Skip to main content

Imai and Nakamoto Untouchable as Fukuoka Wins Grand Tour Kyushu

by Brett Larner

With a commanding lead after six days of racing, the Fukuoka Prefecture team came into the final two days of the eight-day, fifty-stage, 732.3 km Grand Tour Kyushu 2012 with little doubt of the outcome but no lack of effort.  Preceded by three Fukuoka stage wins on the seventh day's first seven stages, anchor Kentaro Nakamoto, 6th place in the London Olympics men's marathon, won the second of his two 2012 Tour runs, blasting a 52:47 course record for the 17.9 km Eighth Stage.  Nagasaki Prefecture anchor Yuki Mori was also under the old record, but Nakamoto's run was so dominating that he was a full 29 seconds faster than Mori.  Nagasaki, 3rd overall on total time, won two stages to finish the day just over a minute behind leader Fukuoka and almost 9 minutes ahead of overall 2nd-place Miyazaki Prefecture, whose lone stage win of the day came courtesy of veteran marathoner Tomoyuki Sato on the 18.0 km Fourth Stage.

Miyazaki started the final day of the Tour hard, opening runner Satoru Sasaki taking the 17.3 km First Stage record in 51:21.  From there on out it was an all-Fukuoka show, with the leading team's men taking all five remaining stages.  Anchor Masato Imai was unchallenged but still took the stage, his third win in three starts, one a course record, within the tour's eight days.  Following his win at last month's Fukuoka Prefecture 10 Mile Championships, where he ran the all-time 2nd-fastest time behind only former teammate Samuel Wanjiru's course record, Imai looks to be in the best shape of his life ahead of an undoubtedly likely appearance at December's Fukuoka International Marathon.

Imai's anchor stage win brought Fukuoka home with the win for the stage, the day, and the tour, its first overall title since 2009.  Miyazaki's Ryuji Ono was next across the line, giving the two-time defending champions the overall runner-up spot 32 minutes behind Fukuoka.  Nagasaki, which at times looked in range of retaking 2nd from Miyazaki, was 3rd nearly 20 minutes back.  Nine teams altogether started and finished the Tour, last-place Okinawa Prefecture more than 3 1/2 hours behind Fukuoka for the full eight-day event.

Grand Tour Kyushu 2012
Kyushu, Oct. 28-Nov. 4
50 stages, 732.3 km, 9 teams
click here for complete results

Day Seven
8 stages, 127.3 km

Team Standings
1. Fukuoka Pref. - 32:52:34 (6:28:51, 1st)
2. Miyazaki Pref. - 33:20:30 (6:38:36, 3rd)
3. Nagasaki Pref. - 33:31:07 (6:30:00, 2nd)

Stage Bests
First Stage (17.6 km): Shinji Ando (Saga Pref.) - 53:54
Second Stage (12.7 km): Sho Matsueda (Nagasaki Pref.) - 37:56
Third Stage (13.0 km): Junichi Tsubouchi (Fukuoka Pref.) - 40:58
Fourth Stage (18.0 km): Tomoyuki Sato (Miyazaki Pref.) - 53:57
Fifth Stage (15.5 km): Kei Goto (Fukuoka Pref.) - 48:08
Sixth Stage (14.9 km): Koji Kaneko (Fukuoka Pref.) - 45:41
Seventh Stage (17.7 km): Satoshi Yoshii (Nagasaki Pref.) - 53:21
Eighth Stage (17.9 km): Kentaro Nakamoto (Fukuoka Pref.) - 52:47 - CR

Day Eight
6 stages, 83.8 km

Final Team Standings
1. Fukuoka Pref. - 37:03:23 (4:10:49, 1st)
2. Miyazaki Pref. - 37:35:32 (4:15:02, 2nd)
3. Nagasaki Pref. - 37:54:55 (4:23:48, 3rd)
4. Saga Pref. - 39:07.25
5. Oita Pref. - 39:11:00
6. Yamaguchi Pref. - 39:14:00
7. Kagoshima Pref. - 39:16:38
8. Kumamoto Pref. - 39:16:40
9. Okinawa Pref. - 40:40:37

Stage Bests
First Stage: (17.3 km) Satoru Sasaki (Miyazaki Pref.) - 51:21 - CR
Second Stage (15.8 km): Ryuji Watanabe (Fukuoka Pref.) - 47:49
Third Stage (14.6 km): Hiroki Kubota (Fukuoka Pref.) - 43:20
Fourth Stage (10.8 km): Shinji Tateishi (Fukuoka Pref.) - 34:32
Fifth Stage (10.8 km): Kyohei Nishi (Fukuoka Pref.) - 30:21
Sixth Stage (14.5 km): Masato Imai (Fukuoka Pref.) - 41:30

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

The Greatest Day in Japanese Men's Marathoning History

This isn't going to be a race recap. Past Tokyo Marathon champs Dickson Chumba of Kenya and Birhane Dibaba of Ethiopia running smart races, working hard after 30 km to each score a second Tokyo title, Dibaba negative splitting her way to a 2:19:51 PB just 4 seconds off the course record and Chumba running away to win in 2:05:30. London World Championships bronze medalist Amy Cragg living up to her pre-race vow to make the top three in PB time, taking 3rd in 2:21:42. Cancer survivor Satoru Kasuya delivering his best performance since almost dying five years ago, an emotional 2:14:37 for 30th.

What this is about is today, the day, the one that's been coming. Yuta Shitara getting it right, strong, unafraid, in control when he needed to be, finding what he needed when it counted, breaking the 16-year-old Japanese national record in 2:06:11 and winning a million dollar bonus for it. But not just him. Hiroto Inoue, just as strong, just as in control, never giving up even when Shita…

Kipsang Talking Loud and Aga Mumbling Bold - Tokyo Marathon Preview

After stepping up to the big leagues last year with course records in the 2:03 and 2:19 range, the Tokyo Marathon hopes to go one better this year. Men's course record setter Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) is back, stepping up from a 2:03:50 prediction for Tokyo in January to a 2:02:50 world record prediction at Friday's pre-race press conference. In the unmentioned absence of women's course record breaker Sarah Chepchirchir the top-ranked woman is Ruti Aga (Ethiopia), coming in hot off a 1:06:39 win last month in Houston and turning heads at the press conference with a boldly mumbled 2:18:00 prediction.

Management for both Kipsang and Aga were skeptical to JRN of their athletes' predictions, people from each camp saying times two minutes slower would be more likely, one minute slower in a best-case scenario. But whatever the prediction, Kipsang was clear to fellow past champs Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) and Dickson Chumba (Kenya) about one thing: he wants a more conservative fi…

Tokyo Marathon Announces $1,084,000 Prize Purse

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/local/081107/lcl0811071352000-n1.htm
http://www.tokyo42195.org/2009/news/post_13.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On the afternoon of Nov. 7 Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara announced the first-ever prize money purse for the 2009 Tokyo Marathon, to be awarded to the top finishers in next March's 3rd running. The complete purse totals $1,084,000 including $352,000 in prize money and $732,000 in time bonuses with a maximum potential payout of $460,000 to the men's winner.

The 1st place male and female finishers will receive $80,000, with 2nd place getting $40,000 and 3rd place $20,000. Prize money goes 10 deep, with the 10th place finisher receiving $1000. A Japanese runner who wins in a new national record will receive a $50,000 bonus, while a new world record would be good for a $300,000 bonus. Because officials hope to make the Tokyo Marathon the key domestic selection race for men's Olympic and World Championships teams, a Japanese ma…