More Sports / Track & Field

Suguru Osako breaks Japanese record at Chicago Marathon

Kyodo

Suguru Osako set a new Japanese record Sunday in the Chicago Marathon as he finished third behind Britain’s Mo Farah and Mosinet Geremew Bayih of Ethiopia.

Osako completed the race in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 50 seconds, slashing 21 seconds off the mark set by Yuta Shitara with his second-place finish at the Tokyo Marathon in February.

Farah won in 2:05:11, setting a new European record and beating Bayih by 13 seconds. Kenya’s Brigid Kosegei won the women’s race in 2:18:35, finishing ahead of Ethiopians Roza Dereje (2:21:18) and Shure Demise (2:22:15).

Running in his third marathon, Osako, the Japanese 5,000 meter record holder, caught up with the leading pack after the 30-kilometer mark and challenged for the lead until around 38 km into the race.

“I’m really happy. The conditions were pretty tough, so I wasn’t sure I could beat the time, but over the final mile I felt like I could do it,” the 27-year-old Osako said.

“Though I wasn’t able to get first place, I want to keep improving and aim for it in the future.”

Among other Japanese runners, Taku Fujimoto crossed the line eighth in 2:07:57, while Yohei Suzuki was 12th and Yuki Kawauchi 19th.

A former 10,000 and 5,000 meter specialist, Osako made his marathon debut at the 2017 Boston Marathon, finishing third behind Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui and Galen Rupp of the United States. He also finished third in the Fukuoka International Marathon last December.

While his performances have raised expectations of selection for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, he faces tough competition from a deep field of contenders for the men’s marathon team.