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Gold Coast Marathon Elite Field

Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is a big draw for Japanese corporate leaguers these days. Japanese men have won it four of the last five editions, and the last time a Japanese man wasn't in the top two was 2015. Last year Naoki Koyama set a course record 2:07:40, then went on to win the Paris Olympic marathon trials, then 2:06:33 in Osaka this past February. Given that kind of progression, the field this year is packed with 2nd-tier Japanese men hoping to have the same success, ten of them who've run 2:07 to 2:09 in the last two years.

Most of the action looks like it'll be down around the 3rd to 5th-ranked runners, with 2:07:53 Kenyan Timothy Kipkorir Kattam looking like the best bet to break the Japanese streak carried this year by Yuta Koyama, 2:07:57 in Osaka last year, and Mizuki Higashi, 2:08:03 in Osaka this year. The best potential for a breakthrough out of the Japanese men is Yota Ifuku, a Waseda University ekiden team member who broke the course record at the Nobeoka Marathon in his debut this year. Top-ranked Kenyan Felix Kandie has a 2:07:18 in Seoul two years ago, but with only a 2:11:57 season best last year it'll be tough for him to stay in contention here. 2013 Gold Coast winner Yuki Kawauchi is also in the race and will be looking to improve on his 2:31:03 season best.

Japanese women won Gold Coast seven times in the ten years from 2007 to 2016, but since Misato Horie's win in 2016 they've only had two 3rd-place finishes, one by Risa Takenaka in 2017 and the other by Shiho Kaneshige in 2022. Both Horie and Kaneshige are back this time, but the top Japanese woman is Rie Kawauchi, 2:25:35 in Osaka two years ago and running her third marathon of 2024. Her chances of a top three finish look pretty good, but the favorite for the win and a shot at American Lindsay Flanagan's 2:24:43 event record is Kenyan Visiline Jepkesho, 2:22:52 in Seoul this year. Ethiopian Sichala Kumeshi is another podium contender at 2:26:53 in Hamburg last year, with Aynalem Kasahun Teferi and Kaneshige rounding out the list of current sub-2:30 women in the race.

Gold Coast Marathon Elite Field Highlights

Gold Coast, Australia, 7 July 2024
times listed are best in 2022~2024 except where noted

Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya) - 2:22:52 (Seoul 2024)
Rie Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:25:35 (Osaka 2022)
Sichala Kumeshi (Ethiopia) - 2:26:53 (Hamburg 2023)
Aynalem Kasahun Teferi (Ethiopia) - 2:29:11 (Seville 2022)
Shiho Kaneshige (Japan) - 2:29:12 (Gold Coast 2022)
Min Liu (China) - 2:29:24 (Wuxi 2024)
Sarah Klein (Australia) - 2:30:10 (Eugene 2022)
Yuki Nakamura (Japan) - 2:30:31 (Nagoya 2024)
Irene Jerobon (Kenya) - 2:30:51 (Castellon 2024)
Misato Horie (Japan) - 2:32:10 (Osaka 2022)
Tara Palm (Australia) - 2:32:25 (Osaka 2024)
Ai Ikemoto (Japan) - 2:34:17 (Hofu 2022)
Gemma Maini (Japan) - 2:35:25 (Melbourne 2023)
Ella McCartney (Australia) - 2:38:43 (Gold Coast 2023)
Abigail Nordberg (Australia) - debut - 1:11:53 (Launceston 2022)
Brigid Dennehy (New Zealand) - debut - 1:15:00 (Southport 2023

Felix Kipchirchir Kandie (Kenya) - 2:07:18 (Seoul 2022)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) - 2:07:35 (Osaka 2023)
Timothy Kipkorir Kattam (Kenya) - 2:07:53 (Milan 2023)
Yuta Koyama (Japan) - 2:07:57 (Osaka 2023)
Mizuki Higashi (Japan) - 2:08:03 (Osaka 2024)
Yuki Nakamura (Japan) - 2:08:29 (Hofu 2022)
Kiyoshi Koga (Japan) - 2:08:30 (Beppu-Oita 2022)
Daiji Kawai (Japan) - 2:08:31 (Tokyo 2022)
Kenji Yamamoto (Japan) - 2:08:33 (Tokyo 2024)
Naoki Aiba (Japan) - 2:08:44 (Beppu-Oita 2022)
Rintaro Takeda (Japan) - 2:08:48 (Osaka 2022)
Yota Ifuku (Japan) - 2:09:26 (Nobeoka 2024)
Masaki Tsuda (Japan) - 2:10:40 (Beppu-Oita 2023)
Kibet Soyekwo (Uganda) - 2:10:58 (MIlan 2023)
Joshua Iżewski (U.S.A.) - 2:11:09 (Orlando 2024)
Geoffrey Birgen (Kenya) - 2:11:22 (Buriram 2024)
Akihiro Kaneko (Japan) - 2:11:39 (Osaka 2022)
Keisuke Yokota (Japan) - 2:11:43 (Osaka 2023)
Belay Tilahun (Ethiopia) - 2:11:49 (Dalian 2023)
Thomas Do Canto (Australia) - 2:11:51 (Valencia 2023)
Kenneth Omulo (Kenya) - 2:12:38 (Izmir 2023)
Reece Edwards (Australia) - 2:14:34 (Melbourne 2023)
Anubaike Kuwan (China) - 2:14:34 (Beijing 2022)
Liam Boudin (Australia) - debut - 1:03:02 (Sunshine Coast Half 2022)

© 2024 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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