• Kyodo

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Takuya Noguchi won the men’s race at the Gold Coast Marathon with a new personal-best time on Sunday, while compatriot Yuki Kawauchi had to settle for third.

Noguchi held off defending champion Kenneth Mungara of Kenya to cross the line in a winning time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 59 seconds.

“It was an incredibly taxing race,” said Noguchi. “I knew I was up against tough opposition but I ran believing in myself.

“I got married this year and have had the support of my wife and that has helped me focus more and increase my competitiveness.”

Mungara, who was aiming to become the first male to win the race three times in a row, clocked 2:09:04, while 2013 winner Kawauchi, who lost to Mungara by a single second in last year’s race, timed 2:09:18. Ryo Hashimoto was fourth in 2:10:19.

“I could not win the race (today) and was only the second-fastest Japanese runner, but I was able to achieve my goal of running inside 2 hours, 10 minutes and finishing inside the top three,” said Kawauchi, who will run for Japan at the athletics world championships in London in August.

“I think I ran a good race looking toward (worlds in) London.”

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