At this morning's postrace press conference it was confirmed by the race organisers that on route to a new Asian record of 2:19:12 in the real,- Berlin Marathon on Sunday (25), the split times were accurate, and consequently Mizuki Noguchi has broken World records** at 25k and 30k. The 27-year-old Athens 2004 Olympic champion passed these marks in 1:22:13 (UPDATED TIME: increased by a second) and 1:38:48 hours.
The previous best times were held by fellow Japanese Naoko Takahashi, the Sydney 2000 Olympic champion at the marathon who had also run the records during the 2001 Berlin Marathon. Then Takahashi clocked 1:22:31 for 25k and 1:39:02 for 30k, times which Mizuki improved the by 19 seconds and 14 seconds respectively.
The race referees at 25k and 30k still have to approve the time and of course it has to be ratified by the IAAF. But even if the official split times will be one or a couple of seconds slower, both times will of course still be World records. Britain’s Paula Radcliffe had been faster in the London Marathon 2003 at 30km. But the course is going down more than allowed at that point (1 metre per km).
“I did realise that I broke the 30km record when I passed the mark,” said Noguchi. “I looked at my watch and was happy about it. My personal best for this time had been 1:39:09. But I did not know about the 25km record. That came as a surprise today during the press conference. I know that Paula Radcliffe has been running faster split times in a marathon, but may be I am lucky to have run the Berlin Marathon.”
At a marathon normally there is no full set of judges on the course. But as in 2001 race director Mark Milde was aware of the possibility of two world records, and so judges were placed at 25km and 30km.
“On Sunday I felt like dreaming. It was only today that I realised what I have achieved,” said Noguchi said during the press conference.
Asked about a possible start at the World Championships in Osaka 2007, Noguchi said: “I have not decided yet about this. I will talk to my coach, but it is much to close after the Berlin Marathon now to say anything about it.” And once more asked about a possible race against Paula Radcliffe before the Olympics in Beijing, the winner replied: “Again I can not say now because I have not planed anything yet. But should I be in a race and Paula will also enter this one, then it would be okay for me. But first of all I am very happy and proud of what I have achieved in Berlin. I will take home all the records as a souvenir.”
30,584 runners and walkers finished the real,- Berlin Marathon. But this figure might rise a bit since some runners probably did not fix their timing chip properly on their shoes.
Jörg Wenig for the IAAF
**Subject to ratification by the IAAF
Click here for original Berlin Marathon race report