Skip to main content

Top Japanese Elite Runners Announced for 39th Gold Coast Airport Marathon

A Gold Coast Airport Marathon press release. JRN will be on-hand at GCAM as part of its official broadcast commentary crew.

Two previous winners Yuki Kawauchi and Risa Takenaka will lead a strong Japanese charge at the 39th Gold Coast Airport Marathon on Sunday 2 July.

A flat and fast course will provide the stage for this IAAF Road Race Gold Label event with one of the strongest elite fields ever assembled to fight out the 42.195km race. One of the most popular runners in world athletics Kawauchi, 30, will return to the scene of his epic runner up finish last year behind Kenneth Mungara of Kenya. The two will do battle once again with Kawauchi hoping he can win this coveted race once again as he did in 2013.

Takenaka had a breakout year in 2015 with a win on the Gold Coast and setting her personal best of 2:28:09 in Nagoya. The 27-year-old will be attempting to continue the stranglehold that Japanese runners have had on the women’s race with a total of 14 winners including the past five.

In the men’s race, Japan will have a very strong contingent of runners with Kawauchi joined by sub-2:13 marathon runners Chiharu Takada, Takuya Noguchi, Ryo Hashimoto, Shoya Osaki and Takuya Suzuki. Takada placed fourth in last year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon in 2:10:43 so will have the benefit of experience, while Noguchi has recorded a personal best of 2:11:04 already this year in Tokyo so will come with strong form.

In the women’s race, Takenaka will be joined by Misaki Kato, Azusa Nojiri, Sakie Ishibashi, Hirono Shintate and Azusa Nojiri, with Kato a strong chance of a podium finish with a personal best of 2:31:04 set last year in Osaka.

As part of a sister marathon arrangement, two placegetters at last year’s Kobe Marathon in Japan were invited to run in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon with Shintate taking up the opportunity in the women’s race and Yuki Yagi in the men’s race.

Events Management Queensland CEO Cameron Hart said he was delighted to announce another strong and deep Japanese elite field in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. “The Gold Coast Airport Marathon has such a strong reputation in Japan and continues to attract quality elite runners as well as thousands of holiday runners,” Mr Hart said. “It is wonderful that Kawauchi is returning for his sixth consecutive Gold Coast Airport Marathon before going on to contest the marathon at the World Championships in London in August. Our 2015 winner Takenaka and last year’s fourth placegetter Takada are also returning and we look forward to welcoming many newcomers to the Gold Coast who will all be striving for personal best times and some for the podium.”

Elite Japanese Men
Yuki Kawauchi PB: 2:08:14 – Seoul, 2013
Chiharu Takada PB: 2:10:03 - Fukuoka, 2014
Takuya Noguchi PB: 2:11:04 - Tokyo, 2017
Ryo Hashimoto PB: 2:11:20 - Hofu, 2016
Shoya Osaki PB: 2:12:07 - Otsu, 2017
Takuya Suzuki PB: 2:12:08 - Oita, 2017
Takafumi Kikuchi PB: 2:15:06 - Sapporo, 2016
Yuki Yagi PB: 2:24:30 – Kobe, 2016
Yuta Takahashi PB: debut marathon (1:02:13 half marathon – 2015)

Elite Japanese Women
Azusa Nojiri PB: 2:24:57 – Osaka, 2012
Risa Takenaka PB: 2:28:09 – Nagoya, 2015
Misaki Kato PB: 2:31:04 – Osaka, 2016
Sakie Ishibashi PB: 2:41:27 – Tsuchiura, 2015
Hirono Shintate PB: 2:42:55 – Kobe, 2016

photos © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Men's Marathon Rout - JAAF Executives Announce Resignation

http://www.nikkansports.com/olympic/rio2016/athletics/news/1698472.html

translated by Brett Larner

In the Rio de Janeiro Olympics men's marathon on Aug. 21, Satoru Sasaki (30) was the top Japanese man at 16th in 2:13:57.  Suehiro Ishikawa (36) was 36th, with Hisanori Kitajima (31) placing 94th.

At the end of athletics competition Japan's total was two medals and two top eight finishes, a total exceeding the JAAF's target one medal but falling short of its goal of five top eight finishes.  JAAF strengthening committee chairman Kazunori Asaba (55) announced that he intends to resign his position following the Rio Olympics.  Strengthening committee vice-chairman Katsumi Sakai (56) and director of men's marathoning Takeshi Soh (63) are also expected to join the exodus of resignations.  Japanese athletics will be forced to make a fresh start before the Tokyo Olympics.

Kawauchi Wins BMW Oslo Marathon in Fastest Time Since 1986

Running his first race of any distance since finishing 9th at last month's London World Championships, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) won Saturday's BMW Oslo Marathon in the fastest time in Oslo since before he was born.

Pre-race Kawauchi's goal was to take a shot at the 2:12:58 Norwegian all-comers record, the fastest time ever run on Norwegian soil. With a new two-loop course featuring a pair of tough hills interspersed by a flat seaside section on each loop his game plan was to try to run 3:10/km until midway through the second lap, then try to push it on the climb and descent of the last hill to make up whatever seconds he needed.

15 km into the first lap he was 10 seconds ahead of schedule in 47:20 and 90 seconds clear of 2nd place, but the steep hill starting a kilometer later took its toll and by 20 km he was 24 seconds behind.  Over the second lap the strong sunlight and warmer than usual temperatures and the two weeks he took off after London also began …