Japan’s Takayoshi Shigemi will take on a trio of top Australian athletes at the inaugural IAU 24-Hour Asia and Oceania Championships in Kaohsiung from Saturday to Sunday (19-20).
Shigemi is the lone Japanese runner in the field but the one who has run the farthest. With a personal best of 269.225km in 2013 and a distance of 252.030km in 2015, Shigemi will be looking to be on the top of the podium on Sunday.
Australia’s leading men Barry Loveday (257.593km), Ewan Horsburgh (249.716km) and John Pearson (241.430km) all have run farther than 240km in the past year and will pose a strong threat to Shigemi.
Korea’s Kwang Bok Kim has a 233km personal best and might try to squeeze into the top three.
In the women's race, Jodie Oborne leads a strong Australian contingent. With a 230km personal best, she will be looking for high mileage during the 24-hour time period. Teammate Nikki Wynd will also be looking to make it on to the podium, having recently run 221.113km.
The host nation will be led by Yen-Ling Huang with a recent best of 200.792km. Chinese Taipei has Ya-Fen Wang and Mong-Chi Lin running in the competition and will take on Australia in the team contest.
The race route is a 1.75-kilometre loop around Kaohsiung’s National Stadium, venue of the 2009 World Games. Seven countries will contest the championship race: Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Philippines and Chinese Taipei.
Frank Kuo and Nadeem Khan for the IAAF