Elite fields include five sub-2:05 men and four women who have gone quicker than 2:20
Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele is among five sub-2:05 male athletes announced for the Tokyo Marathon on March 3.
The women’s field is led by his fellow Ethiopian Ruti Aga, who has a personal best of 2:18:34 and is joined by three other female athletes to have gone quicker than 2:20 for 26.2 miles.
A new course was introduced in 2017 and that year Kenya’s former world record-holder Wilson Kipsang recorded the Japanese all-comers’ record of 2:03:58 which will surely be a target for multiple Olympic and world track champion Bekele, who has a marathon best of 2:03:03 from Berlin in 2016.
He will be joined in the men’s race by Kenya’s two-time Tokyo Marathon champion Dickson Chumba (2:04:32 PB), Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese (2:04:15 PB), Bahrain’s El Hassan El-Abbassi (2:04:43 PB) and Ethiopia’s Seifu Tura (2:04:44 PB), plus Kenya’s Marius Kipserem who has an official PB of 2:06:11 but ran 2:04:04 to win the inaugural Abu Dhabi Marathon in December, though that mark is yet to be ratified and there are reports that the course may have been slightly short.
Japan-based Kenyan Bedan Karoki (2:07:41 PB) races, as does Suguru Osako, who broke the Japanese record with 2:05:50 at the Chicago Marathon in October.
Aga ran her 2:18:34 PB when finishing second behind Kenya’s Gladys Cherono in Berlin last year and she’ll be joined in Tokyo by Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44 PB) and Ethiopians Boru Feyse Tadese (2:19:30 PB) and Yebrgual Melese (2:19:36 PB), plus world champion Rose Chelimo (2:22:51 PB) and Mimi Belete (2:22:29 PB) of Bahrain.
Kenya’s Joan Chelimo (65:04 half-marathon PB) makes her marathon debut.
Among the Japanese entries is Honami Maeda (2:23:48 PB), who was second in the Osaka Women’s Marathon last year and seventh in Berlin.
Full entry lists can be found here.
Britain’s David Weir has been announced for the elite men’s wheelchair race along with Switzerland’s Marcel Hug, Canada’s Brent Lakatos and Daniel Romanchuk of the USA, while the women’s field includes Australia’s Madison de Rozario, USA’s Tatyana McFadden, Susannah Scaroni and Amanda McGrory and Switzerland’s Manuela Schär.
The elite wheelchair entry lists are here.