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Tokyo Marathon Announces 2012 Elite Men's and Women's Fields

by Brett Larner

The organizers of the 2012 Tokyo Marathon have announced the elite men's and women's fields for the Feb. 26 Olympic-year race, and on both sides the fields are the best since the Tokyo Marathon began in 2007.  Former world record holder Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) lines up alongside last year's winner Hailu Mekonnen (Ethiopia), 2010 winner Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda), 2008 winner Viktor Rothlin (Switzerland), 2:05 man Jafred Chirchir Kipchumba (Kenya), 2:06 runners Gilbert Kipruto Kirwa (Kenya) and Michael Kipkorir (Kenya), top-ranked Japanese man Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) and more.  For the Japanese men a spot or two on the London Olympic team is at stake, and vying for an Olympic ticket along with past winner Fujiwara and fan favorite Kawauchi are last year's 4th-placer Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota), two-time Tokyo runner-up Arata Fujiwara (Tokyo T&F Assoc.), 2009 3rd-placer Kazuhiro Maeda, former 30 km world record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) and others.  In the general elite division, watch for the marathon debut of sub-28 10000 m runner Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei) fresh off a great run at the New Year Ekiden, the return of 2008 World Half Marathon Championships 5th-placer Yusei Nakao (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) after changing teams last year, and sub-60 half runner Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya) trying again to get the marathon right.

No Olympic spot is in contention for the Japanese women, which makes the presence of Daegu World Championships 5th-place Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) a surprise that can perhaps be read as a confirmation that she is likely guaranteed a place in London on the strength of Daegu.  Akaba has yet to run a time comparable to her half-marathon best, but look for that to change here if the weather is good.  Leading the way in the foreign elite field is 2011 Venice Marathon course record setter Helena Loshanyang Kirop (Kenya), whose best of 2:23:37 from Venice is the only recent time in the field better than Akaba's 2:24:09 PB in London last spring.  Ethiopians Atsede Habtamu and Eyerusalem Kuma make up the remainder of the strongest end of the field, both with best marks at the 2:24 level.  2:25:10 Russian veteran Lidiya Grigoryeva will apparently attempt a double after running the Jan. 29 Osaka International Women's Marathon.  The women's general elite division includes sub-2:30 runner Yuko Machida (Hanno T&F Assoc.), Ohtawara Marathon course record setter Kaori Akagawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), 19 year-old sensation Minami Yamanouchi (Koriyama Hosei H.S. AC) and debuting pro Ayumi Sakaida (Team Daihatsu).

Look for more coverage of the 2012 Tokyo Marathon in the weeks leading up to what should be a great, record-setting day.

2012 Tokyo Marathon
Feb. 26, 2012
click here for detailed field listing

Men
1. Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) - 2:03:59 (Berlin 2008)
2. Jafred Chirchir Kipchumba (Kenya) - 2:05:48 (Eindhoven 2011)
3. Gilbert Kipruto Kirwa (Kenya) - 2:06:14 (Frankfurt 2009)
4. Michael Kipkorir (Kenya) - 2:06:48 (Eindhoven 2011)
5. Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) - 2:07:20 (Enschede 2011)
6. Viktor Rothlin (Switzerland) - 2:07:23 (Tokyo 2008)
7. Hailu Mekonnen (Ethiopia) - 2:07:35 (Tokyo 2011)
8. Oleksandr Sitkovskyy (Ukraine) - 2:09:26 (Bila Tserkva 2011)
11. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 2:08:37 (Tokyo 2011)
12. Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 2:09:03 (Tokyo 2011)
13. Arata Fujiwara (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 2:08:40 (Tokyo 2008)
14. Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) - 2:10:29 (Beppu-Oita 2011)
15. Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:10:04 (Rotterdam 2007)
16. Takaaki Koda (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:11:08 (Tokyo 2011)
17. Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) - 2:08:12 (Biwako 2003)
101. Seiji Kobayashi (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 2:10:38 (Beppu-Oita 2009)
102. Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:11:04 (Beppu-Oita 2011)
103. Satoru Kasuya (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 2:11:17 (Biwako 2011)
104. Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda) - 2:12:05 (Tokyo 2011)
105. Koji Gokaya (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:12:07 (Biwako 2011)
106. Masaki Shimoju (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:12:18 (Nobeoka 2010)
107. Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo) - 2:09:23 (Fukuoka 2008))
110. Tomoya Adachi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:11:59 (Beppu-Oita 2008)
113. Tomoya Shimizu (Team Sagawa Express) - 2:09:23 (Biwako 2008)
118. Yusei Nakao (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:14:43 (Tokyo 2009)
119. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya) - 2:14:44 (Tokyo 2011)
133. Toshinari Suwa (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 2:07:55 (Fukuoka 2003)
151. Kazuyoshi Shimozato (Team Komori Corp.) - debut - 1:30:36 (30 km)
155. Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei) - debut - 27:58.03 (10000 m)

Women
21. Helena Loshanyang Kirop (Kenya) - 2:23:37 (Venice 2011)
22. Atsede Habtamu (Ethiopia) - 2:24:25 (Berlin 2011)
23. Eyerusalem Kuma (Ethiopia) - 2:24:55 (Amsterdam 2011)
24. Tatiana Arkhipova (Russia) - 2:25:01 (Berlin 2011)
25. Lidiya Grigoryeva (Russia) - 2:25:10 (Los Angeles 2006)
26. Yeshi Esayias (Ethiopia) - 2:26:04 (Daegu 2011)
27. Rosaria Console (Italy) - 2:26:10 (Berlin 2011)
28. Lishan Dula (Bahrain) - 2:26:56 (Rotterdam 2011)
29. Kateryna Stetsenko (Ukraine) - 2:27:51 (Ukraine 2010)
30. Adriana da Silva (Brazil) - 2:32:30 (Berlin 2010)
31. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 2:24:09 (London 2011)
32. Kaoru Nagao (Team Univ. Ent.) - 2:26:58 (Yokohama Int'l 2011)
33. Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) - 2:28:49 (Berlin 2011)
34. Yukari Sahaku (Team Univ. Ent.) - 2:28:55 (Tokyo 2009)
35. Yumiko Hara (Team Univ. Ent.) - 2:23:48 (Osaka Int'l 2007)
201. Yuko Machida (Hanno T&F Assoc.) - 2:29:35 (Nagoya 2009)
202. Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 2:32:02 (Tokyo 2011)
203. Yumi Hirata (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 2:29:23
204. Kaori Akagawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:33:38 (Ohtawara 2011)
205. Chinami Fukaminato (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:34:16 (Hokkaido 2009)
217. Minami Yamanouchi (Koriyama Hosei H.S. AC) - 2:47:41 (Ohtawara 2011)
240. Ayumi Sakaida (Team Daihatsu) - debut - 1:13:23 (half-marathon)
241. Kazuki Nakano (Josai Univ.) - debut - 1:16:50 (half-marathon)

Designated Men's Pacemakers
Samuel Tsegay (Eritrea)
Mulugeta Wami (Ethiopia)
Cyrus Njui (Kenya/Team Hitachi Cable)
Kazuyuki Ito (Team JR Higashi Nihon)
Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B)

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
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