Yemane Tsegay out to regain Fukuoka Title

Another Ottawa Marathon victory for Yemane Tsegay (Kevin Morris (organisers)

Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia returns to regain the title he won in 2016 at the 72nd Fukuoka Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday (2).

Two years ago, Tsegay stopped Patrick Makau from winning a third straight title at this race. Last year he finished a distant 26th in 2:18:05, slowed by a sudden back problem that hit him after five kilometres. In May he won the Ottawa Marathon with 2:08:52, has a personal best of 2:04:48 set in Rotterdam in 2012 and took silver at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. He trains with this year’s Chicago Marathon runner-up Mosinet Geremew and Shanghai winner Seifu Tura, boding well.

The man who beat Tsegay in Beijing, Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, is also in the race. Ghebreslassie was fourth at the 2016 Olympic Games and won the New York City Marathon later that year. He set his personal best of 2:07:46 earlier that year, at the London Marathon. However, he’s failed to finish the last three marathons he started: New York, Dubai and London. He said he was hampered by injury in 2017 and early 2018, but is back on track now. “My training after London is going well,” he said.

Vincent Kipruto, the runner-up at the 2011 World Championships, is also in the field. His best of 2:05:13 dates back to the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon, but more recently clocked 2:06:14 at the 2017 Berlin Marathon.

Amanuel Mesel of Eritrea has run well here in the past, finishing fifth at both the 2016 and 2017 editions of the race.

Although not an invited runner, Brett Robinson of Australia, a pace maker last year, is said to be in strong shape and ready for a fast performance in his debut over the distance. Unfortunately, Callum Hawkins of Great Britain, fourth in the 2017 World Championships, was forced to pull out with injury.

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