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Fujiwara, Matsuyama Runners-Up on European Roads

by Brett Larner

Fujiwara and Rothlin after their mutual DNF at the 2010 New York City Marathon.

London Olympics marathoner Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) went head-to-head against longtime rival and friend Viktor Rothlin (Switzerland) on Rothlin's home ground at the Swiss Ageriseelauf 14.138 km on July 21.  Rothlin, who set the still-standing Tokyo Marathon course record of 2:07:23 to win the 2008 Tokyo Marathon ahead of Fujiwara's breakthrough 2:08:40 2nd-place, came out ahead again after losing to Fujiwara at this year's Tokyo Marathon.  Rothlin clocked 41:41 to Fujiwara's 41:42, suggesting the pair may be close again in the main event just three weeks away.  Eritrean Abraham Tadesse was well back in 3rd in 42:42.

A day later and a lifetime further north, 2011 National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships runner-up Team Panasonic members Akiko Matsuyama and Yukari Abe made their European debuts at the Great North 10k in Gateshead, U.K.  Running on course-record pace, Matsuyama was unable to match strides with G.B.'s Gemma Steel, who became the first woman to run sub-33 in Gateshead as she set a new course record of 32:56.  Matsuyama held on for 2nd in 33:07 just ahead of Lauren Howarth who was good for 3rd in 33:09.  All three women broke the existing Great North 10k record of 33:22.  Abe was a distant 6th in 35:51.  Both Matsuyama and Abe appeared in the Great North 10k with assistance from JRN.

2012 Aegeriseelauf (14.138 km)
Switzerland, 7/21/12
click here for complete results

Men
1. Viktor Rothlin (Switzerland) - 41:41
2. Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) - 41:42
3. Abraham Tadesse (Eritrea) - 42:42

2012 Great North 10 km
Gateshead, U.K., 7/22/12
click here for complete results

Women
1. Gemma Steel (GBR) - 32:56 - CR
2. Akiko Matsuyama (Team Panasonic) - 33:07 (CR)
3. Lauren Howarth (GBR) - 33:09 (CR)
-----
6. Yukari Abe (Team Panasonic) - 35:51

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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