Japan's Olympic hope, Toshihiko Seko, has won the Fukuoka International Marathon for the second consecutive year.
GV Start of fukuoka International marathon in fukuoka (2 shots)
AERIAL VIEW Runners on course along coast
GV Police escort in front of runners and waving crowds along road (3 shots)
GV AERIAL VIEW OF runners
GV Leaders of race into stadium (number nine Toshihiko Seko number eleven, Takashi Soh and number eight, Shigeru Soh)
GV Crowds waving flags in Heiwadai Stadium during last stages of marathon, with Seko breaking into lead and then taking tape (3 shots)
SV Second and third place winners, Shigeru Soh and Takashi Soh posing at end of race
The best foreign place went to Britain's Bernie Ford, who finished fourth, just three seconds behind Takashi Soh's third place time 2:10:48. North Korea's Choe Change-Sop came fifth, and two Australians, Chris Wardlaw and William Scott, tied for sixth.
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Background: Japan's Olympic hope, Toshihiko Seko, has won the Fukuoka International Marathon for the second consecutive year. He had overtaken two other Japanese runners tow hundred metres (220 yards) from the end to reach the front and stay there. Twin brothers, Shigeru and Takashi Soh finished second and in the race on Sunday (2 December).
SYNOPSIS: More than a hundred runners, thirty-one of them from other countries around the world, started the tough Fukuoka course. The circular course, covering just over forty-two kilometres (26 miles)headed towards the Heiwadai Stadium along a scenic beachside route.
Conditions were good, with sunny skies, low winds, and the temperature less than twelve degrees centigrade (54 degree Fahrenheit). The runners included East Germany's Waldemar Cierpinski, winner of the 1976 Olympic Marathon, and the Soviet Union's Leonid Mosevev, winner of the Spartakiad Marathon.
But it was the Japanese runners who moved ahead of the pack to battle over the final laps in Heiwadai Stadium. Toshihiko Seko--wearing number nine--and the Soh brothers, Takeshi in number eleven, and Shigeru number eight, fought a gruelling shoulder-to-shoulder race from the forty kilometre point (25 miles). And it was Seko who pulled ahead in what he later described as his toughest race. He won in two hours, ten minuets an thirty-five seconds.
The Soh brothers scrambling into minor places made it a Japanese triumph.