Skip to main content

Abeylegesse vs. Fukushi vs. Chapple, Yuki Sato to Debut at Marugame Half

by Brett Larner

Today the 2011 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon announced the elite field for this year's 65th running on Feb. 6. Organizers have set up an excellent women's race, with defending champion Nikki Chapple (Australia) facing the top half marathoner of 2010, Olympic track medalist Elvan Abeylegesse (Turkey) and national half marathon record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal). Abeylegesse is the obvious favorite, but it will be very interesting to see what Fukushi, who set the national record of 1:07:26 in her half marathon debut at Marugame in 2005 and made a quiet return to the distance after over three years with a win at July's Shibetsu Half Marathon, has planned. Chapple's winning time of 1:08:37 from last year puts her in reach of either woman.

The men's race is headed by course record holder Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) and features the likes of 2:06 marathoner Rachid Kisri (Morocco) and 2010 Asian Games marathon gold medalist Youngjun Ji (South Korea), but the main attraction will be the official half marathon debut of track and ekiden star Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin). Official as in he has run the equivalent of a sub-61 half marathon at least four times on ekiden stages longer than the half marahton distance, most recently 1:03:25 for 22.0 km at this year's New Year Ekiden. With a 27:38.25 10000 m PB, the all-time 3rd-best Japanese men's time, it would not be surprising to see Sato be in contention for the win on what is usually Japan's fastest course.

The Marugame Half will be broadcast nationwide. Check back closer to race date for broadcast details and a full preview.

2011 Kagawa Marugame Int'l Half Marathon
Feb. 6, 2011, Marugame
Elite Field Highlights
click here for complete elite field listing
Women
Elvan Abeylegesse (Turkey) - 1:07:07 (Ras al Khaimah 2010)
Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 1:07:26 (Marugame 2006)
Nikki Chapple (Australia) - 1:08:37 (Marugame 2010)
Silviia Skvortsova (Russia) - 1:09:17 (San Jose 2006)
Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 1:09:19 (Kobe Women's 2001)
Megumi Seike (Team Sysmex) - 1:10:08 (Jitsugyodan 2009)
Nami Kurosawa (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 1:10:09 (Jitsugyodan 2001)
Miho Notagashira (Team Wacoal) - 1:10:25 (Marugame 2005)
Nozomi Ijima (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 1:10:40 (Miyazaki Women's 2004)


Men
Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) - 59:48 (Marugame 2007)
Samuel Ndungu (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:01:19 (Jitsugyodan 2010)
Girma Tola (Ethiopia) - 1:01:26 (Philadelphia 2008)
Tetsuo Nishikawa (Team YKK) - 1:01:42 (Jitsugyodan 2001)
Toyoshi Ishige (Team Yakult) - 1:01:44 (Jitsugyodan 2001)
Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 1:01:49 (World Half 2010)

Tsuyoshi Ogata (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:01:50 (Jitsugyodan 2002)
Kazushi Hara (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 1:01:52 (Jitsugyodan 2003)
Kensuke Takahashi (Team Toyota) - 1:01:54 (Nagoya 2005)
Muryo Takase (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:01:57 (Marugame 2010)
Kazuyoshi Shimozato (Team Komori Corp.) - 1:01:58 (Jitsugyodan 2006)
Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - debut - 27:38.25 10000 m
Nicholas Makau (Kenya/Team Yachiyo Kogyo) - debut - 27:52.32 10000 m
Rachid Kisri (Morocco) - 1:02:11 (World Half 2009)
Dymytro Baranovskyy (Ukraine) - 2:07:15 (Fukuoka 2006)
Youngjun Ji (South Korea) - 2:08:30 (Daegu 2009)


(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Simon said…
Will be interesting to see how Yuki Sato gets on. His approach to working on the shorter distances and patience in not running marathons yet bodes well for the future I would think. I like how he's mixing it up and racing XC later in February too.

Most-Read This Week

Shiroyama's 8.40 m Jump Leads Four National Records at Athlete Night Games in Fukui

Held in the stadium where Japan saw its first-ever sub-10 clocking for 100 m, Saturday's new Athlete Night Games in Fukui meet produced four national records highlighted by an incredible men's long jump competition. Yuki Hashioka (Nihon Univ.) opened with a jump of 8.32 m +1.6 m/s that shattered the national record dating way back in 1992 by 7 cm. Hibika Tsuha (Toyo Univ.) followed him with a jump of 8.21 m + 2.0 m/s that put him into the all-time Japanese top three, then bettered that with an 8.23 m +0.6 m/s.



Out of nowhere, Shotaro Shiroyama (Zenrin) knocked them both back in the record books on his third jump with a new national record of 8.40 m +1.5 m/s, the #2 mark in the world so far this year and only his second time clearing 8 m with a legal wind. Japanese fans were quick to compare the trio's results to this season's Diamond League meets.

DL Shanghai
🥇8m24🥈8m16🥉8m14
DL Lausanne
🥇8m32🥈8m19🥉8m13
DL London
🥇8m37🥈8m32🥉8m11
DL Fukui
🥇8m40🥈8m32🥉8m23 htt…

One Month Until the Japanese Olympic Marathon Trials

It's one month to go until what's bound to be the best marathon of 2019, Japan's 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, the Sept. 15 Marathon Grand Championship Race. Up to now Japan has typically picked its Olympic and World Championships marathon teams based on performances in a series of specific races, primarily the Fukuoka International Marathon, Tokyo Marathon and Lake Biwa Marathon for men, and the Saitama International Marathon, Osaka International Women's Marathon and Nagoya Women's Marathon for women. This time around they're going with a U.S.-style one-shot trials race, the MGC Race.

People had a nearly two-year window from August, 2017 to April this year to hit tough standards to qualify. Only 34 men and 15 women made it, and after withdrawals for the Doha World Championships the MGC Race's final entry list is just 31 men and 12 women. Swedish Athletics Federation official Lorenzo Nesicalled it "the most difficult marathon race ever to quali…

MGC Race Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier - Naoki Okamoto

Naoki Okamotoage: 35
sponsor: Chugoku Denryoku
graduated from: Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S., Meiji University

best time inside MGC window:
2:11:29, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

PB: 2:11:29, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

other PBs:
5000 m: 13:37.71 (2009) 10000 m: 28:05.84 (2011) half marathon: 1:02:16 (2009)

marathons inside MGC window (Aug. 1 2017 – April 30 2019)
DNF, 2019 Beppu-Oita Marathon
1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon, 2:11:29 – PB
DNF, 2018 Boston Marathon

other major results:
4th, 2019 Shibetsu Half Marathon, 1:03:53
2nd, 2019 New Year Ekiden Fourth Stage (22.4 km), 1:05:13
1st, 2018 Chugoku Corporate Ekiden Sixth Stage (19.0 km), 56:25 – CR
1st, 2018 Ome 30 km Road Race, 1:33:09
21st, 2017 Tokyo Marathon, 2:13:53

We’re picking Okamoto as our official dark horse of the men’s race. The second-oldest man in a field, Okamoto is a journeyman corporate leaguer who never broke 2:12 and whose PBs all came a decade ago. But, nearing the end of his career, over the last two years he has really come on…