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Ohara and Wanjiru Negative Split Way to Wins at 35th Anniversary Sanyo Ladies Road Race

by Brett Larner


Japan's Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) and Kenyan Rosemary Wanjiru (Team Starts) went it alone to win the 35th anniversary Sanyo Ladies' Road Race half marathon and 10 km divisions with strong negative split runs.

After a slow 17:00 first 5 km in the half Ohara got to work, covering the next 5 km in 16:24 and opening a 16-second lead over a pack of nine led by Rio Olympics marathoner Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku).  From there she never faltered, her pace holding steady all the way to a 1:10:03 win.  38 seconds behind, Misaki Kato (Team Kyudenko) took 2nd in 1:10:42 with relative newcomer Ayaka Fujimoto (Team Kyocera) 3rd in 1:11:20.  Ito faded to 5th in 1:11:39 just ahead of London Olympics marathoner Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya).  Invited Australians Eloise Wellings and Cassie Fien were both DNFs, Fien dropping out before 5 km and Wellings before 10 km.


In the 10 km Wanjiru was out front from the beginning, hitting 5km in 16:11 with a 12-second lead over teammate Grace Kimanzi (Team Starts).  Turning it on in the second half she covered the return trip in 15:53 to score her second-straight Sanyo win in 32:04, one second slower than last year.  Kimanzi, the 2013-14 Sanyo winner, also negative splitted, taking 2nd in 32:21.  Kato's teammate Mariam Waithera (Team Kyudenko) was 3rd in 33:09, just holding off top Japanese woman Kanayo Miyata (Team Yutaka Giken).

35th Anniversary Sanyo Ladies Road Race
Okayama, 12/23/16

Yuko Arimori Cup Half Marathon
1. Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) - 1:10:04
2. Misaki Kato (Kyudenko) - 1:10:42
3. Ayaka Fujimoto (Kyocera) - 1:11:20
4. Ayano Ikemitsu (Kagoshima Ginko) - 1:11:36
5. Mai Ito (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:11:39
6. Risa Shigetomo (Tenmaya) - 1:11:47
7. Yukari Ishizawa (Edion) - 1:11:54
8. Sayo Nomura (Daiichi Seimei) - 1:12:10
9. Misato Horie (Noritz) - 1:12:30
10. Ai Utsunomiya (Miyazaki Ginko) - 1:13:01
-----
DNF - Cassie Fien (Australia)
DNF - Eloise Wellings (Australia)

Kinue Hitomi Cup 10 km
1. Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Starts)- 32:04
2. Grace Mbuthi Kimanzi (Starts) - 32:21
3. Mariam Waithera Mururi (Kyudenko) - 33:09
4. Kanayo Miyata (Yutaka Giken) - 33:11
5. Yuka Miyazaki (Kyudenko) - 33:27
6. Mai Nishiwaki (Tenmaya) - 33:35
7. Ann Karindi (Toyota Boshoku) - 33:37
8. Fumika Sasaki (Daiichi Seimei) - 33:37
9. Mayuka Toda (Kyocera) - 33:40
10. Rina Yamashita (Kyudenko) - 33:48

© 2016 Brett Larner
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