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Wanjiru Withdraws From Sapporo Half Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

Beijing Olympics men's marathon gold medalist and half marathon world record holder Samuel Wanjiru (Team Savas) of Kenya has withdrawn from the July 5 Sapporo International Half Marathon, the race's office announced on July 1. Wanjiru, who won April's London Marathon, was to be Sapporo's feature invited athlete but recently told race officials that he is dealing with the affects of accumulated fatigue and cannot race.


Brett Larner said…
I knew the Wanjiru-Mogusu matchup was too good to be true....
Simon said…
Disappointing news. Brett, any predictions for the match-up between Mogusu and Sato? What are Fujiwara's chances in this race?

Very much looking forward to the women's race as well.
Brett Larner said…
Well, ordinarily I would say Sato has no chance against Mogusu. He's the Japanese record holder but his best time is still 45 sec or so slower than Mogusu's. This time, though, Mogusu is coming off the car accident in Feb., so it's unclear what kind of shape he's going to be in. Mogusu may be vulnerable but Sato is in marathon training mode and from what he's said in interviews he's focusing on the WC, not the tuneup races he's doing. I guess I don't really see him challenging for the win unless Mogusu is way off.

Fujiwara doesn't have the kind of half time you'd expect from his full marathon, so he would need to have a great day to be up front. I think Yu Mitsuya could be more of a factor if he's uninjured. One thing about Sapporo, though, is that the names which have been announced are only the invited elites. There will be scores of other jitsugyodan runners there, probably including some of the Africans, so some of them might be up there as well.

Agreed that the women's race should be good. Is Shibui back in one piece? We'll see. Curious also to see what Natsuko Goto can do against all the pros.
Brett Larner said…
I forgot to mention Daniel Gitau. So far he's never really been close to Mogusu over this kind of distance, but will all the middle distance track races he did this spring and the quadruple win (800m, 1500m, 5000m and 10000m) at the Kanto Championships in May he's faster than ever and could be the man.

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