04 Feb 2018
TOKYO (kyodo) South Africa's Desmond Mokgobu crossed the tape just three seconds ahead of Japan's top finisher Hayato Sonoda to win the Beppu-Oita Marathon on Sunday.
Sonoda led the race at the 30-kilometer mark but was overtaken 5 km later by Mokgobu, who finished the 42.195-km course from Takasakiyama-Umitamago in Oita to Oita City Athletic Stadium in 2:09:31 (PB).
Despite narrowly losing the title, Sonoda earned a spot in next year's Grand Championship, a selection qualifying race for Japanese runners for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Japan's Shohei Otsuka finished third with a time of 2:10:12.