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Former Taiwanese Olympian 57th at Tokyo Marathon

2018/02/25 19:59:52

Runners crossing the finish line at the 2018 Tokyo Marathon on Sunday

Taipei, Feb. 25 (CNA) Former Taiwanese Olympian Chang Chia-che (張嘉哲) finished 57th in the 2018 Tokyo Marathon on Sunday, breaking the national record for the marathon.

Chang finished the race in a time of 2 hours, 19 minutes and 59 seconds, beating the previous record of 2:25:55 set by Hsu Chi-sheng (許績勝) at the 1997 Tokyo Marathon, according to the Taiwan Athletics website.

He finished 77th at the London Olympics marathon in 2012 in a time of 2:29:58.

In recognition of Chang's performance in Tokyo, the Marathon Photo Tour Facebook page posted a video of Chang crossing the finish line at the event.

The post congratulated him on his showing and also for being the first Taiwanese athlete to have competed in the three biggest marathons in Japan -- the Tokyo Marathon, the Fukuoka Marathon and the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.

Approximately 1,000 Taiwanese athletes participated in the 2018 Tokyo Marathon, with many wearing tops showing the national flag and the word "Taiwan."

Taiwanese runner Hsiao Yi-tsung (蕭奕宗), a physician at Taipei City Hospital's Zhongxiao Branch who competed in the marathon, said he and a group of friends purchased their running outfits with the word "Taiwan" online.

A Taiwanese runner surnamed Yeh (葉) who wore a headband with the national flag and a "Taiwan" shirt said Japanese fans were very friendly to Taiwanese and welcomed and cheered for him throughout the course.

A man wearing a headband with Taiwan's national flag and a "Taiwan" shirt

He said he was grateful for the support because he nearly dropped out during the run but finished the race with the help of their cheers.

The Tokyo Marathon was won by Kenyan Dickson Chumba in 2:05:30, followed by Yuta Shitara of Japan in 2:06:11.

The Tokyo Marathon has been held annually since 2007 and is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors series featuring six of the world's largest and most renowned marathons, in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.

(By Huang Ming-hsi and William Yen)