The 2012 Olympics marathon silver medallist, Abel Kirui will make a return to Fukuoka as he hopes to make amends at the 77th edition of the Fukuoka International Marathon slated for December 03, 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan.
The double World Marathon champion, was beaten to fourth place at last year’s edition where Ethiopian-Jewish born and the world marathon silver medallist, Maru Teferi, who will not be defending his title, took the top honors in a time of 2:06.43.
The 41 year-old who is the oldest athlete in the field, will have a difficult time as he will face-off with Abebe Negewo Degefa of Ethiopia, who is the only athlete in the field to have gone under the 2:05.50 in the last 3 years, the Commonwealth Games marathon bronze medallist, Michael Githae who is the 2021 champion and the 2021 Berlin silver medallist, Bethwel Yegon from Kenya who also holds the second fastest time in the field of 2:06.14.
The field also includes Kyohei Hosoya who fell and dropped out during last month’s Olympic marathon trials at the Tokyo Marathon where he finished in eighth place and before the fall he was poised to finish in 2:05.50 but crossed the line in 2:08.10. The 28 year-old who finished in second place in 2021 behind Githae, will be fighting for good time so that he can be included in their 2024 Paris marathon team.
There are six athletes on the entry list, who have run sub 2:07 and they include last year’s second place finisher, Vincent Raimoi, Githae, both from Kenya and Australian National Record holder Brett Robinson, who finished in fourth placelast year in a time of 2:07.31.
The field also includes the 2017 winner Sondre Nordstad Moen of Norway, who will be hoping to get under 2:10 for the first time since 2020 after a good 1:00:20 half marathon in Malaga two weeks ago.
China will put their hopes on the Asian Games marathon bronze medallist, Shaohui Yang who holds the countries second fastest-ever time of 2:07.49 that he got early this year at the Wuxi Marathon where he took the bronze medal.
The race organisers have put up a strong elite field that will be chasing to lower the race course record of 2:05.18 that was set four years ago by Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede.
- Abebe Negewo Degefa (ETH) 2:05.27
- Bethwel Yegon (KEN) 2:06.14
- Kyohei Hosoya (JPN) 2:06.35
- Abel Kirui (KEN) 2:06.52
- Vincent Raimoi (KEN) 2:07.01
- Zerei Kbrom Mezngi (NOR) 2:07.10
- Michael Githae (KEN) 2:07.28
- Brett Robinson (AUS) 2:07.:31
- Bethwell Kipkemboi Ruto (KEN) 2:07.34
- Shaohui Yang (CHN) 2:07.49
- Peiyou Feng (CHN) 2:09.21
- Andrew Buchanan (AUS) 2:10.20
- Sondre Nordstad Moen (NOR) 2:10.23