NAGOYA, Japan (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.

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.