Japan Olympic team member Mao Ichiyama wins Sapporo half marathon

Japan Times -- May 06
Mao Ichiyama won the women’s section of the Sapporo Challenge Half Marathon with a personal-best time on Wednesday, beating out fellow Japan Olympic team members Honami Maeda and Ayuko Suzuki.

A test event for this summer’s Tokyo Games, the race took place in cool and windy conditions on a shortened version of the Olympic course. Organizers scaled down the event due to the coronavirus pandemic, asking people not to spectate from the roadside and canceling a 10-kilometer race open to the public.

Ichiyama said she had been determined to get results and her win in 1 hour, 8 minutes and 28 seconds came as a relief.

Olympic team substitute Mizuki Matsuda finished 4 seconds later, followed by Suzuki. Maeda came in fifth.

Hillary Kipkoech of Kenya won the men’s portion in 1 hour, 46 seconds, while Japan Olympic team member Yuma Hattori, who said his priority was scouting the course rather than winning, finished 24th in 1 hour, 2 minutes, 59 seconds.

- Japan Times