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Shibui Considering San Francisco Marathon

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2009/06/29/13.html
http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/090629/spg0906290503000-n1.htm
http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2009/06/29/0002070253.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

World Championships women's marathon team leader Yoko Shibui (30, Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), returned to Japan on June 28 after a month of high-altitude training in Flagstaff, Arizona. In April Shibui injured her left thigh, leading to a month of medical treatment. To fill this gap in her preparations she threw herself into rigorous training in Flagstaff. "It was quite a severe remedy," smiled her coach, Takao Watanabe. Located at 2100 m, Flagstaff is 200 m higher than Shibui's usual training venue in Kunming, China. "It was completely different [from Kunming]," Shibui told reporters. "Honestly, it was really tough. Training turned into 'crying practice' every day. It was the first time I've ever cried like that."

With such…

Eriguchi and Ueno Prove Themselves - Japanese Nationals Day Four

by Brett Larner

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s surprising heats for the men’s 100 m, the semi-finals provided most of the action on the fourth and last day of the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships. The finals, on the other hand, were a letdown for fans and athletes alike. The defending champs were recrowned in both the men’s and women’s 400 m, an unexpected name stole the men’s 1500 m, and most of the big names fizzled in the final event of the games, the men’s 10000 m.



After yesterday’s scintillating men’s 100 m heats, where Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) set a PB of 10.09 and little-known Masashi Eriguchi (Waseda Univ.) came up with an unforeseen 10.14 PB, hopes were high for the semis. With the cooperation of the tailwind which had remained constant at around 1.8 m/sec through the championships Eriguchi came up with an even bigger run, clocking 10.07 to take the first semi and move ahead of Tsukahara on the favorite list even as th…

Nakamura Gets Lucky and Tsukahara Shows What's to Come - Japanese Nationals Day Three (updated)

by Brett Larner

Kenyan Felista Wanjugu (Team Aruze) sprinted away from three of the cream of Japan's current crop of long distance women to win the women's 5000 m on the third day of the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships, with Beijing Olympics marathoner Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) a close 2nd and picking up her first World Championships berth. The other big results of the day came in the men's 100 m, where Beijing Olympics 4x100 m relay bronze medalist Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) casually dropped a PB of 10.09 in the first heat. Even bigger news was the unheralded Masashi Eriguchi (Waseda Univ.), who ran a PB by 0.20 to win the fifth heat in a World Championships A-standard 10.14.



Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya), the only Japanese woman to finish the Beijing Olympics marathon, gained partial redemption for a poor showing in Thursday's 10000 m by being in the lucky position of being able to outkick two superior but injured runners, national record…

Fukushima Sets 200 m National Record, Terada and Hayakari Score Big on Day Two of Japanese Nationals (updated)

by Brett Larner

The second day of the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships was dominated by women, with a national record in the 200 m, a junior national record in the 100 m hurdles, and a National Championships meet record in the 3000 m steeplechase. Several athletes, both male and female, unexpectedly qualified for the Berlin World Championships team and a number of defending champions repeated, but the biggest news of the hot and sunny day was Chisato Fukushima's national record in the women's 200 m.



Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC), Japan's first female track Olympian in 56 years after making the 100 m in Beijing, set her third national record of the season, smashing her own 200 m national record of 23.14 with a World Championships A-standard 23.00 on the second day of the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships.

Conditions at Hiroshima's Big Arch Stadium were hot and sunny, but a legal tailwind of 1.7 m/sec helped push Fukushima to …

Akaba, Karoki, Iwamizu and Kondo Take Day One of Japanese Nationals (updated)

by Brett Larner

Berlin World Championships marathoner Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) scored her first national track title on June 25, winning the women's 10000 m in 31:57.44 on the first day of the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships. With Japan-based foreigners allowed to run in Nationals for the first time in eight years, Kenyan high school sensation Bitan Karoki (Sera H.S.) wiped the track with the field of top professional and university runners to win the men's 5000 m in 13:35.39, while national record holder and seven-time national champion Yoshitaka Iwamizu (Team Fujitsu) added another notch to his belt with an 8:36.17 win in the men's 3000 m steeplechase. Runners-up Yukari Sahaku (Team Aruze) and Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) also scored headlines by gaining places on the World Championships team in the women's 10000 m and men's 5000 m, while aces Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) and Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) fell flat. In field events, the l…

2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships - Long Distance Preview

by Brett Larner

Japan's long distance track runners may not be in contention for championship medals, but next to the marathon it is where the country has the greatest depth. It's interesting and informative, particularly in the 10000 m, to compare the long distance event entry lists for the Japanese and American National Championships, which are happening simultaneously.

The long distance events begin at 5:40 p.m. on June 25 with the men's 5000 m. Only two Japanese men have currently cracked the World Championships B-standard and one of them, Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) is running the World Championships marathon and will not compete in the 5000 m. National record holder and three-time 5000 m and 10000 m double champion Takayuki Matsumiya will sit the 5000 m out this year, meaning that Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) comes to this year's National Championships as the favorite both for the win and for a World Championships spot.

It won't be easy, though. All eyes will…

2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships - Middle Distance Preview

by Brett Larner

The middle distances are where Japan falls the shortest at the international level, highlighting its runners' lack of pure speed in the gap between the elements of technique in the sprints and endurance in the longer events. Nevertheless, at the national level there have been some strong performances in recent years' championships.

No athletes hold World Championships qualifying marks in either the men's or women's 800 m. Student runner Masato Yokota (Keio Univ.) is by far the fastest in the men's 800 m and should pick up the national title, but his best of 1:47.16 comes up short of the B-standard. In the women's 800 m too no one is likely to challenge Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko), but with a best time of 2:03.42 she will be staying home with her national title come August.

The women's 1500 m may feature a good battle between defending national champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) and national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota …

2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships - Sprints and Hurdles Preview

by Brett Larner

Japan wouldn't exactly make anyone's list of sprinting powerhouses, but in the last few years it has been on an upswing which led to its men's 4x100 m relay team winning the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics last summer, Japan's first Olympic track medal in 80 years and the first ever for its men. The success has led to major popularity for sprinting and momentum for its younger athletes.

One member of the 4x100 m team, defending national champion Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu), was the only athlete of non-African ancestry to make the Beijing semifinal in the men's 100 m. After Beijing he reportedly joined a Jamaican training group to work on his form and technique, and he has been full of confidence ever since. His stated goals for this year are to make the final in Berlin and to become the first Japanese runner to break 10.0. Although Tsukahara is qualified in the 200 m, he will only run the 100 m at Nationals and it's likely his PB of 10.13 …

2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships - Field Preview

by Brett Larner

The field events at the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships begin at 1:00 p.m. on June 25 with the women's high jump. With one exception Japan is not really known for its strength in field events, but nevertheless a fair number of athletes stand a chance of making the national team for this summer's World Championships in Berlin. To be guaranteed a place on the team athletes must hold a World Championships A or B standard mark and win their event at Nationals, and in the majority of the field events there is at least one contender.

Japan's strongest field athlete is of course its two-time Olympic medalist in the men's hammer throw, the half-Japanese Koji Murofushi (Team Mizuno). Murofushi will be making his 15th straight National Championships appearance and on the strength of his medal-winning performance at last summer's Beijing Olympics he is in all likelihood already assured a spot on the team. His nearest competitor Hiroaki Doi (…

'Kenya: Overseas Triumphs Will Not Count - Masai'

http://allafrica.com/stories/200906221687.html

According to this article, the men with the two fastest 10000 m times in the world so far this year, Josephat Ndambiri (Team Komori Corp.) and Martin Mathathi (Team Suzuki), as well as the top Japan-based Kenyan woman Philes Ongori (Team Hokuren) will run the 10000 m at this weekend's Kenyan National Athletics Championships.

Wanjiru vs. Mogusu! - Complete Sapporo Half Elite Field Announced

by Brett Larner

The Sapporo International Half Marathon has released the complete field for this year's race on July 5. And it's going to be a great one. In one corner, half marathon world record holder and Beijing Olympics gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru (Team Sam). In the other, three-time winner and the only man to break one hour on the Sapporo course, Mekubo Mogusu (Team Aidem).

The two Kenyans came to Japan at the same time in high school, with Mogusu always a step behind in their high school careers but always gunning for Wanjiru and his records and unafraid to say so. After high school Mogusu chose university for the chance to run the Hakone Ekiden, while Wanjiru went pro and became....Samuel Wanjiru. This will be the pair's first meeting of their adult lives and despite a serious divot in Mogusu's training following a car accident early in the spring it's all but certain to go out very hard. Last year Masato Kihara (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) pushed Mogusu well under wo…

An Appeal From Japan Running News (updated)

Update 6/22: Thank you to everyone who donated within the first 24 hours. If you're a regular on JRN or associated with one of the for-profit websites which frequently link to the translations and articles I put up here please consider a donation to help me bring you video coverage of this week's National Track and Field Championships in Hiroshima. Thank you.

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I started Japan Running News a little over a year and a half ago. Up until now I've kept it ad-free and having been doing all my translation, writing and video work from an interest in supporting Japanese distance running and without really looking to make money from it. I don't plan to change this, but at this point I wanted to ask your help.

Looking at NHK's broadcast schedule for next week's National Track and Field Championships today I was disappointed to see that they are only showing two segments of one and a half hours apiece. The only distance event which will be broadcast is the women's 50…

Meiji Wins Again in National University Ekiden Qualifier (updated)

by Brett Larner

In a repeat of last year's performance, Meiji University prevailed in rainy conditions to win the Kanto Regional Qualifying Meet for the November's National University Ekiden Championships having missed out on breaking into the six national seeded positions after last year's regional win. Excluding the schools which were made the seeded rankings at last year's Nationals, the twenty fastest Kanto-region schools sent teams of eight to Tokyo's National Stadium on June 21 to run the qualifier. Each team's eight runners were split into pairs by PB, each pair running in one of four 10000 m heats. At the end of the fourth heat teams were ranked by the aggregate times of their eight runners, with the top six teams qualifying for the National Ekiden.


Highlights of Kodai Matsumoto's win in the fourth heat. Click here for the full-length video.

Meiji simply outclassed all competitors, with seven of its eight runners making the top five in their heats incl…