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Rio Olympian Ito Leads Osaka International Women's Marathon Field

by Brett Larner

Rio Olympics marathoner Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) leads the elite field of domestic hopefuls for the 2017 World Championships team at the Jan. 29 Osaka International Women's Marathon.  On the home front she faces London Olympian Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya), the last two Gold Coast Airport Marathon winners Misato Horie (Team Noritz) and Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido), and the debuting Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei), a training partner of Ito's Rio teammate Tomomi Tanaka.

Ethiopian-born Shitaye Habtegebrel (Bahrain) presents the toughest international competition to Ito with a PB just under a minute slower than Ito's 2:24:42 best.  Iwona Lewandowska (Poland), Muluhabt Tsega (Ethiopia), Serena Burla (U.S.A.), Cassie Fien (Australia), Ling-Ling Jin (China) and Munkhzaya Bayartsogt (Mongolia) round out the international contingent.

Further down the field, Japan's current top three amateur women Yoshiko Sakamoto (YWC), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) will face a rematch of October's mass-participation Osaka Marathon where Sakamoto led the trio in to a 1-2-3 finish.

The Osaka International Women's Marathon will be broadcast live.  Check back closer to race date for updates.

36th Osaka International Women's Marathon
Elite Field Highlights
Osaka, 1/29/17
all times are best within last three years except where noted

Mai Ito (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:24:42 (Nagoya Women's 2015)
Shitaye Habtegebrel (Bahrain) - 2:25:36 (Dubai 2016)
Risa Shigetomo (Tenmaya) - 2:26:39 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Misato Horie (Noritz) - 2:26:40 (Gold Coast 2016)
Iwona Lewandowska (Poland) - 2:27:47 (London 2015)
Risa Takenaka (Shiseido) - 2:28:09 (Nagoya Women's 2015)
Yuko Watanabe (Edion) - 2:28:36 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) - 2:28:43 (Saitama Int'l 2015)
Muluhabt Tsega (Ethiopia) - 2:29:17 (Beirut 2014)
Mari Ozaki (Noritz) - 2:29:56 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Serena Burla (U.S.A.) - 2:30:40 (Chicago 2016)
Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu) - 2:31:02 (Kitakyushu 2014)
Misaki Kato (Kyudenko) - 2:31:04 (Osaka Women's 2016)
Haruna Takada (Yamada Denki) - 2:31:17 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Aya Higashimoto (Juhachi Ginko) - 2:31:28 (Osaka Women's 2016)
Rie Uchida (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:32:25 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) - 2:32:38 (Tokyo 2014)
Hiroko Miyauchi (Hokuren) - 2:32:40 (Osaka Women's 2016)
Cassie Fien (Australia) - 2:33:17 (Saitama Int'l 2016)
Ling-Ling Jin (China) - 2:33:22 (Hengshui 2015)
Nanami Matsuura (Tenmaya) - 2:33:24 (Osaka Women's 2014)
Munkhzaya Bayartsogt (Mongolia) - 2:33:36 (Chongqing 2015)
Asami Furuse (Kyocera) - 2:34:12 (Hokkaido 2015)
Kanae Shimoyama (Noritz) - 2:35:07 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) - 2:35:46 (Hofu 2015)
Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) - 2:35:49 (Tokyo 2015)
Yoshiko Sakamoto (YWC) - 2:36:02 (Osaka 2016)
Saki Tokoro (Kansai Gaikokugo Univ.) - 2:37:08 (Osaka Women's 2016)
Hanae Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 2:42:23 (Kakogawa 2016)

Debut
Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 1:12:45 (Matsue Ladies Half 2016)
Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) - 1:12:50 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2016)
Anna Hasuike (Higo Ginko) - 1:13:19 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Wakana Hayashi (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 1:14:39 (Osaka Half 2015)
Haruna Maekawa (Juhachi Ginko) - 1:16:00 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2015)
Asumi Kato (Keio Univ.) - 1:16:55 (Ageo Half 2016)
Kimiko Sato (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 34:02 (West Japan Univ. Champs 10 km 2015)

© 2016 Brett Larner
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