translated and edited by Brett Larner
On Feb. 26 Rikuren released the names of the elite field for the Mar. 8 Nagoya International Women's Marathon, a selection race for the Berlin World Championships women's marathon team. Eleven women make up the domestic elite field, among them 2007 Tokyo Marathon winner Hitomi Niiya (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) and 2003 Nagoya winner Takami Ominami (Team Toyota Shatai). The five elite foreign women include 2000 Sydney Olympics silver medalist Lidia Simon (Romania) and 2008 Beijing International Marathon winner Xue Bai (China). 303 runners make up the general division.
In addition to Niiya and Ominami, the domestic elite field includes last year's 5th place finisher Chika Horie (Team Aruze) and 7th place finisher Yumi Hirata (Team Shiseido). Making her marathon debut is Hirata's teammate Yoshiko Fujinaga, who came 3rd at this year's Marugame International Half Marathon. Sydney Olympics gold medalist Naoko Takahashi is running in the general division after having retired from professional running last October.
Nagoya is the final race in which domestic runners can earn a guaranteed spot on the five-member Berlin team. Already secure on the team are Tokyo International Women's Marathon winner Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) and Osaka International Women's Marathon winner Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo). The top Japanese finisher in Nagoya will pick up the third guaranteed spot, while the second Japanese finisher will have a chance of being selected off a fast time.*
A complete listing of the Nagoya International Women's Marathon field is available here.
*Translator's note: The second Japanese in Nagoya will have to beat Osaka runner-up Yukiko Akaba's 2:25:40 to have a chance of being selected for the Berlin team and Tokyo runner-up Yuri Kano's 2:24:27 to be relatively secure.
2009 Nagoya International Women's Marathon Elite Field
Lidia Simon (Romania) - 2:22:54 (Osaka '00)
Xue Bai (China) - 2:23:27 (Xiamen '08)
Takami Ominami (Team Toyota Shatai) - 2:23:43 (Rotterdam '02)
Kiyomi Ogawa (Team Kyocera) - 2:26:02 (Nagoya '05)
Chika Horie (Team Aruze) - 2:26:11 (Hokkaido '02)
Haruko Okamoto (Hyogo T&F Assoc.) - 2:27:01 (Osaka '02)
Ayumi Nakayama (Team Yamada Denki) - 2:28:50 (Osaka '08)
Tabitha Tsatsa (Zimbabwe) - 2:29:20 (Seoul '08)
Yumi Hirata (Team Shiseido) - 2:29:23 (Nagoya '08)
Chihiro Tanaka (Team Daitsu) - 2:29:30 (Nagoya '02)
Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 2:29:48 (Nagoya '06)
Caroline Cheptonui Kilel (Kenya) - 2:30:22 (Venice '03)
Hitomi Niiya (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 2:31:01 (Tokyo '07)
Mika Hikichi (Team Tenmaya) - 2:31:03 (Nagoya '06)
Yuka Ezaki (Team Kyudenko) - 2:31:35 (Osaka '07)
Mika Hikita (Team Aruze) - 2:34:22 (Nagoya '02)
Sally Meyerhoff (U.S.A.) - 2:35:52 (Tempe '09)
Debut Marathoners With Half Marathon PB
Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 1:09:29
Kei Terada (Team Tenmaya) - 1:10:53
Aya Manome (Team Shimamura) - 1:10:59
Mayumi Fujita (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 1:11:02
Yoshie Kitomi (Team Hokuren) - 1:13:55
Miki Oka (Team Daihatsu) - 1:14:00
Mizuho Kishi (Team Yamada Denki) - 1:15:02
Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 1:15:02