Ugandan distance runner Stephen Kiprotich (© Getty Images)
Both of the Olympic marathon champions, Stephen Kiprotich and Tiki Gelana, will be heading to the 2015 Tokyo Marathon on 22 February, the organisers for the IAAF Gold Label Road Race confirmed on Thursday (27).
The pair will also both go to Tokyo with points to prove after a difficult 12-month period when they have been unable to reproduce the form which took them to their Olympic triumphs.
Kiprotich, from Uganda, is familiar with the Tokyo Marathon, having finished third there in 2012, running what is still his second-best time of 2:07:50, his last marathon before his victory in London.
After 12th place in the London Marathon in April and fifth place in the New York Marathon earlier this month, both relatively modest outings for a runner who can also point to a gold medal at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, Kiprotich will be keen to get a good result in the Japanese capital in what could be his last marathon before he defends his global crown at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing next August.
Formerly based in Japan, Gelana ran the Yokohama International Women's Marathon earlier this month where the Ethiopian was sixth in 2:29:13, suggesting that she has still not got back to her 2012 form following her well-publicised collision with a wheelchair racer at the 2013 London Marathon.
“I finished the race, but afterwards I found out that I was badly injured and it took me a very long time to fully recover,” said Gelana recently, reflecting on her unfortunate return to London.
Organisers also said that a staggering 304,825 people had entered for the 28,400 available places in the race for the general public.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF