ZIMBABWE’S national marathon record-holder, Cuthbert Nyasango will be looking to bounce back and finish the year on a high at the annual Fukuoka International Marathon in Japan next month after his disappointing finish at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 32-year-old Nyasango found the going tough in Rio as he faded to a disappointing 58th place finish in two hours 18 minutes 58 seconds, a far cry from four years ago when he crossed the finish line in seventh position at the London Olympics.
The two-time Olympian, however, has a chance to make amends for the Rio disappointment after being named among the 16 invited elite runners for the 70th edition of the world famous Fukuoka Marathon in Japan on December 4.
Nyasango, who will line up against some of the top marathoners in the world — including former world record-holder Patrick Makau — has intensified training ahead of the prestigious race.
“Preparations have been going on well and I’ve been working very hard to ensure that I am ready come December 4.
Obviously, I’m very eager to do well after not doing as I had expected at the Rio Olympics,” he said.
The Nyanga-born long-distance runner, who boasts of a personal best time of 2:09:52, secured his best-ever finish in Japan in 2012 when he crossed the finish line in ninth position.
While Nyasango is hoping for a strong finish to the year, Makau — the former world record-holder — will be gunning for a hat-trick of Fukuoka Marathon titles when he lines up for the International Association of Athletics Federations Gold Label Road Race.
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 Japanese 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 medallist 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. Kwambai’s best is 2:04:27 and earlier this year he won the Daegu Marathon in 2:10:46.