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Race Report: ASICS Gold Coast Marathon Women’s Race Record smashed by relative newcomer

A diminutive 23-year-old Japanese surprise packet today smashed the ASICS Gold Coast Marathon women’s race record, stunningly in just her second marathon.

Yuki Nakamura came into Sunday’s race at the lower end of the top 10 but turned the form guide upside down with a 2:24:22 run that eclipsed American Lindsay Flanagan’s race record of 2:24:43 set in 2022 by 21 seconds.

It was the third fastest women’s marathon time on Australian soil, the other two fastest achieved by the gold and silver medalists at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Ethiopia’s Kumeshi Sichala (2:25:25) and pre-race favourite Kenyan Visiline Jepkesho (2:26:17) took the minor placings.

Nakamura’s out-of-a-hat record was achieved on a perfect-for-running Gold Coast morning alongside a record 10,000-plus fellow marathoners who competed on the day.

The men’s event was taken by Kenya’s Timothy Kattam in 2:08:52, six seconds ahead of Ethiopian Belay Tilahun (2:08:58) and Japan’s Kiyoshi Koga (2:09:22).

Nakamura said she had a slightly more conservative target time on the start line.

“I was aiming for a 2:26 result, that was my objective, however, to come here and win the race, I am so happy with the result,” she said.

Nakamura said she went with the early pace.

“In the beginning, it was faster than I anticipated but I was feeling great and enjoying the ambiance of the Gold Coast, so I just went for it and then I realised there was nobody else around and I was winning.

“At the 30km mark I wanted to drop off the group, but then it was downhill, so I tried to hang in there and catch up on the speed and when I got to the 35/36km mark it was good and I made my move.

“I have no idea how this feeling is, however later on I will feel the power of standing on the top step of the podium,” she said.

Second place Sichala said she was happy to achieve a personal best at her first ASICS Gold Coast Marathon.

“My race went to plan, it was good, and I am very happy,” she said

“I loved the people cheering along the course and I will come back to the Gold Coast again,” she said.

Jepkesho was happy enough with her debut appearance on the Gold Coast

“It wasn’t my personal best, but I felt good,” she said.

Men’s champion Kattam said he surprised himself with his first run in Australia.

“This is my first time coming to Australia, I am so grateful for today’s race, it was fantastic; I like the course, everything was well, I am very happy for the day. “It was about the win, [and] we were very tight over the ASICS athletes, it was a very tough race.

“[Our team tactics] come out during training and that is what motivates us,” he said.

“The pace was 3:01, 3:02, but then it went to 3:07 and that is when I decided to make a move, to control the speed, “This is a very good season for me; today I wanted to try for a podium, but I didn’t expect to win today’s race and I am very happy, and I am looking to be back in Australia next year,” he said.

Tilahun was happy with his run. “It was a personal best for me, so how can you not be happy with that?”

Third place Koga wanted to do it his way. “The last few races I haven’t done well in the marathon, so I just wanted to run the way it should be and stay steady and this was the result,” he said.

“The winner last year was Japanese, so I was aiming for first place but at least I am on the podium and for that I am grateful.

“Many people were cheering, and it was a really fun and enjoyable run,” he said.

The best Australian in the men’s race was Liam Boudin (2:13:56) who was eighth overall in his debut marathon while Victorian Sarah Klein (2:31:58) was the first Australian woman across the line and fifth overall in the women’s race.

Posted in News.