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Yuki Kawauchi for Duesseldorf 2012

Yuki Kawauchi first ever Japanese elite runner to compete in Duesseldorf

Yuki Kawauchi for Duesseldorf Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi for Duesseldorf Marathon

For the first time in the history of the event a Japanese elite runner will compete at the METRO GROUP Marathon Duesseldorf on 29th April. Yuki Kawauchi has been announced by the organisers of the event, which for the first time is an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race. Adding all running events on the day a total of 14,000 runners is expected to take part.

“To have received an IAAF Bronze Label and to have Yuki Kawauchi running in Duesseldorf is proof of the fine development of our race. Japan’s elite runners do not often participate at international marathons outside their country,” said Race Director Jan Winschermann.

Yuki Kawauchi has established a personal best of 2:08:37, when he was third in Tokyo in 2011. This year however he missed qualifying for the Japanese Olympic team, because he managed only 2:12:51 in Tokyo and came in 14th. In Duesseldorf the 25 year-old intends to show that he would have been worth a place in London.

But the opposition will be tough on 29th April. Among his rivals will be Ethiopian Seboka Diriba Tola, who improved to 2:06:17 in Dubai in January. Despite this fast time he was only ninth in the race. But he did beat fellow Ethiopian Yemane Adhane Tsegay (2:06:29). It was Adhane who won the Rotterdam Marathon last Sunday with 2:04:48. Defending champion Nahashon Kimaiyo (Kenya/2:10:36) will return to Duesseldorf. He won last year’s race in 2:10:54 despite very warm weather conditions. If the weather will be more suitable for marathon running this year he and his fellow-Kenyans Joseph Ngeny (2:08:10) and Evans Ruto (2:08:36) could be able to go faster than the present course record. Iaroslav Musinschi (Moldova) had run 2:08:32 in 2010.

There will also be a very strong Ethiopian runner in the women’s race: Kebebush Haile features a personal best of 2:24:09. With this time she had won the Shanghai Marathon in 2011. The 26 year-old has also done very well in the Rome Marathon in the past two years. In 2010 she was second with 2:25:31 and in 2011 she took third (2:27:39). With her consistent good results she might be able to break the eight year-old course record set by Germany’s Luminita Zaituc (2:26:44).

German interest will focus on Jan Fitschen. The 10,000 m European Champion from 2006 intends to reach the national qualifying time for the Olympic Games which is 2:12:00. In Frankfurt he had run 2:15:40 in October last year.

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