Skip to main content

Watch the 2012 Osaka International Women's Marathon Live Online - Preview

by Brett Larner

The 2012 Osaka International Women's Marathon, the second of Japan's three-race domestic Olympic marathon team selection races, is on for this Sunday, Jan. 29.  Broadcast live on Fuji TV starting at noon Japan time, overseas viewers have the chance to catch the race via Keyhole TV.  Schedule permitting, JRN plans to cover the race via Twitter @JRNLive.

The 2012 Osaka International Women's Marathon was to be about one thing: the return of marathon national record holder and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) in a showdown against half-marathon national record holder and ascendant marathoner Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) for a place on the Olympic team.  Nobody else in the field stood a realistic chance of competing in Noguchi and Fukushi went at it full-strength.  With Noguchi's last-withdrawal after a reported injury to her left leg the race remains a single-plot story: how fast will Fukushi go?

And that's it, really.  Even more so in light of the incredible results at today's Dubai Marathon where four Ethiopian women broke the former national record of 2:20:42, two of them sub-2:20, and formerly Japan-based Lucy Wangui Kabuu (Kenya) likewise went under the 2:20 mark.  Fukushi's debut in Osaka in 2008 was a glorious implosion, but her return to the distance at last fall's Chicago Marathon was reasonably solid.  Going out at sub-2:20 pace she faded to a 2:24:38, but even that is faster than anyone else in the field has ever run with the exception of veterans Constantina Dita (Romania) and, scheduled to run in the general division, Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya).  Neither of them has approached a 2:24 in years.

So, how fast will Fukushi go?  Hard from the start?  Sit behind the designated pacers until 25 km and then push?  Wait until 30 km?  The minimum goal is of course the win, but if it's not faster than 2:23, something a Japanese woman hasn't done since Noguchi's last marathon in 2007, it will feel hard to honestly call it a success.  Anything slower and she is opening up the door for someone else in the field having a diamond day to steal the win like Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) did from 2009 World Championships silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) in the Yokohama selection race.  Ozaki's teammate Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) or Sakamoto's teammate Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) seem like the mostly likely candidates for a breakthrough, but it's hard to see either going under 2:23.  Neither do there seem to be any challengers among the small field of five foreign invited athletes.  A blowup or bad day would open things up to a more interesting race and a chance for someone unexpected like Nojiri or Shigetomo to make the London team, but otherwise we're looking at a solo time trial or one-woman push over the last 10-12 km.  How fast will Fukushi go?  Place your bets now.

2012 Osaka International Women's Marathon Elite Field
and selected general division entrants
click here for complete elite field

1. Constantina Dita (Romania) - 2:21:30 (Chicago '05)
2. Lidiya Grigoryeva (Russia) - 2:25:10 (Los Angeles '06)
3. Mihaela Botezan (Romania) - 2:25:32 (London '03)
4. Tetiana Gamera-Shmyrko (Ukraine) - 2:28:14 (Krakow '11)
5. Irene Kemunto Mogaka (Kenya) - 2:30:10 (Los Angeles '09)
32. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 2:24:38 (Chicago '11)
33. Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) - 2:25:10 (Hokkaido '09)
34. Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 2:25:29 (London '11)
35. Chika Horie (Team Univ. Ent.) - 2:26:11 (Hokkaido '02)
36. Madoka Ogi (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 2:26:55 (Osaka Int'l 08)
37. Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) - 2:31:28 (London '11)
101. Naoko Sakamoto (Team Tenmaya) - 2:21:51 (Osaka Int'l '03)

Pacers
61. Aniko Kalovics (Hungary)
62. Julia Mumbi (Kenya)
63. Chizuru Ideta (Team Daihatsu)
64. Kumi Ogura (Team Shikoku Denryoku)

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
My prediction: Fukushi 2:23:30
Anonymous said…
Could we get an update on twitter of
Australian Marathon runner - Lauren Shelley

Most-Read This Week

Tokyo Experiments With Spraying Water Along 2020 Marathon Course to Combat Heat

As part of its measures to deal with the hot conditions expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted an experiment to measure the effects on pavement surface temperature of spraying the road surface with water. Data from the experiments were released to the media.

The experiment was conducted from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. along a 120 m section of sidewalk along Uchibori Street in the Imperial Palace's outer gardens in Chiyoda Ward.  In the experiment, open-ended tubes used in agricultural work eres placed at the edge of the sidewalk  to supply water. Surface temperature readings were taken every 30 minutes for three different experimental scenarios:
spraying water beginning at 4:00 a.m.spraying water beginning at 7:00 a.m.not spraying any water The experiment found that where water had been sprayed, the road surface temperature remained in the 27 to 29˚C range even when the air temperature exceeded 30˚C. Where no wa…

On Broadcast Commentary

It's been 122 days since the 122nd Boston Marathon. Of what the two exceptional people who won that day accomplished, WilliamShakespeare summed it up better than any other commentator in his Sonnet 122:

Beyond all date, even to eternity;
     Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
     Have faculty by nature to subsist;
     Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
     Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.

What else needs to be said? But the other thing that remains from that day is, of course, this:

Worst punditry ever? #Yukipic.twitter.com/AwjeuZDtOt — Xempo Running (@xempouk) April 16, 2018
In the 122 days since Boston this clip has been on my mind a lot. The commentary here by Larry Rawson and Al Trautwig was exceptionally bad, but it wasn't unique to them and highlighted many of the problems with marathon TV broadcasts and especially their hosts and commentators. I'm fortunate to live in Japan where the announcers for the countless marathon live TV broadcas…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…