Team USA 9th and 10th at Chiba Ekiden Road Relay
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USA Track & Field
Ethiopians Win Chiba Ekiden in Record Times
CHIBA-CITY, Japan - (November 24, 2003) - At the International Chiba Ekiden marathon road relay, Ethiopia again swept the overall team titles with impressive course records in 1:55:59 and 2:11:22 respectively. Kenya was a distant second in both competitions, 1:58:56 and 2:15:37.
In addition, both winning times were also the fastest ever run for a five (men) and six (women) stage marathon road relay or Ekiden. The Ethiopian men's team bettered the previous record of 1:57:03 run by the Ethiopian team in 1992 at Berlin, while the women broke the previous record, 2:11:41, which was set by the Chinese team at the 1998 Beijing Ekiden.
Under cool, windy and overcast conditions, Ethiopia simply dominated the competition as each relay leg member won his or her respective stage as the men's team recorded stage records in four of the five stages, the women's team set three records in the six stages of their race. Each winning team earned $20,000 plus each team member pocketed an extra $1000 for best time in each leg.
Team USA finished 9th (men) and 10th (women) in 2:04:33 and 2:25:01 respectively. The U.S. men set a pending U.S. 5-leg marathon road relay record, a new USA Track & Field record category established this year. The best American place legs - 6th and 4th respectively - were produced by anchor leg Teren Jameson of Salt Lake City, Utah and third leg Katherine Newberry of Williamsburg, Va. Overall, 16 men's and 15 women's teams completed the relay competition.
In the alternate's 5000 meter track race, Eddy Hellebuyck, 42, Albuquerque, N.M. and Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, 44, Austin, Texas finished 8th (14:45.14) and 6th (17:22.26) respectively. Hellebuyck's time is a pending U.S. 40-44 age group track record.