The first Area Record (or rather, Area Best Performance, as it is for a half marathon) of the Year 2000 comes from Asia. It was set by Japan’s Ken-ichi Takahashi, who ran the Tokyo half marathon on January 10, in 1:00:30 to set a new Asia and Japanese record.
The previous best performance belonged to two other Japanese, who set it during an earlier edition of the Tokyo half marathon (21 January 1996), with a time of 1:00:42, crossing the line virtually simultaneously in fourth and fifth places.
Takahashi ran most of his race alone. Finding the initial rhythm too slow, he broke away from the fourth kilometre. His splits from 5km on were as follows: 14:13 – 28:22 (14:09) – (42:50 (14:28) – 57:26 (14:36).
In the immediate future, Takahashi – who has been showing excellent form in the most recent road races in Japan, especially in Ekiden relay races – plans to attempt new records at ten miles and 30 km. He will then work at qualifying for the Japanese team for the Olympic Games over 10,000m.