The Tokyo Marathon Joins The Big-Time
(from K. Ken Nakamura)


The Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced the elite field of the 2013 Tokyo Marathon a month before the race. Tokyo has joined the World Marathon Majors (WMM) this year, and thus the best-ever elite field was assembled for the 2013 edition of the race.   
 
Tadaaki Hayano, the race director/elite athletes’ recruiter explains his philosophy on recruitment: “After gaining the IAAF Gold Label in 2010, with joining the WMM in mind, I have been trying to recruit better quality elite runners.

"For this year, as a member of WMM, I have recruited I have recruited even higher qualify of runners, including four 2:04 runners.

"I hear that unless Japanese run well, the race will not attract attention. Of course I want the Japanese to do well, but for that I think it is important to hold truly world class marathon domestically.

:We must provide the Japanese an opportunity domestically to race against the best in the world. It may be tough at first, but in the long run this is what is required for Japanese to become truly world-class marathon runners.”

It has been speculated that in order for TV to show Japanese runners in the lead pack, some races did not assemble the best possible field. The Tokyo Marathon is different.



MEN

Invited runners:
Dennis Kimetto (KEN)            2:04:16            2012 Berlin      Fastest debut on standard course; fastest without the win 
James Kwambai (KEN)          2:04:27            2009 Rotterdam  
Dino Sefir (ETH)                     2:04:50            2012 Dubai     Second fastest runner who never won the marathon
Jonathan Maiyo (KEN)           2:04:56            2012 Dubai      Fasest marathon runner without top 3 finish
Eric Ndiema (KEN)                 2:06:07            2011 Amsterdam    World Junior reocord holder; 3 sub-2:07 streak 
Gilbert Kirwa (KEN)                2:06:14            2009 Frankfurt
Bekele Feyisa (ETH)              2:06:26            2012 Amsterdam
Bernard Kipyego (KEN)          2:06:29            2011 Chicago   one of the five with sub-27 10K, sub 60 half, sub-2:07 marathon 
Michael Kipyego (KEN)          2:06:48            2011 Eindhoven    Defending champion; nobody won Tokyo twice 
Gideon Kipketer (KEN)           2:08:14            2012 Amsterdam
Ahmed Baday (MAR)             2:09:16            2012 Daegu
Essa Isamael Rashed (QAT)  2:09:22            2012 Daegu
Dmitry Safronov (RUS)          2:09:35            2011 London
 
Domestic:
Arata Fujiwara                         2:07:48            2012 Tokyo
Kazuhiro Maeda                      2:08:38            2012 Tokyo
Yoshinori Oda                         2:09:03            2011 Tokyo
Takayuki Matsumiya              2:09.28            2012 Tokyo
Masato Imai                            2:10:32            2011 Fukuoka
Masato Kihara                         Debut              1:01:15 half marathon 2012
Yuki Sato                                Debut              27:38.25 10000m 2009
 
WOMEN
Irina Mikitenko (GER)             2:19:19            2008 Berlin     Oldest (36) to crack 2:20 
Bezunesh Bekele (ETH)         2:20:30            2012 Dubai
Aberu Kebede (ETH)              2:20:30            2012 Berlin     Has fastest season average (ran 3 marathon) of 2:21:42 
Caroline Kilel (KEN)                2:22:36            2011 Boston
Olena Shurkhno (UKR)          2:23:32            2012 Berlin
Albina Mayorova (RUS)         2:23:52            2012 Nagoya
Atsede Habtamu (ETH)          2:24:25            2011 Berlin
Yeshi Esaiyias (ETH)              2:26:00            2012 Tokyo
Helalia Johannes (NAM)        2:26:09            2012 Olympic Games
Nastassia Staravoitava (BLR) 2:27:24           2012 Dusseldorf
 
Domestic
Yoshimi Ozaki                         2:23:30            2008 Tokyo Women
Azusa Nojiri                             2:24:57            2012 Osaka Women
Noriko Matsuoka                    2:26:54            2011 London
Hiroko Shoi                             Debut              1:10:48 half marathon
 
Other notable elite runners:
Josphat Ndambiri (KEN)        2:07:36            2011 Fukuoka
Mekubo Mogusu (KEN)          2:14:44            2011 Tokyo                sub 60min half marathon runner 
 
Mika Yoshikawa                     Debut              31:28.71 10000m