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Athletics - 15. October 2008.

Internationals steal the show

In the women’s marathon, early favourite Mai Tagami of Japan did not disappoint, finishing in 2:38:46, well ahead of her nearest competitor, Michelle Bleakley (2:49:02). Jenny Wickham from Manly was third in 2:50:17.


Tagami established a significant lead early in the race, and never looked threatened.


“I won but I am not happy with my time, it was a very strong wind from the 25km mark,” Tagami said.


Bleakley, who was forced to pull out of the 2007 Samsung Melbourne Marathon midrace due to illness, was the first Australian across the line. After enduring a double mastectomy and five operations, Bleakley proudly wore the number 1 race bib.


The 40-year-old Sandringham mother of two was in two-minds regarding her result.


“I am happy with the place, but disappointed with the final time.


“I wanted to run sub 2:40 and was on track at the turn around point but once we headed back to the MCG, the head wind made it a hard slog home,” Bleakley said.

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