Skip to main content

London Marathon - Japanese Women's Results

by Brett Larner

Yoshiko Fujinaga (l) and Azusa Nojiri (r). Click here to enlarge photo.

In spite of the stress of living through both the Christchurch and Tohoku disasters and the difficulties caused by trying to maintain a peak for a month after their target race, the Nagoya International Women's Marathon, was cancelled, the majority of the Japanese women at the Apr. 17 London Marathon ran well. The first three across the line recorded PBs, the next a strong debut, and the first five broke 2:30. Former pro XC skier Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) cleared the federation's World Championships qualifying standard and, pending formal confirmation, will join her teammate Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) on the women's team for this summer's championships. 2009 Nagoya winner Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) also cleared the 2:26 standard but must wait for the official decision following tomorrow's Boston Marathon on whether she will be picked over Osaka runner-up Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) for the final spot on the team.

While the lead pack led by defending London champion Liliya Shobukova (Russia) and half marathon world record holder Mary Keitany (Kenya) set off on 2:18 pace, 2011 Osaka winner Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), the only Japanese woman who had planned to run London, went out at a more conservative but still ambitious 2:21 pace. All seven Nagoya entrants went with her along with a small number of international competitors including 2009 Yokohama winner Inga Abitova (Russia). The pair of runners from the Tenmaya team were the first to falter and lose contact, with first-timer Risa Shigetomo ending up 24th in 2:31:28 and 2008 Nagoya winner Yurika Nakamura ultimately finishing 31st in a dismal 2:41:22, continuing the unfortunate decline in her performances in every marathon since her Nagoya debut win.

The rest of the second pack stayed together longer as the pace relaxed somewhat through the middle of the race, but when Portuguese steeplechase national record holder Jessica Augusto overtook them and tried to go ahead Akaba went with her, causing the rest of the pack to splinter. Akaba came out ahead of Augusto, 6th for the second year in a row in a PB of 2:24:09 as she overtook many of the casualties from the first pack, just seconds from overtaking 4th and 5th as well. Nojiri, the first of the seven women in contention for the World Championships spot, was next, 12th in a sizeable PB of 2:25:29. Along with 2011 Yokohama winner Ozaki, Nojiri's result confirms Team Daiichi Seimei, coached by 1991 World Championships women's marathon silver medalist Sachiko Yamashita, as the best current women's marathon team in Japan.

Fujinaga and Nojiri. Click here to enlarge photo.

2009 Nagoya winner Fujinaga had trouble staying with the second pack but came through with a strong final 10 km. Clearing 2:26, she is a likely pick for the World Championships team as well. Having returned to peak fitness from a nearly career-ending collision with a cyclist only to see her planned marathon debut in Nagoya cancelled, Noriko Matsuoka (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) delivered a strong 2:26:54 performance. Madoka Ogi (Team Juhachi Ginko) also cleared 2:30, with Tokyo Marathon course record holder Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Universal Entertainment) just missing the mark as she clocked 2:30:00.

The Japanese women's team for the Daegu World Championships marathon now includes teammates Ozaki and Nojiri. Akaba is a certainty for her Osaka win along with Yokohama runner-up Remi Nakazato (Team Daihatsu). Barring a surprise performance from injured Hiromi Ominami (Yutic AC) in Boston, the decision between Fujinaga and Osaka runner-up Ito will be difficult to call, not least because Ito's coach Tadasu Kawano is also the federation's director of road racing. The official decision is expected to be announced this week.

2011 London Marathon Women's Results
1. Mary Keitany (Kenya) - 2:19:19 - PB
2. Liliya Shobukhova (Russia) - 2:20:15 - PB
3. Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) - 2:20:46 - PB
4. Bezunesh Bekele (Ethiopia) - 2:23:42
5. Atsede Baysa (Ethiopia) - 2:23:50
6. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 2:24:09 - PB
7. Irina Mikitenko (Germany) - 2:24:24
8. Jessica Augusto (Portugal) - 2:24:33 - debut
9. Aberu Kebede (Ethiopia) - 2:24:34
10. Mariya Konovalova (Russia) - 2:25:18
-----
12. Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 2:25:29 - PB
13. Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 2:25:40 - PB
16. Noriko Matsuoka (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:26:54 - debut
20. Madoka Ogi (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 2:29:52
21. Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Universal Entertainment) - 2:30:00
24. Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) - 2:31:28
31. Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) - 2:41:22

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Additional Cost of Moving Olympic Marathons and Race Walks to Sapporo Expected to Total Almost $100 Million

Multiple officials confirmed on Dec. 6 that the total additional cost of the IOC's decision to move the Tokyo 2020 Olympic marathons and race walks to Sapporo will be under 10 billion yen [~$92 million USD], likely totaling in the 7 to 8 billion yen range [~$65 million to $75 million USD]. The exact amount is still undetermined due to the IOC's rejection of the Organizing Committee's proposed two-lap course earlier this week, but the Organizing Committee intends to go ahead with this budget estimate.

Initially the IOC had decreed that the events should start and finish at Sapporo Dome. But with no access gate capable of handling a marathon, the construction costs necessary to make Sapporo Dome a suitable venue were said to be in the area of several billion yen [tens of millions of USD]. When the IOC made its proclamation that the road events would be relocated to Sapporo, the Citizens First Association group within the Tokyo Metropolitan Government estimated that the cost…

Jepchirchir Wins Saitama, Yugeta Breaks Own 60+ WR, Yamaguchi Breaks Own Nara CR - Weekend Marathon Highlights

Two of Japan's main year-ending marathons celebrated anniversary runnings this year, with the Saitama International Marathon holding its 5th edition and the Nara Marathon marking ten years.

Former half marathon world record holder Peres Jepchirchir (Kenya) dropped the competition at 30 km to win in Saitama. Within the first kilometer an all-African lead group had left top Japanese entrants Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) and Kasumi Yoshida (Nitori), and Nina Savina (Belarus) behind. The lead group quickly rounded down to four, Jepchirchir and Ethiopian trio Fatuma Sado, Belaynesh Oljira and Rahma Tusa. #1-ranked Oljira slipped off early in the second half, and when the pacers stopped at 30 km Jepchirchir had no trouble getting rid of Tusa and Sado.

Jepchirchir took 1st in a PB of 2:23:50, with Sado a distant 2nd in 2:26:45. After 35 km Tusa ran into trouble, stopping and stretching out her legs and losing ground first to Oljira, 3rd in 2:27:11, and then Savina, who ran a PB 2:28:44 for …

61-Year-Old Mariko Yugeta Becomes First 60+ Woman to Go Sub-Three

61-year-old Mariko Yugeta of Saitama has become the first 60+ woman in history to run faster than three hours in the marathon. At the Nov. 3 Shimonoseki Kaikyo Marathon Yugeta ran 2:59:15 for 3rd place, smashing the 60+ world record of 3:02:50 by a wide margin. It was her 99th marathon and just shy of her PB of 2:58:05. When reporters visited her for an interview she was in the middle of a track session with a high school track team, doing a menu of 3000/2000/1000 m intervals in 11:23, 7:22 and 3:33. Yugeta said her daily routine includes 3 minutes standing on an inclined board every morning while brushing her teeth, and that she believes she can run 2:57.

source article:
https://runnet.jp/smp/topics/runnerstv/191118.html
translated and edited by Brett Larner