The Mar. 8 Tokai TV-produced broadcast of Mao Ichiyama's win at Sunday's Nagoya Women's Marathon earned a peak viewership rating of 30.2% and average ratings of 19.0% according to a study by Video Research, Inc. Last year's broadcast had average ratings of 14.2%.
Nagoya was the final chance for Japanese women to earn a spot on the 2020 Olympic marathon team. The prospect that someone might break the 2:21:47 that Mizuki Matsuda ran to win January's Osaka International Women's Marathon generated tremendous attention and excitement. Ichiyama attacked at the 30 km point in Nagoya, running away to win in a course and women-only national record of 2:20:29. Her dramatic performance was the fourth-fastest time ever by a Japanese woman and eclipsed Mizuki Noguchi's 2:21:18 record for the fastest-ever marathon by a Japanese woman on Japanese soil. The peak rating of 30.2% came when Ichiyama came into the home straight to break the finish tape inside Nagoya Dome.
Translator's note: The Nagoya Women's Marathon was broadcast at the same time as NHK's broadcast of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, splitting the potential audience between the two races.
translated and edited by Brett Larner