Kenya’s Betsy Saina took the top honors at the 72nd edition of the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, that was held on Sunday (4) in Marugame, Japan.
Saina was part of a lead group of six led by Japanese national record holder Kayoko Fukushi that went through the downhill first 5 km in 16:15, a decent 1:08:34 pace aided by a tailwind. Saina accelerated to 16:00 for the next 5 km, and by the halfway turnaround the battle remained for two, Saina and Ethiopian Ftaw Zeray with the others forming a chase group that was led by 2011 Pan American Games gold medalist Sara Hall from United States.
Saina dropped Zeray on the uphill return trip and sailed on alone into the headwind to cut the tape in 1:09.17.
The second position was taken by Japanes Kaori Morita who blazed the second half with just over 1 km to go, holding on to finish in the runner-up position in 1:10.10 with third place going to Zeray who crossed the line in 1:10.31.
The Japanese National record holder finished a disappointing 7th place in 1:13.17,while the two-time marathon world champion Edna Kiplagat dropping even further to 12th in 1:13.56.
- Betsy Saina (KEN) 1:09.17
- Kaori Morita (JPN) 1:10.10
- Ftaw Zeray (ETH) 1:10.31