Skip to main content

Nagoya Women's Marathon Preview

by Brett Larner

The world's largest women-only marathon, Sunday's Nagoya Women's Marathon is the end of the Japanese Olympic marathon selection saga, if not the end of the drama.  2015 World Championships marathon bronze medalist Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) is back to defend her title, and will, her last race a 1:08:06 win last month at Japan's Marugame Half in national record time.  Formerly-Japan based Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia) is her only real international competition, but it would take an off day from Kirwa for Moges to really stand a chance.

At the 2014 Asian Games Kirwa beat Japan's Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) for gold.  Kizaki comes to Nagoya with the best time in the last three years among Japanese women, 2:23:34 in Nagoya in 2013, but while Kirwa's star has only risen since then Kizaki's hit a brick wall.  In 2015 she only raced once, placing only 13th on her stage at December's National Corporate Women's Marathon.  There's nothing to go on to suggest that she can live up to her position as the best challenger for the JAAF-imposed 2:22:30 Olympic standard, part of the reason for the withdrawal of Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), winner of January's Osaka International Women's Marathon.

The general consensus is that barring a surprisingly slow race like in Tokyo two weeks ago, the top Japanese woman in Nagoya will join Fukushi and Beijing World Championships 7th-placer Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) in Rio.  Kizaki is a question mark along with #2 Japanese seed and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex), making a last stab at returning to Olympic glory.

The most likely domestic top may come from the second group of 2:25-2:27 women including 2014 Asian Games 4th-placer Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto), 2014 Yokohama Women's winner Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei), 2015 Rotterdam Marathon winner Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) and U-20 record holder Reia Iwade (Team Noritz).  There's also a large group of good half marathoners taking a second shot at the marathon, chief among them last year's fastest Japanese woman for the half marathon, Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya), who suffered a bad fall in Nagoya last year in her debut.  Leading this year's debutantes is 2015 National Corporate Half Marathon champion Michi Numata (Team Toyota Jidoshokki).

With this kind of depth it should be a close and unpredictable race for the Olympic team, if not for the win.  Watch live on Fuji TV starting at 9:00 a.m. Japan time this Sunday, and follow @JRNLive for live coverage worldwide.  The announcement of the complete women's and men's marathon team members for the Rio Olympics is scheduled for March 17.

Nagoya Women's Marathon - Elite Field
Nagoya, 3/13/16
click here for detailed field listing
times listed are 2013-2016 bests except where noted

Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) - 2:22:08 (Nagoya 2015)
Ryoko Kizaki (Japan/Daihatsu) - 2:23:34 (Nagoya 2013)
Mizuki Noguchi (Japan/Sysmex) - 2:24:05 (Nagoya 2013)
Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia) - 2:24:29 (Dubai 2015)
Eri Hayakawa (Japan/Toto) - 2:25:31 (Nagoya 2014)
Yuko Watanabe (Japan/Edion) - 2:25:56 (Osaka Women's 2013)
Tomomi Tanaka (Japan/Daiichi Seimei) - 2:26:05 (Nagoya 2014)
Asami Kato (Japan/Panasonic) - 2:26:30 (Rotterdam 2015)
Yoko Miyauchi (Japan/Hokuren) - 2:17:17 (Nagoya 2013)
Reia Iwade (Japan/Noritz) - 2:27:21 (Yokohama Women's 2014)
Monica Jepkoech (Kenya) - 2:27:26 (Toronto Waterfront 2015)
Iwona Lewandowska (Poland) - 2:27:47 (London 2015)
Aki Odagiri (Japan/Tenmaya) - 2:30:24 (Nagoya 2015)
Mizuho Nasukawa (Japan/Univ. Ent.) - 2:30:27 (Yokohama Women's 2013)
Yuka Takemoto (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu) - 2:31:02 (Kitakyushu 2014)
Shiho Takechi (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 2:31:18 (Nagoya 2015)
Haruna Takada (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 2:31:23 (Nagoya 2015)
Hiroko Yoshitomi (Japan/First Dream AC) - 2:31:28 (Tokyo 2013)
Manami Kamitanida (Japan/Hitachi) - 2:31:34 (Tokyo 2014)
Yuko Mizuguchi (Japan/Denso) - 2:31:39 (Nagoya 2014)
Bekelech Daba (Ethiopia) - 2:32:11 (La Rochelle 2015)
Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Japan/Noritz) - 2:32:37 (Nagoya 2015)
Megumi Amako (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu) - 2:34:28 (Seoul 2015)
Kanae Shimoyama (Japan/Noritz) - 2:35:26 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Sakiko Matsumi (Japan/Daiichi Seimei) - 2:36:45 (Nagoya 2014)
Jenna Challenor (South Africa) - 2:41:44 (Mossel Bay 2014)
Mei Matsuyama (Japan/Noritz) - 2:42:35 (Kobe 2015)
Kaoru Nagao (Japan/Universal Entertainment) - 2:51:11 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Rei Ohara (Japan/Tenmaya) - 3:05:21 (Nagoya 2015)

Debut
Michi Numata (Japan/Toyota Jidoshokki) - 1:09:27 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2015)
Mao Kiyota (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:10:31 (Valencia 2015)
Ai Inoue (Japan/Noritz) - 1:11:02 (Matsue 2015)
Akane Sekino (Japan/Hokuren) - 1:11:17 (Marugame 2016)
Sayaka Kuwahara (Japan/Sekisui Kagaku) - 1:13:49 (Matsue 2014)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Named Captain of Japanese National Team for London World Championships

At a JAAF event at the British Embassy in Tokyo on July 21, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) was named men's captain of the Japanese national team for next month's London World Championships. Javelin throw national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was chosen as women's captain.

In a wide-ranging and impassioned speech 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, Kawauchi stoked the team's morale as he told attendees, "I think that there are athletes here today who look at London as just a checkpoint along the way to the Tokyo Olympics. But as a representative of Japan it is not enough just to be there competing. I feel it strongly. You must produce results at this event, the London World Championships. This is the task assigned to each and every one of us. It is critical that we work seriously to achieve our goals. The Japanese people want nothing less. What can we as athletes do for them? More than just wearing the uniform, each of us mus…

'$500,000 USD Prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 Launched in Beijing'

http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/k2-component/143-500-000-usd-prized-asian-premier-marathon-series-2017-18-launched-in-beijing

A very interesting World Marathon Majors-style development with prize money only for Asian athletes. Equally interesting is the absence of a Japanese race in the series. Japanese marathoners would dominate the series if they ran its three component races, their only real current competition in Asia coming from East African-born Bahraini athletes.

Additions to Japanese National Team for London World Championships

The JAAF has made a series of announcements over the last week confirming additions to its small team for next month's London World Championships. Along with previously announced rosters for track and field events, combined events and road events, the following athletes have been added to the Japanese team. Relay members are pending IAAF confirmation. The final complete team roster is expected next week.

Men's 400 m Hurdles
Ryo Kajiki (Josai Univ.) - 49.33
Yusuke Ishida (Waseda Univ.) - 49.35

Men's 3000 m Steeplechase
Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) - 8:29.05

Men's 4 x 400 m Relay
Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 45.76
Kosuke Horii (Sumitomo Denko) - 45.88

Women's Javelin Throw
Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 61.95 m

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved