Friday, December 26, 2014

2015 Osaka International Women's Marathon Elite Field

by Brett Larner

With a month to go the organizers of the Osaka International Women's Marathon have announced the elite field for their 34th running on Jan. 25.  Two-time winner Tetiana Gamera (Ukraine) returns to try to become the second woman in event history to win three-straight races, facing challenges from 2012 winner Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya), 2:23 Kenyan Margaret Agai, veterans Jelena Prokopcuka (Latvia) and Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) and more. 

The promising Yuko Watanabe (Team Edion) leads the younger talent along with the debuting Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu), a member of the bronze medal-winning Japanese women's team at this year's Copenhagen World Half Marathon Championships, in search of a place on the 2015 Beijing World Championships team.  Of special interest are former national team-level corporate league runners Remi Nakazato (unattached) and Azusa Nojiri (Hiratsuka Lease), both pursuing their own routes outside the system.

34th Osaka International Women's Marathon
Osaka, 1/25/15
click here for complete listing

Jelena Prokopcuka (Latvia) - 2:22:56 - Osaka Int'l, 2005
Risa Shigetomo (Japan/Team Tenmaya) - 2:23:23 - Osaka Int'l 2012
Margaret Agai (Kenya) - 2:23:28 - Daegu Int'l, 2013
Mari Ozaki (Japan/Team Noritz) - 2:23:30 - Osaka Int'l, 2003
Tetiana Gamera (Ukraine) - 2:23:58 - Osaka Int'l, 2013
Remi Nakazato (Japan/unattached) - 2:24:28 - Nagoya Women's, 2012
Azusa Nojiri (Japan/Hiratsuka Lease) - 2:24:57 - Osaka Int'l, 2012
Yuko Watanabe (Japan/Team Edion) - 2:25:56 - Osaka Int'l, 2013
Melkam Gizaw (Ethiopia) - 2:26:24 - Dusseldorf, 2013
Karolina Jarzynska (Poland) - 2:26:31 - Osaka Int'l, 2014
Kaoru Nagao (Japan/Team Univ. Ent.) - 2:26:58 - Yokohama Int'l, 2011
Rika Shintaku (Japan/Team Shimamura) - 2:30:37 - Gold Coast, 2014
Hiroko Miyauchi (Japan/Team Hokuren) - 2:32:20 - Yokohama Int'l, 2009
Shoko Mori (Japan/Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:35:10 - Hokkaido, 2014
Chieko Kido (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu) - debut - 1:10:11 - Sanyo, 2013
Yukiko Okuno (Japan/Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - debut - 1:12:44 - Matsue, 2014

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
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