Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon Elite Field Preview

by Brett Larner

The 2009 Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon takes place this Sunday, Feb. 15 on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu. Nobeoka is one of Japan's second-tier elite marathons and typically serves as a development race for young marathoners and first-timers. The top returning runner from 2008 is 4th place finisher Isamu Sueyoshi (Team Otsuka Seiyaku), who recorded his PB of 2:15:12 at last year's race. His main competitor may be Masayuki Sakahashi (Team Kurosaki Harima), but with more debutants than experienced marathoners Nobeoka is far from predictable.

The first-time marathoner most likely to be a factor is 1:02:01 half marathoner Yuki Tanaka (Team Sumco Techxiv), but either Takashi Nabeshima (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) or Sueyoshi's teammate Katsuji Yamaguchi, both of whom have half marathon times under 1:03, could also be up front. The most talented runner in the field, Kazuyuki Maeda (Team Konica Minolta), holds a half marathon PB of 1:01:49 and a 30 km PB of 1:29:57 but has thus far struggled in the marathon. If he performs up to potential the course record of 2:11:05 could be at risk.

Running as pacemaker is 2007 World Championships marathon team member Tomoyuki Sato (Team Asahi Kasei). Sato will be running the Tokyo Marathon in March to qualify for this summer's World Championships in Berlin.

2009 Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon Elite Field
Masayuki Sakahashi (Team Kurosaki Harima) - 2:15:04
Isamu Sueyoshi (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:15:12
Takahiko Saeki (Team Sumco Techxiv) - 2:16:36
Takanori Ide (Team Kyudenko) - 2:16:40
Shunsuke Kamiya (Team Chudenko) - 2:17:39
Munehiro Sugaya (Team Toyota) - 2:18:24
Nao Kazami (Team Aisan Kogyo) - 2:18:58
Katsutoshi Tanisue (SDF Academy) - 2:20:14
Fumiyuki Watanabe (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:20:22
Ken Konishi (Team Sagawa Express) - 2:22:31
Kazuyuki Maeda (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:43:43

Debut Marathoners With Half Marathon PB
Yuki Tanaka (Team Sumco Techxiv) - 1:02:01
Takashi Nabeshima (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 1:02:49
Katsuji Yamaguchi (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:02:58
Takuro Yamashita (Team Asahi Kasei) - 1:03:14
Masato Ninomiya (Team Chudenko) - 1:03:20
Tatsunori Sento (Team Sagawa Express) - 1:03:23
Yuki Moriwaki (Team JFE Steel) - 1:03:39
Shingo Tsumemaru (Team Asahi Kasei) - 1:03:39
Keisuke Wakui (Team Yakult) - 1:03:52
Kaoru Shinohara (Team Nishitetsu) - 1:03:53
Koji Sato (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 1:04:13
Yoshiharu Tateishi (Team Osaka Gas) - 1:04:19
Tetsuya Tomohiro (Team Kyudenko) - 1:04:26
Kodai Tanabe (Team Mazda) - 1:04:35
Yutaro Shimoyae (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 1:05:50
Hiro Ashida (Team Nishitetsu) - 50:06 (10 miles)

Keisuke Ikeda (Team Sumco Techxiv) - no info available
Kazuma Nagatomi (Team Sumco Techxiv) - no info available
Kenji Takeuchi (Team Toyota Kyushu) - no info available

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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