- Chmba to face tough competition from his fellow countrymen and the Ethiopian rivals who are in for the Tokyo Marathon
Chumba who is a two-time winner in the 2015 Chicago Marathon winner and Japanese city, encounters a stiff test but starts among the favorites with his personal best time of 2:04:32.
On the other side, Titus Ekiru who has a personal best time of 2:04:46, is a very potential challenger. More so, he previously won the Mexico, Seville, Milano Marathon and Honolulu Marathon (twice).
Also, the world marathon bronze medallist Amos Kipruto is also a formidable challenger with a personal best time of 2:05:43. Another Kenyan, Bedan Karoki will also be eyeing on winning his first marathon. Karaoki has a personal best time of 2:06:48 which he set at Chicago last year.
The Kenyan celebrated athletes are going to have a hard task in competing with the Ethiopian’s finest. The Ethiopian defending champion Legese Birhanu with a personal time of 2:02:48 leads his countrymen Lemina Sisay (2:03:36), Getaneh Molla (2:03:34), Mengistu Asefa (2:04:08), Bahrain’s El Abbassi El Hassan (2:04:43) and Lemi Hayle (2:04:33).
In the women’s category, Valery Aiyabei spearheads the challenge with her personal best of 2:19:10 which she recorded in Frankfurt in 2019. The other women athlete from Kenya is Sally Chepyego (2:21:06) from Kenya. Ethiopia is represented by Aga Ruti (2:18:34), Tigist Girma (2:19:52), Birhane Dibaba (2:18:46) and Shure Demise (2:20:59).
Message from Tadaaki Hayaano
The Tokyo Marathon race director Tadaaki Hayaano, stated that the trials will serve as an opportunity for the Japanese who looking to represent Japan in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Marathon.
“We can greatly look forward to a battle between the current and past national record holders of the same age, Suguru Osako and Yuta Shitara. We also expect Hiroto Inoue, with Japanese record of 2:06:54 from Tokyo Marathon 2018, to tag along,” added Hayano.
“For one to win the last ticket to the Tokyo 2020, he must clear the time of 2:05:49 set by Japan Association of Athletics Federation. If no one clears the time, Osako who finished third in MGC race last September will be picked,” he said.
“Osako could have chosen not to enter the race and waited for days to pass by. Instead, he chose to enter the battle. His will power is something like no other, and perhaps, his pride as the national record holder is what fuels him.” He added.