Johannes wins in Japan

03 February 2020 | Sports

Namibia's queen of road running, Helalia Johannes, set a national record in the 74th edition of the Kagawa Marugame Half-marathon yesterday in Japan clocking 1 hour, 8 minutes and 10 seconds.

Johannes was followed by Britain's runner Charlotte Purdue in a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 23 seconds. In third place was Choi Kyung-sun of South Korea with a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 35 seconds.

The ambitious Mao Ichiyama kicked off the women's race by taking a swing at the 1:06:38 Japanese women's national record set two weeks ago in Houston by Hitomi Niiya, with Namibian national record holder Johannes close behind.

Ichiyama dropped off after the turnaround near 10 kilometres, leaving Johannes to run on alone to set the new record under the 2 hours and 20 minutes record she set just last April.

“We are exceptionally proud of Johannes as she readies for the Tokyo 2020 Games which will kick off on 24 July till 9 August,” said her coach, Robert Kaxuxuena.

The Kagawa Marugame Half-marathon is an annual road-running competition which takes place in early February in Marugame, Japan. It currently holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and the professional race attract over 1 000 entries each year.

Competitors in the professional races are largely Japanese athletes, supplemented by African athletes based in the country.

In addition, a small number of foreign athletes are invited to compete each year. The level of competition is strong.

LIMBA MUPETAMI

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