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Zeyituna Husan and Ibrahim Hassan Break Beppu-Oita Mainchi Marathon CR

In its 71st edition the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon saw new course records in both the women's and men's races. On a cold and slightly windy day Japan-based Ethiopian Zeyituna Husan took advantage of the big crowds of amateur men at her pace, going through halfway in 1:14:44 en route in her debut to win in 2:31:41. Her time took 1:19 off the previous record set in 2018 by Hiroko Yoshitomi.

Excellent pacing that saw every 5 km split through 30 km in the men's race land in the 15:01 to 15:03 range and a big pack that rolled with it set up a tough last 12 km. Djibouti's Ibrahim Hassan inched it up a notch as soon as the pacers were done, covering the next two 5 km in 14:59 each. That gave him a short lead over Kenyan Daniel Kipchumba, but Hassan almost lost it. Deeply in the zone, he didn't notice the turn into the stadium for the track finish and ran into the back of the camera truck. Kipchumba surged to take advantage of Hassan's loss, but Hassan managed to pull it back together and hold on for the win by 5 seconds in a world-leading 2:06:43, a negative split even with the lost time. Hassan's time broke the Djibouti NR, set 9 years before he was born, by 24 seconds, and was the first 2:06 in Beppu-Oita history, beating last year's CR by 1:04.

The main Japanese pack couldn't match that closing speed over the last 12 km, but both 3rd-placer Tsubasa Ichiyama, 2:07:44, and 4th-placer Shungo Yokota, 2:07:47, bettered or tied the old CR. The 22-year-old Yokota also had the distinction of breaking the 2:08:12 collegiate marathon record set in 2003 by current Chuo University head coach Masakazu Fujiwara. 5th and 6th-place Kento Kikutani and Shin Kimura made it under 2:08 as well, with the next three under 2:09 and another four sub-2:10.

Ichiyama, Yokota, Kimura and 7th-placer Tsukasa Koyama all joined the ranks of qualifiers for October's MGC Race Olympic marathon trials, with 10th-place Naoya Sakuda and 13th-place Kazuki Muramoto also making it in through the two-race sub-2:10 average option. 9th-place Yuichi Yasui, 11th-place Takashi Ichida and 12th-place Riki Nakanishi all broke 2:10 in Beppu but will have to try one more time before the end-of-May qualifying deadline to hit the two-race standard. The Ottawa Marathon should be packed with Japanese men shooting for that desperate last chance.

71st Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

Beppu, Oita, 5 Feb. 2023

1. Zeyituna Husan (Ethiopia/Denso) - 2:31:41 - CR
2. Rieko Koshi (Emoto) - 2:44:00
3. Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) - 2:47:51
4. Sonoka Nakayama (Uchida AC) - 2:53:06
5. Mai Fushita (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 2:53:49

1. Ibrahim Hassan (Djibouti) - 2:06:43 - CR, NR, WL
2. Daniel Kipchumba (Kenya) - 2:06:48
3. Tsubasa Ichiyama (Komori Corp.) - 2:07:44
4. Shungo Yokota (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 2:07:47 - Univ. NR
5. Kento Kikutani (Toyota Boshoku) - 2:07:53
6. Shin Kimura (Honda) - 2:07:55
7. Tsukasa Koyama (Subaru) - 2:08:00
8. Tatsuya Maruyama (Toyota) - 2:08:26
9. Yuichi Yasui (Toyota) - 2:08:48
10. Naoya Sakuda (JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:09:06
11. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 2:09:15
12. Riki Nakanishi (Toenec) - 2:09:34
13. Kazuki Muramoto (Sumitomo Denko) - 2:09:41
14. Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) - 2:10:13
15. Masaki Tsuda (Nishitetsu) - 2:10:40

© 2023 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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