Wilson Kipsang Leads Elite Field For Tokyo Marathon

This year’s Tokyo Marathon on 26 February, the eleventh edition, marks the start of a new decade. The course is renewed and faster this year, and thus if the weather is right the course record will be completely destroyed. Elite field details

Recently, as the elite race of the Tokyo Marathon approach the “world standard,”We have been hoping “to break the Japanese all-comers record of 2:05:18 on the Tokyo Marathon course for the last three years.” This is the third year. Will the third year be a charm?

Having said that, in the men’s elite field, Wilson Kipsang (KEN, personal best of 2:03:13), one of the best marathon runners in the world, have accepted our invitation. Kipsang, who improved his marathon personal best in the last September’s BMW Berlin Marathon, said he will go after the world record over the faster Tokyo Marathon course.

His main competitions include Dickson Chumba (KEN, personal best 2:04:32), the 2014 Tokyo Marathon champion, and Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) another 2:04 runner (2:04:38 to be exact). Kebede is excited about improving his own Japanese all-comers record of 2:05:18 from 2009. He is coming back with a vengeance.

With a qualification for the 2017 World Championships marathon team on the line, the competitions among the Japanese runners are expected to be fierce. First, Masato Imai, who showed his fitness in this year’s New Year Ekiden, may be ready for another 2:07 marathon.

Yuma Hattori of Toyota, who also showed his fitness at the New Year Ekiden, may be the main challenger to Imai. It is hoped that Hattori, who ran the 30Km road race in quite impressive 1:28:52, will crack 2:07 at the marathon in Tokyo.

Other runners who showed their fitness in the ekiden season and thus exciting runners to watch are Takashi Ichida of Asahi Kasei, Hiroyuki Yamamoto of Konica Minolta, Hiroaki Sano of Honda and Koji Gokaya of JR East Japan. Hiroto Inoue of MHPS may be the runner who might surprise us.

It is hoped that not only the Japanese runners attempt to qualify for this year’s World Championships, but with the long term goal of the 2020 Olympics in mind, they will battle hard with world class runners from abroad and record 2:07 or even 2:06 marathon.

From such a point of view, it is hoped that collegiate runners led by Yuta Shimoda of Aoyama Gakuin University, who excelled at Hakone Ekiden, give corporate runners a run for their money.

On the other hand, women’s field led by Lucy Kabuu, a 2:19 marathon runner, includes a 2:20 runner, a 2:21 runner and a 2:22 runner; in all the women’s filed includes five sub-2:25 marathon runners. Kabuu is expected to battle with Amane Gobena, second last year and Birhane Dibaba, who ran the Tokyo Marathon for the last three years and won in 2015.

The world class course record is expected over the new Tokyo Marathon course.

Since the course was renewed, it is hard to guess how the race could possibly unfold. With the elimination of bridges such as Tsukuda Bridge, the course is relatively flat, and thus at least one of the requirements of fast time has been fulfilled.

Watch and cheer the runners at Tokyo Marathon 2017, which will be full of excitement.

Elite Starting Field

Men
Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 2:03:13
Dickson Chumba (KEN) 2:04:32
Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) 2:04:38
Tadese Tola (ETH) 2:04:49
Bernard Koech (KEN) 2:04:53
Evans Chebet (KEN) 2:05:31
Marius Kipserem (KEN) 2:06:11
Bernard Kipyego (KEN) 2:06:19
Shumi Dechasa (BRN) 2:06:43
Alfers Lagat (KEN) 2:06:48
Masato Imai (JPN) 2:07:39
Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 2:07:40
Arata Fujiwara (JPN) 2:07:48
Kazuhiro Maeda (JPN) 2:08:00
Gideon Kipketer (KEN) 2:08:14
Hiroaki Sano (JPN) 2:09:12
Koji Gokaya (JPN) 2:09:21
Geoffrey Ronoh (KEN) 2:09:29
Takuya Fukatsu (JPN) 2:09:31
Yohannes Ghebregergis (ERI) 2:09:48
Yuki Takamiya (JPN) 2:10:57
Ryo Hashimoto (JPN) 2:11:20
Yuta Shimoda (JPN) 2:11:34
Yuma Hattori (JPN) 2:11:46
Hiroyuki Yamamoto (JPN) 2:11:48

Women
Amane Beriso (ETH) 2:20:48
Amane Gobena (ETH) 2:21:51
Berhane Dibaba (ETH) 2:22:30
Sarah Chepchirchir (KEN) 2:24:13
Yuri Kano (JPN) 2:24:27
Kaoru Nagao (JPN) 2:26:58
Kaori Yoshida (JPN) 2:28:43
Sara Hall (USA) 2:30:06
Mitsuko Hirose (JPN) 2:30:27
Hiroko Yoshitomi (JPN) 2:31:28
Hitomi Nakamura (JPN) 2:33:23
Madoka Nakano (JPN) 2:33:39
Betsy Saina (KEN) debut
Kotomi Takayama (JPN) debut

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