translated and edited by Brett Larner
On Nov. 19 the organizing committee for the 63rd annual Fukuoka International Marathon, a domestic selection race for next November's Asian Games in China, announced the elite field for this year's Dec. 6 race. The seven overseas invited elites are led by last year's winner, Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia). In Fukuoka last year Kebede set the course and Japanese all-comers' record of 2:06:10. In April he went on to finish 2nd in the London Marathon in a PB of 2:05:20, ranking him at #9 on the all-time list.
Among those facing Kebede are 2008 Chicago Marathon winner Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya), 2005 Fukuoka winner Dmytro Baranovskyy (Ukraine) and top Eritrean runner Yonas Kifle. Japan-based Kenyan Mekubo Mogusu (Team Aidem), a popular Hakone Ekiden star while at Yamanashi Gakuin University, will be making his marathon debut off his 59:48 half marathon best.
Alongside Mogusu in the domestic category, 2005 Helsinki World Championships marathon bronze medalist, 2004 Fukuoka winner and Beijing Olympian Tsuyoshi Ogata (Team Chugoku Denryoku) and last year's 4th place finisher and 2007 Osaka World Champioinships marathon team member Tomoyuki Sato (Team Asahi Kasei). The general division also includes standout runners such as Takayuki Ota (Team Fujitsu) in his marathon debut and Hakone Ekiden downhill specialist Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). A total of 767 runners are entered in this year's race.
TV Asahi will broadcast the Fukuoka International Marathon live from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 6. Check their Fukuoka website for more details. Overseas viewers should be able to watch live online for free using the Keyhole TV software available here.
2009 Fukuoka International Marathon - Elite Field
click here for athlete photos and more detailed profiles
1. Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) - 2:05:20 (London 2009)
2. Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 2:06:25 (Chicago 2008)
3. Dmytro Baranovskyy (Ukraine) - 2:07:15 (Fukuoka 2006)
4. Yonas Kifle (Eritrea) - 2:07:34 (Amsterdam 2007)
21. Tsuyoshi Ogata (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:08:37 (Fukuoka 2003)
5. Jon Brown (Canada) - 2:09:31 (London 2005)
22. Tomoyuki Sato (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:43 (Tokyo Int'l 2004)
6. Kebede Tekeste (Ethiopia) - 2:09:49 (Boston 2009)
7. Oleg Kulkov (Russia) - 2:10:13 (Zurich 2009)
23. Mekubo Mogusu (Team Aidem) - debut - 59:48 (Marugame Half 2007)