, I was training with Alan. I was taking Alan as a training partner at that time. Knowing that Alan was a person who was knowledgeable in running, I decided to ask Alan to taking me into his wings as Tim. He gladly agreed to this and within two months I did 2hrs 28min in the Berlin Marathon Sept 1993.

Coming back to Tim, he was a dedicated runner. He used to share with me on running. He became our cross country team captain over time in the University. In one race where I did 31min 46sec for the 10km, Tim did a fantastic run of doing sub 31min for the 10km race. Over time, I realised that from Loughborough University, the two runners who came top 10 was Tim and I. That was great as we were training with Alan Guilder. In London Marathon, Alan had done 2hrs 23min in year 1993.Alan has a personal best time of 2hrs 21 min running in the Robinhood marathon 1993. After my exams, I saw less of Tim and Alan.

Very recently, after a long time of not in touch with each other, finally, I got in touch with Tim and requested him to answer the interview and he gladly came forward. The reason for giving this interview is to motivate the runners running in the Standard Chartered Marathon (Singapore). The other reason for doing this is to tell the world that without Tim, I would not have achieved what I have achieved in the past. The greatest thing he did was introducing me to my coach, Alan Guilder. From Alan, I found the right way to train.

An Interview With Tim Dickinson

What sport are you interested in?
I am interested in running.

Can you tell us on your personal best time for 800m, 1500m 3000m , 5000m , 10000m, half-marathon and marathon?
800m - 2min 01.6sec,
1500m - 3min 57sec
3000m - 8m 29sec
5000m - 14min.48sec
10000m -30min 20sec
Half -Marathon - 65min 41sec
Marathon - 2hr 23min 35sec

Can you tell us the age that you were able to attain your personal best time for half -marathon?
It was when I was 30 years of age.

Can you tell us the age that you were able to attain your pb for marathon?
It was at 30 years of age.

Can you tell us in detail on the marathon race that you did your personal best?
London marathon 2002, felt tired all the way round due to the half marathon still being in my legs from 3 weeks earlier, last 7 miles suffered terribly but managed to keep the pace reasonable, passed half way mark  in 70.00 exactly!! finished in 2.23.35

Can you tell us on your achievement in your degree days?
My best results were when I ran in the Southern XC 1996 and I came in first in the British Students Cross country-Championships 1996. I came in 3rd in the UK Intercounties 1995.

How were you balance studies and your chosen sport when you were in Loughbrough University of Technology?
Running always came first over studies so it wasnt a problem !!

How was your girlfriend/wife support in running?
Tolerated but never really supported!!

How was your parents support when you were actively involved in your sport?
I believe that they could have supported more. However, before I won the Southern Cross-Country Chanmpionships, I came 3rd and my mum said to me after, if you had run a little bit faster you would have won!!

Right now, can you tell us on whether you are still training?
Right now, I cycle 130-230 miles per week just to keep in shape, rarely run due to long term (5yrs) calf injury!! am still the same weight as I was in 1996!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chamkaur Singh - 3000m New South Championships (13 Nov 2010)

Chamkaur Singh - Flying Our National Colours in Australia

An amazing run up to the upcoming 5000m Victoria (Melbourne) State Championships  in  25 Nov 2010.

Picture 1 - Running some road runs just before the track season

Just on 30/10/2010, Chamkaur did a 15min 17sec for the 5000m road run and, subsequently, 2 weeks later he did a creditable 8min 48.46sec for a 3000m race. On 13 November 2010, he excelled himself by doing a 8min 40. 64sec for the 3000m.

Moreover, at the rate Chamkaur Singh is progressing, it seems that he is getting nearer to achieving a personal best target time of 15min 00sec very soon. He told me this in Singapore few months back. He is also getting close in terms of breaking N. Ganesan's 14min 57sec National record for the 5000m track race.

In the coming 25th Nov 2010, if Chamkaur does a steady 2min 59.00sec for each 1km splits during the 5km track race, he will be able to do a 14min 55sec and it means that he will be able to go 2 secs below the national record. As a friend and a well wisher, all I can say is," All the best Chamkaur! "

Time : 8min 40.64sec for 3000m
3000m Splits

200m-  33.27sec
600m - 1min 42.32sec
1000m - 2min 51.88sec
1400m - 4min 01.74sec
1800m - 5min 11.36sec
2200m - 6min 21.52sec
2600m - 7min 31.70sec
3000m - 8min 40.64sec

Picture 2 - (From left to right) Teng Jian Hong, Mun Yong Liang, S. Jeevanesh, Murugiah Rameshon, Chamkaur Dhaliwal and Yeo Si Heng.
Split and Lap Times of Chamkaur Singh for 3000m