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Posted: February 19, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Tergat Leads Lake Biwa Field

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

By David Monti with Ken Nakamura

Former marathon world record holder and two-time Olympic silver medalist Paul Tergat leads the field of elite entrants for the 64th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon in Otsu, Japan, on Sunday, March 1.

The willowy Tergat, who turns 40 in June, ran his last marathon in New York City last November, finishing fourth in 2:13:10. He set his personal best of 2:04:55 in Berlin back in 2003, a mark which stood as the world record until Haile Gebrselassie broke it four years later at the same race. Tergat's best recent time was 2:08:06 from the Flora London Marathon in 2007.

Other invited international athletes include Spain's José Rios (2:07:42 PB), Morocco's Abderrahime Bouramdane (2:08:20), Eritrea's Yared Asmeron (2:08:34), and Ethiopia's Abiyot Guta (2:10:38).

The top Japanese entries are Yuzo Onishi (2:08:54 PB), Tomoya Shimizu (2:09:23), Kazutoshi Takatsuka (2:08:56), Takashi Ota (2:12:10) and Masaya Shimizu (2:12:31).

Four pacemakers have been hired by the organizers, led by Kenyans Isaac Macharia and Nicholas Chelimo.

Spaniard Antonio Peña holds the course record of 2:07:34 set in 2001. Qatar's Mubarak Hassan Shami won last year's race in 2:08:23.

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