Report10 Mar 2024

Ando achieves first career marathon victory in Nagoya


Yuka Ando wins the Nagoya Women's Marathon

Yuka Ando became the first Japanese winner in three years at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon, taking the title in a PB of 2:21:19 at the World Athletics Platinum Label road race on Sunday (10).

Before today, Ando had completed 10 marathons in her career, and had reached the podium in Nagoya on three previous occasions. But today’s performance marked the first marathon victory of her career.

After a chilly start with temperatures of about 5C, Ando and fellow Japanese duo Ayuko Suzuki and Rika Kaseda formed aleading pack alongside 2022 world champion Gotytom Gebreslase of Ethiopia and Asian champion Eunice Chebichii Chumba of Bahrain.

The lead group reached the halfway point in 1:09:56, inside 2:20 pace, but the tempo dropped slightly in the second half. Chumba and Gebreslase opened up a bit of a gap on the leading Japanese contenders. Suzuki started to fall back as Ando and Kaseda ran side by side as they tried to chase the leaders.

Gebreslase dropped out at about 36km, leaving Chumba in front. Ando caught up with the leader at about 39km and they ran together for a couple of kilometres before Ando kicked ahead in the final 800 metres.

Ando went on to cross the line in 2:21:18, consolidating her position at eighth on the Japanese all-time list. Chumba finished second in 2:21:25, and Suzuki placed third in a PB of 2:21:33.

Ando, who would have had to have broken the Asian record of 2:18:59 to make it on to Japan’s team for the Paris Olympics, was delighted with her run.

“There are many people who have helped me to get this far, and I’m filled with gratitude,” she said. “I can’t go to Paris, but I’m really happy that I won. It was really hard when I fell behind the lead pack, but I was able to catch up by running, only focusing on going forward.”

Leading results

1 Yuka Ando (JPN) 2:21:18
2 Eunice Chumba (BRN) 2:21:25
3 Ayuko Suzuki (JPN) 2:21:33
4 Rika Kaseda (JPN) 2:22:11
5 Yuyu Xia (CHN) 2:25:45
6 Delvine Meringor (ROU) 2:26:09
7 Hikari Ohnishi (JPN) 2:26:12
8 Natsuki Oomori (JPN) 2:26:54
9 Camille French (NZL) 2:28:23
10 Giovanna Epis (ITA) 2:28:24


Azimeraw and Abraham win in Barcelona

Degitu Azimeraw led an Ethiopian podium sweep of the women’s race at the Zurich Marató Barcelona, while Tadesse Abraham broke his own Swiss record to take the men’s title at the World Athletics Gold Label road race on Sunday (10).

Azimeraw, who was contesting her first marathon since giving birth, won in 2:19:52 – just eight seconds shy of the course record. Abraham, meanwhile, shaved five seconds off the men’s course record to win in 2:05:01.

Degitu Azimeraw wins the Barcelona Marathon

Degitu Azimeraw wins the Barcelona Marathon (© Organisers)

Azimeraw was part of a pack of five women in the first half, running alongside fellow Ethiopians Shuko Genemo, Meseret Dinke, Zinas Senbeta and Kenya’s Aurelia Jerotich Kiptui through 10km in 33:01.

By the half-way point, reached in 1:09:52, just the Ethiopian quartet remained in the lead. Less than 10km later, Azimeraw started to break away from her compatriots and by the time she reached 30km (1:39:00) she had a seven-second lead over Dinke.

Genemo overtook Meleka with about seven kilometres remaining, but there was no catching Azimeraw, who went on to win by almost two minutes in 2:19:52. Genemo finished second in 2:21:35 and Dinke was third in 2:22:58.

In the men’s race, Abraham was part of a 10-man pack that covered the first half in 1:02:43. Just a few kilometres later, though, the lead was down to four men: Abraham, Mike Chematot, Collins Kipkirui Kipkorir and Edmond Kipngetich.

They were still together through 30km (1:28:55), then Chematot faded, followed by Kipngetich, leading Abraham and Kipkorir out in front.

Abraham forged ahead in the closing kilometres and opened up a significant gap on Kipkorir, winning in 2:05:01 to the Kenyan’s 2:06:44. Kipngetich was third in 2:07:21.

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