NAIROBI, Kenya, March 12 – Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and Tokyo Marathon winner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter will renew their rivalry at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon on Sunday with a record prize money of Ksh 28.5 million (USD 250,000) offered to the winner.
Nagoya Athletes to Run for Marathon World’s Biggest First Prize: US$250,000
As the largest women’s marathon in the world, one of the world’s top races and the only women’s race with a World Athletics Platinum label, the Nagoya Women’s Marathon continues to be a world leader in women’s running.
To date, world champion Chepngetich has won five of the seven marathons she has completed and has still reached the podium in her other two. The consistent Kenyan had her best year in 2019, starting with her PB of 2:17:08 in Dubai in January and then eight months later winning the world title in Doha.
Like many athletes, she had a low-key year in 2020 but still finished third in the London Marathon in 2:22:05. Last year she failed to complete the Olympic marathon but rebounded two months later by taking the victory in Chicago in 2:22:31.
While the 27-year-old seems to be more focused on wins than records, she is also more than capable of producing fast times. In April last year, she set a half marathon world record of 1:04:02 in Istanbul.
“I chose to run the Nagoya Women’s Marathon because Japan is a nice place and the environment is good,” Chepngetich said. “And, as women, we need to encourage each other and do better. I look forward to a great race and would like to set a personal best.
Chepngetich’s only competitive outing so far this year was at the Kenya Cross Country Championships in Eldoret in January, where she finished sixth, roughly matching her performances at that event in years. previous ones. However, she feels much more at ease on the roads.
The same goes for Salpeter. The Israeli long-distance runner won the 2020 Tokyo Marathon in a record time of 2:17:45, after setting national records in his victories in Prague and Florence.
Her return to Japan for the 2021 Olympics didn’t quite go to plan as she finished 66th, but she bounced back in October to place fifth in London in 2:18:54.
“I’m happy to be here,” Salpeter said. “It’s my first time and I hope to do my best on Sunday. My training was good. I was in Kenya for eight weeks, so I’m ready for Sunday. I trust my training.
This could be the first time that Chepngetich and Salpeter have had a real marathon distance clash.
In their previous two encounters over the distance, Salpeter failed to finish at the 2019 World Championships while Chepngetich did the same at the Tokyo Olympics. Their only other duel to date was at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, where Salpeter finished just one place ahead of Chepngetich.
Four years later, and more than double the distance, this weekend’s race could be a different story.
They are among four sub-2:24 athletes entered for the event, with Japan’s Yuka Ando and Reia Iwade leading a strong Japanese contingent.
Ando ran his PB of 2:21:36 finishing second in Nagoya in 2017 and started this year with a personal best half marathon time of 1:08:13 in Yamaguchi, while Iwade ran his best time of 2:23:52 marathon in Nagoya in 2019.
Australian Sinead Diver will be making her third appearance in Nagoya. She finished 10th in 2017 with a PB of 2:31:37, then recorded a DNF in 2020. Now with a best of 2:24:11 and a 10th-place finish at the Olympics last year, the woman from 45 years old could settle for a top five.
Japan’s Rie Kawauchi and marathon rookies Kaena Takeyama and Yuka Suzuki are also athletes to watch. Depending on their ranking and position, the top Japanese could be selected for the Oregon22 World Championships in Athletics or Japan’s Olympic Trials race for the 2024 Games.
Kenya’s Stellah Barsosio, Japan’s Mao Uesugi and Britain’s Charlotte Purdue will be part of the team setting the pace.
Last year’s edition of the Nagoya Women’s Marathon was run as a national race and was won by Japan’s Mizuki Matsuda in 2:21:51.
Ten years after the race’s inaugural edition in 2012, the Nagoya Women’s Marathon continues to be the premier women’s marathon in the world.
It attracted 21,915 runners in 2018 – a world record for a women-only marathon. After receiving the Japan Olympic Committee for Women and Sports Award in 2017, the race received the International Olympic Committee for Women and Sports Diploma in 2019 for playing an important role in increasing the population of runners in Japan.
The race, which will start on Sunday at 9:10 a.m. local time, will be broadcast live in 33 countries and regions (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy , Kenya, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States of America).
Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) 2:17:45
Lonah Chemtai Saltpeter (ISR) 2:17:45
Yuka Ando (JPN) 2:21:36
Reia Iwade (JPN) 2:23:52
Sinead Diver (Australia) 2:24:11
Rie Kawauchi (JPN) 2:25:35
Hanae Tanaka (JPN) 2:26:19
Mirai Waku (JPN) 2:26:30
Ayano Ikemitsu (JPN) 2:26:07
Ai Hosoda (JPN) 2:26:34
Chiharu Ikeda (JPN) 2:27:39
Eloise Wellings (Australia) 2:29:19