Skip to main content

Dennis Kimetto Leads Fukuoka Field (updated)

by Brett Larner

The Dec. 6 Fukuoka International Marathon, not to be confused with the mass-participation Fukuoka Marathon four weeks earlier despite its URL, has wheeled out the elite field for this year's race, the first Japanese trials race for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic team.  World record holder Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) will be in town for a late-season payday after dropping out of this summer's Beijing World Championships, facing sub-2:06 men Bernard Koech (Kenya) and Getu Feleke (Ethiopia) and Fukuoka's last three winners Patrick Makau (Kenya), Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and Joseph Gitau (Kenya/Team JFE Steel).

Running five weeks after his third shot at the TCS New York City Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) leads the Japanese field along with fellow 2:08 runner Koji Kobayashi (Team Subaru) and 2:09 former National Team member Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei).  Sub-2:06:30 is the time the JAAF is dictating for auto selection to the Rio team, but the solid pack of runners at the 2:08 to 2:10 level indicates the more likely place to expect whoever the first Japanese man across the line ends up being.  Realistically whoever comes through as the top Japanese man will be awaiting the outcome of the spring's Tokyo Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon trial races to know his fate. 

For his part, Kawauchi has said publicly that he will not be aiming to be top Japanese man, but to win outright.  As shown by the scandalous omission of 2014 Yokohama International Women's Marathon winner Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) from the Beijing team this year, even that may not be enough to please the powers that be.

Fukuoka International Marathon Elite Field
Fukuoka, 12/6/15
click here for detailed field listing
times listed are 2013-2015 best marks except where noted

Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) - 2:02:57 (Berlin 2014)
Bernard Koech (Kenya) - 2:04:53 (Dubai 2013)
Getu Feleke (Ethiopia) - 2:05:41 (Vienna 2014)
Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:07:16 (Fukuoka Int'l 2013)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:08:14 (Seoul Int'l 2013)
Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) - 2:08:17 (Valencia 2013)
Patrick Makau (Kenya) - 2:08:22 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Serhiy Lebid (Ukraine) - 2:08:32 (Seoul Int'l 2014)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 2:08:50 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Koji Kobayashi (Japan/Subaru) - 2:08:51 (Tokyo 2014)
Joseph Gitau (Kenya/JFE Steel) - 2:09:00 (Fukuoka Int'l 2013)
Benjamin Ngandu (Kenya/Monteroza) - 2:09:18 (Tokyo 2015)
Satoru Sasaki (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:47 (Lake Biwa 2014)
Cuthbert Nyasango (Zimbabwe) - 2:09:52 (Prague 2014)
Chiharu Takada (Japan/JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:10:03 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Kenichi Shiraishi (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:10:36 (Beppu-Oita 2014)
Hiroki Kadota (Japan/Kanebo) - 2:10:46 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Dylan Wykes (Canada) - 2:10:47 (Rotterdam 2012)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:11:15 (Tokyo 2013)
Chris Thompson (Great Britain) - 2:11:19 (London 2014)
Kazuki Tomaru (Japan/Toyota) - 2:11:25 (Berlin 2014)
Yoshiki Otsuka (Japan/Aichi Seiko) - 2:11:40 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Paulo Roberto Paula (Brazil) - 2:11:40 (Moscow World Championships 2013)
Ryoichi Matsuo (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:12:11 (Nobeoka 2014)
Masashi Hayashi (Japan/Yakult) - 2:12:17 (Lake Biwa 2013)
Shota Yamaguchi (Japan/Fujitsu) - 2:13:13 (Nagano 2015)
Etsu Miyata (Japan/Saitama T&F Assoc.) - 2:14:09 (Nobeoka 2013)
Yuri Chechun (Russia) - 2:14:10 (Kazan 2015)
Dmitriy Safronov (Russia) - 2:14:16 (Kazan 2015)
Makoto Harada (Japan/JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:14:40 (Tokyo 2013)
Samuel Tsegay (Eritrea) - 2:14:41 (Moscow World Championships 2013)
Yasushi Yamamoto (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:15:15 (Lake Biwa 2013)
Saeki Makino (Japan/DNPL Ekiden Team) - 2:15:22 (Seoul 2015)
Jose Amado Garcia (Guatemala) - 2:15:52 (Torreon 2012)
Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA RC) - 2:22:34 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

joe said…
Hasn't Makau run 203/204?
Brett Larner said…
Yes, but not recently. As noted, all times listed are the athlete's best from 2013 to 2015 except where they haven't run or finished a marathon since 2012 or before.
Joe said…
Ah, I see. Thanks Brett

Most-Read This Week

Toyo University Leads Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin on Hakone Ekiden Day One

The team that brought Japan's greatest race into the modern era with its historic 2012 sub-3 min/km win, Toyo University came out swinging to win Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden.

Intensely popular with fans, Toyo has struggled this season with its entire senior class out with injury. With its fate in the hands of its younger members Toyo 1st-year Kazuya Nishiyama, freshly 19 in November, stepped up and took control of the race with both hands. Midway through the fast First Stage Nishiyama surged hard to go out front alone, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.) and relative unknown Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) the only ones to try to go with him. Nishiyama covered the 21.3 km stage in 1:02:16, equivalent to a 1:01:40 half marathon, with Urano and Katanishi around 15 seconds back. 3-time defending champ Aoyama Gakuin University was 25 seconds behind in 5th at the first exchange, 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University another …

Kiplagat, Ichiyama, Tadese and Shitara Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon is always one of Japan's deepest races of the year on the men's side, its 2012 running setting a world record for the most men under 64 minutes in a single half marathon in history. On the women's side the field is always smaller but still home to the 1:07:26 Japanese national record set by Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) back in 2006.

Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), Sara Hall (U.S.A.) and Betsy Saina (Kenya) lead the women's international field, two-time defending champ Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) giving Marugame a miss this year. Fresh off a 1:09:14 PB at last month's Sanyo Ladies Half, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) leads a trio of Japanese women with recent sub-1:10 times, something that has become a puzzling rarity lately. Fukushi is also back, her recent best of 1:12:04 a long way from her best days.

Speaking of which, world record holder Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) will be looking to break 60 minutes for the first time since 2015. His toughest…

Nakamoto and Kawauchi to Run Boston

Japan's Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) will run the 2018 Boston Marathon as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team. Kawauchi holds world records for everything from most career sub-2:12 marathons to most sub-2:20, while Nakamoto is Japan's best championships marathoner of modern times with four top 10 finishes at the Olympics and World Championships.

Longtime rivals, their duel at the 2013 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon was one of the classics of Japanese marathoning, both running sub-2:09 PBs as Kawauchi set a still-standing course record of 2:08:15. The pair has a 3-3 record in the marathon so far, their most recent meeting coming at last summer's London World Championships where Kawauchi ran Nakamoto down in the last kilometer to take 9th. Boston will be their 7th and likely final face-off.

Our 2018 #BostonMarathon International Elite Field includes 46 of the world’s best marathoners from 13 countries. Watch to see the …