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Osaka International Women's Marathon Elite Field

All-time Japanese #4 in the marathon at 2:21:36 in her debut earlier this year in Nagoya, Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) leads the elite field for the Jan. 28 Osaka International Women's Marathon. Hoping for a comeback after an ineffectual run at the summer's London World Championships, Ando faces former under-20 Japanese record holder Reia Iwada (Dome) and debuting 10000 m national champion Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) as her main competition.

Eunice Jeptoo (Kenya) and Fayesa Robi (Ethiopia) lead the small international field with the debuting Gotytom Gebreslase (Ethiopia) throwing in an element of unpredictability, but with bests of only 2:26:13 and 2:27:04 it will take a combination of a breakthrough from any of them and a breakdown from Ando and Iwade to have a shot at the win. Along with Matsuda's exciting debut, Osaka will again be putting heavy emphasis on first-timers and university student runners, Ayano Ikemitsu (Kagoshima Ginko) leading the former with a 1:11:36 at last year's Sanyo Ladies Half Marathon and Honoka Tanaike (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) the latter with a 1:12:20 at this year's Matsue Ladies Half Marathon.

The Osaka International Women's Marathon will be broadcast live starting at 12:10 p.m. local time on Jan. 28. Check back closer to race date for more details.

37th Osaka International Women's Marathon Elite Field Highlights

Osaka, 1/28/18
click here for field listing
times listed are best within last three years except where noted

Yuka Ando (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:21:36 (Nagoya Women's 2017)
Reia Iwade (Japan/Dome) - 2:24:38 (Nagoya Women's 2016) - withdrawn
Eunice Jeptoo (Kenya) - 2:26:13 (Eindhoven 2017)
Fayesa Robi (Ethiopia) - 2:27:04 (Barcelona 2017)
Hisami Ishii (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 2:27:35 (Nagoya Women's 2017) - withdrawn
Anja Scherl (Germany) - 2:27:50 (Hamburg 2016)
Gladys Tejeda (Peru) - 2:28:12 (Rotterdam 2015)
Kaori Yoshida (Japan/Team RxL) - 2:28:24 (Nagoya Women's 2017)
Honami Maeda (Japan/Tenmaya) - 2:28:48 (Hokkaido 2017)
Izabela Trzaskalska (Poland) - 2:29:56 (Warsaw 2017)
Mari Ozaki (Japan/Noritz) - 2:29:56 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Asami Furuse (Japan/Kyocera) - 2:30:44 (Osaka Women's 2017)
Haruna Takada (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 2:31:17 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Sayo Nomura (Japan/Uniqlo) - 2:32:49 (Osaka Women's 2014)
Hiroko Miyauchi (Japan/Hokuren) - 2:32:40 (Osaka Women's 2016)
Kyunghee Lim (South Korea) - 2:33:02 (Daegu 2017)
Mingming Jin (China) - 2:33:20 (Chongqing 2016)
Mitsuko Ino (Japan/Team R2) - 2:34:39 (Osaka 2017)
Kanae Shimoyama (Japan/Noritz) - 2:35:07 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Yoko Miyauchi (Japan/Hokuren) - 2:35:09 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan/YWC) - 2:36:02 (Osaka 2016)
Esther Atkins (U.S.A.) - 2:36:11a (Bosotn 2017)
Azusa Nojiri (Japan/Raffine) - 2:36:53 (Osaka 2017)
Khishigsaikhan Galbadrakh (Mongolia) - 2:37:10 (Xian 2017)
Eriko Kushima (Japan/Noritz) - 2:37:21 (Nagoya Women's 2017)
Mizuha Otaru (Japan/Kobe Gakuin Univ.) - 2:40:41 (Kobe 2017)
Wakana Hayashi (Japan/Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 2:42:05 (Osaka Women's 2017)
Riri Shiraishi (Japan/Osaka Geijutsu Univ.) - 2:43:19 (Tokyo 2017)

Debut
Mizuki Matsuda (Japan/Daihatsu) - 1:10:25 (National Corporate Half 2016)
Nazret Weldu (Eritrea) - 1:11:30 (Houston 2016)
Ayano Ikemitsu (Japan/Kagoshima Ginko) - 1:11:36 (Sanyo Ladies Half 2016)
Honoka Tanaike (Japan/Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 1:12:20 (Matsue Ladies Half 2017)
Hitomi Mizuguchi (Japan/Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 1:13:25 (Osaka Half 2017)
Maria Tanaka (Japan/Nittai Univ.) - 1:15:44 (Matsue Ladies Half 2015)
Gotytom Gebreslase (Ethiopia) - 49:56 (Utica Boilermaker 15 km 2017)

text and photo © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Lexicon

Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

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