Skip to main content

Serod Batochir, Youngjun Ji, Yuki Kawauchi Headline Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Field (updated)

by Brett Larner

On Nov. 28 the organziers of the 2011 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon, the last elite marathon of the year, announced the lineup of this year's invited athlete field.  One of the most competitive editions in Hofu history, the field includes 2010 Asian Games marathon gold medalist Youngjun Ji (South Korea), Tokyo Marathon hero Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.), defending champion Serod Batochir (Mongolia) and Fukuoka University ace Takuro Nakanishi among others.

Ji leads a contingent of three strong Korean athletes and is the likely favorite, but Batochir returns to Hofu with a solid 2:11:35 PB from April's London Marathon and should present a serious challenge to Ji's chances.  On paper Kawauchi is the leading man among the Japanese runners, but Hofu will be his fourth marathon in the last three months and, coming just two weeks after his bid for an Olympic team spot at the Fukuoka International Marathon seems unlikely to be more than a recovery run effort.  Nakanishi was the top Japanese man and 3rd overall in the 10000 m at September's National University T&F Championships and challenged for the win on the first stage of this month's National University Ekiden Championships.  In interviews he said that Hofu will be an experiential race, with a serious shot at an Olympic team spot coming in the spring, most likely at March's Biwako Mainichi Marathon.

Other noteworthy names in the Japanese field include three-time winner and course record holder of Hofu's 10 km Tomohiro Seto (Team Kanebo), past Hofu champion Kentaro Ito (Kyowa Hakko Bio), former Asia University ace Takuro Yamashita (Team Fujitsu) and 2009 Copenhagen Marathon winner Toyokazu Yoshimura (Osaka T&F Assoc.).  Also in the field, having announced Hofu as his retirement race, is one of Japan's all-time greats, Olympian and 2:07 runner Shigeru Aburuya (Team Chugoku Denryoku).  In the general division, Kenyan Dishon Maina Karukuwa (Team Aisan Kogyo) is on the list after nearly breaking the course record in his marathon debut at last week's Ohtawara Marathon.  Former Koku Gakuin University ace Norimasa Nishina (Team Fujitsu) will also be making his debut in the general division in his first year as a pro.

In the women's division, defending champ and course record holder Hiroko Yoshitomi (Shunan City Hall) will face a strong challenge from 2009 Hofu winner Noriko Hirao (First Dream AC).  The Hofu Yomiuri Marathon will be held on Dec. 18.

2011 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon Elite Field
click here for elite field listing
click here for complete field listing
Men
Shigeru Aburuya (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:07:52 (Biwako '01)
Youngjun Ji (Korea) - 2:08:30 (Daegu '09)
Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 2:08:37 (Tokyo '11)
Junhyun Hwan (Korea) - 2:10:43 (Seoul Int'l '19)
Serod Batochir (Mongolia) - 2:11:35 (London '11)
Unsan Chon (Korea) - 2:13:39 (Seoul Int'l '04)
Tomohiro Seto (Team Kanebo) - 2:12:21 (Berlin '07)
Takuro Yamashita (Team Fujitsu) - 2:13:33 (Nobeoka '11)
Kentaro Ito (Kyowa Hakko Bio) - 2:13:44 (Hofu '01)
Kota Noguchi (Team Toyota) - 2:14:31 (Nobeoka '11)
Toyokazu Yoshimura (Osaka T&F Assoc.) - 2:15:05 (Hofu '09)
Dishon Karukuwa Maina (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 2:15:09 (Ohtawara '11)
Takuro Nakanishi (Fukuoka Univ.) - debut
Norimasa Nishina (Team Fujitsu) - debut

Women
Hiroko Yoshitomi (Shunan City Hall)
Noriko Hirao (First Dream AC)
Atsuko Maeda (Kumamoto AC)
Chika Kawano (E-Runners AC)
Nana Higashi (Yamato AC)

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Fukushi Leads Wacoal to Top of Wild National Corporate Women's Ekiden Qualifier

In one of the wildest elite-level ekidens in memory, half marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi ran her best race in almost 3 years to anchor the Wacoal team to the win at the Princess Ekiden, the qualifying race for next month's National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships.

The field of 27 teams raced 6 stages totaling 42.195 km for one of 14 spots at Nationals alongside last year's top 8. Things were complicated by the disqualification of 2017 national champion Universal Entertainment, which found itself back at the Princess Ekiden to requalify. Sayaka Sato got things off to a good start for Sekisui Kagaku, winning the 7.0 km First Stage in 22:36 just off the CR. 4 seconds back was Shiori Yano, whose Canon AC Kyushu team missed Nationals by a minute last year. and another 5 seconds behind was Miku Daido of the debuting Iwatani Sangyo team.



Coached by marathon national record holder Mizuki Noguchi's former coach Hisakazu Hirose, Iwatani Sangyo's next …

Kamino Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

With last week's Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai having changed from 20 km to the half marathon distance the Takashimadaira 20 km Road Race is now Japan's premier 20 km, four laps of a perfectly flat 5 km loop in Tokyo's northwestern suburbs. Working his way back from a DNF last month at the Berlin Marathon, independent Daichi Kamino (New Balance) went head-to-head this year with 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), a regular at Takashimadaira.

After a slow 15:27 opening lap Kamino went to the front, picking up the pace to 15:18 for the second lap and cutting the lead group down from a dozen to six. 2014 Ageo City Half Marathon winner Koki Takada (Sumitomo Denko) and collegiate men Kotaro Hirata (Teikyo Univ.), Fuma Nakamura (Teikyo Univ.) and Tomoya Yoneda (Tokai Univ.) hung with Kamino and Kawauchi through a 15:15 third lap until Kamino attacked again.

Hirata and Kawauchi tried to follow, but Kamino was too much to keep up with. Running alone the …

Kimunyan Runs World-Leading 10000 m at Nittai - Weekend Track Roundup

The IAAF may have unilaterally declared the long distance track season over last week, but in Japan autumn track is in full swing as athletes at all levels prepare for championship ekiden season.

The biggest race of the weekend was the men's 10000 m A-heat at Yokohama's Nittai University Time Trials. Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu) led a small group including 2014 Commonwealth Games 5000 m gold medalist Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) out at a steady pace around 27:10. By halfway Kimunyan was alone but still rock steady with a 13:35 split.

From 7000 m on he slowed gradually toward the 27:19.62 world-leading time run by Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) at this year's Commonwealth Games, but with a hard kick over the last lap Kimunyan crossed the line 5 seconds up on Cheptegei's mark in 27:14.70, a PB by 38 seconds. Ndiku also got under 28 minutes in 27:50.38. Half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda) was the top Japanese man in 28:11.25, continuing to ro…