Ogata Wins Fukuoka Marathon

FUKUOKA, Japan, Dec 5 (AFP) - Japan’s Tsuyoshi Ogata posted his first career victory at the Fukuoka international men’s marathon on Sunday to qualify for next year’s world championships.
The 31-year-old from Hiroshima put on a spurt after the 35-kilometre (22-mile) mark to leave behind the world’s second fastest marathon runner, Sammy Korir of Kenya, crossing the finishing line in two hours nine minutes 10 seconds.
Korir slowed down further to finish third in 2:11:45 behind Japan’s Satoshi Osaki, who clocked 2:10:56, while Gert Thys of South Africa came in fourth in 2:14.27.
Ogata cleared a Japanese qualification time of 2:09:29 to book his place in the world championships in August in Helsinki.
It was really tough because of the head-wind throughout the race after 31 kilometres. I thoght I must make a break-away after 35 kilometres and I ran as I planned. I think it was the key to the victory,'' said Ogata. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t go to the Athens Olympics, so I trained hard setting my goal for a medal at the world championships.’’
One of the three pace-setters, Issac Macharia of Kenya, led a four-man front-running group until the 32km point, from where Ogata, Osaki and Korir fought for the lead.
Ogata broke away at 35.7km and moved into top gear at around 38km to stay out in front for the remainder of the race.