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Akaba and Kawauchi Top Japanese Entries for Gold Coast Airport Marathon

by Brett Larner
photo courtesy of Gold Coast Airport Marathon

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon has announced that it has recruited its best-ever lineup of elite Japanese athletes for this year's running on July 7.  Passed over for the Moscow World Championships despite running 2:24:43 for 3rd at April's London Marathon, Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) is a coup for organizers and should make short work of Eriko Asai's twenty-year-old course record of 2:29:29.  Hoping to join her is Sydney Marathon course record holder Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), 4th in last year's race in 2:13:26 and looking to improve on both his placing and the 2:10:01 men's record in his last marathon before the World Championships.  If both are successful it will be the first Japanese sweep since 2007.

Eri Okubo set her best of 2:26:08 at last year's Tokyo Marathon and will be making her first major appearance since quitting the Second Wind AC team earlier this spring.  Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) ran a then-PB of 2:13:16 at the 2011 Gold Coast Airport Marathon before improving that to 2:11:15 in Tokyo this year.  With quality performances Okubo and Ito could provide Akaba and Kawauchi with challenges up front.

Also in the field are a number of athletes running on invites thanks to winning sister races within Japan. The best of these are Kobe Marathon course record holders Yui Ouchi (Team Noritz) and former Team Toyota member Kensuke Takahashi.  Ouchi's best of 2:39:06 came at the 2011 Ohtawara Marathon and she has hovered right around that mark in the year and a half since, including her 2:39:52 record on the more difficult Kobe Marathon course. Takahashi ran his best of 2:11:25 at the 2009 Tokyo Marathon to earn a spot as the alternate for the Berlin World Championships marathon team, his most recent mark being his 2:21:14 course record in Kobe.  Age 59+ world record Yoshihisa Hosaka (Natural Foods AC) will also be in the field as he works toward a bid for the age 64 record of 2:42:44.

JRN will be on-site at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon to cover the Japanese angle on the race and more.  Check back closer to race date for more on the elite field, online viewing, and original interviews with the Japanese elites.

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Robert McKenzie said…
How come Kaori Yoshida is not running this year?
Brett Larner said…
She is injured, apparently.
Robert McKenzie said…
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2013/05/24/more-sports/marathon-runner-yoshida-gets-one-year-doping-ban/
Brett Larner said…
Thanks for the link. I had not seen that article yet. I was told by GCAM organizers a few weeks ago that she was not returning due to injury, presumably before this sad news became public.

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Additions to Japanese National Team for London World Championships

The JAAF has made a series of announcements over the last week confirming additions to its small team for next month's London World Championships. Along with previously announced rosters for track and field events, combined events and road events, the following athletes have been added to the Japanese team. Relay members are pending IAAF confirmation. The final complete team roster is expected next week.

Men's 400 m Hurdles
Ryo Kajiki (Josai Univ.) - 49.33
Yusuke Ishida (Waseda Univ.) - 49.35

Men's 3000 m Steeplechase
Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) - 8:29.05

Men's 4 x 400 m Relay
Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 45.76
Kosuke Horii (Sumitomo Denko) - 45.88

Women's Javelin Throw
Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 61.95 m

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

'$500,000 USD Prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 Launched in Beijing'

http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/k2-component/143-500-000-usd-prized-asian-premier-marathon-series-2017-18-launched-in-beijing

A very interesting World Marathon Majors-style development with prize money only for Asian athletes. Equally interesting is the absence of a Japanese race in the series. Japanese marathoners would dominate the series if they ran its three component races, their only real current competition in Asia coming from East African-born Bahraini athletes.