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Rising star Gaku Hoshi thrills in joint Osaka-Biwako marathon

Gaku Hoshi won Sunday’s combined Osaka Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, capturing the new event on the national running calendar in his first race at that distance.

In a race featuring 300 elite male and female runners, the 23-year-old Hoshi broke out of a three-man pack around the 38-kilometer mark and ran solo the rest of the way to win in 2 hours, 7 minutes and 31 seconds — a record for a first-time marathoner.

“This was my first marathon and I didn’t think I would win so this is a surprise,” Hoshi said.

“It’s too good to be true but I’m super happy. I knew it would come down to the last stages so I went aggressively after the 30-km mark. It went as planned,” he said.

On a clear and sunny day, the 42.195-km race started in front of the Osaka Prefectural Government Building and finished at Osaka Castle Park.

Hoshi stayed in a leading group of 10 runners after the last turn, and after his pacemaker dropped out the race continued as a three-man contest between Hoshi, Ichitaka Yamashita and Yuhei Urano.

Yamashita finished second, 11 seconds behind Hoshi, and Urano was third. Misato Horie won the women’s division.

Seven runners including the top three men’s finishers qualified for Japan’s Marathon Grand Championship to determine the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The elite men-only Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Japan’s oldest annual marathon race with 76 editions so far, became a part of the mass-participation Osaka Marathon beginning this year.

The 2022 edition involved only elite athletes, with 20,000 mass-event runners excluded due to coronavirus concerns.

(02/27/2022) Views: 658 ‚ö°AMP
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Osaka Marathon

Osaka Marathon

In 2022 the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon and Osaka Marathon were held together. For 2023 the name of the marathon will be Osaka and both men and women can run the race. The original male-only competition was first held in 1946 and, having taken place every year since then, it is Japan's oldest annual marathon race. The early editions of...

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