Ukraine's Gamera-Shmyrko wins Osaka marathon
AFPOSAKA, Japan -- Tetyana Gamera-Shmyrko of Ukraine came back from behind to beat Japan's Kayoko Fukushi to win the Osaka International Women's Marathon on Sunday.
January 28, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
The 29-year-old Gamera-Shmyrko, once behind front-running Fukushi by more than 140 meters, caught up with the Japanese athlete in the last 920 meters to snatch the lead before crossing the line in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 58 seconds.
“I thought I would never be able to catch up with her (Fukushi), because she was very fast in the beginning,” said Gamera-Shmyrko, who broke her personal best of 2:24:32 set at the London Olympics when she finished at fifth.
“I usually move up my pace after 30 kilometers (19 miles). I found that I was able to run faster in the last two kilometers and then I took the lead ahead of her,” added Gamera-Shmyrko.
Fukushi formed a front-running group with fellow Japanese Mari Ozaki and Yuko Watanabe, Gamera-Shmyrko and pace-setters.
When the last two pace-setters abandoned the race at the 30-kilometer mark, it seemed that Fukushi was going to run alone for the remainder of the race as others had been left behind.
But Fukushi slowed down in the last seven kilometers, allowing Gamera-Shmyrko to come back into the race again.
Fukushi also improved her personal best by clocking 2:24:21, but it was not enough to qualify for the world championships in Moscow in August.
Watanabe came in third at 2:25:56, followed by Ozaki in 2:26:41, while the former Japanese fastest-time record holder Yoko Shibui was eighth in 2:32:41.