Karoki, Kipruto lead strong Tokyo Marathon line-up


Bedan Karoki is back to defend his title, having won last year in a lifetime ...
Bedan Karoki is back to defend his title, having won last year in a lifetime best of 59:10. But with 15 men able to boast sub-60-minute bests – two more than last year – his task to win again will be harder than ever./PHOTO/COURTESY/IAAF

In Summary

  • The 2019 Tokyo Marathon first runners up Bedan Karoki and world marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto are among a star-studded line up for this year’s Tokyo Marathon on March 1
  • The duo will be joined by two-time winner Dickson Chumba, Honolulu marathon champion Titus Ekiru and defending champion Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia

The 2019 Tokyo Marathon first runners up Bedan Karoki and world marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto are among a star-studded line up for this year’s Tokyo Marathon on March 1.

The duo will be joined by two-time winner Dickson Chumba, Honolulu marathon champion Titus Ekiru and defending champion Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia.

Karoki will be returning to the Japanese capital after clinching silver last year when he clocked 2:06:48 just two minutes shy off Legese.

Kipruto, the 2018 Berlin Marathon silver medallist will be making his debut alongside the in-form Ekiru who enjoyed massive success in 2019 winning Milano City Marathon, Portugal City Half Marathon while also clinching gold in Half Marathon in African Games in held in Rabat, Morocco.

For the experienced Chumba- the 2014 and 2018 champion- he will be looking to claim a third title after dropping to a third-place finish last year in 2:08:44.

Kenyans will however be wary of the threat posed by Legese whose mark of 2:04:48 is the second-fastest winning time in the Japanese capital after Wilson Kipsang’s 2:03:58 in 2017.

In the women’s field Kenya’s duo of Sally Chepyego and Frankfurt marathon champion Valary Aiyabei will take on the defending champion Ruti Aga and 2015 champion Birhane Dibaba both of Ethiopia.

Aga attained the third-fastest time during last year’s win as she clocked 2:20:40

Tokyo marathon is the first stop of six World Marathon Majors.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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