Ukraine’s Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko and Japan's Kayoko Fukushi during the 2013 Osaka Women’s Marathon (© Yohei Kamiyama - Agence SHOT)
Ukraine’s Tetiana Gamera-Shmyrko will return to the Osaka Women's Marathon on 25 January and bid to become just the second woman to win in the Japanese city on three successive occasions, after organisers of the IAAF Silver Label Road Race announced their elite field on Friday (26).
In what will be the 34th edition of the race, Gamera-Shmyrko will be looking to emulate the feat of Romania’s Lidia Simon, who won three times between 1998-2000.
Two former winners will also be looking to add to their list of titles: local hope and 2012 Osaka winner Risa Shigetomo and Latvia’s 38-year-old Jelena Prokopcuka, who took the honours in Osaka in 2005 but is still running well and finished fourth last month in the New York Marathon.
Kenya’s Margaret Agai, Ethiopia’s Melkam Gizaw and Poland´s Karolina Jarzynska complete the small but classy contingent of overseas invited runners.
Among the Japanese women are two-time Osaka runner up Mari Ozaki as well as Azusa Nojiri and Yuko Watanabe, who were third in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Organisers for the IAAF
Elite field (with PBs)
Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 2:22:56
Risa Shigetomo (JPN) 2:23:23
Margaret Agai (KEN) 2:23:28
Mari Ozaki (JPN) 2:23:30
Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko (UKR) 2:23:58
Azusa Nojiri (JPN) 2:24:57
Yuko Watanabe (JPN) 2:25:56
Melkam Gizaw (ETH) 2:26:24
Karolina Jarzynska (POL) 2:26:31
Kaoru Nagao (JPN) 2:26:58
Rika Shintaku (JPN) 2:30:37
Hiroko Miyauchi (JPN) 2:32:20
Shoko Mori (JPN) 2:35:10