There’s a new national men’s marathon record holder, and he’s having trouble taking it all in. Kengo Suzuki ran Sunday’s Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 56 seconds, making him the first Japanese runner to complete a sub-2:05 marathon.
Suzuki was unheralded going into the race, having come in seventh in the Tokyo Olympics domestic qualifying race in 2019 and failing to make the team. He also shaved a whole five minutes off his previous best of 2:10:21 in Sunday’s marathon.
But when it comes to feats of endurance, Yuki Kawauchi takes it to a world-beating level. The popular long-distance runner was recognized by Guinness World Records on Tuesday for having completed 100 marathons under 2:20, reports Kaz Nagatsuka. He surpassed the previous record-holder, American Doug Kurtis, with his 78th race way back in 2018.
In the pool, meanwhile, two familiar faces are attempting comebacks ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, having battled adversity of very different kinds.
Rikako Ikee won her first race since recovering from leukemia treatment, winning the Tokyo Open’s women’s 50-meter butterfly on Feb. 22, and her fans will be pleased to hear that she intends to compete at April’s national championships, which double as a Tokyo Olympic qualifying event.
Also last month, Tokyo 2020 medal prospect Daiya Seto returned to competition for the first time since his disciplinary period for having an extramarital affair ended. As Nagatsuka reports, the four-time world championship gold medalist was victorious, and his target of netting his first Olympic gold remains unshaken.