Ethiopia's Assefa wins Nagoya Women's Marathon

Meskerem Assefa of Ethiopia crosses the finish line, winning Nagoya Women's Marathon in Nagoya, central Japan, Sunday, March 11, 2018. Assefa won with time of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 45 seconds. (Kyodo News via AP)

Meskerem Assefa of Ethiopia pulled ahead of favorite Valary Jemeli of Kenya with four kilometers left to win the Nagoya Women's Marathon on Sunday

NAGOYA, Japan — Meskerem Assefa of Ethiopia pulled ahead of favorite Valary Jemeli of Kenya with four kilometers left to win the Nagoya Women's Marathon on Sunday.

Assefa won in a time of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 45 seconds, one minute and three seconds ahead of Jemeli. Japan's Hanami Sekine, making her marathon debut, was third with a time of 2:23:07.

Assefa pulled even with Jemeli at the 38-kilometer mark and was unchallenged over the closing kilometers to take two and a half minutes off her personal best time.

With 21,915 female runners, 2,058 more runners than the previous year, the Nagoya race is the world's largest all-female marathon event.

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