ASICS America Corporation announced that it had re-signed marathon runners Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor, as well as hurdler, Lolo Jones to contracts through 2012. All three athletes represented the U.S. in track and field in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
“These athletes are the best in their events and are great ambassadors for the ASICS brand. Each has qualities that are in line with the company slogan Sound Mind, Sound Body,” says Benjamin Cesar, ASICS athlete manager. “Ryan is the future of men's distance running in the U.S., Deena is one of the greatest womens distance runners of all time and Lolo is the current face of USATF.”
Ryan Hall has been a part of the ASICS team since 2005, and is best known for setting a new Mens U.S. Marathon Trial record on November 3, 2007 in New York Citys Central Park making him part of the Men's U.S. Marathon Team that competed in Beijing. Halls next major race will be the Boston Marathon on April 20, 2009 where he is predicted as one of the favorites.
“I couldn't be more happy to stay with ASICS, a brand that 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.,” says Hall. “As I have matured as a person and an athlete, I have learned how important it is to surround myself with people I trust, who support me through the good and bad seasons, and who are working to make the world a better place.”
Deena Kastor won the Womens U.S. Marathon Trial on April 20, 2008 in Boston, Mass. earning her a spot at the Summer Games. Although she had to drop out at mile three due to a foot injury, Kastor has been recovering and is expected to return to competition at the Yokohama Ekiden, a long-distance relay in February 22, 2009. Kastor will likely be ready to run a full marathon by the fall of 2009.
“Long before running with the ASICS logo, I have admired the quality of ASICS shoes,” says Kastor. “Since signing with ASICS in 2001, I have learned to respect the standards in which they operate. The acronym Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, a sound mind in a sound body, is a philosophy that every person within the corporation works under. It is a huge honor for me to continue representing a brand I believe in 100 percent.”
At the 2008 U.S.A. Track & Field Trials (USATF), Lolo Jones set a personal best of 12.29 in the 100 Meter Hurdles, which tied her for the second fastest time in any condition and earning her a trip to the Games in Beijing. Jones was favored to win in Beijing, but hit the ninth hurdle and lost the race in the finals. Her first major return to competition will be at the USATF Championships in June 2009, which is the qualifier for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Outdoor World Championships.
“I have no Olympic medal and by ASICS committing to my dream of achieving that goal over the next four years represents to me that they are willing to support me not dependant on my current medals, but by their belief in my abilities to achieve those future medals with their support,” says Jones. “I am truly grateful for this relationship.”