Fukuoka Marathon Names Top Athletes For 2011 Race

By David Monti with Ken Nakamura
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

(15-Nov) -- Organizers of the Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championships announced their top athletes today.  The 65th edition of Japan's most competitive marathon for men will take place on Sunday, December 4.

Organizers stick to a time-tested formula.  They invite a small group of international men, add in an equal number of invited Japanese athletes, and put them behind four qualified pacemakers.  The hope is always to produce a fast time, and Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede's course record of 2:05:18 is certainly the goal.  The first Japanese man over the finish line should earn selection for the Japanese Olympic team, provided he runs a quality time.

Here is the athlete line-up:

Invited International Men:
Dmytro Baranovskyy (UKR) 2:07:15 PB 2006 Fukuoka
Dmitriy Safronov (RUS) 2:09:35 2011 London
Alexey V. Sokolov (RUS) 2:09:07 2007 Dublin
Ridouane Harroufi (MAR) 2:10:14 2008 Seoul
Franck Caldeira de Almeida  (BRA) 2:12:32 2008 Paris
Martin Dent (AUS) 2:13:27 2010 Beppu-Oita
Andrew Lemoncello (GBR) 2:13:40 2010 London
Alistair Cragg (IRL)  DNF 2011 Boston

Invited Japanese Men:
Atsushi Fujita 2:06:51 PB 2000 Fukuoka
Yuki Kawauchi 2:08:37 2011 Tokyo
Satoshi Irifune 2:09:23 2008 Fukuoka
Tomoyuki Sato 2:09:43 2004 Tokyo
Kazuhiro Maeda 2:10:29 2011 Beppu-Oita
Masato Imai 2:10:41 2011 Lake Biwa
Ken-ichiro Setoguchi 2:11:44 2010 Lake Biwa
Chiharu Takada 2:12:44 2010 Fukuoka

Other Noteworthy Athletes (who did not receive full invitations):
Tsuyoshi Ogata 2:08:37 2003 Fukuoka
Naoki Okamoto 2:13:54 2011 Tokyo
Yuzo Onishi 2:08:54 2008 Lake Biwa
Kensuke Takahashi 2:11:25 2009 Tokyo
Takeshi Hamano 2:09:18 2002 Lake Biwa
Toshinari Suwa 2:07:55 2003 Fukuoka
Kenta Oshima 2:12:54 2009 Tokyo
Kurao Umeki 2:09:52 2003 Berlin
James Mwangi (KEN) 2:10:27 2007 Wien
Josphat Ndambiri (KEN) Debut  1:01:07 2010 RAK Half Marathon; 26:57.36 10000m

Pacemakers:
Bunta Kuroki 2:14:37 2011 Nobeoka
Isaac Macharia (KEN) 2:07:16 2008 Dubai
Nicholas Kiprono (UGA) 2:15:58 2011 Hamburg 1:00:25 2009 Nice half marathon
Boniface Kirui (KEN) 1:01:07 2011 Verbania half marathon

ENDS

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