Skip to main content

Fujiwara's Goal in Fukuoka: "Defeat Kawauchi"

translated and edited by Brett Larner

London Olympics men's marathoner Arata Fujiwara (31, Miki House) revealed Nov. 9 that his primary motivation in running the Dec. 2 Fukuoka International Marathon is to defeat civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (25, Saitama Pref.).

Appearing at an event in Tokyo commemorating the Tokyo Marathon's entry into the World Marathon Majors, Fujiwara was asked about his reasons for running Fukuoka.  He answered, "Once the Olympics were finished and I had to think about what would motivate me next, I thought a showdown with him would be the most fun."

After Fujiwara's Olympics ended with a 45th-place finish as the last Japanese man on the team, this season it's time for another swing at the younger "upstart."  With four wins in seven marathons so far this year, Kawauchi is a golden target.  His stated goal for Fukuoka is the 2:07:59 qualifying time for the 2013 World Championships marathon team.

Fujiwara also indicated that he will probably be going for a fast time in February's Tokyo Marathon.  "In my training for Fukuoka right now I'm focusing on faster turnover," he said.  His eyes narrowing with intensity, he added,  "There's no problem with recovery time for Tokyo.  If Tokyo goes well I'll run 2:04~2:05."

Translator's note: Fujiwara had the fastest Japanese men's time of 2010 and currently leads 2012, while Kawauchi was the fastest Japanese man of 2011.  In their head-to-head marathons so far Fujiwara leads Kawauchi 2-1.

2012 Tokyo Marathon: Fujiwara: 2:07:48, 2nd     Kawauchi: 2:12:51, 14th
2011 Tokyo Marathon: Kawauchi: 2:08:37, 3rd     Fujiwara: 2:29:51, 57th
2010 Tokyo Marathon: Fujiwara: 2:12:34, 2nd     Kawauchi: 2:12:36, 4th


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

1500 m Olympian Assefa Wins Nagoya, 22-Year-Old Sekine 2:23:07 Debut

Two-time 1500 m Olympian Meskerem Assefa (Ethiopia) ran down favorite Valary Jemeli (Kenya) with 4 km to go to win the 2018 Nagoya Women's Marathon, with the home town crowd wowed by the debut of the latest next big thing, 22-year-old Hanami Sekine (Japan Post).

Supported by three pacers, a lead pack of seven including Assefa, Jemeli, Sekine, Ethiopian Bahraini Merima Mohamed, Saitama International Marathon winner Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) and top-ranked Japanese women Reia Iwade (Dome) and Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) went through halfway in a decent 1:11:32. This proved too hot for a few of the past next big things to have run well in Nagoya the last few years, as Sairi Maeda (Daihatsu), 2:22:48 in Nagoya three years ago, and Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), 2:23:47 last year, were off the back of the pack in the first 10 km.

By 25 km Cheyech, Ohara and Iwade joined them off the back, leaving only Sekine in contention with the African trio of Jemeli, Assefa and Mohammed. Sekine, a…