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Melkamu Replaces Kabuu in Sunday's Saitama International Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

On Nov. 10 the JAAF announced changes to the elite field for Sunday's inaugural Saitama International Marathon, the first domestic selection race for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic team.  The race's star foreign athlete Lucy Wangui Kabuu (Kenya) and its #2 and #3-ranked Japanese women Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Univ. Ent.) and Asami Furuse (Team Kyocera) have all withdrawn due to injuries.  Joining the field is 2009 Berlin World Championships 10000 m silver medalist Meselech Melkamu (Ethiopia) with a PB of 2:21:01.

Translator's note: On Oct. 30 the New York Times published an article saying that the TCS New York City Marathon had declined to invite defending Olympic marathon bronze medalist Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia and four other Eastern European women represented by agent Andrey Baranov, who also represented high-profile doping Russians Liliya Shobukhova, Mariya Konovalova, Tatyana Aryasova and others.  Arkhipova will instead run Saitama along with three other Eastern European women including Rasa Drazdauskaite (Lithuania) who had previously served a drug ban from 2003 to 2005.  JRN is unable to confirm at this moment whether Baranov is also handling Drazdauskaite, Nastassia Ivanova (Belarus) and Agnieszka Mierzejewska (Poland) as the website of his Spartanik RS Inc. agency is no longer operating and the agency's Facebook page has not been updated this year.  Also in the field after returning from a drug suspension is the single public EPO positive in Japan's history, independent runner Kaori Yoshida.  The current Saitama field is below.

1st Saitama International Marathon
Saitama, 11/15/15
click here for complete elite field listing
times listed are best within 2013-2015

Atsede Baysa (Ethiopia) - 2:25:14 (London 2013)
Rebecca Kangogo Chesir (Kenya) - 2:25:22 (Dubai 2015)
Meselech Melkamu (Ethiopia) - 2:25:23 (Dubai 2014)
Sylvia Jebiwot Kibet (Kenya) - 2:26:16 (Hamburg 2015)
Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova (Russia) - 2:28:42 (London 2015)
Askale Tafa (Ethiopia) - 2:29:37 (Dubai 2015)
Aki Odagiri (Japan/Tenmaya) - 2:30:24 (Nagoya Women's 2015)
Rasa Drazdauskaite (Lithuania) - 2:30:32 (Zurich European Championships 2014)
Nastassia Ivanova (Belarus) - 2:30:45 (Tokyo 2013)
Agnieszka Mierzejewska (Poland) - 2:30:55 (Lodz 2015)
Yoko Shibui (Japan/Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 2:31:15 (Nagoya Women's 2015)
Kaori Yoshida (Japan/Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 2:33:14 (Sapporo 2015)
Remi Nakazato (Japan/Nitori) - 2:33:24 (London 2013)
Winfridah Mochache Kebaso (Kenya/Nitori) - 2:45:00 (Hokkaido 2015)


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