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World Record Breaker Jepkosgei Leads Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon Elite Field

by Brett Larner

In its seventh edition the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon celebrates its promotion to its new status as the only IAAF gold label half marathon in Japan with a move a month earlier to a hopefully cooler mid-April date.  Newly-crowned women's half marathon world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) leads the women's entries for what should be an easy win should she actually run another half marathon three weeks after breaking the world record.  Mimi Belete (Bahrain) and London World Championships marathon team member Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) are the only other women in the field with recent sub-70 times, Belete with a 1:09:15 earlier this year in Verona and Ando with a 1:09:51 at the 2015 Sanyo Ladies Road Race.  Ando's London teammate Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) is also on the short women's list rounded out by Sara Hall (U.S.A.), Belaynesh Oljira (Ethiopia), Lillian Partridge (Great Britain) and formerly Japan-based Philes Ongori (Kenya).

2015 Marugame Half winner Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta) and countryman Kenneth Keter (Kenya) top the men's field with recent sub-60 times, Kuira having won his debut in Marugame in 59:47 and Keter having run 59:48 at last year's Venlo Half.  Six other Africans led by 2015 Gifu winner James Rungaru (Team Chuo Hatsujo) come in with sub-61 times.  Just missing the mark, former Hakone Ekiden star Daichi Kamino (Team Konica Minolta) is the top-ranked Japanese man at 1:01:04, with London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) further down the list at 1:02:55.

7th Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon Elite Field
Gifu, 4/23/17
times listed are best within last three years except where noted

Women
Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) - 1:04:52 (Prague 2017)
Mimi Belete (Bahrain) - 1:09:15 (Verona 2017)
Yuka Ando (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:09:51 (Sanyo 2015)
Sara Hall (U.S.A.) - 1:10:07 (Houston 2016)
Belaynesh Oljira (Ethiopia) - 1:10:08 (Delhi 2014)
Mao Kiyota (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:10:31 (Valencia 2016)
Lillian Partridge (Great Britain) - 1:10:32 (Reading 2015)
Philes Ongori (Kenya) - 1:12:15 (Ras al Khaimah 2015)

Men
Paul Kuira (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 59:47 (Marugame 2015)
Kenneth Keter (Kenya) - 59:48 (Venlo 2016)
James Rungaru (Kenya/Chuo Hatsujo) - 1:00:12 (Nice 2015)
Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) - 1:00:30 (Nat'l Corporate Half 2015)
Bernard Kipyego (Kenya) - 1:00:38 (Porto 2014)
Goitom Kifle (Eritrea) - 1:00:49 (Marugame 2016)
Joel Mwaura (Kenya/Kurosaki Harima) - 1:00:59 (Marugame 2017)
Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 1:00:59 (Ichinoseki 2016)
Daichi Kamino (Japan/Konica Minolta) - 1:01:04 (Marugame 2017)
Paul Pollock (Ireland) - 1:02:46 (Cardiff World Champs 2016)
Melaku Abera (Ethiopia) - 1:02:47 (Oita 2015)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:02:55 (Ageo 2014)
Yonas Mebrahtu (U.S.A.) - 1:02:59 (Philadelphia 2014)
Teklemariam Medhin (Eritrea) - 1:03:02 (Philadelphia 2014)
Roman Fosti (Estonia) - 1:05:21 (Ostia 2017)

© 2017 Brett Larner
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