Forty-three year old Joyce Smith of Britain clocked the third best time in the world on Sunday (16 November) to win Tokyo's International Women's Marathon.
GV Competitors leave grid at start of International Women's marathon in Tokyo as spectators watch, and exit through stadium tunnel (3 shots)
TRAVELLING SHOT Spectators lined up along bridges over road as competitors pass underneath
SV Man riding bicycle beside marathon runners
GV Leading runners along streets past crowds of spectators (3 shots)
GV Leading runner Alison Rowe of New Zealand along street followed by Canadian entrant Jacqueline Gareau (No.102) and British entrant Joyce Smith (No.105) (4 shots)
SV Steward's car and police motorcyclists riding alongside leading runner Joyce Smith (2 shots)
GV Marathon runners along street lined with spectators
SV Joyce Smith into stadium filled with cheering spectators and crosses finishing line (3 shots)
GV Spectators applaud as runner up Jacqueline Gareau crosses finishing line (2 shots)
GV Japanese entrants in stadium and cross finishing line
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Background: Forty-three year old Joyce Smith of Britain clocked the third best time in the world on Sunday (16 November) to win Tokyo's International Women's Marathon. Mrs. Smith, who won the race last year, completed the course in the record time of two hours, 30 minutes, 27 seconds.
SYNOPSIS: Tokyo's national stadium and forty-four runners set off on the punishing 42.195 kilometre (26 miles, 385 yards) marathon through rain-slicked streets. The competitors were from Argentina, Britain, Canada, France, New Zealand, the United States, South Korea and Japan ... Canada's Jacqueline Gareau was in the lead for most of the race.
It's Japan's most important athletic event for women and the heavy going took its toll of runners. Julie Brown of the United States dropped out after ten kilometres (about six miles). Iris Fernandez of Argentina, and South Korea's Choon Ja Ahn retired after running 35 kilometres (about 21 miles). Near the half-way mark, Miss Gareau was sunning third behind Mrs. Smith. But on the return trip the Canadian took over the lead again.
Mrs. Joyce Smith finally took over the lead. She put on a spurt for about four kilometres (about 2 1/2 miles) from home and increased her lead going up the hill towards the stadium.
Mrs. Smith entered the stadium with a comfortable headway over Miss Gareau. She was first over the finishing line and beat her own best time by three minutes, five seconds.
Jacqueline Gareau of Montreal, Mrs. Smith's main rival, finished second with the world's fourth best time of two hours, 30 minutes, 58 seconds. New Zealand's Alison Rowe, one of the three pre-race favourites, took third place.