Eunice Kirwa wins the Nagoya Marathon (Agence SHOT) © Copyright
General News Nagoya, Japan

Course record-holder Kirwa will defend Nagoya Marathon title

One year after breaking the Nagoya Marathon course record, Bahrain’s Eunice Kirwa will return to the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on 13 March.

Kirwa clocked a national record of 2:22:08 to win in the Japanese city last year. Five months later, she took the bronze medal at that distance at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015. The Asian Games champion got her 2016 campaign off to a strong start, winning the Marugame Half Marathon in a PB of 1:08:06.

She will be up against a fellow global medallist in the form of Valeria Straneo. The 39-year-old Italian took silver at the 2013 World Championships and 2014 European Championships. Despite having a best of 2:23:44, an Italian record, Straneo is yet to win a marathon.

Like Straneo, Ethiopia’s Betelhem Moges will be competing at the Nagoya Marathon for the first time. The 24-year-old has a PB of 2:24:29, set in Dubai last year, and she was victorious at the Beijing Marathon last September.

As with most Japanese road races, there will be considerable local interest, but even more so this year because the race is the final Olympic selection event for Japanese women.

Ryoko Kizaki is among the top domestic entrants. She won in Nagoya in 2013 and went on to finish fourth at that year’s World Championships. She then finished second in Nagoya one year later and took the silver behind Kirwa at the Asian Games. Having finished 15th at the 2012 Olympics, Kizaki will be aiming to qualify for her second Games.

Eri Hayakawa will be making her sixth appearance in Nagoya. Her best performance to date in the Japanese city was her third-place finish in 2014 in a PB of 2:25:31.

Mizuki Noguchi, the 2004 Olympic champion, will also be competing in Nagoya. The last marathon she completed was the 2013 Nagoya Marathon, where she finished fourth to book her place on the team at that year’s World Championships. She failed to finish in Moscow and has only contested two half marathons since then.

Elite field

Mizuki Noguchi (JPN) 2:19:12
Eunice Kirwa (BRN) 2:21:41
Ryoko Kizaki (JPN) 2:23:34
Valeria Straneo (ITA) 2:23:44
Betelhem Moges (ETH) 2:24:29
Azusa Nojiri (JPN) 2:24:57
Marisa Barros (POR) 2:25:04
Eri Hayakawa (JPN) 2:25:31
Mizuho Nasukawa (JPN) 2:25:38
Yuko Watanabe (JPN) 2:25:56
Tomomi Tanaka (JPN) 2:26:05
Yoko Miyauchi (JPN) 2:26:23
Asami Kato (JPN) 2:26:30
Reia Iwade (JPN) 2:27:21
Monica Jepkoech (KEN) 2:27:26
Iwona Lewandowska (POL) 2:27:47
Kaori Yoshida (JPN) 2:28:43
Aki Otagiri (JPN) 2:30:24
Shiho Takechi (JPN) 2:31:18
Bekelech Daba (ETH) 2:32:11
Ayumi Hagiwara (JPN) debut
Mao Kiyota (JPN) debut
Michi Numata (JPN) debut
Rei Ohara (JPN) debut