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Olympian Kentaro Nakamoto Going for First Marathon Win at Beppu-Oita

by Brett Larner

Updated 1/29/13: Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) and Takehiro Arakawa (Team Asahi Kasei) have withdrawn.

The Feb. 3 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon announced on Jan. 16 that London Olympics marathon 6th-placer and 2:08:53 man Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) will head the elite field for its 62nd running.  Japan's most stable and successful current male marathoner, Nakamoto said in pre-race comments that he hopes to score his first marathon win on home Kyushu ground in Beppu-Oita, and with the race's results counting toward 2013 World Championships team selection the win would strengthen the position his strong Olympic showing has already given him.  Nakamoto's toughest domestic competition will come from the ever-popular Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) in his second marathon of the year, and from Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) who broke 2:10 for the first time at last spring's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon just over a minute behind Nakamoto.  Last year's Nobeoka Nishi Nihon Marathon winner Kazuya Ishida (Team Nishitetsu) could be a surprise factor despite a best just under 2:12.

Adam Draczynski (Poland) has the fastest time in the overseas field with a 2:10:49, but the #1 contender among them is last year's runner-up and two-time Hofu Yomiuri Marathon winner Serod Batochir (Mongolia).  In an echo of last year's Fukuoka, Kawauchi made it clear that he entered Beppu-Oita in order to have another go at Batochir.  Regardless of what else happens, look for the two of them to be knocking each other down.  Abdelkrim Boubker (Morocco) and Michael Shelley (Australia) are not far behind Batochir and Draczynski on time and should be players in the lead pack.

Also noteworthy in the field are a talented crop of first-timers, including 1:01 half marathoners Tewelde Estifanos (Eritrea), Daisuke Matsufuji (Team Kanebo) and Mamoru Hirano (Team Yasukawa Denki).  2012 National University Half Marathon Championships runner-up Yudai Yamakawa (Teikyo Univ.) will also be making an early marathon debut.  In the tiny women's field, two-time defending champion Chiyuki Mochizuki (Canon AC Kyushu) will return to go for the threepeat.

The Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon will be broadcast live on the 3rd.  Check back closer to race date for details on following the race via streaming and JRN's Twitter coverage.

2013 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Field
Oita, 2/3/13
click here for complete field listing

Men
11. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 2:08:37 (Tokyo '11)
12. Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 2:08:53 (Lake Biwa '12)
13. Tomoyuki Sato (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:43 (Tokyo Int'l '04)
14. Masashi Hayashi (Team Yakult) - 2:09:55 (Lake Biwa '12) - withdrawn
1. Adam Draczynski (Poland) - 2:10:49 (Vienna '10)
2. Serod Batochir (Mongolia) - 2:11:05 (Beppu-Oita '12)
3. Abdelkrim Boubker (Morocco) - 2:11:18 (Ottawa '12)
4. Michael Shelley (Australia) - 2:11:23 (Amsterdam '11)
15. Kazuya Ishida (Team Nishitetsu) - 2:11:57 (Nobeoka '12)
16. Masaki Shimoju (Team Konica Minolta) - 2:12:18 (Nobeoka '10)
17. Takehiro Arakawa (Team Asahi Kasei) - 2:13:39 (Beppu-Oita '12) - withdrawn
119. Takanori Ide (Team Kyudenko) - 2:13:41
101. Shingo Igarashi (Team Subaru) - 2:13:46 (Nobeoka '11)
102. Naoya Hashimoto (Team Chudenko) - 2:13:50 (2010)
18. Masahiro Ishida (Team Sagawa Express) - 2:13:54 (Nobeoka '11)
120. Mao Fukuyama (Team Kyudenko) - 2:14:10
103. Yoshiki Otsuka (Team Aichi Seiko) - 2:14:12 (Lake Biwa '12)
113. Ben Moreau (Great Britain) - 2:16:46 (London '10)
5. Tewelde Estifanos (Eritrea) - debut - 1:01:40 (World Half '10)
125. Daisuke Matsufuji (Team Kanebo) - debut - 1:01:46 (Marugame Half '12)
121. Mamoru Hirano (Team Yasukawa Denki) - debut - 1:01:49 (Marugame Half '12)
173. Yudai Yamakawa (Teikyo Univ.) - debut - 1:02:26 (National University Half '12)
127. Yoshiyuki Oseki (Team Subaru) - debut - 1:02:35 half
128. Yohei Nishiyama (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - debut - 1:02:38 half
129. Rui Yonezawa (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - debut - 1:02:41 half
122. Hisanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) - debut - 1:02:50 half

Men's Pacers
51. Jason Mbote (Kenya)
52. Stephen Chelimo (Kenya)
53. Kenta Noguchi (Team Toyota)
54. Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei)
55. Akiyuki Iwanaga (Team Kyudenko)

Women
2001. Chiyuki Mochizuki (Canon AC Kyushu)
2002. Megumi Yamashita (Team Toto)
2003. Chie Yamada (Fukuoka T&F Assoc.)

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
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