Skip to main content

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.

Most-Read This Week

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 university 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 sta…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved