Kawauchi wins Beppu-Oita marathon
Japanese runner Yuki Kawauchi broke his previous personal best and a meet record to beat London Olympian Kentaro Nakamoto in the last two kilometres and win the Beppu-Oita marathon on Sunday.
Kawauchi emerged victorious in a shoulder-to-shoulder battle against compatriot Nakamoto after 28 kilometres before taking the lead at around the 40km point to cross the finishing line in two hours eight minutes 15 seconds.
Nakamoto also set his personal best of 2:08:35 to finish second, followed by compatriot Kenji Higashino third in 2:12:13.
"I'm really happy about my new personal best and a new meet record," said Kawauchi, 25.
"I was able to set (the new record) because Nakamoto ran aggressively," he added.
Kawauchi failed to clear the bottom line of running under 2:07:59 set by the Japan Association of Athletics Federations for a place in the world championships in Moscow in August but still has a chance to qualify.
"I was a bit slower than 2:07:59, but I'm satisfied with my time," said Kawauchi.
"I had been always under pressure, but today, running with Nakamoto who was sixth in the London Olympics, I felt no pressure.
"Hopefully, I can compete against him again in the world championships in Moscow," he added.
1. Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) 2hr 08min 15sec
2. Kentaro Nakamoto (JPN) 2:08:35
3. Kenji Higashino (JPN) 2:12:13
4. Yoshiki Otsuka (JPN) 2:12:51
5. Masanori Ishida (JPN) 2:13:07
6. Michael Shelly (AUS) 2:13:12
7. Yu Chiba (JPN) 2:13:19
8. Naoya Hashimoto (JPN) 2:14:36
9. Masanori Sakai (JPN) 2:14:44
10. Tomoyuki Sato (JPN) 2:16:05