Kipsang defends his title, while Defar makes her marathon debut in February

Wilson Kipsang and Meseret Defar are among the athletes announced for the Tokyo Marathon on February 25.

Kenya’s former world record-holder Kipsang will return to defend the title he won in an Asian all-comers’ record of 2:03:58 last year, while Ethiopia’s two-time Olympic and world 5000m gold medallist Defar will make her marathon debut.

Kipsang’s fellow Kenyan Dickson Chumba, who won in Tokyo in 2014, also returns to race in Japan, and they will be joined in the elite men’s field by Ethiopia’s Dubai Marathon winners Tesfaye Abera and Tsegaye Mekonnen, plus Olympic silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa.

The women’s field features Kenya’s 2015 world silver medallist and 2016 Tokyo winner Helah Kiprop, last year’s Berlin Marathon runner-up Ruti Aga of Ethiopia, Kenya’s 2017 Paris Marathon champion Purity Rionoripo and USA’s world bronze medallist Amy Cragg.

Hiroto Inoue and Yuta Shitara are among the Japanese entries.

The elite wheelchair entry lists include Simon Lawson, Marcel Hug, Kurt Fearnley, Ernst van Dyk and Josh George, plus Tatyana McFadden, Amanda McGrory, Manuela Schär and Susannah Scaroni.

Elite entry lists can be found here and here.

Meanwhile, an impressive and deep elite men’s field has been announced for the RAK Half Marathon on February 9.

A total of 15 athletes have sub-60 minute PBs, with Kenya’s Bedan Karoki returning to defend the title that he claimed last year in 59:10.

He’ll be joined by athletes including Guye Adola, Jorum Lumbasi Okombo, Augustine Choge, Lelisa Desisa and Jemal Yimer.