Inga Abitova is the second Japanese marathon-winning Russian woman managed by Spartanik RS Inc. this year to have been given a doping suspension, following Tatiana Aryasova who was stripped of her 2011 Tokyo Marathon win after a positive test for a masking agent. According to the article linked above Abitova will be stripped of all results beginning Oct. 10, 2009, a period which includes her 2009 Yokohama International Women's Marathon win. If Abitova loses her Yokohama title, runner-up Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) should find herself elevated to the winner's position.
Other athletes on Spartanik's current roster to have won Japanese marathons in the last five years include 2012 Nagoya International Marathon winner Albina Mayorova, 2010 Tokyo Marathon winner Alevtina Biktimirova and 2008 Nagano Marathon winner Alevtina Ivanona. Spartanik's Kateryna Stetsenko of the Ukraine is on the entry list for next week's edition of the Yokohama International Women's Marathon. Also scheduled to run Yokohama after the Sept. 6 expiration of her doping suspension is Lithuanian Zivile Balcuinaite, an athlete unconnected to the above management company.
Doping violators Abitova and Aryasova recorded virtually identical splits in their Yokohama and Tokyo wins, negative splitting with the fastest final 2.195 km in the field:
Inga Abitova (Russia), 1st, Yokohama 2009 - 2:27:18
1st half: 1:14:03 2nd half: 1:13:15 final 2.195 km: 7:22
Tatiana Aryasova (Russia), 1st, Tokyo 2011 - 2:27:29
1st half: 1:14:28 2nd half: 1:13:01 final 2.195 km: 7:26
Mayorova and Ivanova recorded a similar pattern, a negative split with the fastest close in the field, in the splits of their Japanese wins, with the added feature of them both running this race plan at PB pace:
Albina Mayorova (Russia), 1st, Nagoya 2012 - 2:23:52 - PB
1st half: 1:13:00 2nd half: 1:10:52 final 2.195 km: 7:20
Alevtina Ivanova (Russia), 1st, Nagano 2008 2:26:39 - PB
1st half: 1:14:40 2nd half: 1:11:59 final 2.195 km: 7:19
Biktimirova ran 1:13:25 for the first half of her 2010 Tokyo Marathon win before slowing in the extreme weather conditions at that year's race.
Other Spartanik athletes at recent Japanese marathons to run the same pattern of splits:
Olena Shurkhno (Ukraine), 7th, Nagoya 2012 - 2:25:49 - PB
1st half: 1:13:00 2nd half: 1:12:49 final 2.195 km: 7:20
Tetiana Gamera-Shmyrko (Ukraine), 2nd, Osaka 2012 - 2:24:46 - PB/NR
1st half: 1:12:49 2nd half: 1:11:57 final 2.195 km: 7:06
Tatiana Petrova-Arkhipova (Russia), 3rd, Tokyo 2011 - 2:28:56
1st half: 1:14:42 2nd half: 1:14:14 final 2.195 km: 7:40
Tatiana Petrova-Arkhipova (Russia), 5th, Tokyo 2012 - 2:26:46
1st half: 1:13:32 2nd half: 1:13:14 final 2.195 km: 7:36
At the 2011 Tokyo Marathon Petrova-Arkhipova's 7:40 closing split became the fastest in the field following Aryasova's loss of her title due to her positive drug test. At this year's Tokyo Petrova-Arkhipova closed even faster but was only second-fastest over the last 2.195 km behind Ethiopian winner Atsede Habtamu's 7:26 split, while Stetsenko ran 1:13:31 through halfway but faded with a 1:15:07 second half.
At the London Olympics Petrova-Arkhipova and Gamera-Shmyrko ran as follows:
Tatiana Petrova-Arkhipova (Russia), 3rd, 2:23:29 - PB
1st half: 1:13:14 2nd half: 1:10:15 final 2.195 km: 7:19 (4th-fastest)
Tetiana Gamera-Shmyrko (Ukraine), 5th, 2:24:32 - PB/NR
1st half: 1:13:15 2nd half: 1:11:17 final 2.195 km: 7:03 (3rd-fastest)
Mayorova negative splitted but did not have the closing speed she displayed in her Nagoya win, closing in only 7:43. Both of Gamera-Shmyrko's closing splits in the races above rank among the fastest ever recorded by a woman.
Despite a DNF in the London Olympics, Spartanik star Liliya Shobukhova is well-known for her fast-closing finishes, including a 6:36 final 2.195 km in winning the 2009 Chicago Marathon. Shobukhova has run a fast-closing negative split three times, two of them PBs. All of her marathons until this year featured final 2.195 km splits of 7:05 or better.
It will be very interesting in Yokohama to see if Stetsenko is able to duplicate the fast-closing PB-pace negative split pattern of the other athletes from the same management company.