Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two Meet Records and Kiryu in the 200 m - Kanto Regionals Day Three Highlights

by Brett Larner


Following up on his 100 m title and anchor run for Toyo University's 4x100 m team, Rio Olympics men's 4x100 m silver medalist Yoshihide Kiryu rolled on through day three of his final Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, winning his 200 m heat in 20.79 +1.3 m/s. Where he easily dominated all three rounds of the 100 m, this time Kiryu had pressure. In Heat 3, second-year Jun Yamashita (Tsukuba Univ.) ran 20.71 -0.5 m/s to take the top spot heading into the semi-finals.


After a raft of meet records on the second day of Regionals, two more events saw new records on day three. In the D2 men's javelin throw, little-known Ryoma Nakaura (Ibaraki Univ.) threw a meet record 71.93 m to win by over six meters. The competition of the day came in the D1 men's pole vault, where both fourth-year Koki Kuruma (Juntendo Univ.) and first-year Masaki Ejima (Nihon Univ.) cleared the ancient 5.40 m meet record dating back to 1998. 6th in both the 2015 World Youth Championships and 2016 World U20 Championships, Ejima tied his PB of 5.50 m to take 2nd, Kuruma getting the win as he cleared his PB by 15 cm for a new meet record of 5.55 m.



In long distance action, Rio 3000 mSC Olympian and defending D1 champ Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) opted to sit the steeple out in favor of more orthodox distance. In his absence, Ryoma Aoki (Hosei Univ.) took the D1 title in 8:52.77. D2 winner Taisei Ogino (Kanagawa Univ.) was faster, running six seconds better than he did last year to win for the second year in a row in 8:51.16.  Second last year, 2015 women's 3000 mSC winner Moeno Shimizu (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) returned to the top, winning by more than ten seconds in 10:19.41.

96th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships
Day Three Highlights
Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, 5/27/17
click here for complete results

Men's 3000 mSC Final - Division 1
1. Ryoma Aoki (Hosei Univ.) - 8:52.77
2. Shuto Mikami (Tokai Univ.) - 8:55.58
3. Hiroshi Yanokura (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 8:58.93
4. Kazuya Yamaguchi (Nittai Univ.) - 9:02.43
5. Kiyosumi Higashijima (Meiji Univ.) - 9:03.36

Men's 3000 mSC Final - Division 2
1. Taisei Ogino (Kanagawa Univ.) - 8:51.16
2. Joya Tamura (Teikyo Univ.) - 9:02.60
3. Shoya Takahashi (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 9:02.87
4. Masahiro Kamido (Asia Univ.) - 9:05.21
5. Seiju Suzuki (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 9:06.89

Women's 3000 mSC Final
1. Moeno Shimizu (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 10:19.41
2. Nanami Niwa (Chuo Univ.) - 10:29.70
3. Yui Sato (Juntendo Univ.) - 10:31.21
4. Yuka Matsumura (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 10:37.57
5. Yuki Akiyama (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 10:37.93

Men's 10000 m Race Walk - Division 1
1. Fumitaka Oikawa (Toyo Univ.) - 40:57.36
2. Koki Ikeda (Toyo Univ.) - 40:59.16
3. Masatora Kawano (Toyo Univ.) - 41:11.62

Men's 10000 m Race Walk - Division 2
1. Sho Sakazaki (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 42:53.94
2. Yamato Nakajima (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 42:59.55
3. Taiga Takizawa (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 43:26.85

Men's High Jump Final - Division 1
1. Daisuke Nakajima (Nihon Univ.) - 2.16 m
2. Kei Higashijima (Tsukuba Univ.) - 2.13 m
3. Ryohei Kamikawa (Nihon Univ.) - 2.10 m

Men's Pole Vault - Division 1
1. Koki Kuruma (Juntendo Univ.) - 5.55 m - MR
2. Masaki Ejima (Nihon Univ.) - 5.50 m (MR)
3. Shingo Sawa (Nihon Univ.) - 5.20 m

Men's Long Jump Final - Division 2
1. Naoya Yoshizawa (Sakushin Gakuin Univ.) - 7.36 m -0.7 m/s
2. Masaki Ebinuma (Surugadai Univ.) - 7.19 m -0.7 m/s
3. Hideaki Kinoshita (Tokyo Univ.) - 7.16 m -0.3 m/s

Women's Triple Jump Final
1. Kuria Kenmochi (Tsukuba Univ.) - 12.78 m -0.5 m/s
2. Machiko Ota (Nihon Univ.) - 12.70 m +0.4 m/s
3. Moeno Saito (Nihon Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 12.63 m +0.2 m/s

Men's Discus Throw - Division 2
1. Sayato Ueda (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 43.80 m
2. Koichi Ishii (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 43.02 m
3. Kohei Yaguchi (Saitama Univ.) - 42.76 m

Men's Hammer Throw - Division 1
1. Shinya Fujioka (Juntendo Univ.) - 60.12 m
2. Yosuke Umeyama (Juntendo Univ.) - 59.81 m
3. Shoki Kojima (Nihon Univ.) - 59.75 m

Men's Hammer Throw - Division 2
1. Shosei Kitamata (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 60.03 m
2. Takahiro Oshima (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 55.30 m
3. Shuta Yamazaki (Hakuoh Univ.) - 53.79 m

Women's Hammer Throw
1. Kiyono Sekiguchi (Tsukuba Univ.) - 59.56 m
2. Kosumo Ehara (Tsukuba Univ.) - 57.56 m
3. Mirei Kuroiwa (Tsukuba Univ.) - 55.89 m

Men's Javelin Throw - Division 2
1. Ryoma Nakaura (Ibaraki Univ.) - 71.93 m - MR
2. Takashi Yabe (Hitotsubashi Univ.) - 65.80 m
3. Yuji Nakamura (Shobi Gakuen Univ.) - 64.40 m

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Bor, Gebresilase and Murayama Lead Ottawa 10k Men's Field

by Brett Larner


2015 winner Nicholas Bor (Kenya), former Tokyo Kokusai University runner Leul Gebresilase (Ethiopia) and the 2017 New Year Ekiden champion team Asahi Kasei's star twin Kenta Murayama (Japan) lead the elite men's field for Saturday's Ottawa 10K, part of the Tamarack Homes Ottawa Race Weekend. Out of competition for almost two years with injury, Bor indicated at the pre-race press conference that his training had been good. Winner of Nigeria's Okpekpe 10 km two weeks ago, Gebresilase was confident of his chances.

Murayama, 5th in March's NYC Half in 1:00:57, said that he planned to play an active role in the race and hoped to even the score against Gebresilase, who beat him in both of their meetings on the track in Japan. Speaking to Japanese media prior to his departure for Ottawa, Murayama said that in terms of time he will be going for the 28:05 Japanese national record for road 10 km currently held by Atsushi Sato. If he succeeds he will join his twin brother Kota Murayama, holder of the track 10000 m national record of 27:29.69.

The Ottawa 10K will be streamed live starting at 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening. Check the Athletics Canada site and the Run Ottawa site for more information. Live results and athlete tracking are available here. Murayama appears in Ottawa with support from JRN.

Ottawa 10K Elite Men's Field Highlights
Ottawa, Canada, 5/27/17

Leul Gebresilase (Ethiopia) - 27:19.71 (track, 2016)
Nicholas Bor (Kenya) - 27:38 (road, 2014)
Kenta Murayama (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 27:39.95 (track, 2015)
Eric Gillis (Canada) - 28:07.19 (track, 2008)
Martin Hehir (U.S.A.) - 28:08.60 (track, 2017)
Tolossa Gedefa (Ethiopia) - 28:16 (road, 2012)
Tristan Woodfine (Canada) - 28:56.53 (track, 2014)
Taher Belkorchi (Morocco) - 29:16 (road, 2010)
Matt Loiselle (Canada) - 29:18 (road, 2010)
Kevin Tree (Canada) - 29:18.86 (track, 2016)
Bonsa Gonfa (Ethiopia) - debut

text and photo © 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, May 26, 2017

Kiryu Takes Final Kanto 100 m Title - Kanto Regionals Day Two Highlights

by Brett Larner


Day two of the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships saw one of the the country's greats, Rio Olympics men's 4x100 m silver medalist Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.), lining up in the meet's 100 m for the final time of his college career. Heading into the semi-finals with the fastest time in the heats, Kiryu easily topped the semis with a 10.15 +1.8 m/s to take the top spot among the qualifiers for the final. There he ran 10.24 -0.5 m/s to add one last Kanto 100 m title to his collection. Anchoring Toyo's 4x100 m team he brought them home in 4th in 39.56, leaving just one more event, the 200 m, before he wraps up his final appearance at Japan's best meet.


Kiryu aside, the day was highlighted by four meet records on both the track and field. In the D2 men's 400 m final Fuga Sato (Sakushin Gakuin Univ.) set a new meet record of 46.32, a time that would have put him 3rd in the D1 final. In the D1 men's 110 mH final  Taio Kanai (Hosei Univ.) shaved 0.01 off the meet record to win in 13.63 +0.4 m/s.  In the women's javelin throw Marina Saito (Kokushikan Univ.) threw a meet record 61.07 m to win by almost 9 meters. The final new record came in the men's D1 long jump with the day's most exciting competition. Going into their final jumps Nihon University teammates Yuki Hashioka and Daiki Oda were tied at 7.78 m. On his final attempt Hashioka, a first-year, miraculously jumped a meet record 8.04 m, and when four-year Oda blew his last try the title went to the younger new star.


The day's main long distance action was the women's 10000 m. Due to the Hakone Ekiden-induced predominance of men's long distance in the Hakone region, the Kansai region is traditionally stronger in university women's distance. But nevertheless, this year's women's 10000 m had both quality and depth. Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka Univ.), runner-up in the 5000 m last year, edged local Saitama rival Maki Izumida (Rikkyo Univ.) and last year's winner Ai Hosoda (Nittai Univ.) by 0.11 to take the title in 33:12.05. Last year Hosoda doubled back from her 10000 m title to win the 5000 m. On Sunday Sekiya will try to duplicate that feat on the meet's closing day.

96th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships
Day Two Highlights
Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, 5/26/17
click here for complete results

Men's 100 m Final - Divison 1 -0.5 m/s
1. Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 10.24
2. Akihiro Higashida (Tsukuba Univ.) - 10.39
3. Ippei Takeda (Chuo Univ.) - 10.40

Men's 100 m Final - Division 2 +0.9 m/s
1. Yusuke Tanaka (Wellness Univ.) - 10.40
2. Issei Kobayashi (Surugadai Univ.) - 10.54
3. Kirara Shiraishi (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 10.55

Women's 100 m Final +1.5 m/s
1. Arisa Kimishima (Nittai Univ.) - 11.73
2. Sayaka Adachi (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 11.76
3. Sayaka Takeuchi (Keio Univ.) - 11.79

Men's 400 m Final - Division 1
1. Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 46.17
2. Mizuki Obuchi (Tokai Univ.) - 46.19
3. Kakeru Yamaki (Nihon Univ.) - 46.92

Men's 400m Final - Division 2
1. Fuga Sato (Sakushin Gakuin Univ.) - 46.32 - MR
2. Kota Wakabayashi (Surugadai Univ.) - 46.70
3. Shigeki Nakagawa (Surugadai Univ.) - 47.50

Women's 400 m Final
1. Yuna Iwata (Chuo Univ.) - 54.36
2. Kana Koyama (Waseda Univ.) - 54.82
3. Hinako Sato (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 55.54

Women's 10000 m
1. Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 33:12.05
2. Maki Izumida (Rikkyo Univ.) - 33:12.16
3. Ai Hosoda (Nittai Univ.) - 33:13.29
4. Saori Imamura (Juntendo Univ.) - 33:15.21
5. Yuki Munehisa (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 33:21.97
6. Yumi Motohiro (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 33:26.07
7. Rino Goshima (Chuo Univ.) - 33:27.19
8. Yuri Karasawa (Nittai Univ.) - 33:43.69
9. Yuki Sato (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 34:05.12
10. Maho Okura (Toyo Univ.) - 34:05.82

Men's 110 m Hurdles Final - Division 1 +0.4 m/s
1. Taio Kanai (Hosei Univ.) - 13.63 - MR
2. Shuhei Ishikawa (Tsukuba Univ.) - 13.72
3. Takumu Furuya (Waseda Univ.) - 13.78

Men's 110 m Hurdles Final - Division 2 +0.5 m/s
1. Takafumi Iguchi (Rikkyo Univ.) - 14.25
2. Ryo Kumada (Tokyo Rika Univ.) - 14.28
3. Takashi Yagi (Surugadai Univ.) - 14.33

Women's 100m Hurdles Final +1.9 m/s
1. Mako Fukube (Nittai Univ.) - 13.46
2. Megumi Hemphill (Chuo Univ.) - 13.53
3. Kaho Horiike (Kokushikan Univ.) - 13.59

Women's 10000 m Race Walk
1. Yuki Yoshizumi (Chiba Hoken Iryo Univ.) - 46:21.11
2. Yukiho Mizoguchi (Waseda Univ.) - 46:44.10
3. Nami Kumagai (Kokushikan Univ.) - 47:03.35

Men's 4x100 m Relay Final - Division 1
1. Chuo Univ. - 39.07
2. Tokai Univ. - 39.51
3. Juntendo Univ. - 39.51

Men's 4x100 m Relay Final - Division 2
1. Wellness Univ - 40.00
2. Daito Bunka Univ. - 40.08
3. Ryutsu Keizai Univ. - 40.45

Women's 4x100 m Relay Final
1. Aoyama Gakuin Univ. - 45.18
2. Nittai Univ. - 45.41
3. Keio Univ. - 45.89

Women's High Jump
1. Haruka Nakano (Waseda Univ.) - 1.76 m
2. Satomi Teratani (Tsukuba Univ.) - 1.70 m
3. Seiyu Iwata (Nihon Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 1.70 m

Men's Long Jump - Division 1
1. Yuki Hashioka (Nihon Univ.) - 8.04 m +0.1 m/s - MR
2. Daiki Oda (Nihon Univ.) - 7.78 m +0.3 m/s
3. Kodai Sakuma (Hosei Univ.) - 7.76 m +0.7 m/s

Men's Triple Jump - Division 2
1. Takuro Ban (Seigakuin Univ.) - 15.46 m -1.2 m/s
2. Yuta Saito (Sakushin Gakuin Univ.) - 15.33 m -0.5 m/s
3. Yasuhiro Nakaya (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 15.25 m -0.3 m/s

Men's Shot Put - Division 1
1. Tetsuo Kawaguchi (Nihon Univ.) - 17.46 m
2. Yuichi Akama (Tsukuba Univ.) - 17.35 m
3. Reiji Takeda (Nihon Univ.) - 17.18 m

Women's Javelin Throw
1. Marina Saito (Kokushikan Univ.) - 61.07 m - MR
2. Tomoka Kuwazoe (Tsukuba Univ.) - 52.66 m
3. Asuka Goto (Tsukuba Univ.) - 52.40 m

Men's Decathlon - Division 1
1. Shun Taue (Juntendo Univ.) - 7411
2. Suguru Shiozaki (Nihon Univ.) - 7383
3. Keisuke Okuda (Tokai Univ.) - 7113

Men's Decathlon - Division 2
1. Toshiki Tanaka (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 6541
2. Masaru Fukushima (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 6394
3. Tomoharu Sato (Chiba Univ.) - 6272

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kariuki Breaks Ndambiri's 10000 m Meet Record, Kiryu Back on Track - Kanto Regionals Day One Highlights

by Brett Larner


Japan's best meet, the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, kicked off Thursday at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium. Rio Olympics men's 4x100 m silver medalist Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) was one of the stars of the day, leading the opening round of men's 100 m heats in 10.42 (-0.6 m/s) and anchoring Toyo University's 4x100 m into the final, taking the team from last to 4th in his heat.


The men's 1500 m Division 1 race was solid by Japanese standards. Tokai University second year Ryoji Tatezawa won his heat in 3:44.61 before going on to take the final in 3:46.25, 2nd and 3rd-placers Kazuki Kawamura (Meiji Univ.) and Ko Kobayashi (Tsukuba Univ.) both clearing 3:48. Division 2, by comparison, was more business-as-usual, Hiroya Inoue (Jobu Univ.) winning in 3:51.84 after finishing 2nd in his heat in 3:53.03.


The balance of power between divisions was reversed in the men's 10000 m. Third-year Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) led the D2 race in 28:00.66, taking 17 seconds off the D2 meet record set in 2004 by future sub-27 man Josphat Ndambiri (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.). Kenyans second-years Ledama Kisaisa (Obirin Univ.) and Titus Wambua (Musashino Univ.) took 2nd and 3rd in 28:21.61 and 28:28.91. Interestingly, all three Kenyans run for relatively minor universities that have never qualified for the Hakone Ekiden, a sign of how things continue to shift on the Hakone circuit. This year's winner of Hakone's most competitive stage, Kengo Suzuki (Kanagawa Univ.), was the top Japanese man at 4th in 28:40.61.


In the D1 race, rival third-years Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) and Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) were back at it. Last year Wambui beat Nyairo 28:21.69 to 28:22.50 for the Kanto title. This year he did it again, running 28:21.65 to Nyairo's 28:23.90 despite an untied shoe. The pair had company until late in the race from Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.), a Rio Olympian in the 3000 mSC, but Shiojiri was unable to keep with Wambui's race-making move and faded to 3rd in 28:35.44 just off his PB. In 4th, Hiroyuki Sakaguchi (Meiji Univ.) ran a 22-second PB of 28:40.13, just eclipsing Suzuki's time in the D2 race.


Women's competition on day one was mostly on the field. In the women's pole vault, Misaki Morota (Chuo Univ.) tied the meet record of 4.00 m for the win. The only major track final was an exciting 1500 m, where Kyoka Kudo (Nittai Univ.) won in 4:26.88 by 0.08 over Ran Urabe (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.). The women's 3000 mSC and 5000 m happen Friday, with a day off before Sunday's 10000 m.

96th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships
Day One Highlights
Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, 5/25/17
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m - Division 1
1. Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) - 28:21.65
2. Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:23.90
3. Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) - 28:35.44
4. Hiroyuki Sakaguchi (Meiji Univ.) - 28:40.13
5. Yuta Bando (Hosei Univ.) - 28:44.87
6. Wataru Tochigi (Juntendo Univ.) - 28:45.80
7. Shuji Yamamoto (Toyo Univ.) - 28:50.64
8. Junnosuke Matsuo (Tokai Univ.) - 29:02.86
9. Tomoki Ota (Waseda Univ.) - 29:17.37
10. Sho Nagato (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:18.32

Men's 10000 m - Division 2
1. Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 28:00.66 - MR
2. Ledama Kisaisa (Obirin Univ.) - 28:21.61
3. Titus Wambua (Musashino Univ.) - 28:28.91
4. Kengo Suzuki (Kanagawa Univ.) - 28:40.61
5. Workneh Derese (Takushoku Univ.) - 28:45.07
6. Taisei Hashizume (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 28:56.06
7. Atsushi Yamato (Kanagawa Univ.) - 29:00.30
8. Yuhei Urano (Kokushikan Univ.) - 29:08.68
9. Homare Morita (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 29:09.85
10. Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ.) - 29:10.56

Men's 1500 m Final - Divison 1
1. Ryoji Tatezawa (Tokai Univ.) - 3:46.25
2. Kazuki Kawamura (Meiji Univ.) - 3:47.14
3. Ko Kobayashi (Tsukuba Univ.) - 3:47.43
4. Keisuke Morita (Tsukuba  Univ.) - 3:48.26
5. Kiseki Shiozawa (Tokai Univ.) - 3:48.78

Men's 1500 m Final - Division 2
1. Hiroya Inoue (Jobu Univ.) - 3:51.84
2. Takumi Watanabe (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 3:52.71
3. Kaito Komayama (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 3:52.74
4. Atsuya Ubukata (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 3:53.38
5. Katsutoshi Moeno (Komazawa Univ.) - 3:53.78

Women's 1500 m Final
1. Kyoka Kudo (Nittai Univ.) - 4:26.88
2. Ran Urabe (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 4:26.96
3. Minami Sato (Juntendo Univ.) - 4:27.26
4. Wakana Kabasawa (Keio Univ.) - 4:27.31
5. Tomoka Nakahata (Tamagawa Univ.) - 4:28.24

Women's Pole Vault
1. Misaki Morota (Chuo Univ.) - 4.00 m - MR
2. Aki Kabuno (Seiwa Univ.) - 3.85 m
3. Rina Suzuki (Nittai Univ.) - 3.80 m

Women's Long Jump Final
1. Ayane Kamiyama (Nittai Univ.) - 6.07 m
2. Yume Asazuma (Chuo Univ.) - 6.04 m
3. Yukino Tanaka (Nihon Univ.) - 6.02 m

Men's Javelin Throw - Division 1
1. Junya Sado (Tokai Univ.) - 76.36 m
2. Kenji Ogura (Nihon Univ.) - 75.79 m
3. Shu Mori (Nihon Univ.) - 75.21 m

Men's Shot Put - Division 2/3
1. Koichi Ishii (Wellness Univ.) - 15.85 m
2. Yuta Kon (Saitama Daigakuin) - 14.70 m
3. Yuya Sakamoto (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) -14.61 m

Women's Discus Throw
1. Minori Tsujikawa (Tsukuba Univ.) - 50.27 m
2. Asuka Ishii (Tokyo Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 50.07 m
3. Manami Nuri (Tokyo Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 48.93 m

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

'RunCzech Racing Athlete Abraham Kipyatich to Continue His Running Career in Japan'

a RunCzech press release

Abraham Kipyatich, one of the strongest performers on the RunCzech Racing team, is to spend the remainder of the year in Japan, competing for the Asahi Kasei Athletics Team. After a number of fine and stable performances last year, and a victory in the Birell Prague Grand Prix 2016, as a culmination of the fine season Abraham had.

The Asahi Kasei Athletics Team was founded in 1946 and is based in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture. The team is known for its great history, especially for producing Olympians (marathon), national record holders and other legends of our sport. In 2017, Asahi Kasei became first team in an 18-year period to win the New Year Ekiden National Corporate Men's Road Relay Championships with an all-Japanese lineup.

Kipyatich is the first non-Japanese runner in the team and only one out of two non-Japanese runners team has in its line-up for 2017 season. Kipyatich already had successful experience in Japan this year - he managed solid fourth place in the 2017 Marugame Half Marathon out of full training for the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon.

We are looking forward to welcoming Kipyatich back to Prague this September for the Birell Prague Grand Prix 2017 and we are looking forward to following his performances in Japan and in several leading road races around the world. Abraham Kipyatich has been member of RunCzech Racing team since 1 January 2016. RunCzech Racing program is supported by adidas Running, with Prague-based Ikaika Sports being responsible for talent ID, athlete representation, management and mentoring.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tanui, Mokaya, Endo, Ichiyama and Fujimoto Top Weekend Track Roundup

by Brett Larner

Most of the country's corporate leagues held their regional track and field championships this weekend, but superseding them all was the Golden Grand Prix Kawasaki meet.

With a shortage of candidates for the London World Championships men's 5000 m the JAAF doctored in a sub-7:55.00 qualifying standard for men to get into next month's National Track and Field Championships, adding a 3000 m to the normally sprint, middle distance and field event GGP.  In the midst of his best season in years, Yuichiro Ueno (Team DeNA) took it out close to national record pace through the first half before abruptly slowing and dropping off the back. Rio Olympics 10000 m silver medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) took over, with only Evans Keitany Kiptum (Team Toyota Boshoku), Hiroki Matsueda (Team Fujitsu), Hayato Seki (Tokai Univ.) and Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei).

Never do this.

Kiptum looked set for the win with a strong kick over the last 200 m, but Tanui came back to clip him at the line as Kiptum stopped his watch, winning by 0.01 in 7:52.67 to Kiptum's 7:52.68. Yoroizaka dropped off the pace, but in the home straight Matsueda and Seki kicked in to try to break 7:55. Matsueda just got there, running a PB 7:54.33 for 3rd. In 4th Seki missed the mark, but his 7:55.44 PB put him at all-time #6 among Japanese collegiate men. Yoroizaka was the only other man to break 8 minutes, running 7:58.40 for 5th and breaking his PB by 0.50.

The best women's mark of the weekend also came outside the corporate regionals. At the Oita Prefecture High School Championships, local Kenyan Marta Mokaya (Oita Tomei H.S.) won the girls' 3000 m by more than a minute with a PB of 9:02.93. A meet record, Mokaya's time was also a worldwide 2017-leading time in the U18 category and put her at #2 in the U20 category behind fellow Japan-resident Kenyan high schooler Helen Ekarare (Sendai Ikuei H.S.).


Among the corporate league regionals, the best Japanese women's results came in Osaka at the Kansai Corporate meet. Up-and-coming Mao Ichiyama (Team Wacoal), age 19, pulled off an impressive double, winning Friday's 10000 m over Olympian Wacoal teammate Kayoko Fukushi in 32:48.15, then returning Saturday to win the 5000 m in 15:49.63. Getting his pro career off to a great start, 18-year-old Hyuga Endo (Team Sumitomo Denko) did his own double, winning Saturday's 5000 m in 14:00.23 and Sunday's 1500 m in 3:47.72. Both wins came in slow races with blazing sprint finishes, a good sign that Endo is handling the transition from high school straight to the pros.

In the East Japan Region Kenyans dominated the distance events. Rosemary Wanjiru (Team Starts) ran 31:41.23 to win the women's 10000 m by 4 seconds over Pauline Kamulu (Team Route Inn Hotels). Kamulu was back the next day to win the 5000 m in 15:34.47, top Japanese woman Moeno Nakamura (Team Universal Entertainment) just bettering Ichiyama's time to record the fastest Japanese women's time of the weekend, 15:49.55 for 2nd. In the men's 10000 m Alexander Mutiso (Team Software) won another close race, running 27:58.66 to beat Bernard Kimani (Team Yakult) by 0.32 seconds. Jonathan Ndiku (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) ran 13:23.24 to top a competitive 5000 m that included the likes of Wesley Ledama (Team Subaru), William Malel (Team Honda) and Yuta Shitara (Team Honda).

In the Kyushu Region, continuing to build back from her 2:27:08 breakthrough at February's Tokyo Marathon, 19-year-old Ayaka Fujimoto (Team Kyocera) won the women's 10000 m in a PB of 32:40.63, the weekend's top Japanese women's time. Ethiopian Shuru Bulo (Team Toto) won the women's 5000 m by more than 30 seconds in 15:23.79, with Fujimoto doubling in 16:23.85 for 4th. Joel Mwaura (Team Kurosaki Harima) won the men's 10000 m in 27:52.66, beating Daniel Kipkemoi (Team Nishitetsu) by over 5 seconds. In third, 2016 National XC champion Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei) became just the second Japanese man so far this year to break 28 minutes, 3rd in 27:59.76. London World Championships marathon team member Hiroto Inoue, 2:08:22 in Tokyo, took 5 seconds off his PB with a 28:08.04 for 5th. His London teammate Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) was less than 5 seconds off his PB, running 28:58.98 for 15th.

In the lone sour note among London marathon team members who raced this weekend, Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) ran just 34:27.76 for 3rd in the Chugoku Region meet women's 10000 m. Her Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara, the top Japanese half marathoner so far this year, resurfaced from a stress fracture she suffered after winning January's Osaka Half Marathon, running 35:40.90 for 4th. Veteran Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) won an uneventful men's 10000 m in 29:08.18

Tanui photo © 2017 Tsukasa Kawarai, all rights reserved
text © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Göteborgsvarvet - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Running as part of a corporate league overseas junket, 2017 National Corporate Half Marathon women's champion Ai Utsunomiya (Team Miyazaki Ginko) and other Japanese athletes at Sweden's Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon were totally ineffectual. Utsunomiya had the best placing at 9th in 1:15:41, nearly eight minutes off Kenyan winner Fancy Chemutai's 1:07:58, with Yuri Nozoe (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) another minute behind.

Only a mid-63 runner, Ryo Hashimoto (Team GMO Athletes) went out with the lead pack for the first couple of kilometers before fading to 1:05:01 for 11th, nearly five minutes off winner Geoffrey Yegon of Kenya.  With a 1:02:01 best Shun Inoura (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) barely escaped being run down by women's winner Chemutai, finishing 17th in 1:07:26.

Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon
Gothenburg, Sweden, 5/20/17
click here for complete results

Men
1. Geoffrey Yegon (Kenya) - 1:00:19
2. Amos Kipruto (Kenya) - 1:00:24
3. Leonard Langat (Kenya) - 1:00:33
4. John Loitang (Kenya) - 1:00:39
5. Jahphet Korir (Kenya) - 1:01:39
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11. Ryo Hashimoto (Japan/GMO) - 1:05:01
17. Shun Inoura (Japan/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 1:07:26

Women
1. Fancy Chemutai (Kenya) - 1:07:58
2. Violah Jepchumba (Kenya) - 1:08:10
3. Margaret Agai (Kenya) - 1:09:43
4. Beatrice Mutai (Kenya) - 1:10:14
5. Dibaba Kuma (Ethiopia) - 1:12:01
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9. Ai Utsunomiya (Japan/Miyazaki Ginko) - 1:15:41
11. Yuri Nozoe (Japan/Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 1:16:42

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

'Kenyan Team-Mates of Banned Olympic Marathon Champion Suspended by Management Company'

http://www.insidethegames.biz/index.php/articles/1050540/kenyan-team-mates-of-banned-olympic-marathon-champion-suspended-by-management-company

Sarah Chepchirchir won the 2017 Tokyo Marathon in 2:19:47, the fastest time ever run on Japanese soil. Named alternate to the Kenyan team for this summer's London World Championships last week, Purity Rionoripo ran the 2014 Yokohama International Women's Marathon but DNFd. Visiline Jepkesho won the 2014 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, DNFd at the 2014 Nagoya Women's Marathon, and was 4th in Gifu in 2016.