Tsegaye Ready to Defend Fukuoka Marathon Title

Patrick Makau (l) and Yemane Tsegay (r) at the Fukuoka Marathon. Tsegay won the race with Makau second. (Kabuki Matsunaga/Agence SHOT)

Yemane Tsegaye of Ethiopia returns to defend his title at the 71st Fukuoka International Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (3).

Tsegaye recorded his personal best of 2:04:48 at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon, and has a silver medal from the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 to his credit. Last December, the 32-year-odd prevented Patrick Makau from winning a third successive Fukuoka title.

“My preparation for the race has gone well,” Tsegaye said at the pre-race press conference. “I am fully confident for Sunday’s race.”

He’ll be aiming to regroup from a sub-par 2017 season in which he finished a distant 12th at the Boston Marathon, clocking 2:16:47. He did not finish August’s World Championship race in London, his most recent outing.

Tsegaye’s main competitors include Steven Kiprotich of Uganda, the 2012 Olympic and 2013 world champion, and Bedan Karoki, a Kenyan who lives in Japan and runs for the DeNA corporate team led by four-time Fukuoka champion Toshihiko Seko.

Read more at: IAAF.org