ad info




TIME Asia
TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Entertainment
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia

TIME.com
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Asiaweek
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

 ASIAWEEK.COM
 CNN.COM
  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia
  australasia
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 SHOWBIZ
 ASIA WEATHER
 ASIA TRAVEL


Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest
FORTUNE.com
FORTUNE China
MONEY.com

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME Asia Asiaweek Asia Now TIME Asia story

FEATURES HOME


Thomas Kienzle/AP.
Naoko Takahashi won the first gold medal ever for a Japanese woman in track and field on Sunday when she won the marathon in Olympic-record time.
WEB-ONLY EXCLUSIVE
Meet Japan's New National Hero
Naoko Takahashi took up marathon running because it looked like fun. On Sunday, she won gold in Olympic-record time
By KATE NOBLE in Sydney

September 25, 2000
Web posted at 5:00 p.m. Hong Kong time, 5:00 a.m. EDT


In the home of sumo wrestling, marathon running is big. So big that tiny Naoko Takahashi -- 163-cms and 47-kg -- has already become a national hero. She staked a claim for a place in the pantheon of Japanese sport with her gold medal-winning performance in Sunday's Olympic marathon. Not only did she win, but she recorded a new Olympic record time of two hours, 23 minutes, 14 seconds and scored Japan's first ever women's athletic gold.

The 28-year-old, who took up the sport because "it looked like fun to me," had defeated the most competitive field to have sought Olympic gold since the women's event was introduced at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Takahashi's main competition was to have come from two Kenyans, Tegla Loroupe and Joyce Chepchumba. As it turned out, it was Romania's Lidia Simon, who had taken bronze in last year's World Championships, who stayed with Takahashi when she broke from the field shortly before the 35-kilometer mark, and held on for the silver medal. Chepchumba, who spent most of the race looking round for Loroupe, her flatmate and training partner who trailed in 13th place, took the bronze.

  WEB FEATURES
Malaysia Takes a Dive
When the world's richest man visits, India sits up

Hail Gates
The country's idyllic isles have become a kidnapping hotspot

Is Vajpayee Really Ill?
The Indian Prime Minister's apparent health problems are causing alarm -- not to mention speculation

'There Was Method to My Madness'
Why TIME Asia ventured into Cambodia's remote wilderness

Trial of the Century
Former Indonesian President Suharto skips court, too sick say lawyers

Reader Response: Tuff Turf
Asia Buzz readers give their views on Peter McKillop's question "Why in the world are there American troops in Japan"

Rave on the Great Wall
And the authorities in Beijing knew nothing about it

In an exceptionally fast race, with 14 runners finishing within two hours 30 minutes, Chepchumba and Simon both finished inside the previous Olympic best time. As she entered the stadium for one lap of the track Takahashi's race was nearly cut short by an overzealous official who stepped out with the finish ribbon, but realized her mistake and let the runner past to complete the race. Japanese journalists thronged the athlete afterwards, wanting to interview their new heroine and her coach for special late editions of their newspapers.

Takahashi, who won the Asian Games marathon in 1998 and was hotly tipped for the Seville World Championships last year until injury ruled her out, told them: "I have been aiming for this victory for a very long time and I feel a little sad that I have reached my objective. Tomorrow," she added, "I will have to set my eyes on another goal."

Today the tiny runner is the biggest thing in Japanese sport.


More TIME Olympics 2000 coverage Chasing a Dream
After 40 years, China wins its first Olympic men's gymnastic team title
Photo Essay: From start to finish
Pulling Their Weight: The first-ever Olympic women's weight lifting events put to rest the notion that some sports are unfeminine

TIME at the Olympics
TIME.com, TIMEasia.com, TIMEeurope.com and TIMEpacific.com bring you all the action and analysis at the Sydney 2000 Olympic games with our special site

Features Home | TIME Asia home

AsiaNow


Quick Scroll: More stories from TIME, Asiaweek and CNN

   LATEST HEADLINES:

WASHINGTON
U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN
 Search

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.