Making a decisive surge in the 36th kilometre, Ambesse Tolossa of Ethiopia won the Tokyo Marathon in 2:08:58. Tolossa,
who was sixth in this race in 2003, came just two seconds
short of his marathon personal best, a 2:08:56 from the 2004 Paris
Marathon. In Paris, he also made his break at about the same point.
“My plan was to stay with the leaders until 35Km and then make my
move around 36Km,” Tolossa said.”I figure that everyone will be tired
Finishing second in 2:09:31 was Japan’s Toshinari Takaoka, who said
before the race, “I don’t think 2:09 will win the race.” As he had
suspected, 2:09 was not fast enough to win. “Winning was my foremost
goal, but cracking the 2:10 barrier was good,” he said. Because of the
very windy conditions, Tolossa’s winning time is quite impressive.
Helped by the prevailing tail wind during the first half of the race,
the race progressed at fast steady pace, close to the national record
pace. After the pack of 20 runners passed 5Km in 15:04, four runners
lost contact with the lead pack five kilometers later (30:02). The main
casualty between 5Km and 10Km was Zebedayo Bayo of Tanzania, the Tokyo
champion two years ago, who left the lead pack at 6Km.
One week earlier Gert Thys had won the Oita Marathon in Japan.
Gert Thys of South Africa won the 55th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in Oita,
Japan, clocking 2:09:45. It was the second victory at this race for Thys, who previously won in 1996
when he set the course record of 2:08:30.
The real racing started after 25 kilometres when the contenders were
separated from the pretenders. Thys broke away soon after 30Km after covering
the five kilometres stretch between kilometers 30 and 35 in 15:07. Running the
rest of the way alone, Thys won easily, more than two minutes ahead of Tomoyuki
Sato, who clocked 2:11:46. Kenyan Benjamin Kipchumba was third in 2:13:11.