Johannes wins Nagoya Women’s Marathon in Japan

10 Mar 2019 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 10 MAR (NAMPA) – Namibia’s 2018 Sportswoman of the Year and Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Helalia Johannes was on Sunday crowned champion of the Nagoya Women's Marathon in Japan.
Johannes, who had an impressive year in 2018 as she won seven of the eight events she competed in and came second in the other, started the year with flying colours as she ran her personal best time of two hours, 30 minutes and 37 seconds (2:30:37), breaking the Namibian women’s marathon record.
The 2017 and 2018 Namibian Sportswoman of the Year set a national record in 2011 when she won the Dublin Marathon, but on Sunday she smashed it for a new national record of 2:22:25.
Johannes caused an upset after beating Kenyans Visiline Jepkesho (2:22:58) and Valary Jemeli (2:23:01), who came second and third respectively.
Meseret Defar of Ethiopia finished fourth, followed by Japan’s Reia Iwade in fifth.
Speaking to Nampa on Sunday via WhatsApp, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion said she broke away from the two Kenyan runners with just a kilometre to go in the race and is happy to have smashed her own Namibian record.
“I would like to thank my training partners and coach, who have pushed me while preparing for this race as it was really tough to win due to the difficult course route that we ran,” she said.
The 38-year-old runner is coached by Robert Kaxuxuena, while her training partners are Reinhold Thomas, Pinias Embashu, Anna Mutoko, Uveni Nawa Kugongelwa and Kristof Ndunga.