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UK Athletics

Baddeley, Yamauchi in good form - updated report

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Two of the endurance athletes on UK Athletics’ Lottery-funded World Class Programmes, Mara Yamauchi and Andy Baddeley, had successful outings this weekend in the long haul towards this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan.


Yamauchi (Harrow AC), who is on the World Class Podium Programme and has based herself in Japan until the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, had her final race before she contests the Flora London Marathon on Sunday 22 April.


She finished second in the Matsue Ladies’ Half Marathon in 69:36, which was 12 seconds outside her PB that she achieved in the Marugame Half Marathon in February last year, on her way to London, where she ran her marathon PB of 2:25:13.


Evaline Kimwei, a Japan-based Kenyan runner, led from the start with Yamauchi and the eventual winner, Chisato Osaki (Japan), running together some 20-odd seconds behind her for most of the race.


Yamauchi reports: “It was quite windy on the course as Matsue is on the coast. Osaki ran behind me for long stretches when we were running into a head wind, which I paid for right at the end when she pulled away to win by 11 seconds. Kimwei came third. I was pleased to get close to my PB with the London marathon coming up. It will be my next race.”


Baddeley (also Harrow AC), who is on the UKA World Class Development Programme, won the international Mayoral Mile in Wanganui, New Zealand, in 3:58.81.


It was the second encouraging race in quick succession for Baddeley, who has topped the UK 1500m rankings for the past two years and who has been warm weather training in Melbourne with Australian hero Craig Mottram since January. He clocked 3:38.13 over 1500m in Melbourne a fortnight ago.


Back in the UK, Liz Yelling (Bedford and County AC) registered her second impressive victory in successive weekends without reducing her heavy training load in preparation for the London Marathon.


Eight days after winning the English National Cross Country title, she romped to victory in the adidas Half Marathon at Silverstone in 74:34 with Birhan Dagne (Belgrave Harriers) second in 76:55 and Tracey Morris (Valley Striders) third in 77:26.


Yelling said: “It was really windy the whole way round and in the last three minutes I developed an ice cream headache, it was that cold out there, although such conditions toughen you up mentally. I haven’t eased down yet for the Flora London Marathon and felt really strong today. I feel that this race was a good indicator for London considering the extreme weather conditions."


Michael Green (Blackburn Harriers), who is also preparing for London at his Atlanta training base in the USA, went to second on the Power of 10 half marathon rankings by clocking 65:25 in Nashville, Tennessee, over the weekend.


His run earned him second place, four seconds behind Maciek Miereczko who is based in New Mexico; and took him to second in the rankings behind Tomas Abyu (Salford Harriers), who clocked 64:50 at Watford on 4 February.


For the latest rankings, please go to www.powerof10.info