By Peter Kanjere
Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich is the notable high profile athlete from Africa set to represent the continent at the Nagoya Women’s Marathon scheduled for Japan, on March 13, 2022.
Organizers of the marathon have announced the names of the elite athletes to compete for the world’s biggest marathon first prize of US$250,000.
The World Marathon Champion (2019) and Chicago Marathon Champion (2021), Olympian Chepngetich will compete with fellow Olympian and winner of the Tokyo Marathon (2020) Lonah Chemtai Salpeter of Israel.
The race will also feature strong domestic athletes in the entries, including Yuka Ando, the Japanese representative for the women’s 10,000m in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the women’s marathon in the 2017 World Athletics Championships London and the two-time second-place finisher of the Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2020 and 2017, and Mirai Waku, the Japanese representative for the 2016 World Half Marathon Championships Cardiff.
The 2022 entrants will be competing for the largest first prize in the world for marathon running: $250,000.
This will be a historic year not only for the women’s marathon but also for the marathon sport as a whole, by way of presenting the highest prize to a female athlete.
It shows how far the sport has progressed since the 1960s when women were banned from taking part in many marathons around the world and the year 1984 when the women’s marathon finally became an Olympic sport in the Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Commenting on the race, the Race Organizer said: “We are delighted to welcome such outstanding women athletes in this year’s race. While it will be exciting to see how the competition unfolds, we are committed to supporting all women runners and their challenges. Japan has been hit by the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, but our first priority is always the safety and security of our runners, volunteers, and everyone concerned in the event. Taking advantage of the experience of having safely staged in-person races under the pandemic in the past two years, we are preparing to hold this year’s race by closely working with the local authorities and medical experts and taking all possible measures against infection.”
Invited Elite Athletes: Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2022
Name Nationality Personal Best
Ruth Chepngetich Kenya 2:17:08
Chemtai Salpeter Israel 2:17:45
Yuka Ando Japan 2:21:36
Sinead Diver Australia 2:24:11
Rie Kawauchi Japan 2:25:35
Hanae Tanaka Japan 2:26:19
Mirai Waku Japan 2:26:30
Ai Hosoda Japan 2:26:34