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Osaka International Women's Marathon Elite Field



The elite field is out for the Jan. 27 Osaka International Women's Marathon, one of the last chances for Japanese women to qualify for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials. Absent are last year's debut winner Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) and anyone else likely to have the same kind of breakthrough, the domestic field instead heavy on people who were running well in 2016 and 2017. Cf. 2016 winner Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal), who will be running her first marathon since the Rio Olympics, and the duo of Tomomi Tanaka (Daichi Seimei) and Rei Ohara (Tenmaya), who went head-to-end until the final meters of the 2016 Nagoya Women's Marathon.

Ohara is already in for the MGC Race, but the rest of the home crowd will have to be under 2:28:00 if among the top three Japanese women and under 2:27:00 if in the next three. Hanae Tanaka (Shiseido) has a slightly easier route, only needing to clear 2:28:20 to get in via the two-race sub-2:28:00 average the same way Ohara did in Berlin this year. With only eight women qualified so far versus twenty-one men hopes are high for a few more to join the list and bring the women's numbers up at least half the men's. Highest potential among the first-timers is Natsuki Omori (Daihatsu), a teammate of last year's winner Matsuda.

Ethiopian Sutume Asefa Kebede has the best relatively recent time among the internationals in the field with a 2:24:00 in Dubai 2016, but the probably favorite to push the front end of the race is 2018 Prague Marathon winner Bornes Chepkirui of Kenya with a 2:24:19 best from her Prague victory. Three other Africans are positioned at the 2:26 to 2:27 level, perfect to help pace the Japanese women along to MGC marks. Look for more coverage closer to race date.

38th Osaka International Women's Marathon Elite Field Highlights

Osaka, 1/27/19
times listed are best within last three years except where noted

Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) - 2:22:17 (Osaka Int'l 2016)
Tomomi Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 2:23:19 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) - 2:23:20 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Sutume Asefa Kebede (Ethiopia) - 2:24:00 (Dubai 2016)
Bornes Chepkirui (Kenya) - 2:24:19 (Prague 2018)
Abebech Afework (Ethiopia) - 2:24:27 (Amsterdam 2016) - addtion
Shiho Takechi (Yamada Denki) - 2:25:29 (Nagoya Women's 2016) - withdrawn
Misato Horie (Noritz) - 2:25:44 (Osaka Int'l 2017)
Eunice Jeptoo (Kenya) - 2:26:13 (Eindhoven 2017)
Hanae Tanaka (Shiseido) - 2:26:19 (Osaka Int'l 2017)
Fatuma Sado (Ethiopia) - 2:26:41 (Xiamen 2018)
Ayaka Fujimoto (Kyocera) - 2:27:08 (Tokyo 2017)
Hisami Ishii (Yamada Denki) - 2:27:35 (Nagoya Women's 2017)
Merima Mohamed (Bahrain) - 2:27:41 (Nagoya Women's 2018) - withdrawn
Miharu Shimokado (Brooks) - 2:27:54 (Nagoya Women's 2017)
Kaori Yoshida (Team RxL) - 2:28:24 (Nagoya Women's 2017)
Mari Ozaki (Noritz) - 2:30:03 (Osaka Int'l 2018) - withdrawn
Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) - 2:30:09 (Fukuoka 2018)
Yinli He (China) - 2:30:26 (Wuxi 2017)
Hitomi Mizuguchi (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 2:33:10 (Osaka Int'l 2018)
Maki Ashi (Kyudenko) - 1:44:14 (Ome 30k 2018) / DNF (Boston 2018) - withdrawn
Rie Fujita (Kyocera) - 1:12:02 (Sanyo Ladies 2017) - withdrawn
Honoka Tanaike (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 1:12:20 (Matsue Ladies 2016)
Natsuki Omori (Daihatsu) - 32:24.27 (Fukagawa 2018)

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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