SAPPORO – Two-time Olympic medalist Eric Wainaina of Kenya pulled away late in the race to win the men’s race while veteran Chihiro Tanaka came from behind to win the women’s title in the Hokkaido Marathon in Sapporo on Sunday.
Wainaina, who won the bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and earned the silver four years later at Sydney, clocked 2 hours, 13 minutes, 13 seconds for his third overall Hokkaido title following victories in 1994 and 1997.
Japan’s Yukinobu Nakazaki placed second in 2:13:26, while third place went to another Japanese, Nobuhiko Chiba, with 2:14:39.
For her part, Tanaka, who ran her 25th overall marathon race, chipped away a one-time big lead by defending champion Chika Horie and overtook her before the 40-km mark to finish first in 2:34:11 for her second Hokkaido title following the win in 1997.
Horie finished a distant second in 2:36:03 with Mai Tagami coming in third in 2:36:26.
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