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Yoshimatsu Wins Eighth Hofu Title, Wong Breaks Hong Kong National Record

Running the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon's 50th anniversary edition the year she turned 40, Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) soloed a 2:39:22 to pick up her eighth Hofu win and extend her legacy as the winningest champion in Hofu history.

Going out on mid-2:39 pace in the first 5 km, Yoshimatsu picked it up to mid-2:38 and stayed that way until the final kilometers, when she slowed slightly. At 2:39:22 she was over 7 minutes ahead of runner-up Mikiko Ota (KSS RC), in a class of her own. Next up she will run March's Tokyo Marathon.

The men's race was closer right until the end, with a pack of nine plus two pacers going through halfway in 1:05:01 and staying together until Kenyans Matthew Kiprotich and Paul Kiprop broke free at 30 km. At first Shinichi Yamashita (Takigahara SDF Base) was the only Japanese man to try to go with them, but Taiki Yoshimura (Asahi Kasei) quickly rolled up to regain contact with the two leaders by 34 km and then drop Kiprop by 35.

Kiprotich responded with a surge that broke him free from Yoshimura, running unthreatened the rest of the way in to win in 2:10:47. Yoshimura was next in a PB of 2:11:13, with Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) closing fast to pick up 3rd in 2:12:22. Further back, in just his second marathon Wan Chun Wong (Hong Kong) ran a steady low-2:19 pace through 35 km in a bid to break the 1984-era Hong Kong national record of 2:21:10. Fading over the last 5 km, Wong managed to keep it together just enough to set a new 2:20:58 NR.

50th Hofu Yomiuri Marathon

Hofu, Yamaguchi, 12/15/19
complete results

Women
1. Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) - 2:39:22
2. Mikiko Ota (KSS RC) - 2:46:41
3. Ai Ogo (Himeji T&F Assoc.) - 2:48:34

Men
1. Matthew Kiprotich (Kenya) - 2:10:47
2. Taiki Yoshimura (Asahi Kasei) - 2:11:13
3. Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:12:22
4. Hiroki Sugawa (Toyama T&F Assoc.) - 2:13:01
5. Paul Kiprop (Kenya) - 2:13:28
6. Shinichi Yamashita (Takigahara SDF Base) - 2:14:06
7. Yuki Kawauchi (Asics) - 2:14:17
8. Satoru Kasuya (Toyota Boshoku) - 2:14:44
9. Ryo Ishita (SDF Academy) - 2:15:20
10. Shuhei Shirota (Kanebo) - 2:16:55
-----
21. Wan Chun Wong (Hong Kong) - 2:20:58 - NR

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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