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Olympics 2008 - Day 3 Morning Session Report

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Mare Yamuchi Olympics 2008

17th August 2008


Mara Yamauchi was the quickest finisher of Team GB’s marathon trio on Sunday morning local time, as she came home in sixth place in Beijing in a time of two hours 27.29 minutes in a race won by Romania’s Constantina Tomescu.


Afterwards Yamauchi said: "I'm really happy I ran a sensible race. I was really digging in at the end. They were just a bit too strong for me, but I'm glad I caught the Russian at the end."


"It wasn't hot, it wasn't even that humid. I was surprised a lot of others didn't do better," she added. "I thought the Ethiopians would have sprinted away at the end.


"I'd like to say a huge thanks to everybody who has supported me," she added.


The Oxford-born 35-year-old held off the challenge of Russia’s Irina Timofeeva to lead the British challenge and was followed over the line by Paula Radcliffe, who finished 23rd in 2:32.38, and Liz Yelling (26th, 2:33.12).

Radcliffe, the world record holder who recovered only recently from a stress fracture to her left thigh which had threatened to prevent her competing, began the race well and crossed the 25km mark in second place in a time of 1:28.50 before dropping down the order in the latter stages.


Radcliffe pulled up briefly with cramp in her calf during the race. "It was really sore," she said. "At one point I stopped to stretch it out, but it came back. It wasn't a sharp pain. I felt like I was running on one leg. I had to stretch for any chance of carrying on.


“I knew I was pushing it to come here,” she said. “But I would have done all that hard work for nothing if I hadn’t got to the finish line. I am still keeping my fingers crossed for (the London Olympic Games in) 2012.

Yelling was leading the race after 10km, dropping into the twenties by halfway before consolidating to finish just three places behind her illustrious team-mate.

Tomescu won a race run in mercifully mild conditions through the streets of the Chinese capital, ending in the iconic ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium, in a time of 2:26.44. But it was the battle for second place that most excited local spectators.

After 26 miles of hard work, China’s Zhou Chunxiu and Catherine Ndereba, of Kenya, staged a sprint finish, which ended with the Kenyan edging out the local hero to take silver. Zhou finished third, with compatriot Zhu Xiaolin in fourth place.


For Results and Startlists click here