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Event Report Women Marathon

Catherine NDEREBA won Kenya's first gold medal of these championships in a championship record of 2:23:55 after running solo from the 33km mark. She withstood the Japanese attack of Mizuki NOGUCHI who won silver in 2:24:14 and Masako CHIBA who took bronze in 2:25:09. All three medallists finished inside Rosa MOTA'S championship record of 2:25:17.
 
The flat course and cool conditions, which also produced a championship record in the men's event, saw a solid early pace, which took the field through haflway in 1:12:46, and a fast last 8km after Ndereba made the only decisive move of the race.
 
Before Ndereba's attack, a group of 20 athletes, including all of the leading contenders except Worknesh TOLA (ETH), had followed Constantina TOMESCU (ROM. But she was never more than 40 seconds in front and eventually came back into the pack at the Arc du Triomph, 16km into the race. She did not finish. Tomescu had used the same tactic in Edmonton two years earlier without success.
 
From this point, the natural increase in tempo reduced the lead group to 18, then 16. Among those dropped were Asha GIGI (ETH) and Takani OMINAMI (JAP) who had previously been involved in falls. Chiba looked in trouble at this point, moving to the back of the group but never completely out of contact.
 
At the 33km mark, Ndereba sensed her chance and surged strongly, surprising the field with the speed and suddenness of the attack. Initially Noguchi, Naoko SAKAMOTO (JAP), Chiba, HAM Bong Sil (PRK) and Elfenesh ALEMU (ETH) went with Ndereba but she kept the pressure on and put an end to the challenge from Alemu and Ham.
 
This left the Kenyan alone with three well credentialled Japanese athletes, but throughout the next kilometre, only Noguchi could sustain any kind of challenge. Ndereba was four seconds in front of Noguchi at 35km and and there was a chance she may have gone too early. However, the experienced international competitor had jugded the pace perfectly, extending the lead to 20 seconds at 40km and entering the stadium well clear of Noguchi. Behind her, Chiba made her way from fifth to third, passing Ham and team mate Sakamoto within the last two kilometres.
 
Ndereba previously held the world best performance with her 2:18:47 run in Chicago in 2001. The women who took that title from her earlier this year, Paula RADCLIFFE(GBR), did not compete today.
 
With Noguchi, Chiba and Sakamoto all in the top four, Japan won the Wolrd Marathon Cup team title ahead of Ethiopia (Alemu, Shitaye GEMECHU and GIGI) and Russia (Svetlana ZAKHAROVA, Viktoriya KLIMINA and Larisa ZYUSKO).