Reigning Olympic Marathon champion Constantina Dita has decided to stay with her shoe and apparel sponsor Asics through the 2012 Olympics, her management company announced. The Romanian athlete, who became the oldest-ever Olympic Marathon champion at 38 when she won on the streets of Beijing last August, has been under contract with Asics since 2004.
Under the terms of the agreement, Dita will wear Asics shoes and apparel in all of her competitions and training, aside from international championships in which she is representing her native Romania and is required to wear her national uniform. The agreement was negotiated by Brendan Reilly for through his Boulder Wave athlete management company.
"We are very proud and happy to continue our relationship with Constantina," said Masao Hijikata Asics's head of global marketing through a press release. "When she won in Beijing last summer, it marked the third straight time a woman in Asics shoes has won the Olympic marathon."
Japan's Naoko Takahashi and Mizuki Noguchi won Olympic Marathon titles in Asics shoes in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004, respectively.
In recent years, Dita has been one of the world's most consistent performers in road running. In addition to her victory in Beijing, she is a three-time IAAF World Road Running Championships medalist (including gold in 2005), and was the 2005 world marathon championships bronze medalist. She holds the Romanian records for 20 km (1:03:23), half-marathon (1:08:10) and the marathon (2:21:30).
"I am very happy to continue my long relationship with Asics," said Dita. "I have worn Asics shoes for every major success in my career, including all of the world championship medals, road race victories, and of course also the gold medal in Beijing last summer. I love the shoes because I have worn them in hot races, cold races, rain…every condition, and never had any problems in my feet or legs."
Dita will be in action again at the Flora London Marathon on April 26. She finished 8th there last year in 2:27:45 and 3rd in 2007 in 2:23:55.
PHOTO: Asics head of global marketing Masao Hijikata, Constantina Dita, and Boulder Wave President Brendan Reilly following the contract signing in Tokyo (photo courtesy of Boulder Wave; used with permission)