Skip to main content

Sakamoto and Kawauchi Return to Stockholm Marathon (updated)


Amateur winners of two of the world's biggest marathons, 2016 Osaka Marathon champ Yoshiko Sakamoto (YWC) and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) return to Sweden to run the Stockholm Marathon for the second year in a row this Saturday with support from JRN. For its 40th running Stockholm features a new course designed to cut most of the hills out of the first half of the race, but with temperatures expected to peak at 27C the quality elite field may not be able to take full advantage of the new configuration.

5th last year, Sakamoto is fresh off a 2:35:40 PB at February's Tokyo Marathon. She faces defending champion Konjit Tilahun Biruk (Ethiopia), seven-time winner Isabellah Andersson (Sweden) and #1-ranked Kumeshi Sichala (Ethiopia), the only woman in the field with a current sub-2:30 time. The 2:28:24 event record set way back in 1988 by the great Grete Waitz (Norway) will be a stretch, but however fast it goes Sakamoto hopes to at least match last year's run.

In his eighth race since winning Boston on April 16th Kawauchi will be running both his first international race and first marathon since then. Last year he was 6th in a performance he considered his worst of 2017. Back to make up for it, he faces Ethiopian talents Bazu Worku, Alebachew Wale, Samuel Getachew and Belay Assefa as his main competition. Still feeling the effects of the Nobeyama 71 km Ultra he ran May 20, the unusually hot temperatures will work against Kawauchi as he looks to extend his unbeaten streak in the marathon to six. In another year the 2:10:58 event record set two years ago by Stanley Kipchirchir Koech (Kenya) might have been in range, but this year Worku, Kawauchi and the others look to be facing more than they expected from an early June afternoon in Sweden.

40th Stockholm Marathon Elite Field Highlights

Stockholm, Sweden, 6/2/18
times listed are best within last three years except where noted

Women
Kumeshi Sichala (Ethiopia) - 2:28:43 (Warsaw 2016)
Isabellah Andersson (Sweden) - 2:30:02 (Tokyo 2016)
Konjit Tilahun Biruk (Ethiopia) - 2:31:39 (Pyongyang 2018)
Bekele Beji (Ethiopia) - 2:34:05 (Rabat 2017)
Zsofia Erdelyi (Hungary) - 2:35:37 (Dusseldorf 2016)
Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan) - 2:35:40 (Tokyo 2018)
Hanna Vandenbussche (Belgium) - 2:37:28 (London 2017)
Mikaela Larsson (Sweden) - 2:38:41 (Valencia 2017)
Charlotte Karlsson (Sweden) - 2:45:21 (Stockholm 2017)

Man
Bazu Worku (Ethiopia) - 2:08:30 (Houston 2018)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:09:01 (Gold Coast 2016)
Alebachew Wale (Ethiopia) - 2:09:40 (Shanghai 2017)
Samuel Getachew (Ethiopia) - 2:09:44 (Rabat 2017)
Belay Assefa (Ethiopia) - 2:10:16 (Rennes 2017)
Workneh Tiruneh (Ethiopia) - 2:11:07 (La Rochelle 2017)
Stephen Kiplimo (Kenya) - 2:11:28 (Castelleon 2018)
Dominic Kimwetich (Kenya) - 2:11:43 (Barcelona 2016)
Urfessa Kedir (Ethiopia) - 2:12:19 (Pune 2017)
Felix Keny (Kenya) - 2:12:43 (Gyeongju 2017)
Lawi Kiptui (Kenya) - 2:13:21 (Lyon 2017)
Boaz Kipyego (Kenya) - 2:14:07 (Lyon 2017)
Eliud Sugut (Kenya) - 2:14:15 (Rabat 2017)
Sammy Nyokaye (Kenya) - 2:14:18 (Warsaw 2016)
Abraham Adhanom (Sweden) - 2:16:41 (Frankfurt 2009)
Mustafa Mohamed (Sweden) - 2:20:01 (Stockholm 2016)
John Kingstedt (Sweden) - debut - 1:06:08 (Den Haag Half 2016)

text and photos © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks for doing all you do. It's great.

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …