Organisers of the Osaka Women’s Marathon have announced their elite field for the IAAF Gold Label road race on 28 January.
Yuka Ando leads a strong domestic contingent. Earlier this year, just a few days before her 23rd birthday, Ando clocked the fastest ever debut marathon by a Japanese woman when finishing second at the Nagoya Marathon in 2:21:36. She went on to finish 17th in the marathon at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 and is now preparing to tackle her third race over the classic distance.
Two other Japanese runners who set PBs at this year’s Nagoya Marathon will also be in Osaka: Hisami Ishii, who clocked 2:27:35 in what was her first marathon, and two-time Gold Coast Marathon winner Kaori Yoshida, who ran 2:28:24 in Nagoya.
The field also includes recent Sapporo Marathon winner Honami Maeda, two-time World Championships representative Mari Ozaki, and 2:24:38 performer Reia Iwade. Japanese athletics fans will also keep an eye on national 10,000m champion Mizuki Matsuda, who will be making her marathon debut following a year in which she earned the Asian Championships 10,000m bronze medal and clocked a PB of 31:39.41.
Kenya’s Eunice Jeptoo is the fastest of the overseas entries. The 34-year-old took more than six minutes off her PB to win the recent Eindhoven Marathon in 2:26:13.
Other sub-2:30 performers in the field include Ethiopia’s Fayesa Robi, who clocked 2:27:04 to finish third at this year’s Barcelona Marathon, German Olympian Anja Scherl, Peru’s Gladys Tejeda and Poland’s Izabela Trzaskalska.
Meanwhile, 2011 world U18 3000m champion Gotytom Gebreslase will be making her marathon debut.
Yuka Ando (JPN) 2:21:36
Mari Ozaki (JPN) 2:23:30
Reia Iwade (JPN) 2:24:38
Eunice Jeptoo (KEN) 2:26:13
Fayesa Robi (ETH) 2:27:04
Hisami Ishii (JPN) 2:27:35
Anja Scherl (GER) 2:27:50
Gladys Tejeda (PER) 2:28:12
Kaori Yoshida (JPN) 2:28:24
Honami Maeda (JPN) 2:28:48
Izabela Trzaskalska (POL) 2:29:56
Asami Furuse (JPN) 2:30:44
Gotytom Gebreslase (ETH) debut
Mizuki Matsuda (JPN) debut