Japan's defending champion Toshihiko Seko has scored his third successive victory in the Fukuoka Marathon.
GV PAN start of race - runners move down track
GV runners round corner of track
GV GV PAN runners leave stadium led by No. 101 and move along road
GV runners move along road
SV Crowd cheer runners
SV Runner Number 159 rounds post
SV Led by police motorcyclist other runners round post
CU Crowd watching
GV Leaders move along road (Nos. 122, 153 and 101) (2 shots)
SV First three move along road
Tr S Eventual winner (Number 119) pulls away from eventual second place (number 121) and both enter stadium
SV Crowd in stadium
SV Winner (119) finishes followed by runner No. 121 in second place (2 shots)
SV Third place runner (Number 122) finishes marathon
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Background: Japan's defending champion Toshihiko Seko has scored his third successive victory in the Fukuoka Marathon. He finished the 26-mile (42 kilometre) course on Sunday (December 7) in two hours, nine minutes and 49 seconds -- the eighth-best time ever achieved in world marathon racing.
SYNOPSIS: In almost perfect weather, a field of 130 runners set off along Fukuoka's switchback course through the city. The event began at the city stadium and then led out on to the main highway which had been cleared of traffic.
As the tightly packed bunch left the stadium, they were led by Waldemar Cierpinski of East Germany. Thousands of people lined the route to cheer on their favourites as they ran towards the seafront.
First to reach the halfway mark was William Britton of Canada. The runners were now on their way to the stadium. The first half of the marathon was run comparatively slowly, but now the pace speeded up.
Battling it out at the 30 kilometre (about 18 1/2 miles) stage were Waldermar Cierpinski of East Germany, Kirk Pfeffer of the United States and Japan's Kunimitsu Itoh.
Fifty metres before the stadium entrance, the runners' fortunes had changed again. Toshihiko Seko put on a spurt to pass the other two leaders, his compatriot Takeshi Soh and Gary Henry of Australia.
The win for Toshihiki Seko beat his own personal best by 17 seconds. Takeshi Soh finished about 30 metres (about 98 feet) behind him in second place, Australia's Gary Henry was third.