Japanese Runner Nishiyama Finishes 9th Place in Tokyo Marathon; Osako Secures Place in Paris Games

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Runners make the start of the Tokyo Marathon in front of the Tokyo metropolitan government building on Sunday.
Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Suguru Osako

Suguru Osako has secured a spot in the men’s marathon at this years’ Paris Olympics as top Japanese finisher Yusuke Nishiyama came in 9th at Sunday’s Tokyo Marathon.

Nishiyama missed out on a spot for the 2024 Games after clocking in a time of 2 hours 6 minutes 31 seconds, falling short of the 2:05:50 required to qualify.

“It [cutting the personal best by more than one minute] didn’t mean anything because I failed to make the qualification time. I’m so disappointed” Nishiyama recalled the race. His previous personal best was 2:07:47 when he took part in the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in February 2022.

Naoki Koyama and Akira Akasaki, the top two finishers at the Marathon Grand Championship (MGC) held in Tokyo in October, were given two of the three spots for Japan. The third spot was to be given to the fastest runner who made the qualification standard in the three subsequent qualification races, including the Tokyo Marathon. However, no top Japanese finishers were able to break the time. Thus, the third slot was given to Osako, the third finisher of the MGC. Osako did not run Sunday’s race.

The race was won by Kenya’s Benson Kipruto at 2:02:16. Fellow countryman Eliud Kipchoge, back-to-back Olympic champion at Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, finished 10th place at 2:06:50.