- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2008

From combined dispatches

BOSTON — The disappointment of their last Olympic marathon trials turned into delight for Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy Boulet and Blake Russell.

Kastor won the U.S. Olympic marathon trials yesterday, earning a spot in the Beijing Games by erasing a gap of almost two minutes to pass Lewy Boulet in the last three miles. It will be the second Olympic marathon and third Olympics for Kastor, who ran the 10,000 meters in Sydney.

“I accomplished two major goals: first, to make the team and, secondly, to win,” said Kastor, who won the bronze medal in Athens despite fading in the U.S. trials and finishing second. “It’s an absolute honor that this is my third Olympic team. It feels just as sweet the third time around.”

Kastor finished in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 35 seconds to earn a $50,000 prize and the chance for a $10,000 bonus if she lines up in Beijing. Boulet was 44 seconds back; Russell was 2:21 behind her, but an all-important 1:13 ahead of first alternate Zoila Gomez.

Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell earned spots on the men’s team with their top-three finishes in the New York trials in November.

Samia Akbar of Herndon finished 18th in 2:39:19.

Soccer draws released

BEIJING — Brazil, Italy and host China received favorable draws for the Beijing Olympics soccer tournament.

In the 16-team men’s tournament, it’s the United States, Netherlands, Nigeria and Japan in Group B, while Group D includes Italy, South Korea, Cameroon and Honduras.

In the women’s draw, host China was drawn with Sweden, Argentina and Canada.

Reigning World Cup champion Germany, and World Cup runner-up Brazil were drawn together with North Korea and Nigeria.

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