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Gold Coast Airport Marathon Elite Field Highlights

by Brett Larner

Australia's Gold Coast Airport Marathon has released the men's and women's elite fields for this year's race on July 3.  Cementing its position as a significant IAAF gold label event, the race features nine men and five women with recent times under the gold label standards of 2:10 and 2:28.  Peter Some of Kenya leads the men's field with a 2:07:05 at the 2014 Tokyo Marathon and should give the 2:08:42 Australian all-comers' record set last year by returning champion Kenneth Mungara a scare.  Yuki Kawauchi is the top-ranked Japanese man with a 2:09:05 from the 2013 Fukuoka International Marathon, his domestic competition including corporate runner Chiharu Takada and Kawauchi's longtime rival and sometimes training partner Arata Fujiwara.

The women's all-comers' record is Naoko Takahashi's mighty 2:23:14 gold medal run from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  Ethiopians Gulume Chala and Meseret Biru both have recent times under 2:23:30, and with a bit of teamwork they may be able to give Takahashi's legendary mark a go.  The woman who replaced Takahashi as the Japanese national record holder, Yoko Shibui, has long since passed the days when she was running those kinds of times and with just a 2:31:06 at last November's Saitama International Marathon will need a big comeback run to factor into the front end of the race.  Misato Horie is the lone Japanese woman in the field with a current gold label time, a 2:27:57 from the 2014 Nagoya Women's Marathon.  Horie is ranked 5th in the field on recent performances, but with a streak of solid runs on the Gold Coast from Japanese women in recent years she could place well higher.

JRN will be on-site at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.  Looked for detailed coverage closer to race date.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Gold Coast, Australia, 7/3/16
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Peter Some (Kenya) - 2:07:05 (Tokyo 2014)
Beraki Zerea (Eritrea) - 2:08:27 (Hengshui 2014)
Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) - 2:08:38 (Milano 2016)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia) - 2:08:50 (Fukuoka 2014)
Milton Rotich (Kenya) - 2:08:55 (Casablanca 2013)
John Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 2:08:56 (Frankfurt 2015)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:09:05 (Fukuoka 2013)
Birhanu Achamie (Ethiopia) - 2:09:27 (Rome 2016)
Willy Kotile (Kenya) - 2:09:58 (Milano 2015)
Chiharu Takada (Japan) - 2:10:03 (Fukuoka 2014)
Abragaw Misganaw (Ethiopia) - 2:10:22 (Dubai 2014)
Arata Fujiwara (Japan) - 2:11:50 (Hofu 2015)
Tatsunori Hamasaki (Japan) - 2:12:12 (Tokyo 2015)
Abdelhadi El Hachimi (Belgium) - 2:12:45 (Berlin 2014)
Saeki Makino (Japan) - 2:15:22 (Seoul 2015)

Women
Gulume Chala (Ethiopia) - 2:23:12 (Frankfurt 2015)
Meseret Biru (Ethiopia) - 2:23:26 (Paris 2015)
Meseret Tolwak (Ethiopia) - 2:27:17 (Frankfurt 2015)
Leah Kiprono (Kenya) - 2:27:39 (Zhengzhou 2016)
Misato Horie (Japan) - 2:27:57 (Nagoya Women's 2014)
Rika Takenaka (Japan) - 2:29:27 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Agnes Mutune (Kenya) - 2:30:13 (Frankfurt 2015)
Yoko Shibui (Japan) - 2:31:06 (Saitama 2015)
Hitomi Nakamura (Japan) - 2:33:23 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Wei Wei Sun (China) - 2:36:29 (Seoul 2016)

© 2016 Brett Larner
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