By David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Wet and bone-chilling conditions in Osaka today made the latter stages of the 29th Osaka International Ladies Marathon miserable for the 356 women who finished.  But for Ethiopia's Amane Gobena and Portugal's Marisa Barros, it turned out to be a great day.

The pair were part of a small lead pack which pushed aggressively through the half-way mark in 1:10:45.  That pace eventually forced Japan's Yukiko Akaba to drop out with an aggravated knee injury just before 39-K, leaving Gobena and Barros to fight for the win as the rain intensified.

The pair matched strides through 35-K (1:58:08), but Gobena managed to open an 8-second lead by 40-K, eventually winning by half a minute in a personal best 2:25:14.  Barros, sixth at last summer's IAAF World Championships Marathon, also posted a career best time of 2:25:44.

Filling out the top-5 were Mari Ozaki in third (2:26:27), Romania's Lidia Simon (2:27:11), and Kayoko Obata (2:27:19).  Both Simon and Obata were running the race for the tenth time in their careers, and were honored for that accomplishment after the event.

The Osaka field had its usual depth: 15 women broke 2:40 and another ten got under 2:50.



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