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Japanese runner clinches gold in Taiwan marathon

2018/03/18 18:50:28

Yuki Kawauchi

Taipei, March 18 (CNA) Japanese marathon runner Yuki Kawauchi took first place in the Wan Jin Shi Marathon held in New Taipei Sunday, with a time of 2:14:12, the same result as he got when he last raced the course in 2016.

The 31-year-old Kawauchi was a runner-up in the 2016 race, the course record for which was set by William Chebon Chebor of Kenya at 2:13:05 that same year.

Kawauchi, a civil servant for the government of Japan's Saitama Prefecture, has been dubbed by Japanese media as a "citizen runner" as a way of commending his dedication to training and participating in international races.

Johnstone Kibet Maiyo from Kenya took second place with a time of 2:14:40, followed by Aredom Tiumay Degefa from Ethiopia, with a time of 2:14:54, according to the organizers -- the New Taipei City government and the Chinese Taipei Athletics Association.

The 34-year-old Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei from Kenya won the woman's race in 2:35:57, one second ahead of Chemtai Rionotukei, also from Kenya.

North Korea long-distance runner Kim Ji Hyang, who set the course record of 2:34:52 in 2014, took third with 2:38:10, according to the organizers.

The International Association of Athletics Federations late last year elevated the Wan Jin Shi Marathon to silver label race status, an upgrade from a bronze label certification in 2005, making it the first and only event of its kind in Taiwan to receive such accreditation.

Launched in 2003, the marathon has gained popularity in recent years, with more than 10,000 entrants from 30 countries and regions taking part this year in the event, which also featured mini-marathons of 14 and 7 kilometers.

(By Wang Hung-kuo and Shih Hsiu-chuan)