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London Olympics Women's Marathon and Athletics Day Three Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

photos by Horst Milde


Japan's results in the London Olympics women's marathon gave a fair account of the state of the sport in the country, an improvement over Beijing with all three women finishing and two under 2:28 versus one finisher in 2:30:19 four years ago, but where Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) was 13th in Beijing the highest finisher this time, autumn 2011 Yokohama International Women's Marathon winner Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu), was only 16th.  Despite a fall at a drink station just past halfway, former Team Denso runner Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) won gold to continue the legacy of Japan-trained African Olympic marathon medalists, outkicking 2011 Daegu World Championships silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo and Russia's Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova, a top-five finisher at both the 2011 and 2012 Tokyo Marathons.

2012 Osaka International Women's Marathon winner Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) was among the early pacesetters, running in the front line of the dense pack throughout the early kilometers despite training setbacks as Kizaki and 2009 Berlin World Championships silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) sat back in the pack.  One of Shigetomo's predecessors as Osaka champ, Mara Yamauchi (U.K.) was among the earliest casualties, dropping out before 10 km.  Abruptly falling off the lead pack, Shigetomo rallied to return to the front with Ozaki at 15 km to push the pace but within a few minutes had fallen off again, this time for good.

By 20 km Ozaki was also having trouble maintaining contact with the leaders, and by the halfway mark, 1:13:13, she was a few seconds adrift.  Kizaki soon followed suit, and from there it was something of a see-saw, with Ozaki and Kizaki trading places and alternately moving up on the lead pack and falling behind again.  When the big move came from the three Ethiopian and three Kenyan women before 25 km it was all over for Japanese hopes.

As the six African leaders pushed on toward the Olympic record some began to struggle and fall off.  Chasers including Arkhipova, 2012 Osaka International Women's Marathon runner-up Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko (Ukraine), Japanese-coached Xiaolin Zhu (China) and 2012 Nagoya International Women's Marathon winner Albina Mayorova began picking off stragglers including 2011 Daegu World Championships gold medalist Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) and Ethiopian half-marathon national record holder Mare Dibaba.

Arkhipova's addition to the lead group increased the pressure, and when Gelana made her move gold medal favorite Mary Keitany (Kenya) was the one left unable to respond, falling behind to fourth as the three medalists sped away.  Gelana's winning time of 2:23:07 broke Naoko Takahashi's long-standing Olympic record of 2:23:14 from the Sydney Olympics, with Jeptoo also under the record in 2:23:12.  Arkhipova took over a minute and a half off her best for bronze in 2:23:29.  As in Yokohama last fall, Kizaki prevailed over Ozaki, across the line in 16th in 2:27:16 to Ozaki's 19th-place 2:27:43.  Shigetomo managed to finish in 2:40:06 for 79th.

In other results on the third day of track and field competition, 2011 men's hammer throw world champion Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) showed obvious disappointment with his bronze medal placing, Japan's first medal of the games in a track or field event.  Sprint sensation Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) ran 10.10 in the men's 100 m semi-final, but, up against the likes of Yohan Blake (Jamaica) and Tyson Gay (U.S.A.), he did not advance to the final.  Women's 400 mH national champion Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) went on to the semi-finals on time after finishing 5th in her heat in 55.85, joining Murofushi and Yamagata as the only Japanese athletes to make it out of the opening rounds of their events thus far.

2012 London Olympics Athletics Day Three
London, England, 8/5/12
click here for complete results

Women's Marathon
1. Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) - 2:23:07 - OR
2. Priscah Jeptoo (Kenya) - 2:23:12
3. Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova (Russia) - 2:23:29 - PB
4. Mary Keitany (Kenya) - 2:23:56
5. Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko (Ukraine) - 2:24:32 - NR
6. Xiaolin Zhu (China) - 2:24:48
7. Jessica Augusto (Portugal) - 2:25:11
8. Valeria Straneo (Italy) - 2:25:27
9. Albina Mayorova (Russia) - 2:25:38
10. Shalane Flanagan (U.S.A.) - 2:25:51
-----
16. Ryoko Kizaki (Japan) - 2:27:16
19. Yoshimi Ozaki (Japan) - 2:27:43
79. Risa Shigetomo (Japan) - 2:40:06

DNF - Mara Yamauchi (U.K.)
DNF - Lornah Kiplagat (Netherlands)
DNF - Liliya Shobukhova (Russia)
DNF - Desiree Davila (U.S.A.)

Men's Hammer Throw Final
1. Krisztian Pars (Hungary) - 80.59
2. Primoz Kozmus (Slovenia) - 79.36
3. Koji Murofushi (Japan) - 78.81

Men's 100 m Semi-Final Three
1. Yohan Blake (Jamaica) - 9.85 - Q
2. Tyson Gay (U.S.A.) - 9.90 - Q
3. Adam Gemili (U.K.) - 10.06
-----
6. Ryota Yamagata (Japan) - 10.10

Women's 400 mH Heat Five
1. Perri Shakes-Drayton (U.K.) - 54.62 - Q
2. Melaine Walker (Jamaica) - 54.78 - Q
3. Hanna Yaroshchuk (Ukraine) - 54.81 - Q
4. Hayat Lambarki (Morocco) - 55.58 - Q
5. Satomi Kubokura (Japan) - 55.85 - q

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photos (c) 2012 Horst Milde
all rights reserved

Comments

yuza said…
I watched all of the marathon and all I can write is that the Japanese women (excluding Kizaki) were disappointing.

Shigetomo was obviously out of form (possibly unfit)and Ozaki did not have a good day. If Shigetomo and Ozaki had run to their potential they would have been close to the medals.

I was surprised by how slow the race was, which goes to show that if you are fit and ready to go at the Olympics you are still a chance, a la Arkipova.

Great run by Yamagata! If it was a thirty metre sprint he would be in with a shot at gold.

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