Skip to main content

Dennis Kimetto Leads Fukuoka Field (updated)

by Brett Larner

The Dec. 6 Fukuoka International Marathon, not to be confused with the mass-participation Fukuoka Marathon four weeks earlier despite its URL, has wheeled out the elite field for this year's race, the first Japanese trials race for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic team.  World record holder Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) will be in town for a late-season payday after dropping out of this summer's Beijing World Championships, facing sub-2:06 men Bernard Koech (Kenya) and Getu Feleke (Ethiopia) and Fukuoka's last three winners Patrick Makau (Kenya), Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and Joseph Gitau (Kenya/Team JFE Steel).

Running five weeks after his third shot at the TCS New York City Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) leads the Japanese field along with fellow 2:08 runner Koji Kobayashi (Team Subaru) and 2:09 former National Team member Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei).  Sub-2:06:30 is the time the JAAF is dictating for auto selection to the Rio team, but the solid pack of runners at the 2:08 to 2:10 level indicates the more likely place to expect whoever the first Japanese man across the line ends up being.  Realistically whoever comes through as the top Japanese man will be awaiting the outcome of the spring's Tokyo Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon trial races to know his fate. 

For his part, Kawauchi has said publicly that he will not be aiming to be top Japanese man, but to win outright.  As shown by the scandalous omission of 2014 Yokohama International Women's Marathon winner Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) from the Beijing team this year, even that may not be enough to please the powers that be.

Fukuoka International Marathon Elite Field
Fukuoka, 12/6/15
click here for detailed field listing
times listed are 2013-2015 best marks except where noted

Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) - 2:02:57 (Berlin 2014)
Bernard Koech (Kenya) - 2:04:53 (Dubai 2013)
Getu Feleke (Ethiopia) - 2:05:41 (Vienna 2014)
Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:07:16 (Fukuoka Int'l 2013)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:08:14 (Seoul Int'l 2013)
Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) - 2:08:17 (Valencia 2013)
Patrick Makau (Kenya) - 2:08:22 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Serhiy Lebid (Ukraine) - 2:08:32 (Seoul Int'l 2014)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 2:08:50 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Koji Kobayashi (Japan/Subaru) - 2:08:51 (Tokyo 2014)
Joseph Gitau (Kenya/JFE Steel) - 2:09:00 (Fukuoka Int'l 2013)
Benjamin Ngandu (Kenya/Monteroza) - 2:09:18 (Tokyo 2015)
Satoru Sasaki (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:47 (Lake Biwa 2014)
Cuthbert Nyasango (Zimbabwe) - 2:09:52 (Prague 2014)
Chiharu Takada (Japan/JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:10:03 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Kenichi Shiraishi (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:10:36 (Beppu-Oita 2014)
Hiroki Kadota (Japan/Kanebo) - 2:10:46 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Dylan Wykes (Canada) - 2:10:47 (Rotterdam 2012)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:11:15 (Tokyo 2013)
Chris Thompson (Great Britain) - 2:11:19 (London 2014)
Kazuki Tomaru (Japan/Toyota) - 2:11:25 (Berlin 2014)
Yoshiki Otsuka (Japan/Aichi Seiko) - 2:11:40 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Paulo Roberto Paula (Brazil) - 2:11:40 (Moscow World Championships 2013)
Ryoichi Matsuo (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:12:11 (Nobeoka 2014)
Masashi Hayashi (Japan/Yakult) - 2:12:17 (Lake Biwa 2013)
Shota Yamaguchi (Japan/Fujitsu) - 2:13:13 (Nagano 2015)
Etsu Miyata (Japan/Saitama T&F Assoc.) - 2:14:09 (Nobeoka 2013)
Yuri Chechun (Russia) - 2:14:10 (Kazan 2015)
Dmitriy Safronov (Russia) - 2:14:16 (Kazan 2015)
Makoto Harada (Japan/JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:14:40 (Tokyo 2013)
Samuel Tsegay (Eritrea) - 2:14:41 (Moscow World Championships 2013)
Yasushi Yamamoto (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:15:15 (Lake Biwa 2013)
Saeki Makino (Japan/DNPL Ekiden Team) - 2:15:22 (Seoul 2015)
Jose Amado Garcia (Guatemala) - 2:15:52 (Torreon 2012)
Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA RC) - 2:22:34 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

joe said…
Hasn't Makau run 203/204?
Brett Larner said…
Yes, but not recently. As noted, all times listed are the athlete's best from 2013 to 2015 except where they haven't run or finished a marathon since 2012 or before.
Joe said…
Ah, I see. Thanks Brett

Most-Read This Week

Tokyo Experiments With Spraying Water Along 2020 Marathon Course to Combat Heat

As part of its measures to deal with the hot conditions expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted an experiment to measure the effects on pavement surface temperature of spraying the road surface with water. Data from the experiments were released to the media.

The experiment was conducted from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. along a 120 m section of sidewalk along Uchibori Street in the Imperial Palace's outer gardens in Chiyoda Ward.  In the experiment, open-ended tubes used in agricultural work eres placed at the edge of the sidewalk  to supply water. Surface temperature readings were taken every 30 minutes for three different experimental scenarios:
spraying water beginning at 4:00 a.m.spraying water beginning at 7:00 a.m.not spraying any water The experiment found that where water had been sprayed, the road surface temperature remained in the 27 to 29˚C range even when the air temperature exceeded 30˚C. Where no wa…

On Broadcast Commentary

It's been 122 days since the 122nd Boston Marathon. Of what the two exceptional people who won that day accomplished, WilliamShakespeare summed it up better than any other commentator in his Sonnet 122:

Beyond all date, even to eternity;
     Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
     Have faculty by nature to subsist;
     Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
     Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.

What else needs to be said? But the other thing that remains from that day is, of course, this:

Worst punditry ever? #Yukipic.twitter.com/AwjeuZDtOt — Xempo Running (@xempouk) April 16, 2018
In the 122 days since Boston this clip has been on my mind a lot. The commentary here by Larry Rawson and Al Trautwig was exceptionally bad, but it wasn't unique to them and highlighted many of the problems with marathon TV broadcasts and especially their hosts and commentators. I'm fortunate to live in Japan where the announcers for the countless marathon live TV broadcas…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…