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Osaka Women's Marathon and Osaka Half Preview and Streaming

Fresh off the announcement of the Tokyo Marathon elite field yesterday, Japan's first major marathon of the year takes place Sunday with the Osaka International Women's Marathon. Fuji TV will broadcast it live starting at noon local time, with streaming on TVer.

With a reworked course that's hillier but which organizers hope will somehow still be faster, Osaka Women's is positioned for a 2:20 race with three women, Kenya's Maurine Chepkemoi and Ethiopians Haven Haile Desse and Sisay Meseret Gola at that level. The top tier of Japanese women, Sayaka Sato, Yuka Ando and Mao Uesugi, all ran 2:22 last year, so it'll be a jump up for them to stay with the front group. There's also a high-potential debut from 1:09:14 half marathoner Sakiho Tsutsui, who so far has looked to be stronger as the distance increases.

Sato, Ando and Uesugi have all already qualified for October's Olympic marathon trials, so their being in the race raises the bar for anyone else trying to qualify. The first 3 Japanese finishers under 2:28:00 qualify, as will the next 3 beyond that if they go under 2:27:00, or under 2:24:00 for anyone beyond the top 6 Japanese. Along with Tsutsui, people in the group looking to qualify include collegiate marathon NR holder Sairi Maeda, 2:26:50 runner Chiharu Ikeda, and debuting 1:10 half marathon duo Yumi Yoshikawa and Yuna Daito. With another option to qualify via a two-race 2:28:00 option, Ikeda will only need to run 2:29:10 to make it. Internationals Risper Gesabwa, Munkhzaya Bayartsogt and Alice Wright are all in the 2:26~2:29 range and should be in with the 2nd Japanese group.

Simultaneous with the marathon is the Osaka Half Marathon, which has grown to be a major addition to the early year calendar coming just before the Marugame Half and National Corporate Half. Streaming on Youtube starts at 12:10 p.m. local time. The women's race is fronted by Japan-based Ethiopian duo Zeyituna Husan and Desta Burka, with top domestic competition coming from Kaede Kawamura, Shuri Ogasawara and Mirai Waku.

The men's race has sub-61 runners Patrick Mathenge Wambui and Yohei Ikeda up front, followed by another 18 sub-62 men. Most notable among those is probably Yamanashi Gakuin University's Boniface Mulwa, CR breaker at November's Ageo City Half Marathon. Sweden's David Nilsson is also back after finishing 8th in Osaka in 2020 just before the pandemic.

42nd Osaka International Women's Marathon

Elite Field Highlights
Osaka, 29 Jan. 2023
times listed are best in last 3 years except where noted

Maurine Chepkemoi (Kenya) - 2:20:18 (Amsterdam 2021)
Haven Hailu Desse (Ethiopia) - 2:20:19 (Amsterdam 2021)
Sisay Meseret Gola (Ethiopia) - 2:20:50 (Seville 2022)
Sayaka Sato (Sekisui Kagaku) - 2:22:13 (Berlin 2022)
Yuka Ando (Wacoal) - 2:22:22 (Nagoya 2022)
Mao Uesugi (Starts) - 2:22:29 (Osaka Int'l 2022)
Sairi Maeda (Daihatsu) - 2:25:25 (Nagoya 2019)
Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) - 2:26:35 (Osaka Int'l 2020)
Chiharu Ikeda (Hitachi) - 2:26:50 (Nagoya 2022)
Risper Gesabwa (Mexico) - 2:26:55 (Valencia 2021)
Reia Iwade (Denso) - 2:27:03 (Nagoya 2022)
Munkhzaya Bayartsogt (Mongolia) - 2:28:03 (Osaka Int'l 2020)
Shiho Kaneshige (GRlab Yamaguchi) - 2:28:51 (Osaka Int'l 2020)
Alice Wright (Great Britain) - 2:29:08 (Houston 2022)
Anna Matsuda (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 2:29:52 (Osaka Int'l 2021)
Yui Okada (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:30:03 (Tokyo 2022)
Nana Sato (Starts) - 2:30:24 (Nagoya 2022)
Misato Horie (Sysmex) - 2:32:10 (Osaka 2022)
Mariko Yugeta (Saitama T&F Assoc.) - 2:52:13 (Osaka Int'l 2021)

Sakiho Tsutsui (Yamada Holdings) - 1:09:14 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)
Yumi Yoshikawa (Uniqlo) - 1:10:07 (Sanyo Half 2021)
Yuna Daito (Tenmaya) - 1:10:12 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2022)
Kotomi Tsubokura (Wacoal) - 1:11:02 (Sanyo Half 2021)
Honoka Tanaike (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:11:13 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2022)
Kasumi Nishihara (Sysmex) - 1:52:27 (Osaka 30 km 2022)

Osaka Half Marathon

Elite Field Highlights
Osaka, 29 Jan. 2023
times listed are best in last 3 years except where noted

Zeyituna Husan (Denso) - 1:09:24 (Sanyo 2020)
Desta Burka (Denso) - 1:09:31 (Sanyo 2021)
Kaede Kawamura (Iwatani Sangyo) - 1:10:17 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2022)
Shuri Ogasawara (Denso) - 1:10:25 (Sanyo 2020)
Mirai Waku (Univ. Ent.) - 1:10:26 (Sanyo 2020)
Yukina Ueda (Daihatsu) - 1:10:49 (Osaka 2020)
Wuga He (China) - 1:10:54 (Philadelphia 2022)
Hanae Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 1:11:08 (Sanyo 2021)
Hina Yanagitani (Wacoal) - 1:11:26 (Osaka 2022)
Rui Aoyama (Univ. Ent.) - 1:11:36 (Marugame 2020)

Patrick Mathenge Wambui (NTT Nishi Nihon) - 1:00:12 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2021)
Yohei Ikeda (Kao) - 1:00:59 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2022)
Shohei Otsuka (Kyudenko) - 1:01:09 (Marugame 2020)
Simon Kariuki (Togami Denki) - 1:01:11 (Olympic Test Event 2021)
Boniface Mulwa (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:01:17 (Ageo 2022)
Akira Tomiyasu (Aisan Kogyo) - 1:01:23 (Osaka 2022)
Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:01:25 (Osaka 2022)
Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 1:01:26 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)
Takumi Kiyotani (Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:01:27 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)
Daisuke Uekado (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:01:37 (Marugame 2020)
David Nilsson (Sweden) - 1:01:40 (World Half 2020)
Keita Sakamoto (Aichi Seiko) - 1:01:42 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2022)
Joseph Nganga Waweru (Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:01:44 (Osaka 2022)
Ryo Kuchimachi (Subaru) - 1:01:46 (Osaka 2022)
Tatsuya Sumide (Aichi Seiko) - 1:01:46 (Osaka 2022)
James Mwanzia Mutuku (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:01:49 (Shibetsu 2022)
Daisuke Momozawa (Sunbelx) - 1:01:50 (Houston 2020)
Hiroyuki Ishikawa (Aisan Kogyo) - 1:01:55 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2022)
Teruya Wada (Nishitetsu) - 1:01:57 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2022)
Kenji Yamamoto (Mazda) - 1:01:58 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2020)

© 2023 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Stefan said…
Can Sairi Maeda qualify for MGC again? I hope she does. It would be great to see it. And I'm interested to see how the already qualified runners do here. Sayaka Sato said she will run with the leading pack this time. I wonder how long she can stay with them. She tends to fade but made an improvement in Berlin (still faded though). Hopefully, she improves again. Can she or the others get PBs? It would be great to see a new face make an impact. Perhaps one of the debutants can surprise. I'll be tuning in to watch.

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