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Fujita and Kisaki Headline, Ono Returns From Disaster in Kyoto City Half Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

On Feb. 20 the elite field for the 15th Kyoto City Half Marathon on Mar. 9 was announced. Headlining the men's field is former full marathon national record holder Atsushi Fujita (Team Fujitsu), while last year's winner Ryoko Kisaki (Bukkyo University) is back to defend her title in the women's race. Facing Fujita will be Helsinki World Championships men's marathon competitor and Kyoto Sangyo University graduate Michitaka Hosokawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) and top Japanese finisher at the 2006 World Road Running Championships Kazuo Ietani (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko).

Also entered in the men's race are a number of Hakone Ekiden star runners including Soji Ikeda (Komazawa University, 2008 Hakone winners) who was 2nd on the 1st stage, East Japan Intercollegiate 10,000 m 2nd place finisher Hiroyuki Ono (Juntendo Univesity), Hakone Ekiden 3rd place finisher Chuo Gakuin University's ace Masato Kihara, and 7th place finisher Chuo University's star Yuichiro Ueno.

Apart from Kisaki, the women's race includes last year's 2nd place finisher Tomomi Hamasaki (Meijo University) and 4th place finisher Noriko Higuchi (Ritsumeikan University), National Intercollegiate 5000 and 10000 m competitor Yui Sakai (Josai University) and 5th place finisher in last summer's Universiad 5000 m Seika Nishikawa (Meijo University).

The race starts at 9:00 a.m. in front of Heian Jingu in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto.

Translator's note: Hiroyuki Ono is the runner who repeatedly collapsed just before the end of the last stage on the first day of this year's Hakone Ekiden. Ono was forced to retire from the race with less than 500 m to go and eliminated his school, defending champions Juntendo University, from the race. Kyoto will be his first major race since then.


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