Sunday, 28 February 2016

Kiprotich 4th, Kenyans beaten in Tokyo Marathon

Lilesa (top) was too fast for Kiprotich who finished fourth

1. Feyisa Lilesa (Eth)          2:06:56
2. Bernard Kipyego (Ken)   2:07:33
3. Dickson Chumba (Ken)   2:07:34 
4. Stephen Kiprotich (Uga) 2:07:46

Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich finished fourth in the Tokyo marathon today in 2:07.46. The men's race was won Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa  in 2:06:55 as Kenyans failed to grab top spot.

The time was below his personal best of 2:06:33 when he finished second last year, but well into Olympic qualification time of 2:19.00 and shows his build up to the Rio Olympics in August in on track.

“In 2012 I was selected based on my third-place finish in Tokyo,” he said. “On Sunday, I could be selected if I can show a good performance,” the 27 year-old legend had said before the race.

Kiprotich 2nd left

From 3rd in Tokyo in 2012, Kiprotich went on to stun the world with gold in London months later.

By finishing 4th, Kiprotich wins over sh20million. Last year, Kiprotich won a cash prize of sh96million.

2015 Cash prize offers
1st sh192m 
2nd sh96m 
3rd sh48m 
4th sh24m 

Meanwhile, Kenya ace Chumba's failure to win in Tokyo means that Eliud Kipchoge wins the Abbott World Marathon Majors series IX. 

Tokyo champion Lilesa said, “It was a tough course, but I am happy to win. Since my training went well, I knew I can come up with good results. Chumba was running fast from 30 to 35km (14:31) but I knew I have to stay with him. Somehow after 40km Chumba was not able to keep up with pace and thus I went to the lead. I feel like I have just bought a ticket to Rio"

In the women's event, Helah Kiprop won the title and in addition the AWMM jackpot. 

Kiprop, second in the race last year, clocked a time of two minutes, 21.27 seconds to break the record previously held by Ethiopia's Tirfi Tsegaye (2014).

The start of the Tokyo marathon early today

Kiprop said, "I did not know if I can win this race until I actually cross the finish line. Last year I was second with the personal best (2:24:04). So this year’s goal was to set another personal best. I was surprised to run even faster to set a course record (old course record 2:23:23). Compare to the last year weather was nice. Although it was windy at some area, overall the wind was not a problem.”

Kenya's Kiprop


February 28, 2016

The 2016 Tokyo Marathon was full of drama as Series IX of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) concluded in the Japanese capital on Sunday morning and both the men’s and women’s races had major implications in the race for the $500,000 AWMM grand prize.

On the men’s side, course record holder and Chicago Marathon champion Dickson Chumba of Kenya needed to win to tie London/Berlin champ Eliud Kipchoge atop the AWMM standings — any other result and Kipchoge would claim the $500,000 prize. In the end, the race in Tokyo came down to two men, Chumba and Ethiopian Feyisa Lilesa, who had finished in the top four in a major five times but had never won one. Those two traded blows for the last 10 kilometers, Lilesa ultimately prevailed in 2:06:56, denying Chumba a shot at the AWMM title.

In the women’s race, three women entered with a shot to claim a share of the AWMM title, and one of those women did just that as World Championship silver medalist Helah Kiprop broke through to win her first major, breaking the tape in 2:21:27. The time, a 2:36 personal best for Kiprop, shaved almost a minute off Tirfi Tsegaye‘s old course record of 2:22:23. Kiprop is now tied with world champ Mare Dibaba and New York champ Mary Keitany atop the AWMM standings, though it’s not clear if she’ll receive any of the $500,000 prize as she lost head-to-head to Dibaba at Worlds.

Series IX champs crowned $1 Million shared prize @EliudKipchoge & Mary Keitany

The race went out quickly as eight men (plus three rabbits) hit halfway in 1:02:53, just two seconds off course record pace. Seven of the eight men were expected to be there (Lilesa, Chumba, Abel Kirui, Bernard Kipyego, Stephen Kiprotich, Eliud Kiptanui and Emmanuel Mutai), but there was one big surprise: 23-year-old Kenta Murayama of Japan. Murayama, a 60:50 half marathoner and 27:39 10k man (his twin brother Kota is the national record holder at 10k), was making his debut on Sunday and boldly ran with the top Africans rather than the large second pack (around 30 guys) of top Japanese men that came through halfway in 1:04:45.

Predictably, Murayama was the first to falter and fell off the pace shortly after the halfway mark; he would fade badly in the race’s late stages, finishing in 2:16:57 for an ugly positive split (1:02:53/1:14:04).
The rest of the leaders stayed together until the rabbits dropped out at 30k (1:29:50). With the leaders having just run their slowest 5k of the race to that point (15:20), the time was ripe for a big move and Chumba provided the impetus charging to the front and lowering the pace dramatically. Lilesa was the only one to match him and after a 14:31 5k split, those two were well out in front of everyone else.

Chumba and Lilesa traded blows for the next 10 kilometers, each moving to the front at different times but never gaining more than a step or two on the other. It looked as if we might be in store for a battle all the way to the finish line, but with a mile to go, Chumba finally broke. Though Lilesa quickly put a ton of ground on Chumba, he wasn’t accelerating (it took Lilesa 4:00 to cover the distance from 41k to the finish — that’s 5:23/mile pace). Chumba was simply out of gas, and as Lilesa coasted to victory — he began flexing in celebration a kilometer from the finish line — Chumba couldn’t even hold on for second as countryman Bernard Kipyego beat him out for second just before the line, 2:07:33 to 2:07:34.

With Lilesa taking the win and Chumba falling out of consideration for the AWMM title, the next most interesting storyline concerned the Japanese runners, as this is one of three selection races for Japan’s 2016 men’s Olympic marathon squad. Top Japanese honor went to Yuki Takamiya, who PR’d by over four minutes to finish eighth in 2:10:57. But the Japanese performance of the day was turned in by 19-year-old Yuta Shimoda, who took 10th overall in 2:11:34 in his debut marathoner. Only one American bettered that time in all of 2015 — Shimoda, who would be a true sophomore if he were in the NCAA system, did it in his very first race.


1. Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) - 2:06:56
2. Bernard Kiprop Kipyego (Kenya) - 2:07:33
3. Dickson Chumba (Kenya) - 2:07:34
4. Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) - 2:07:46
5. Abel Kirui (Kenya) - 2:08:06
6. Eliud Kiptanui (Kenya) - 2:08:55
7. Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya) - 2:10:23
8. Yuki Takamiya (Japan/Yakult) - 2:10:57 - PB
9. Javier Guerra (Spain) - 2:11:01
10. Yuta Shimoda (Japan/Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 2:11:34 - debut 
11. Tadashi Isshiki (Japan/Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 2:11:45 - debut
12. Yuma Hattori (Japan/Toyo Univ.) - 2:11:46 - debut
13. Masato Imai (Japan/Toyota Kyushu) - 2:12:18
14. Akiyuki Iwanaga (Japan/Kyudenko) - 2:12:24 - PB
15. Hiroki Yamagishi (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:12:27 - PB
16. Tatsunori Hamasaki (Japan/Komori Corp.) - 2:12:45
17. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Sunbelx) - 2:12:55
18. Hiroaki Sano (Japan/Honda) - 2:13:10
19. Kohei Matsumura (Japan/Mitsubishi HPS Nagasaki) - 2:13:46
20. Yasuyuki Nakamura (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:13:46 - PB
21. Kazuaki Shimizu (Japan/Yakult) - 2:14:16
22. Chiharu Takada (Japan/JR Higashi Nihon) - 2:14:29
23. Ryo Hashimoto (Japan/Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 2:14:38 - debut 
24. Satoshi Kikuchi (Japan/Josai Univ.) - 2:14:54 - debut

25. Takehiro Deki (Japan/Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:15:49


1. Helah Kiprop (Kenya) - 2:21:27 - CR, PB
2. Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) - 2:21:51 - PB 
3. Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) - 2:22:36
4. Aberu Kebede (Ethiopia) - 2:23:01
5. Birhane Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 2:23:16
6. Shure Demise (Ethiopia) - 2:25:04
7. Ashete Bekele Dido (Ethiopia) - 2:25:50
8. Maja Neuenschwander (Switzerland) - 2:27:36
9. Isabellah Andersson (Sweden) - 2:30:02
10. Yukiko Okuno (Japan/Shiseido) - 2:31:17 - PB
11. Madoka Nakano (Japan/Noritz) - 2:33:39 - PB
12. Miya Nishio (Japan/Hokuren) - 2:34:18 - PB
13. Ayano Kondo (Japan/Noritz) - 2:35:13 - PB
14. Hiroko Yoshitomi (Japan/First Dream AC) - 2:39:30
15. Yuri Kano (Japan/WCF RC) - 2:39:37
16. Risa Suzuki (Japan/Art Sports) - 2:39:57 - PB
17. Ruth Charlotte Croft (New Zealand) - 2:40:59 - PB
18. Kana Unno (Japan/Noritz) - 2:42:06
19. Mitsuko Ino (Japan/Kyuhoji RC) - 2:42:23 - PB
20. Shinobu Ayabe (Japan/Dream AC) - 2:43:37 - PB
21. Sakie Ishibashi (Japan/Kumagaya T&F Assoc.) - 2:44:00
22. Jane Moloney (Australia) - 2:44:23
23. Mitsuko Hirose (Japan/Tokyo Wings) - 2:45:04
24. Maiko Tani (Japan/Morino AC) - 2:45:18 - PB
25. Kasumi Sato (Japan/SRC904) - 2:47:08 - PB

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