Kenenisa and Ruti Aga lead elite fields for Tokyo Marathon


Multiple world and Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele heads the men’s field at IAAF gold Label road race in the Japanese capital on 3rd of March 2019. The Ethiopian set a national record of 2:03:03 when winning the 2016 Berlin Marathon, but he has struggled in some of his races since then. He failed in finish in Dubai in 2017 but rebounded to finish second in London in 2:05:57 three months later.
He then withdrew from the Berlin Marathon later that year before returning to action at the 2018 London Marathon, where he finished sixth in 2:08:53, but recorded another ‘DNF’ at the Amsterdam Marathon in October 2018.
Bekele’s last race in Japan was at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka, where he won the 10,000m – one of his six global titles at the distance. He is one of five men in the field with PBs faster than 2:05. Fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legesse ran 2:04:15 in Dubai on his debut at the distance last year and will contest his third career marathon in Tokyo.
Dickson Chumba, the Tokyo Marathon winner in 2014 and 2018, will defend his title. The Kenyan, who has a lifetime best of 2:04:32, finished inside 2:05 in both of his Tokyo victories. He also finished third at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of the race.
Ethiopian Ruti Aga is the fastest runner in the women’s field in 2:18:34. Three other women in the Tokyo field have sub-2:20 PBs: Ethiopian duo Feyse Boru Tadese and Yebrgual Melese plus Kenya’s former world half marathon record-holder Florence Kiplagat.