by Brett Larner
2009 World Championships marathon 7th place finisher Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC) took a perfunctory win at the 2010 Nagoya International Women's Marathon, running 2:27:11 for the second marathon victory in her career. Ethiopian Derartu Tulu, who beat Kano at last November's New York City Marathon, was second in 2:28:13. For the first time this season the weather cooperated, with clear skies, low winds and humidity and temperatures which started in the upper teens and dropped comfortably.
The race kicked off with a quick 3:20 first km but quickly calmed down with veteran Hiromi Ominami (Team Toyota Shatai) doing much of the early leading work. Kano and Tulu were part of a pack of four, along with Ominami and first-timer Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku), who broke away from the field after a slow half. Tulu fell away around 25 km, and after Kano picked up the pace rounding the turnaround point at 28 km Ominami likewise fell back. Only Ito was able to hang on after 30 km as Kano took the pace down to 3:22/km with surgical precision, and by 32 km even she was gone. Kano kept up the push alone until 35 km before fading over the final 7 km but had build up enough of a margin to be unchallenged for the win.
Ito, a product of last month's Rikuren marathon training camp in New Zealand, looked poised to deliver a strong debut but paid for her attempt to stay with the experienced Kano, losing pace over the final 5 km and being retaken by both Ominami and Tulu. Tulu likewise overtook Ominami to take 2nd in almost the same time with which she won last year's New York City Marathon. Ominami was 3rd, with Ito finishing strong enough to go sub-2:30 in her debut, 4th in 2:29:13. Two other runners, Mayumi Fujita (Team Juhachi Ginko) and Akane Wakita (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) ran PBs to make six women under 2:30.
For her win Kano becomes the main contender for one of the two spots on the Japanese national team for November's Asian Games, but she has indicated that she is likely to run New York again the same month. Her teammate Kiyoko Shimahara, runner-up and top Japanese finisher at last November's Yokohama International Women's Marathon, is the other runner most likely to be offered one of the spots, with Osaka International Women's Marathon 3rd placer Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) another possibility. Osaka 6th placer Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu), who ran 2:27:34 in her marathon debut there, and Ito are the top possibilities if Rikuren chooses to include one young runner on the team.
2010 Nagoya International Women's Marathon - Top Finishers
1. Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC) - 2:27:11
2. Derartu Tulu (Ethiopia) - 2:28:13
3. Hiromi Ominami (Team Toyota Shatai) - 2:28:35
4. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:29:13 - debut
5. Mayumi Fujita (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 2:29:36 - PB
6. Akane Wakita (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 2:29:54 - PB
7. Mika Okunaga (Team Kyudenko) - 2:30:19
8. Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 2:31:42
9. Aimi Horikoshi (Team Yamada Denki) - 2:32:44 - debut
10. Rose Kerubo Nyangacha (Kenya) - 2:33:16
(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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