A Historic Triumph for Edesa and Maeda at the Osaka International Women's Marathon

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Workenesh Edesa from Ethiopia and Japanese Honami Maeda shattered records at the Osaka International Women's Marathon, both finishing in under 2:19. Maeda's performance was particularly stellar, breaking the longstanding Japanese women's national record set in 2005.

The race began with five pacers setting a brisk pace for the lead group, which included Edesa, Maeda, Stella Chesang, Mizuki Matsuda, and Sayaka Sato. They reached the halfway mark in 1:09:46, indicating a potential finish time well below the required 2:21:41. This pace was just shy of the national record of 2:19:12 set by Mizuki Noguchi back in 2005. Maeda, holding the 30 km national record, surged ahead with a daring 3:11 km, distancing herself from the pacers and the group, signaling her intent to do something extraordinary.

As the race progressed, Matsuda fell behind while Maeda continued to lead, projecting a finish time of 2:19:08. Edesa, the fastest woman in the field with a personal best of 2:18:51, realized Maeda's serious challenge and accelerated to close the widening gap.

The competition intensified further after the 30 km mark, with Edesa overtaking Maeda. The ensuing segment was a gripping contest of determination and resilience, with Maeda and Edesa alternating leads but remaining within seconds of each other.

Naoko Takahashi, a legend in Japanese women's marathoning and part of the commentary team, remarked on Maeda's strategy, noting its distinct difference from their time-trial approach in the past. Maeda was not just running against time; she was strategically racing towards a new record.

Edesa ultimately crossed the finish line first, tying her personal best at 2:18:51, shattering the Osaka marathon course record. Maeda followed closely, finishing in 2:18:59 and surpassing Noguchi's national and Asian records by 13 seconds, a monumental achievement in Japanese marathon history. Post-race, Edesa expressed her joy and ambition for the Boston Marathon, while Maeda revealed her pre-race goal of breaking the national record.

Matsuda finished third in 2:23:07, while Chesang and Sato finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with German runner Katharina Steinruck, daughter of two-time Osaka Women's winner Katrin Dorre, setting a personal best.



1. Workenesh Edesa (ETH) - 2:18:51 =PB and new CR

2. Honami Maeda (JPN) - 2:18:59 - NR and Asian Record

3. Mizuki Matsuda (JPN) - 2:23:07

4. Stella Chesang (UGA) - 2:23:36

5. Sayaka Sato (JPN) - 2:24:43

6. Katharina Steinruck (GER) - 2:24:56

7. Natsumi Matsushita (JPN) - 2:25:10

8. Yuna Daito (JPN) - 2:25:16

9. Madoka Nakano (JPN) - 2:26:50

10. Mayu Nishikawa (JPN) - 2:26:50

11. Rie Kawauchi (JPN) - 2:28:28

12. Kana Kobayashi (JPN) - 2:29:44

13. Daeun Jeong (COR) - 2:30:49

14. Militsa Mircheva (BUL) - 2:32:03

15. Nanami Aoki (JPN) - 2:32:06

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