Skip to main content

Osaka International Women's Marathon Preview - Watch Online

by Brett Larner

With six elite marathons in seven weeks, the crowded 2010 Japanese marathon season gets rolling this Sunday, Jan. 31 with the Osaka International Women's Marathon. With only an Asian Games spot at stake in a year without a major worldwide championships this year's Osaka has nevertheless attracted an interesting field containing a good number of relative newcomers and a few solid pros.

Osaka has been the site of some very memorable marathon debuts. Last year it was the site of track and half marathon star Yukiko Akaba's first marathon, 2nd overall in a credible 2:25:40. The Team Hokuren runner has been one of the main forces in the domestic track and ekiden scene for the last two years but her shaky appearances at the Olympics, the World Half Marathon and especially her disastrous run in the World Championships marathon have all weakened Akaba's reputation. With some expecting her to become Japan's next sub-2:20 woman Akaba is returning to Osaka to get her marathoning back on track before a planned appearance at April's London Marathon.

Also getting things back on track in Osaka is seasoned World Championships marathoner Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz). Ozaki is the second-fastest woman in the field by PB with her time of 2:23:30 from Osaka '03. She has been out of peak form the last couple of years but the talk around town is that she is fit and ready for a fast one.

Among the foreign elites, Marisa Barros (Portugal) and Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) look to be the most dangerous. Neither has extensive marathon experience, but each holds a 2:26 PB set last year. Barros ran a 10000 m PB of 31:31 earlier this month, suggesting she has the speed to improve her mark. Gobena, mother of a three year old son, has told the Japanese media she hopes to run 2:23. If she is true to her word it will take a serious effort from Akaba, Ozaki or the others in the field to outdo her.

As usual, there is a share of first-timers lining up in Osaka as well. Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) was a university ace before joining Team Daihatsu, while Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) was a pro XC skiier before becoming a teammate of Berlin World Championships silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki a year and a half ago. Both women have been strong on the ekiden scene throughout the fall and winter, and with both clocking half marathon PBs of 1:10 at last year's Jitsugyodan Half Marathon. A debut of 2:27 or better would not be surprising for either.

Veterans in the field include perennial Osaka invitee Lidia Simon (Romania), Olivia Jevtic (Serbia), and in her last run, 2006 Asian Games bronze medalist Kayoko Obata (Team Acom).

Fuji TV will broadcast the race live nationwide from 12:00 to 2:55 p.m. Overseas viewers should be able to watch live online using Keyhole TV. JRN will be on-site for the race, with associate editor Mika Tokairin running the marathon and editor Brett Larner doing the pre-race half marathon. In the half marathon field are last year's winner Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) and her teammate Yuri Kano, along with 2009 Copenhagen Marathon winner Chihiro Tanaka (Team Daitsu).

2010 Osaka International Women's Marathon Elite Field With Bib Numbers
click here for more detailed profiles and athlete photos
1. Lidia Simon (Romania) - 2:22:54 (Osaka 2000)
31. Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) - 2:23:30 (Osaka 2003)
32. Kayoko Obata (Team Acom) - 2:25:14 (Osaka 2000)
2. Olivera Jevtic (Serbia) - 2:25:23 (Rotterdam 2003)
33. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 2:25:40 (Osaka 2009)
3. Marisa Barros (Portugal) - 2:26:03 (Seville 2009)
34. Chika Horie (Team Universal Ent.) - 2:26:11 (Hokkaido 2002)
4. Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) - 2:26:53 (Los Angeles 2009)
35. Ayumi Nakayama (Team Yamada Denki) - 2:28:50 (Osaka 2008)
5. Dulce Maria Rodriguez (Mexico) - 2:28:54 (Chicago 2006)
36. Yumi Hirata (Team Shiseido) - 2:29:23 (Nagoya 2008)
37. Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - 1:10:16 (Jitsugyodan Half 2009)
38. Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:10:53 (Jitsugyodan Half 2009)
6. Volha Krautsova (Belarus) - 1:11:33 (Philadelphia Half 2007)

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

SLB said…
Good to see Simon and Jevtic in the field. Hard to believe they are both still competing so well when you consider Simon made the top-10 at the European Championships in 1994 and Jevtic was fourth at the world half-marathon champs in 1998 (and fourth at 5000m and 10000m on the track at the European Champs).
Brett Larner said…
Greetings from Osaka where the moon is rising high above downtown. I just read that Yukiko Akaba is coming off an injury to her left knee but is planning to run anyway. Could affect the outcome.
kevin said…
They shouldn't have foreign runners. Too mad Mari ozaki lost to amane gobena. The africans are the best They always beat the japanese.

Most-Read This Week

Norway's Moen Blasts 2:05:48 European Record to Win Fukuoka

More than living up to the promise of his 59:48 Norwegian half marathon record at October's Valencia Half, Sondre Nordtad Moen took down all comers to win the 2017 Fukuoka International Marathon in a European record 2:05:48.

【福岡国際マラソン】

🏆優 勝 モーエン 2:05.48! pic.twitter.com/lpzMUYHfhu — NOBUKI T&F (@nobu_777__tf) December 3, 2017
Superb pacing work took the lead group through 30 km with almost perfect 3:00/km splits along the way, a race of attrition that shaved down the field to a core group of five real contenders. Defending champ Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) was the first big name to go, with 2:06 man Lani Rutto (Kenya), the debuting Keita Shitara (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) and last year's 3rd-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) among the other big names to lose touch in the first half, leaving Moen, favorite Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA), London Olympics gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda), last year's 5th-placer Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) and Boston Maratho…

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…