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Race news Fukuoka International Marathon

02 December 2020, 4pm

Elite race goes ahead with Hattori hoping for Japanese record

Around 100 to run in Fukuoka

by Brett Larner

Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship
Sun 6 December 2020

The 74th edition of the Fukuoka International Marathon will be held in the southern Japanese port city on Sunday 6 December with a largely Japanese elite.

In contrast to almost all other marathons in summer, autumn and winter 2020, the traditional event will take place with appropriate hygiene requirements. The “Fukuoka International” has been a purely elite run since its foundation.

For the upcoming edition the qualifying time has been increased to 2:25. The current list of starters includes around 100 athletes who will all start at 12.10 local time on the track of the Heiwadai Stadium. The parallel start of a second group in Ohori Park will not take place this year. Only athletes who are on the island have been allowed to run due to the quarantining requirements. Some “foreign” top runners resident in Japan, such as the 2:05 hour runner Bedan Karoki (KEN), will set the pace (but note that Karoki is also on the start list for the Valencia Marathon to be held on the same day).

The runner with the fastest current time was Ryu Takaku (JPN), who finished 8th in the Toyko Marathon at the beginning of March – shortly before the shutdown – in 2:06:45. He has withdrawn in the last few days due to an injury.

The 2018 winner in Fukuoka Yuma Hattori (2:07:27) should be the race favourite. He has announced that if the conditions are good he will attack the national record of 2:05:29. Taku Fujimoto (JPN) ran his PB of 2:07:57 at the 2018 Chicago Marathon and last year he crossed the finish in second place in Fukuoka (2:09:36) – but due to irregularities in the biological passport of El Mahjoub Dazza (MAR) he was promoted to become the winner.

Of the registered participants 24 have best times of under 2:11 hours and 34 under 2:13.

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