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Shitara Headlines Gold Coast Marathon Elite Field

Half marathon national record holder and Olympic marathon entrant Yuta Shitara (Honda) leads the men's field for the July 7 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia, the only man in the field under 2:08:30 in the last three years with a then-national record 2:06:11 at last year's Tokyo Marathon. Shitara is also scheduled to run Japan's MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials on Sept. 15, making his goals on the Gold Coast a question mark, but a minimum goal is sure to be the Olympic standard of 2:1:30 or a top five finish.  His competition includes Kenya's Douglas Chebii, 2:08:43 in Seville last year, and Kiwi Zane Robertson.

Last year's 3rd-placer Agnes Barsosio of Kenya is the strongest on paper with a 2:20:59 best from two years ago in Paris, but the freshest times comes from fellow Kenyans Rodah Jepkorir and Truphena Chepchirchir, both sub-2:28 earlier this year. Despite a good history of Japanese winners in the Gold Coast women's race no top-tier women are in the field this year.

Complete men's and women's elite field listings can be found here. The half marathon field has to be strongest in its history, led by the fastest Japanese man so far in 2019, Minato Oishi (Toyota). More on the half marathon field here.

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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