Skip to main content

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners



The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast. In the past, men at the 2:11-2:13 level in February's Nobeoka Nishi Nihon Marathon and Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon were sent to the Chicago Marathon for international racing experience. This year they are all coming to the Gold Coast. Of the 21 men on the entry list with recent bests under 2:16, fifteen are Japanese.

The entry list looks more like a domestic Japanese marathon than an overseas race, its front end looking to clear the sub-2:08:30 MGC auto-qualifier and the rest to generate times that will put the two-race sub-2:11 average option for qualifying in range. Kawauchi is the only one to have already qualified, but six others on the entry list have one run on the books and could qualify with a solid follow-up run at Gold Coast. Of these Noguchi and Takuya Fujikawa (Chugoku Denryoku) have the best chance, Noguchi needing to run 2:10:12 and Fujikawa 2:10:01 this time out.

JRN will be on-site at the Gold Coast Marathon throughout race weekend. For the fifth year in a row JRN will once again be doing race commentary on the official webcast. Check back for more closer to race date.

40th Gold Coast Marathon Men's Elite Field Highlights

Gold Coast, Australia, July 1, 2018
times listed are best within last three years except where noted

Victor Kipchirchir (Kenya) - 2:07:39 (Valencia 2016)
Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) - 2:08:38 (Milan 2016)
Douglas Chebii (Kenya) - 2:08:43 (Seville 2018)
Takuya Noguchi (Japan) - 2:08:59 (Gold Coast 2017)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:09:01 (Gold Coast 2016)
Philip Sanga (Kenya) - 2:09:19 (Ljubljana 2016)
Michael Githae (Kenya) - 2:09:21 (Biwako 2018)
Chiharu Takada (Japan) - 2:10:43 (Gold Coast 2016)
Shoya Osaki (Japan) - 2:11:03 (Gold Coast 2017)
Takuya Fujikawa (Japan) - 2:11:59 (Beppu-Oita 2018)
Takuya Suzuki (Japan) - 2:12:08 (Beppu-Oita 2017)
Ryu Takaku (Japan) - 2:12:12 (Beppu-Oita 2018)
Shota Yamazaki (Japan) - 2:12:15 (Nobeoka 2018)
Shohei Kurata (Japan) - 2:13:16 (Hofu 2017)
Keiji Akutsu (Japan) - 2:13:26 (Tokyo 2015)
Kohei Futaoka (Japan) - 2:13:28 (Beppu-Oita 2018)
Jeffrey Eggleston (U.S.A.) - 2:14:00 (Warsaw 2017)
Kansuke Morihashi (Japan) - 2:14:25 (Tokyo 2018)
Jo Fukuda (Japan) - 2:15:11 (Hokkaido 2017)
Junji Katakawa (Japan) - 2:15:19 (Shizuoka 2016)
Saeki Makino (Japan) - 2:15:22 (Seoul 2015)

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge's world record and Gladys Cherono's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005.

A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average wildcard opt…

Running the 2020 Olympic Marathon Course Part Two - The Women's Marathon

Today marks two years until the women's marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There's been a lot of concern about the 7:00 a.m. start time approved by the IOC two weeks ago as it means that athletes will be running under direct sunlight in temperatures in the low 30's and potentially high humidity. I went down to the Olympic Stadium site this morning and, starting at exactly 7:00 a.m., ran 30 km of the course to check for myself what kind of conditions the athletes will be facing.


If you're not familiar with Tokyo, take a look at the map to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. I ran from the stadium to the 20 km point and then back, cutting out the sections from 20 to 28 km and from 31 to 35 km which I'll do next week on the 9th, two years ahead of the men's marathon.
The bad news: The conditions were tough. With zero cloud cover and very little wind, at the time of the 7:00 a.m. start at the Olympic Stadium it was 31.1˚C with 68% humidity according…

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…