Maurine Chepkemoi

Kenya's Maurine Chepkemoi will be seeking to become new name to be added to the Osaka Women’s Marathon list of winners on Sunday  as none of the past champions will be in attendance at the World Athletics Platinum Label road race.

Chepkemoi set lifetime best clocking 2:20:18 during the 2021 Amsterdam marathon  ahead of Ethiopian Haven Hailu who will he highly motivated for revenge.

Both women went on to contest two marathons in 2022. Chepkemoi won in Enschede in 2:21:10 and then ran 2:25:12 in Berlin, but finished outside the top 10. Hailu, meanwhile, won in Rotterdam in 2:22:01 but then failed to finish in Chicago.

Japanese women have dominated the race in recent years, winning six of the past seven editions. But the presence of Chepkemoi, Hailu and Meseret Gola means there’s a high probability of an overseas visitor winning this year’s race

If Chepkemoi wins, she will be the first Kenyan winner of this race since Catherine Ndereba claimed victory back in 2006.

Last year,Mizuki Matsuda broke the race record at the Osaka Women’s Marathon improving her PB to 2:20:52 to win the World Athletics Elite Label event.

Her time defeated the 2:21:11 event record which had been set by Mao Ichiyama in 2021 and moved her to fifth on the Japanese all-time list. It was  also the second-fastest time by a Japanese athlete in Japan, behind Ichiyama’s 2:20:29 set in Nagoya in 2020.

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