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Kanbouchia Breaks the Osaka Marathon women’s Course Record

Moroccan Soud Kanbouchia took the top spot in Japan's second-biggest marathon Sunday Nov 25, breaking the Osaka Marathon women's course record to win in 2:31:19. In the early going Kanbouchia had company from Hiroko Yoshitomi and Kasumi Yoshida on mid-2:27 pace, but with a surge at halfway she was on her own and stayed that way until the finish. Yoshitomi, this year's Boston Marathon 10th-place finisher who set a PB and CR of 2:30:09 two weeks ago at the Fukuoka Marathon and, incredibly, won the Ohtwara Marathon on Friday in 2:37:22, dropped off after 10 km to settle into mid-2:30s pace. Yoshida lasted longer but slowed dramatically after 25 km and was quickly retaken by Yoshitomi. But from the main pack of women behind them club runner Haruka Yamaguchi emerged to run both down, running almost even splits to take 2nd in 2:34:12, a PB by over four minutes. Yoshitomi hung on 3rd in 2:34:39, almost three minutes faster than her time 48 hours earlier. Yoshida settled for 4th in 2:35:31.  The men's race saw a five-man lead group made up of Kenyans Charles Munyeki and Julius Mahome, Moroccan Abdenasir Fathi, and Japanese amateurs Shingo Igarashi and Hideyuki Ikegami. Hideyuki dropped off after 15 km before a surprise DNF. After hitting halfway in 1:05:22 Fathi surged to gap the rest of the lead group, from which Mahome became detached after 25 km.Munyeki and Igarashi worked together the rest of the way, and when Fathi began to fade after 30 km they started to reel him in. By 37 km they overtook him, and it went down to the very last kilometer before Munyeki dropped Igarashi to take the win in 2:14:11. Igarashi was 2nd in 2:14:19, the second-fastest time of his career. Fathi hung on to 3rd in 2:17:37, finishing just 20 seconds ahead of Akihiro Kaneko who took 31 seconds off his best for 4th in 2:17:57.   (11/25/2018) ⚡AMP

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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