Ruth Wanjiru, a Kenyan who runs for Hitachi won the half marathon division of the 23rd annual Sanyo women’s road race on 23 December with 1:10:23.
The race was held in Okayama, the hometown of two Olympic medalists – Hitomi Kunue, 1928 800m silver medalist and Yuko Arimori, 1992 marathon silver medalist as well as 1996 marathon bronze medalist. Several foreign runners including two Olympic Marathon champions – Valentina Yegorova of Russia and Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia – were included in the field.
The winner Wanjiru, who has been living in Japan for several years, having attended Sendai Ikue high school in the Northern city of Sendai before joining Hitachi track team, was awarded a trophy from Yuko Arimori.
Results (JPN unless otherwise noted)
1) Ruth Wanjiru (KEN) 1:10:23
2) Takako Kotorida 1:10:25
3) Yuki Saito 1:10:35
4) Mika Okunaga 1:10:48
5) Kaoru Nishi 1:11:02
6) Simona Staicu (HUN) 1:11:21
7) Chieko Yamasaki 1:11:32
8) Esther Wanjiru (KEN) 1:11:54
9) Claudia Doreher (GER) 1:11:57
19) Valentine Yegorova (RUS) 1:16:30
21) Fatuma Roba (ETH) 1:16:54
Ken Nakamura for the IAAF