What you need to know:
In his previous race at the Chicago Marathon in the USA last October, Kissa stepped in a hole on the course after 32km and lost the gap with the leading group, eventually finishing 21st with a twisted ankle.
Stephen Kissa’s dream of becoming the country’s first city champion of a World Marathon Major (WMM) didn’t come to fruition on his trip to Japan.
The Ugandan national record holder struggled with the final sixth of the race before finishing 11th at the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.
His third career 42km race ended in a time of two hours, seven minutes and 16 seconds. “The race was tough,” Kissa admitted, “It was hilly,” the calm runner stated.
Kissa had kept with the leading group up the 35km mark but he finished almost two minutes after race winner Ethiopian Deso Gelmisa.
“Not a good result,” his coach Addy Ruiter responded. “Until 35km, it was looking very easy but in 2km, it was over and he started struggling with his left leg.
“He got cramps everywhere in the left leg. We have to find out the reason,” added Ruiter. This is Kissa’s second marathon where he has had troubles.
In his previous race at the Chicago Marathon in the USA last October, he stepped in a hole on the course after 32km and lost the gap with the leading group, eventually finishing 21st with a twisted ankle.
However, Kissa’s time in Tokyo is still the fourth best among Ugandan marathoners since 2021 which implies he could have done better.
Meanwhile, Gelmisa led an Ethiopian podium sweep with a winning time of 2:05:22.
2023 TOKYO MARATHON
1 Deso Gelmisa (ETH) 2:05:22
2 Mohamed Esa (ETH) 2:05:22
3 Tsegaye Getachew (ETH) 2:05:25
11 Stephen Kissa (UGA) 2:07:16
KISSA AT A GLANCE
Full Name: Stephen Kissa
Date of birth: Dec 1, 1995
Major Events: Half-Marathon, Marathon
Personal Bests: 58:56 (21km), 2:04:48 (42km)
Coach: Addy Ruiter
Manager: Jurrie van der Velden
KISSA OVER 42KM
Apr 24, 2022: Hamburg Marathon, 4th (2:04:48)
Oct 9, 2022: Chicago Marathon, 21st (2:13:16)
Mar 5, 2023: Tokyo Marathon, 11th (2:07:16)
2023 BUDAPEST WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
MEN’S MARATHON - TEAM UGANDA QUALIFICATION
1 Stephen Kissa; Hamburg Marathon (2nd, 2:04:48 on Apr 24, 2022)
2 Victor Kiplangat; Hamburg Marathon (4th, 2:05:09 on Apr 24, 2022)
3 Solomon Mutai; Venice Marathon (1st, 2:08:10 on Oct 23, 2022)
4 Filex Chemongesi; Linz Marathon (8th, 2:08:42 on Oct 23, 2022)
5 Martin Musau; Amsterdam Marathon (12th, 2:09:04 on Oct 16, 2022)
6 Geofrey Kusuro; Madrid Marathon (2nd, 2:09:23 on Apr 24, 2022)
Entry Standard: 2:09:40, Qualifying window: Dec 1, 2021 - May 30, 2023