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Asian Games: Japan's Nogami wins women's marathon silver at Asian Games

Keiko Nogami of Japan celebrates after finishing second in the women's marathon of the Asian Games in Jakarta on Aug. 26, 2018. (Kyodo)

JAKARTA (Kyodo) -- Keiko Nogami won Japan's second straight silver in women's marathon at the Asian Games on Sunday.

    Kenyan-born Bahraini Rose Chelimo built a sizeable lead halfway into the race and was uncatchable, the world champion even conserving energy for a sprint finish to produce a winning time of 2 hours, 34 minutes, 51 seconds.

    A day after Hiroto Inoue won Japan's first gold in 32 years in the men's marathon, Nogami stayed clear in the second pack from the 25-kilometer mark, eventually dissolving into a two-woman race between her and North Korea's Kim Hye Song.

    Nogami pulled away from Kim around the 40-km mark and never looked back as she entered the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium and crossed through the finishing tape 1 minute, 36 seconds behind Chelimo.

    "I had been aiming for a medal so I'm relieved I achieved my goal," the 32-year-old Nogami said.

    "I needed to win a medal so I didn't give up until the very end. It's a silver medal so there's still room for improvement. I hope to use this as a springboard to prepare for my next race," she said.

    Kim finished third in 2:37:20.

    Ryoko Kizaki won the silver in the women's race at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in 2014. Naoko Takahashi was the last Japanese woman to win gold at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games.

    Also for Japan, Hanae Tanaka finished ninth in 2:42:35. Tanaka, who started her marathon career last year, blamed lack of preparation for her poor race time, saying she was only named to the national team in March and failed to arrive in Jakarta in top form.

    "It was the first time I wore a Japan uniform in a senior international race. I feel bad for those who supported me. I wanted to do better ," Tanaka said.

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