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Kurosawa and Osako Top Japanese Results at Boston Marathon

by Brett Larner

Asian junior half marathon record holder Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) made a successful transition to the marathon at the Boston Marathon, finishing 3rd in 2:10:28 in his debut over the distance.  Always hanging near the rear of the lead pack, Osako appeared relaxed and never stressed when the pace changed, taking his time in catching back up whenever one of the frontline men threw in a surge.  Osako lost touch during the final battle between eventual winner Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) and NOP teammate Galen Rupp but pushed on to keep 3rd, Kirui breaking the tape in 2:09:37 and Rupp 2nd in 2:09:58.

Osako's 2:10:28 was the third-fastest ever by a Japanese man on the Boston course and made him just the second to break 2:11 in Boston after fellow Waseda University graduate Toshihiko Seko's 2:09:37 win in 1981 and 2:10:13 runner-up finish in 1979.  Given the heat of the day it was an encouraging step toward representing Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Running his second marathon, Hiroki Sugawa, coached by Seko at the DeNA corporate team, ran with Osako through 10 km before dropping out.  Fellow sub-elites Kaito Iwasa (Chuo Univ.) and Hiroki Kai (Team Raffine) were non-factors, well off their bests in 2:27:11 and 2:35:51.

Sub-elite women Kana Kurosawa (Team Hitachi) and Ami Utsunomiya (Canon AC Kyushu), like the three sub-elite men appearing through the Boston Marathon's partnership with the Katsuta Marathon and Ome 30 km, went out with the lead group of women during the slow early miles before dropping back.  Running Boston for the second year in a row, Kurosawa missed her PB by 15 seconds as she finished in 2:43:18 for 25th, still a five-minute improvement over her time last year.  Utsunomiya, a 1:13:39 half-marathoner, was totally unprepared for the big leagues, finishing in 3:06:49.

121st Boston Marathon
Boston, U.S.A., 4/17/17
click here for complete results

1. Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) - 2:09:37
2. Galen Rupp (U.S.A.) - 2:09:58
3. Suguru Osako (Japan) - 2:10:28 - debut
4. Shadrack Biwott (U.S.A.) - 2:12:08
5. Wilson Chebet (Kenya) - 2:12:35
6. Abdi Abdirahman (U.S.A.) - 2:12:45
7. Augustus Maiyo (U.S.A.) - 2:13:16
8. Dino Sefir (Ethiopia) - 2:14:26
9. Luke Puskedra (U.S.A.) - 2:14:45
10. Jared Ward (U.S.A.) - 2:15:28
39. Kaito Iwasa (Japan) - 2:27:11
94. Hiroki Kai (Japan) - 2:35:51
DNF - Hiroki Sugawa (Japan)

1. Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) - 2:21:52
2. Rose Chelimo (Kenya) - 2:22:51
3. Jordan Hasay (U.S.A.) - 2:23:00
4. Desiree Linden (U.S.A.) - 2:25:06
5. Gladys Cherono (Kenya) - 2:27:20
6. Valentine Kipketer (Kenya) - 2:29:35
7. Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia) - 2:30:58
8. Brigid Kosgei (Kenya) - 2:31:48
9. Diane Nukuri (Burundi) - 2:32:24
10. Ruti Aga (Ethiopia) - 2:33:26
25. Kana Kurosawa (Japan) - 2:43:18
158. Ami Utsunomiya (Japan) - 3:06:49 - debut

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Anonymous said…
Interested to hear what the Japanese press had to say about Osako's impressive performance after their earlier criticisms about his choice of debut venue.

Speaking of those earlier criticisms, someone on NBC's coverage team must read JRN: they talked on air about how the Japanese press thought Boston was aided and about how unusual it was for a top Japanese runner to live and train overseas.
Great recap. Of note, it was Jordan Hasay's debut (missing notation).

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