Kenyan Dickson Chumba faces stiff test in Tokyo marathon

Dickson Chumba faces an acid test at the Tokyo Marathon slated for March 1.

Chumba, a two-time winner in the Japanese city and the 2015 Chicago Marathon winner, faces a formidable field but starts among the favorites with a personal best of 2:04:32. 

With a personal best time of 2:04:46 All African Games half-marathon, Titus Ekiru remains a formidable challenger having previously grabbed victories in Seville, Mexico City, Honolulu Marathon (twice) and Milano Marathon.

World marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto is also in the mix for the event and has a personal best of 2:05:43 while another Kenyan, Bedan Karoki will also be seeking to win his first marathon.

Karoki has a personal best time of 2:06:48 which he ran in Chicago last year. He also finished third at the 2017 London Marathon after clocking 2:07:41

Simon Kariuki, with a personal best of 2:09:41, has also been entered for the event. 

The Kenyan contingent faces a Herculean task from Ethiopia's defending champion Legese Birhanu, who has a personal best of 2:02:48. He leads compatriots Getaneh Molla (2:03:34), Lemina Sisay (2:03:36), Mengistu Asefa (2:04:08), Lemi Hayle (2:04:33) and Bahrain's El Abbassi El Hassan (2:04:43) also frontrunners.

Tokyo Marathon race director Tadaaki Hayano said the race will serve as trials for Japanese athletes, who are fighting for the last ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Marathon.

posted Friday January 31st
by William Njuguna