Japan’s Yuma Hattori has won today’s Fukuoka Marathon in the first victory for Japan since Tsuyoshi Ogata won in 2004. Hattori’s time was 2:07:27, a new personal best by more than two minutes.
With six kilometres left, Hattori was able to open up a lead over Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia and Amanuel Mesel of Eritrea, who finished second and third, with times of 2:08:54 and 2:09:45, respectively.
🏆優勝 服部勇馬 2:07:27
— NOBUKI (@nobu_777__tf) December 2, 2018
Hattori, who had only the seventh-fastest PB among the Japanese men entered, told the IAAF he had increased his training load by 300K per month for this race. He also ran a 40K long run seven times during his build-up, and an ultra-long run of 46K.
Yuma Hattori won the Fukuoka Marathon today, clocking 2:07:27 to become the first Japanese runner to win this IAAF Gold Label road race since 2004. Our report: https://t.co/aYXUt3bRtx pic.twitter.com/iB9Jqihb06
— IAAF (@iaaforg) December 2, 2018
Tsegaye reported not feeling well, with a stomach ache and a headache in the later stages of the race, but according to Japan Running News is only the third man to break 2:10 fifteen times in his career.
Yuta Shitara, who holds the Japanese national record, finished fourth, with a time of 2:10:25.
2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi was not able to sustain the relatively fast pace past 11K, though he made up a lot of time after the 25K mark, finishing 10th, with a time of 2:12:03–his 50th sub-2:14 clocking.
British runner Callum Hawkins was forced to withdraw recently due to injury.
It was here at Fukuoka that Jerome Drayton set the Canadian record of 2:10:09 back in 1975 that stood until last month, when Cam Levins finally broke it with his 2:09:25 finish at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.