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Yuta Shitara breaks Australian record at Gold Coast Marathon

And New Zealand's Zane Robertson took his country's national record from his twin brother Jake with his 2:08:19 debut marathon

Yuta Shitara ran the fastest marathon ever run in Australia at today’s Gold Coast Marathon, finishing in 2:07:50, almost a minute faster than three-time winner Kenneth Mungara‘s course record of 2:08:42, set in 2015–this despite heavy rain in the early part of the race. (Shitara is Japan’s former national marathon record-holder, overtaken by Suguru Osako at last year’s Chicago Marathon.)

According to Japan Running News, Gold Coast was something of a tune-up race for Shitara, who will run in Japan’s Olympic marathon trials at Marathon Grand Championship on September 15. He is also planning to race the 10,000m on July 22 in Japan.

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Shitara led for most of the race along with New Zealand’s Zane Robertson, twin brother of Jake Robertson, and Kenyans Barnabas Kiptum and Vincent Yator, briefly falling off around 37K and then climbing back to the lead 2K later. Kiptum finished second, in 2:08:02, and Robertson third, in 2:08:19, wresting the New Zealand record away from his brother. Both Kiptum and Robertson went under Mungara’s course record.

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Several spectators commented on Shitara’s nipple chafing, resulting in two large red blood stains on his white singlet.

Mungara did not finish.

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Kenya’s Rhoda Tanui won the women’s marathon in 2:27:56. Milly Clark of Australia was second in 2:28:08 (a new personal best) and Nazret Weldu Gebrehiwet was third, setting a new national record for Eritrea in 2:28:57. National records were also set by the fourth, sixth and seventh-place finishers in the women’s marathon:

4. Munkhazya Bayartsogt (Mongolia)–2:29:18
6. Kit Ching Yiu (Hong Kong)–2:34:07
7. Anna Dagmara Handzlik (Cyprus)–2:34:17

In the half-marathon, Irish phenom Sinead Diver (who lives in Australia) was the winner, in 1:09:46, followed by Australia’s Ellie Pashley in 1:09:51 and Lisa Weightman, also of Australia, in third in 1:10:32. Defending champion Sara Hall of the US was fourth.

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In the men’s half-marathon, former rugby player Jack Rayner of Australia was the overall winner in 1:02:30, with Japan’s Yuki Sato in second (1:02:36) and Yuma Hattori, also of Japan, third in 1:02:39. (In December Hattori became the first Japanese man to win the Fukuoka Marathon in 14 years.)