OSAKA – Risa Shigetomo pulled away after the 26-km mark and never looked back en route to winning the Osaka International Women’s Marathon on Sunday.
Shigetomo stayed in front with the pacemakers and ran even with Japanese 5,000-meter record holder Kayoko Fukushi in the early going, but the second half belonged solely to the 24-year-old Okayama native, who crossed the tape in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 23 seconds at Nagai Stadium for her first marathon victory.
Ukrainian Tetiana Gamera-Shmyrko placed second in 2:24:46 while Azusa Nojiri was third in 2:24:57 in the Osaka race, which doubled as a qualifier for this summer’s London Olympics.
“I am extremely happy,” said Shigetomo, who was running in only her second marathon. “People were really cheering me on while I ran and I was able to battle it out till the end.”