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Yumiko Kinoshita and Mitsuko Ino will lead Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons with nearly 30,000 finishers, the Osaka Marathon takes place Nov. 25. At the elite level Osaka has carved an interesting place for itself as a sort of unofficial amateur Japanese women's national championships, with just about all of Japan's sub-2:40 amateur women entered. 2017 winner Yumiko Kinoshita, leads six of last year's top seven including Mitsuko Ino, who finished just one second behind Kinoshita, and 2016 Osaka winner Yoshiko Sakamoto. But they have serious competition ahead of them this time in the form of quasi-corporate leaguer Hiroko Yoshitomi. Moroccan Soud Kanbouchia. First-timer Felista Wambui is a wildcard. The high-volume racer Yoshitomi is the heavy favorite, the only question really being whether she can finally break 2:30 for the first time. The men's side of the equation has more of an international contingent, featuring three Kenyans led by 2018 Copenhagen Marathon winner William Morwabe, and Moroccan Abdenasir Fathi. But as in the women's race the number one seed is a Japanese runner, in this case 2014 Incheon Asian Games silver medalist Kohei Matsumura. Matsumura has had a rough time since then, but a 2:11:04 at last year's Lake Biwa suggest he's heading back in the right direction. His strongest domestic competitors are 2017 Osaka runner-up Hideyuki Ikegami and 2016 Katsuta Marathon course record-setter Shingo Igarashi.  (11/13/2018) ⚡AMP

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