Monday, January 18, 2010

Yamauchi and Mogusu Return to Marugame Int'l Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

With three weeks to go until the 2010 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon race officials announced the complete elite men's and women's fields on Jan. 18. Last year's Japan-based winners Mara Yamauchi (U.K.) and Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya) are scheduled to return to defend their titles. Yamauchi has been out of competition since an injury kept her away from August's Berlin World Championships and is making a welcome return to the scene. The popular Mogusu is likewise making a miniature comeback after his abortive marathon debut last month in Fukuoka.

The elite women's field includes 24 invited athletes along with 25 general division elites. 2004 Tokyo International Women's Marathon winner Bruna Genovese (Italy) and 2009 Great Australian Run winner Nicole Chapple (Australia) are Yamauchi's main overseas competition, while the Japanese runners are led by the Ominami twins Hiromi and Takami (Team Toyota Shatai) and 2008 Shanghai Half Marathon winner Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex). Alongside the Ominamis, two other sets of twins will be in the women's field, Team Kyocera's Hiroko and Yoko Miyauchi, and Kyoko and Yoko Aizu of Team Shikoku Denryoku.

30 invited men and 83 general division elites will be trying to take away Mogusu's title. Japan-based Kenyans Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.) and Joseph Mwaniki (Team Konica Minolta) are Mogusu's toughest competition, but with PBs nearly two minutes slower than Mogusu's 59:48 best it will take an off day for them to be close to the talented Mogusu. 2007 Biwako Mainichi Marathon winner Samson Ramadhani (Tanzania) and 2009 World Half Marathon competitor Andrew Lemoncello (U.K.) make up the two-man overseas invited elite field. 2009 World Championships marathon team alternate Kensuke Takahashi (Team Toyota) holds the best PB among the Japanese runners, 1:01:54, and is running Marugame as a tuneup for the Feb. 28 Tokyo Marathon. Two-time World Championships marathoner Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo) is also in the field, and listed among the general division elites is 2009 double 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B), who will be making his half marathon debut should he actually start the race.

2010 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon Selected Elite Field
click here for a complete elite field listing
Women
Mara Yamauchi (U.K.) - 1:08:29 (Marugame '09)
Hiromi Ominami (Team Toyota Shatai) - 1:08:45 (Sapporo '04)
Ikumi Wakamatsu (Team Denso) - 1:09:28 (Marugame '01)
Yuko Manabe (Second Wind AC) - 1:09:36 (Marugame '02)
Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:09:54 (Miyazaki '08)
Akane Wakita (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 1:09:57 (Kobe '08)
Nicole Chapple (Australia) - 1:10:03 (Great Australian Run '09)
Eun-Jung Lee (Korea) - 1:11:15 (Berlin '05)
Bruna Genovese (Italy) - 1:11:22 (Cremona '05)
Yuka Kakimi (Team Daiichi Seimei) - debut - 15:25.95 (5000 m, Oita '06)

Men
Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) - 59:48 (Marugame '07)
Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo) - 1:01:36 (Jitsugyodan '00)
Joseph Mwaniki (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 1:01:39 (Marugame '08)
Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 1:01:43 (Marugame '09)
Kensuke Takahashi (Team Toyota) - 1:01:54 (Nagoya '05)
Samson Ramadhani (Tanzania) - 1:02:07 (Moshi '03)
Kenichiro Setoguchi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 1:02:13 (Marugame '04)
Makoto Tobimatsu (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 1:02:26 (Marugame '09)
Cosmas Ondiba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:29 (Kanto Univ. '09)
Andrew Lemoncello (U.K.) - 1:03:03 (Birmingham '09)
Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) - debut - 13:21.49 (5000 m, Heusden-Zolder '07)

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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