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Cheboitibin, Kiprono and Sonoda Top Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Entries

With just over two weeks to go the organizers of the Feb. 4 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon have released their elite field for this year's race. With its history as an elite men-only race Beppu-Oita's women's field is still tiny given its status as an IAAF silver label race, but this year promises a good race between two local 2:32 women, 2016 winner Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) and Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu), that should see the 2:39:57 course record fall. Defending champ Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) also returns with a 2:38:43 PB from last fall that puts her range of the course record as well.

The men's race is heavier-duty, with a spot in the MGC Race Tokyo Olympic Trials available to the top Japanese man under 2:11:00 and to up to five others if they clear 2:10. Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) and Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) are the only Japanese men in the field to have run those kinds of times in the last couple of years, and with support from 2:09~2:10 men Josphat Kiprono (Kenya) and Desmond Mokgobu (South Africa) to push them there's a good chance we'll see at least one addition to the five current MGC Race qualifiers.

2016 Sydney Marathon winner Tomohiro Tanigawa (Konica Minolta) is the best bet for an addition to the front pack, with 2014 Beppu-Oita winner Abraham Kiplimo (Uganda) an outside contender after a few dull years. Among the first-timers, 2017 Ome 30 km winner Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Sunbelx) has the best chance to contend for the win, with 2017 Ageo City Half winner Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) and sub-63 half marathoners Ryu Takaku (Yakult) and Ikuto Yufu (Fujitsu) conceivably in the mix.

The Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon will be broadcast live, with additional coverage on @JRNLive. Check back closer to race day for more details on following the action live.

67th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

Oita, 2/4/18
click here for complete field listing
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) - 2:32:12 (Nagoya Women's 2017)
Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu) - 2:32:21 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) - 2:38:43 (Osaka 2017)
Chika Tawara (Team RxL) - 2:39:44 (Osaka 2015)

Josphat Kiprono (Kenya) - 2:09:45 (Rennes 2017)
Hayato Sonoda (Japan/Kurosaki Harima) - 2:10:40 (Fukuoka Int'l 2016)
Desmond Mokgobu (South Africa) - 2:10:51 (Rotterdam 2017)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:10:52 (Beppu-Oita 2017)
Blazej Brzezinski (Poland) - 2:11:27 (Warsaw 2017)
Tomohiro Tanigawa (Japan/Konica Minolta) - 2:11:39 (Nagano 2015)
Ezekiel Jafary (Tanzania) - 2:11:55 (Hannover 2017)
Taiki Yoshimura (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:12:19 (Hofu 2016)
Abraham Kiplimo (Uganda) - 2:12:23 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Yasuyuki Nakamura (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:12:36 (Hofu 2017)
Keisuke Kusaka (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:12:42 (Beppu-Oita 2017)
Yoshiki Otsuka (Japan/Aichi Seiko) - 2:12:46 (Fukuoka Int'l 2015)
Shogo Kanezane (Japan/Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:12:58 (Hofu 2017)
Soji Ikeda (Japan/Yakult) - 2:13:27 (Biwako 2016)
Norikazu Kato (Japan/Yakult) - 2:13:34 (Nobeoka 2015)
Junichi Tsubouchi (Japan/Kurosaki Harima) - 2:13:51 (Beppu-Oita 2017)
Kenta Chiba (Japan/Fujitsu) - 2:13:53 (Beppu-Oita 2017)
Tsukasa Koyama (Japan/Subaru) - 2:13:58 (Tokyo 2017)
Rui Yonezawa (Japan/Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:14:13 (Biwako 2015)
Hiroyuki Sasaki (Japan/Nissin Shokuhin) - 2:14:16 (Biwako 2017)
Shota Hattori (Japan/Honda) - 2:14:19 (Nobeoka 2017)
Hideaki Tamura (Japan/JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:15:00 (Biwako 2016)
Ryota Matoba (Japan/Komori Corp.) - 2:15:00 (Nobeoka 2015)
Shohei Otsuka (Japan/Kyudenko) - 2:15:10 (Biwako 2017)
Bunta Kuroki (Japan/Yasukawa Denki) - 2:15:18 (Biwako 2015)
Kazuki Onishi (Japan/Kanebo) - 2:15:39 (Nagano 2017)

Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Kenya/Sunbelx) - 1:30:49 (Ome 30 km 2017)
Simon Kariuki (Kenya/Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 1:01:25 (Ageo City Half 2017)
Ryu Takaku (Japan/Yakult) - 1:02:34 (Marugame Half 2017)
Ikuto Yufu (Japan/Fujitsu) - 1:02:51 (New York City 2014)

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved


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