Skip to main content

Gold Coast Airport Marathon Race Weekend Elite Field Highlights (updated)

by Brett Larner

Japanese athletes feature in two of the three races at Australia's Gold Coast Airport Marathon in its second year as an IAAF gold label race.  Former Aoyama Gakuin University captain Takehiro Deki (Team Chugoku Denryoku) leads the men's half marathon, with cancer survivor Remi Nakazato at the top of the women's list.

Deki's 58:51 best for 20 km translates to 1:02:15 for the half marathon, far ahead of the 1:03:28 best of #2-ranked Liam Adams (Australia), but although he has run 1:03:11 for the first half of a marathon Deki's legitimate half marathon best remains just 1:04:16, and with a 29:22 two weeks ago in Boston indicating mid-1:04 condition it should be a challenge for him to take down Adams and the other Aussie and Kiwi competition. "This is my first serious race in a long time," Deki told JRN.  "If all goes well I think I can run mid-1:03."

Nakazato, a promising new talent after a 2:24:29 at age 23 in 2011 in her second marathon, abruptly quit the Daihatsu corporate team in February last year.  In November she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, scuttling plans for her indy debut at January's Osaka International Women's Marathon.  The ASICS Half Marathon will be her first serious race since her 1:16:34 at last October's Sapporo Half Marathon and subsequent diagnosis, and despite her 1:10:03 best the question of whether she is fit enough to handle whatever competition she faces remains a good one.  And the competition is tough, led by 2015 Marugame Half winner Eloise Wellings (Australia) and sub-71 woman Sara Hall (U.S.A.).

No top-level Japanese athletes are on the list in the Southern Cross University 10 km, where with a legendary 2011 International Chiba Ekiden run in Vibram Five Fingers behind him Australia's Harry Summers comes in the top seed, but the same cannot be said for the main event, Sunday's Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

Japanese women have won 4 of the last 5 years including a 2:27:17 course record from the now-retired Yukiko Akaba in 2013, and with Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) and Keiko Nogami (Team Juhachi Ginko) coming in ranked #2 and #3 the chances of another Japanese winner look decent.  Takenaka, a former star collegiate ekiden runner at Ritsumeikan University, made a 2:28:09 debut for 5th in March's Nagoya Women's Marathon with Nogami just behind her.  The pair should be a good match for #1-ranked Makda Haji Harun (Ethiopia) for the win.  Either way it will be an Ethiopia-Japan battle up front, the top 7 entrants all hailing from those two countries.

In the men's race, defending champion and course and Australian all-comers' record holder Silah Limo (Kenya) returns along with runner-up Jeffrey Eggleston (U.S.A.) and 3rd-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), but all three face some pretty tough competition from 2:04:48 man Berhanu Shiferaw (Ethiopia), sub-2:08 Kenyans Albert Matebor, Kenneth Mungara and Evans Ruto and more.  Weather permitting, and with the weather looking pretty good, a shot at Limo's 2:09:14 record seems on the cards.  The top non-African entrants, Japan's Ryo Yamamoto (Team SGH Group) and Kawauchi, will have a tough time of it trying to contend against the superior East African field.

Yamamoto, a member of Japan's 2012 London Olympics marathon team, had a superb 2:12:10 debut for 2nd in extreme heat at the 2009 Hokkaido Marathon, going on to run 2:08:44 to make the London team.  Since then his times have declined gradually, with a 2:09:06 in 2013, a 2:10:59 in 2014, and a 2:12:46 in Tokyo this February.  His most recent race was just a 30:19.51 track 10000 m in late May, not encouraging for the return-to-form marathon you would hope for on the Gold Coast.  "I had some trouble in April," he told JRN, "but things have been good since then.  I didn't run the kind of time I wanted to in Tokyo, so with the Olympics next year and the selection races before that I wanted to get in a good time.  Japanese runners have been running well here recently, so I'm hoping that time will come here on the Gold Coast."

Kawauchi, a past Gold Coast winner, comes in with a long-lasting overuse injury stemming from a twisted ankle in late December.  Rather than taking the time needed to let the injury heal Kawauchi has continued to race almost without interruption to his schedule, the sole highlights of his season being a 2:12:13 for 2nd at April's Zurich Marathon and a 2:48:23 win at the Okinoshima 50 km two weeks ago.  A 2:12 at Gold Coast would be a very good day for him, anything faster a miracle.  "I'll go out with the lead pack and hang on as long as I can, whether that's 20 km or later," he said.  "After that I think I can run down people who fall off the lead pack, so I might end up with a result like last year.  That's all I can do."

JRN will be on-site throughout race weekend to cover the race live and provide expert commentary on Sunday's live webcast for the second year in a row.  Check back often for exclusive content.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon and Southern Cross University 10 km - Elite Field Highlights
Gold Coast, Australia, July 4-5, 2015
click here for more detailed field listings

Gold Coast Airport Marathon Men's Field
Berhanu Shiferaw (Ethiopia) - 2:04:48
Albert Matebor (Kenya) - 2:05:25
Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) - 2:07:36
Evans Ruto (Kenya) - 2:07:49
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:08:14
Ryo Yamamoto (Japan/SGH Group) - 2:08:44
Samuel Woldeamanuel (Ethiopia) - 2:08:45
Silah Limo (Kenya) - 2:09:14
Dominic Kangor Kimwetich (Kenya) - 2:09:36
Tewelde Estifanos Hidru (Eritrea) - 2:10:18
Jeffrey Eggleston (U.S.A.) - 2:10:52
Jeff Hunt (Australia) - 2:11:00
Shigeki Tsuji (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:13:41
Tomonori Sakamoto (Japan/Press Kogyo) - 2:13:49
Yoshinori Sugimoto (Japan/Aichi T&F Assoc.) - 2:14:11
Saeki Makino (Japan/Kawaguchi T&F Assoc.) - 2:17:59
Rowan Walker (Australia) - 2:18:01
Alphonce Felix Simbu (Tanzania) - debut - 1:02:21

Gold Coast Airport Marathon Women's Field
Makda Haji Harun (Ethiopia) - 2:26:46
Risa Takenaka (Japan/Shiseido) - 2:28:09
Keiko Nogami (Japan/Juhachi Ginko) - 2:28:19
Tsehay Desalegn Adhana (Ethiopia) - 2:31:25
Manami Kamitanida (Japan/Hitachi) - 2:31:34
Shoko Shimizu (Japan/Aichi Denki) - 2:32:43
Riona Ishimoto (Japan/Noritz) - 2:38:26
Kirsten Molloy (Australia) - 2:43:43
Victoria Beck (New Zealand) - 2:43:45
Fumiko Hashimoto (Japan/Shimamura) - debut - 1:12:20 half marathon

ASICS Half Marathon Men's Field
Takehiro Deki (Japan/Chugoku Denryoku) - 58:51 (20 km)
Liam Adams (Australia) 1:03:28
Benjamin Ashkettle (New Zealand) 1:03:45
Ben Moreau (U.K.) 1:03:59
Callan Moody (New Zealand) 1:05:13
Brad Milosevic (Australia) 1:05:33
Duer Yoa (Australia) 1:05:35
Alastair Stevenson (Australia) 1:05:46

ASICS Half Marathon Women's Field
Remi Nakazato (Japan) - 1:10:03
Eloise Wellings (Australia) - 1:10:41
Sara Hall (U.S.A.) - 1:10:50
Jessica Trengrove (Australia) - 1:11:07
Cassie Fien (Australia) - 1:11:45
Milly Clark (Australia) - 1:14:04
Sinead Diver (Australia) - 1:14:25
Yuka Koga (Japan) - 1:14:28
Lydia O'Donnell (New Zealand) - 1:14:40
Nicki McFadzien (New Zealand) - 1:15:13
Amelia Aslanides (Australia) - 1:16:13

Southern Cross University 10 km Men's Field
Harry Summers (Australia) - 28:13
Martin Dent (Australia) - 28:28
Malcolm Hicks (New Zealand) - 29:19
Jack Rayner (Australia) - 29:37
Jackson Elliott (Australia) - 29:42
Bradley Croker (Australia) - 29:48

Southern Cross University 10 km Women's Field
Bridey Delaney (Australia) - 33:52
Gemma Maini (Australia) - 33:50
Sarah Klein (Australia) - 34:21

text and photos (c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Japan Dominates Asian Cross Country Championships

Japan dominated the 14th Asian Cross Country Championships Thursday in Guiyang, China, winning all four team gold medals to hold the hosts China back to silver in every race.

Japan's only individual gold came in the Junior Women's race, one of its usual areas of strength. Yuna Wada led a Japanese sweep of the top four positions to win the 6 km race in 20:43 with scoring teammates Ririka Hironaka and Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu just behind.

Wada Yuna of Japan wins Junior Women’s 6km cross country race of 14th Asian Cross Country Championship . Japan also won Team championship — Asian Athletics (@asianathletics) March 15, 2018
With the meet also serving as China's National Championships Chinese athletes won the individual gold in the other three races, Dan Li, Cairen Suolong and Jianhua Peng all showing better closing speed to beat their Japanese rivals by 3~4 seconds. Li won the Senior Women's 8 km by 3 seconds over Japan's Yukari Abe, leadi…