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Posted: January 21, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Asics Re-Signs Ryan Hall And Deena Kastor Through 2012

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved RaceResultsWeekly.com

Marathoners Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor were re-signed by their primary sponsor, the Asics America Corporation, through 2012, the company announced yesterday.

In the case of Hall, 26, it's a particularly critical signing for Asics because the 2:06:17 marathoner will be running the Boston Marathon on April 20, a huge media exposure opportunity for the shoe and apparel company based in Irvine, Calif. Industry insiders had reported to Race Results Weekly that Adidas, the shoe company sponsor of the Boston Athletic Association and the Boston Marathon, had shown serious interest in signing Hall and had put forth an offer.

"I couldn't be more happy to stay with Asics, a brand which has been faithful to me from my first pursuit of breaking the four-minute mile barrier, to qualifying for my first Olympic team, to now, as I pursue winning a major marathon in the U.S.," said Hall through a media release.

Kastor, 35, the American marathon record holder with a 2:19:36 personal best, is rebuilding her fitness after splintering a bone in her foot near the 5 km mark of last August's Beijing Olympic Marathon. She is expected to return to competition at the Yokohama Ekiden in Japan on February 22.

"Long before running with the Asics logo, I have admired the quality of Asics shoes," Kastor commented. "Since signing with Asics in 2001, I have learned to respect the standards in which they operate. It's a huge honor for me to continue representing a brand I believe in 100%."

Both Hall and Kastor are part of Team Running USA California in Mammoth Lakes, and are coached by Terrence Mahon. Both athletes are represented by Ray Flynn of Flynn Sports, who negotiated their deals. Terms of their signings were not disclosed, but both athletes would be certain to receive a six-figure salary plus lucrative performance bonuses for finishing well in high-profile races or achieving fast times.

"These athletes are the best in their events and are great ambassadors for the Asics brand," said Ben Cesar, the Asics athlete manager. "Each has the qualities that are in line with the company slogan, 'Sound Mind, Sound Body.' Ryan is the future of men's distance running in the U.S., and Deena is one of the greatest women's distance runners of all time."

In their annual rankings issue, Track & Field News ranked Hall the #1 marathoner in the United States. Kastor had the #2 USA ranking behind Kara Goucher.

PHOTOS: Deena Kastor after winning the 2007 U.S. Cross Country Championships in Boulder, Colo. (photo by David Monti); Ryan Hall competing at the 2006 Chiba International Cross Country (courtesy photo).


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