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News Tolossa the winner in Tokyo


Making a decisive surge in the 36th kilometre, Ambesse Tolossa of Ethiopia won the Tokyo Marathon in 2:08:58. Tolossa, who was sixth in this race in 2003, came just two seconds short of his marathon personal best, a 2:08:56 from the 2004 Paris Marathon.  In Paris, he also made his break at about the same point. “My plan was to stay with the leaders until 35Km and then make my move around 36Km,” Tolossa said.”I figure that everyone will be tired by then.” 

Finishing second in 2:09:31 was Japan’s Toshinari Takaoka, who said before the race, “I don’t think 2:09 will win the race.”  As he had suspected, 2:09 was not fast enough to win.  “Winning was my foremost goal, but cracking the 2:10 barrier was good,” he said. Because of the very windy conditions, Tolossa’s winning time is quite impressive. 

Helped by the prevailing tail wind during the first half of the race, the race progressed at fast steady pace, close to the national record pace. After the pack of 20 runners passed 5Km in 15:04, four runners lost contact with the lead pack five kilometers later (30:02). The main casualty between 5Km and 10Km was Zebedayo Bayo of Tanzania, the Tokyo champion two years ago, who left the lead pack at 6Km.

One week earlier Gert Thys had won the Oita Marathon in Japan.

Gert Thys of South Africa won the 55th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in Oita, Japan, clocking 2:09:45. It was the second victory at this race for Thys, who previously won in 1996 when he set the course record of 2:08:30.

The real racing started after 25 kilometres when the contenders were separated from the pretenders. Thys broke away soon after 30Km after covering the five kilometres stretch between kilometers 30 and 35 in 15:07. Running the rest of the way alone, Thys won easily, more than two minutes ahead of Tomoyuki Sato, who clocked 2:11:46. Kenyan Benjamin Kipchumba was third in 2:13:11.


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