translated by Brett Larner
On Jan. 22 the athletes' village for Sunday's Osaka International Women's Marathon opened at Hotel New Otani in central Osaka. Already in Japan, the first athlete to arrive was overseas elite Karolina Jarzynska (Poland). Full of smiles, Jarzynska received a large bouquet of flowers from hotel staff.
With an elite field of five foreigners and eight Japanese, Osaka International's entry list of 554 is the largest in event history. Among the domestic elites, 2004 Athens Olympics gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex), 10000 m and former marathon national record holder Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and half marathon national record holder and London Olympics 10000 m 10th-place finisher Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) are scheduled to run.
The Osaka International Women's Marathon starts and finishes at Nagai Stadium in Higashi Sumiyoshi, Osaka, with the race going off at 12:10 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27. The race will be broadcast live nationwide on Fuji TV beginning at 12:00 noon.