Buze Diriba displayed a phenomenal performance at the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, significantly surpassing her personal best with an astounding time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 11 seconds. Diriba, along with her compatriots Waganesh Mekasha, Afera Godfay, and Amid Jemal, closely shadowed the pacemaker for the initial 30 kilometers, passing the halfway point in a remarkable 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 1 second. While Mekasha experienced a fuel bottle mishap at the 30-kilometer mark, Diriba’s confidence only grew as the finish line drew near.
Diriba’s unwavering strength propelled her to first place with an incredible time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 11 seconds, with Mekasha only one second behind at 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 12 seconds. Godfay secured the third position with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 15 seconds, while Jemal followed closely, completing the marathon in 2 hours, 23 minutes, and 18 seconds.
In the men’s race, the competitors agreed during the technical meeting to aim for a pace of 2 hours and 7 minutes. As they crossed the halfway mark in 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 30 seconds, concerns arose about the pace being too fast. Ultimately, the victory came down to a fierce battle between Kenyan contenders Alfred Kipchirchir and Elvis Cheboi. Cheboi’s experience played a pivotal role, leading him to triumph with a personal best time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 20 seconds, as he overtook the ambitious marathon debutant Kipchirchir in the final stages.
Koyama and Suzuki Secure Tokyo Marathon Glory and Paris 2024 Olympic Spots
The Tokyo Marathon Grand Championship witnessed the impressive victories of Naoki Koyama and Yuka Suzuki, confirming their positions in the lineup for the forthcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Koyama demonstrated remarkable prowess, completing the marathon in 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 57 seconds, with Akira Akasaki closely following at 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 6 seconds, securing both their positions on the Olympic roster. It’s important to note that Suguru Osako, who claimed the third spot, awaits provisional selection.
Suzuki’s triumph in the women’s category was unambiguous, as she finished with a substantial 34-second lead, achieving a remarkable time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 9 seconds. Mao Ichiyama clinched the second position, concluding the marathon in 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 43 seconds, while Ai Hosoda secured the third place, finishing in 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 50 seconds.
In the men’s race, former Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi led the way early on, building a noteworthy 41-second lead at the 25-kilometer mark and maintaining a 34-second advantage at the 30-kilometer point. However, with the chase pack making their move, Kawauchi was eventually overtaken. In the final five kilometers, the battle for supremacy was limited to Kawauchi, Koyama, Osako, and Akasaki. Koyama made a decisive move just before the 40-kilometer mark and, despite a fierce challenge from Akasaki and Osako, he clinched the victory with a splendid time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 57 seconds.
In the women’s race, the turning point occurred at approximately 23 kilometers when Mao Ichiyama seized the lead. Suzuki caught up with Ai Hosoda at the 36-kilometer mark and later overtook Ichiyama, securing her triumph in the marathon with a notable time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 9 seconds. Ichiyama gallantly held off a robust challenge from Hosoda in the final stages to retain second place.