FUKUOKA – Yuma Hattori became the first Japanese runner in 14 years to win the Fukuoka International Marathon on Sunday.
The 25-year-old held off Ethiopia’s Yemane Tsegay and Eritrea’s Amanuel Mesel to cross the finish line at Heiwadai Athletic Stadium for his first victory.
“This was my fourth marathon. I’ve always lost speed during the race, but I’m glad I was able to overcome it this time,” Hattori said. “The time was about what I was aiming for, so I think my training paid off.”
Yuta Shitara, the previous holder of the national record at 2:06.11, finished fourth.
Tsuyoshi Ogata was the last Japanese to win in 2004.
This year’s race was a qualifying event for the Marathon Grand Championship, scheduled in September next year. The winner of the race will automatically book a ticket to the 2020 Games.
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