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Horibata Leads Japanese Men to World Champs Team Silver

by Brett Larner

Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) finished 7th at the World Championships men's marathon to lead the Japanese squad to team silver, the county's only hardware in a running event at this World Championships, continuing Japan's streak of men's marathon team medals in every World Championships since 1997.  In a race full of high-profile DNF's Horibata ran with tenacity to finish in the prize money in 2:11:52, the third-best time of his career and the fastest mark in the race by a non-African.

While Asian Games silver medalist Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) and 2011 Tokyo Marathon 4th-placer Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) lost touch after less than 10 km, Horibata, Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) hung in the lead pack through halfway until the big Kenyan break that led to defending gold medalist Abel Kirui's second-straight win.  Kawauchi, who led early in the race, fell back in the second half but held on to finish as the third scoring member of the Japanese team in 2:16:11, like Horibata the third-best  time of his career.  Nakamoto lasted longer, as predicted coming through with a valuable run.  He finished as the second man on the Japanese team, 10th in 2:13:10, also the third-best time of his career.

Kenya took the team gold by a wide margin on the strength of Kirui and Vincent Kipruto's individual gold and silver medal runs and David Barmasai Tumo's 5th-place finish, with Morocco taking team bronze thanks in part to Abderrahime Bouramdane's gutsy 4th place finish.  Only Kenya and Japan had more than one runner in the top ten.

2011 World Championships Men's Marathon
Daegu, Korea, 9/4/11
click here for complete results

1. Abel Kirui (Kenya) - 2:07:38
2. Vincento Kipruto (Kenya) - 2:10:06
3. Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) - 2:10:32
4. Abderrahime Bouramdane (Morocco) - 2:10:55
5. David Barmasa Tumo (Kenya) - 2:11:39
6. Eliud Kiptanui (Kenya) - 2:11:50
7. Hiroyuki Horibata (Japan/Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:11:52
8. Ruggero Pertile (Italy) - 2:11:57
9. Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) - 2:12:57
10. Kentaro Nakamoto (Japan/Team Yasukawa Denki) - 2:13:10
-----
18. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref.) - 2:16:11
29. Yoshinori Oda (Japan/Team Toyota) - 2:18:05
38. Yukihiro Kitaoka (Japan/Team NTN) - 2:23:11

Team Scoring
click here for complete results

1. Kenya - 6:29:23
2. Japan - 6:41:13
3. Morocco - 6:42:18
4. Spain - 6:53:41
5. China - 6:54:32

Update 9/7/11: Click here for a screenshot of American track fansite Letsrun.com's strangely bigoted response to Japan's silver medal.

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Horibata finished in the prize money? How low does it go? Do you have a list of the prize money?
Anonymous said…
hey just wondering what is going on with the japanese sprint corps? couple years ago masashi eriguchi and naoki tsukahara both ran under 10.10 and i thought they were soon gonna break the 10 second barrier. what happened? injuries? regression?
Brett Larner said…
Prize money is 8-deep for individuals, 6-deep for teams. There is a link to a breakdown in the preview I posted a while back.

Tsukahara has been injured and Eriguchi has not been able to translate his success in college to his pro career yet. A few other potentially strong guys are on their way up but the sprint scene has not yet really blossomed the way it looked after Beijing.
Anonymous said…
ok that is what it seemed like... i remember shingu suetsugu who said he was going to take a year off after beijing but seemingly retired afterwards. I guess he retired?
Brett Larner said…
Yeah, I think it's been a few years since he's raced. Tamesue is still trying but age seems to have caught up with him.

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