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Mombi wins Miyazaki Half Marathon

Running away from Hiroko Miyauchi with two kilometres to go, Julia Mombi won the Half Marathon division of the 28th Miyazaki women’s Road race on Sunday (6 Jan) in 1:09:34.

It was an 11 second improvement on her Half Marathon personal best for Mombi, who runs for the Japanese corporate track team Aruze and is coached by legendary Yoshio Koide, who coached Olympic gold medalist Naoko Takahashi and Olympic silver and bronze medalist Yuko Arimori. Her previous Half Marathon best of 1:09:45 was recorded in the Kobe Women’s Half Marathon last November. 

Miyauchi, who pushed the pace with Mombi from 11km, finished second in 1:09:54, a huge personal best, while her twin sister, Yoko Miyauchi, finished third. Hiroko recorded her previous Half Marathon best of 1:11:11 in the last year’s edition of the Miyazaki women’s Half Marathon. They are both coached by Hiromi Taniguchi, the 1991 World Marathon champion.
 
Mombi, who was born on 25 January 1985, moved from Kenya to Japan to attend Aomori Yamada high school. In 2002, she won the Japanese inter-high school championships at 800m. A year later, as a high school senior, Mombi won both the 1500m and 3000m in the same championships. She stayed in Japan and competed for Phiten, where she was coached by Koide. Later she changed her team to Aruze, a new team formed by Koide. One of the great Marathon talents, according to Koide, Mombi was 12th at the 2006 Beijing Marathon with 2:37:55 and fifth at the 2007 Nagoya Women’s marathon with 2:29:38. With her eyes on making the Kenyan Olympic marathon team, Mombi will be running her third career Marathon later in the month in Osaka.

Ken Nakamura for the IAAF

Leading Results:
1. Julia Mombi, KEN  1:09:34
2. Hiroko Miyauchi   1:09:54
3. Yoko Miyauchi     1:10:27
4. Madoka Ogi        1:10:50
5. Miho Notagashira  1:11:16
6. Aimi Horikoshi    1:11:20
7. Chika Horie       1:11:29
8. Mika Okunaga      1:12:17

5km Race
1. Yurika Nakamura   15:45
2. Jyeria Kerubo Thinega  15:51
3. Nanae Kuwashiro   15:52
4. Kaori Urata  15:56
5. Eri Sato  15:56