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Gamera-Shmyrko outlasts Fukushi to win Osaka Women’s Marathon

Kyodo

Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko won the Osaka Women’s Marathon on Sunday, improving on her runnerup finish last year with a come-from-behind victory over Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi.

The 29-year-old Ukrainian scored a personal-best time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 58 seconds, cutting the tape 23 seconds ahead of Fukushi at Nagai Stadium.

Gamera-Shmyrko, fifth at last year’s London Olympics, overtook Fukushi near the 41-km mark and pulled away to finish close to a minute quicker than her second-place time of 2:24:46 in last year’s race.

“At one point I didn’t think I would catch up (with Fukui) but I found strength and was able to increase the pace over the final 2 km,” said Gamera-Shmyrko.

Yuko Watanabe was third in 2:25:56 and was followed in fourth by Mari Ozaki in 2:26:41. Australia’s Lisa Weightman was fifth and Karolina Jarzynska of Poland was sixth.

Fukushi’s time was not good enough to secure a spot at this summer’s world championships in Moscow. The automatic qualification time set by athletics officials for the top Japanese finisher was 2:23:59.