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MGC Race Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier - Yuka Ando

Yuka Ando

age: 25
sponsor: Wacoal
graduated from: Toyokawa H.S.

best time inside MGC window:
2:26:47, 13th, 2019 London Marathon

PB: 2:21:36, 2nd, 2017 Nagoya Women’s Marathon

other PBs:
5000 m: 15:32.67 (2015) 10000 m: 31:58.71 (2016) half marathon: 1:09:47 (2019)

marathons inside MGC window (Aug. 1 2017 – April 30 2019)
13th, 2019 London Marathon, 2:26:47
3rd, 2018 Osaka International Women’s Marathon, 2:27:37
17th, 2017 London World Championships Marathon, 2:31:31

other major results:
2nd, 2019 Hakodate Half Marathon, 1:09:47 – PB
1st, 2019 Niigata Half Marathon, 1:10:34
3rd, 2017 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, 1:12:12
10th, 2016 World Half Marathon Championships, 1:10:36

Another star runner from Toyokawa H.S., after graduating Ando bounced around through a series of corporate teams before landing at Suzuki Hamamatsu AC. There she found a coach who encouraged her to run the way that felt natural to her, with her arms almost straight down at her sides. The results spoke for themselves, with Ando dropping a Japan debut marathon record of 2:21:36 at the 2017 Nagoya Women’s Marathon.

Just after that the coach left the team, and after that Ando and training partner Mao Kiyota struggled to regain the same level. Last year she qualified for the MGC Race with a 2:27:37 for 3rd at the Osaka International Women’s Marathon, but near the end of the season she decided she needed another change in environment and transferred to the Wacoal team. In her first marathon in the Wacoal uniform she ran 2:26:47 for 13th at this spring’s London Marathon, still far off her best but a step back in the right direction.

Since then she’s run a 1:09:47 PB for the half marathon at July’s hot and humid Hakodate Half, a promising sign that she’s taken a few more steps. As the fastest woman in the field Ando should be a favorite, but it’s going to take getting back a little closer to her best for her to compete with her junior teammate Mao Ichiyama and the other front-end contenders.

Next profile: Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki).

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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