FUKUOKA, Japan, Nov 2- Former world record-holder Patrick Makau will aim for a hat-trick of Fukuoka Marathon titles when he lines up for the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on December 4.
The 31-year-old Kenyan triumphed in the Japanese city in 2015 and 2014. Only four other men have three or more wins in Fukuoka. The last man to win three times in a row was Toshihiko Seko, who was victorious in 1978, 1979 and 1980.
Makau is one of three men in the field with a sub-2:05 personal best.
World silver medalist Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia and James Kwambai of Kenya will be competing in Fukuoka for the first time.
Tsegay has a best of 2:04:48 and finished third at this year’s Boston marathon while Kwambai’s best is 2:04:27 and earlier this year he won the Daegu Marathon in 2:10:46.
The field also includes the likes of Eritrean record-holder Yared Asmerom, Polish record-holder Henryk Szost and prolific Japanese racer Yuki Kawauchi.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s 2012 Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Tariku Bekele and Kenya’s 2015 Marugame Half Marathon champion Paul Kuira will be making their marathon debuts.
Elite list for Fukuoka Marathon
Patrick Makau (KEN) 2:03:38
James Kwambai (KEN) 2:04:27
Yemane Tsegay (ETH) 2:04:48
Dmytro Baranovskyy (UKR) 2:07:15
Yared Asmerom (ERI) 2:07:27
Henryk Szost (POL) 2:07:39
Kazuhiro Maeda (JPN) 2:08:00
Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) 2:08:14
Amanuel Mesel (ERI) 2:08:17
Benjamin Gandu (KEN) 2:09:18
Mulaku Abera (ETH) 2:09:27
Cuthbert Nyasango (ZIM) 2:09:52
Tomoya Adachi (JPN) 2:09:59
Chiharu Takada (JPN) 2:10:03
Paulo Paula (BRA) 2:10:23
Reid Coolsaet (CAN) 2:10:28
Yoshiki Otsuka (JPN) 2:11:40
Tariku Bekele (ETH) debut
Paul Kuira (KEN) debut