MGC Race Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier – Yuka Ando

Yuka Ando

age: 25
sponsor: Wacoal
graduated from: Toyokawa H.S.

best time inside MGC window:
2:26:47, 13th, 2019 London Marathon

PB: 2:21:36, 2nd, 2017 Nagoya Women’s Marathon

other PBs:
5000 m: 15:32.67 (2015) 10000 m: 31:58.71 (2016) half marathon: 1:09:47 (2019)

marathons inside MGC window (Aug. 1 2017 – April 30 2019)
13th, 2019 London Marathon, 2:26:47
3rd, 2018 Osaka International Women’s Marathon, 2:27:37
17th, 2017 London World Championships Marathon, 2:31:31

other major results:
2nd, 2019 Hakodate Half Marathon, 1:09:47 – PB
1st, 2019 Niigata Half Marathon, 1:10:34
3rd, 2017 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, 1:12:12
10th, 2016 World Half Marathon Championships, 1:10:36

Another star runner from Toyokawa H.S., after graduating Ando bounced around through a series of corporate teams before landing at Suzuki Hamamatsu AC. There she found a coach who encouraged her to run the way that felt natural to her, with her arms almost straight down at her sides. The results spoke for themselves, with Ando dropping a Japan debut marathon record of 2:21:36 at the 2017 Nagoya Women’s Marathon.

Just after that the coach left the team, and after that Ando and training partner Mao Kiyota struggled to regain the same level. Last year she qualified for the MGC Race with a 2:27:37 for 3rd at the Osaka International Women’s Marathon, but near the end of the season she decided she needed another change in environment and transferred to the Wacoal team. In her first marathon in the Wacoal uniform she ran 2:26:47 for 13th at this spring’s London Marathon, still far off her best but a step back in the right direction.

Since then she’s run a 1:09:47 PB for the half marathon at July’s hot and humid Hakodate Half, a promising sign that she’s taken a few more steps. As the fastest woman in the field Ando should be a favorite, but it’s going to take getting back a little closer to her best for her to compete with her junior teammate Mao Ichiyama and the other front-end contenders.

Tomohiro Tanigawa

age: 30
sponsor: Konica Minolta
graduated from: Kumamoto Kogyo H.S., Takushoku University

best time inside MGC window:
2:12:02, 3rd, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

PB: 2:11:39, 2nd, 2015 Nagano Marathon

other PBs:
5000 m: 13:51.09 (2013) 10000 m: 28:24.31 (2013) half marathon: 1:02:18 (2013)

marathons inside MGC window (Aug. 1 2017 – April 30 2019):
3rd, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon, 2:12:02
28th, 2018 Beppu-Oita Marathon, 2:18:33

other major results:
5th, 2019 New Year Ekiden Seventh Stage (15.5 km), 46:28
1st, 2016 Sydney Marathon, 2:12:13

Tanigawa is the only athlete male or female in the MGC Race to have never broken the 2020 Olympics marathon qualifying time standard. He did win the gold label Sydney Marathon in 2016, equivalent to having cleared the standard, but his PB of 2:11:39 from 2015 is just shy of the 2:11:30 time standard. Tanigawa graduated from Takushoku University, alma mater of two of the three members of Japan’s 2012 London Olympics marathon team, Arata Fujiwara and Kentaro Nakamoto.

Injured for most of 2017, he came back with a 3rd-place finish at last August’s Hokkaido Marathon in 2:12:03 to qualify for the MGC Race, a run that put him into the category of proven performers in heat and humidity. Since then he’s run a strong 46:20 PB for 10 miles in December and was 5th on the 15.5 km New Year Ekiden anchor stage in 46:28 in January, but was an only decent 1:03:58 for 16th at July’s Hakodate Half Marathon and 14:32.16 for 5000 m a week later in Shibetsu.

MGC Race Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier – Ayuko Suzuki

Ayuko SuzukiAge: 27
sponsor: Japan Post
graduated from: Jishukan H.S., Nagoya Universitybest time inside MGC window:
2:28:32, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

PB: 2:28:32, 1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon

other PBs:
5000 m: 15:08.29 (2015) 10000 m: 31:18.16 (2016) half marathon: 1:07:55 (2019)

marathons inside MGC window (Aug. 1 2017 – April 30 2019):
1st, 2018 Hokkaido Marathon, 2:28:32

other major results:
2nd, 2019 National Championships 10000 m, 31:46.25
2nd, 2019 Kagawa Marugame Int’l Half Marathon, 1:07:55
2nd, 2019 National Women’s Ekiden 9th Stage (10.0 km), 31:08
2nd, 2018 National Corporate Women’s Ekiden 3rd Stage (10.9 km), 34:46
2nd, 2018 National Championships 10000 m, 31:57.82
10th, 2017 London World Championships 10000 m, 31:27.30
2nd, 2017 National Championships 10000 m, 31:41.65
2nd, 2017 National Championships 5000 m, 15:20.50
12th, 2016 Rio Olympics 5000 m H2, 15:41.81
2nd, 2016 National Championships 5000 m, 15:24.47
1st, 2016 National Championships 10000 m, 31:18.73
9th, 2015 Be…