Tokyo Marathon 2017 Wheelchair Elite Field has been announced. Please go to the link below for all the details.
Tokyo Marathon 2017 Wheelchair Race Preview
By Masazumi Soejima - Tokyo Marathon Wheelchair Race Director
The Tokyo Marathon elite wheelchair race turned international last year, and two men and two women athletes from the top echelon of wheelchair racing competed in Tokyo Marathon 2016. The domestic athletes raced for the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic team berth. On the men's side, Kota Hokinoue finished third overall with 1:26:01, while on the women's side Wakako Tsuchida won the women's wheelchair division with 1:41:01 and thus they qualified for the Paralympic team berth.
Both the men and women's gold medalists at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic wheelchair races have entered the 2017 edition of the Tokyo Marathon wheelchair race.
On the men's side invited athletes from abroad include Marcel Hug (SUI), the winner of the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics as well as Abbott World Marathon Majors races at Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York, Ernst Van Dyk (RSA), the second place finisher at the last year's Tokyo Marathon, and Joshua George (USA), third in Chicago and New York City Marathon.
On the women's side the invited athletes from abroad include Zou Lihong (CHN), the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic wheelchair marathon gold medalist, Tatyana McFadden (USA), who was edged out for the gold in Rio by Zou, Amanda McGrory (USA), Rio de Janeiro Paralympic wheelchair marathon bronze medalist, Manuela Schar (SUI), the winner of the Berlin Marathon, and Susannah Scaroni (USA), who ranks sixth in the world.
The domestic men's field includes Kota Hokinoue, national record holder and the first Japanese in the last year's Tokyo Marathon, Tomoki Suzuki, who has been steadily improving both domestically and internationally, and Hiroki Nishida. As for the domestic women, it will be fascinating to see how Kazumi Nakayama will battle against the top athletes from abroad.
The outstanding field to realize the race I have dreamed of as a race director - "Fast race to challenge the world record in Tokyo" - is assembled this year.
The course has been renewed this year. The up and down hills over the bridges in the closing stages of the marathon are eliminated this year. The course is now relatively flat. So I hope that competitive speed will be kept up all the way to the end of the race. You can hardly take your eyes off the race, for someone can make the move at any point of the race along the 42.195km course. Please keep cheering the athletes from the start to the finish.