• The age-less Mungara is also confident of breasting the tape despite the challenge from Kawauchi.
• The 45-year-old's fastest was at the 2011 Prague marathon where he clocked 2:07:36.
Kenneth Mungara will renew rivalry with Japan's Yuki Kawauchi in the 41st edition of Gold Coast Marathon on July 7 in Australia.
Mungara edged out Kawauchi by just one second to win the 2016 edition in a finish that came down to the wire after a sprint between the pair in the finish chute.
This will be the fifth consecutive year the pair will be meeting on Gold Coast soil, with Mungara having won three. Kawauchi has been unable to add to his 2013 title since Mungara has been on the scene.
The age-less Mungara is also confident of breasting the tape despite the challenge from Kawauchi.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Yuki again," Mungara said. "It certainly won’t be an easy job defending my track record against him but the rivalry we have built keeps me wanting to come back and have him challenge me."
While Mungara still holds the course and Australian all-comers record of 2:08:42, which he set in 2015, he will need to work hard to defend his title from Kawauchi, who is in good shape this season after his recent hit out at the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon last month.
Kawauchi’s time of 2:09:21 in Beppu bettered Mungara’s 2:12:47 in Hong Kong in February by 3 minutes and 26 seconds, albeit in slightly different conditions, indicating that this could be the year Kawauchi finally beats his long-standing rival.
However, a win won’t come easily against Mungara who holds world bests across four separate ages. The 45-year-old's fastest was at the 2011 Prague marathon where he clocked 2:07:36.