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Ozaki seals world spot with win in Yokohama

Kyodo

Yoshimi Ozaki booked her place at this summer’s world athletics championships by winning the Yokohama Women’s Marathon with a time well under the qualifying standard of 2 hours, 26 minutes on Sunday.

The 2009 world silver medalist shook off her last two rivals after 39 km and crossed the finish line at Yamashita Park in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 56 seconds.

“I was only thinking about winning,” Ozaki said. “I’m happy I turned in a good time and earned a berth (at the world championships).

“I have a goal of winning a medal at the worlds again and running at an Olympics. I will spare no effort to achieve that goal.”

The 29-year-old became the first Japanese female marathon runner to qualify for the Aug. 27-Sept. 4 world championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Compatriot Remi Nakazato finished runnerup with a strong time of 2:24:29.