Skip to main content

Nishiyama and Minatoya to Make U.S. Debut at United Airlines NYC Half

by Brett Larner

coach Atsushi Fujita, Yusuke Nishiyama and Haruki Minatoya in New York

For the fifth year in a row the NYRR have invited the top two Japanese university finishers at November's Ageo City Half Marathon to make their U.S. debuts at the United Airlines NYC HalfLast year in Ageo Kenya Sonota and Yusuke Nishiyama from four-time National University Ekiden champion Komazawa University went 1-2 in 1:02:48 and 1:02:52 to seal up their invites to New York, just outkicking Japan's best first-year Haruki Minatoya of Tokai University.  Three weeks ago Sonota sustained an injury that forced him to withdraw.  19-year-old Minatoya, already entered for the National University Half Marathon, was ready to take over.

In New York with support from JRN and Komazawa coach Atsushi Fujita, the former Japanese marathon national record holder at 2:06:51, Nishiyama was a star runner at Iga Hakuho H.S. with a win on the First Stage at the 2012 National High School Ekiden Championships his senior year.  He comes to New York off a strong junior year at Komazawa, winning the Fifth Stage at October's Izumo Ekiden and taking first in the university race at last month's Chiba X-Run cross country meet.

Minatoya coach Hayashi Morozumi was the high school coach of Yuki Sato, the Nike Oregon Project's Suguru Osako, and other current top-level Japanese men before taking over at Tokai.  Under his coaching Minatoya ran 13:54.07 for 5000 m, 28:46.59 for 10000 m and 1:02:54 in his half marathon debut in Ageo, the only Japanese first-year to clear 14 minutes, 29 minutes and 1:03:00 this year.

With past Komazawa runners Kenta Murayama and Ikuto Yufu having run 1:02:02 and 1:02:50 in New York Nishiyama hopes to break 1:02:30.  Minatoya, the first runner from Tokai to make it to New York, looks to end his first college season with a new PB.  With possible snow forecast for the day a lot will depend on the weather.  JRN will be on-hand to cover their performances.  Watch live on ABC7 starting at 7:30 a.m. local time.

United Airlines NYC Half 
Elite Men's Field
New York City, 3/20/16

Wilson Chebet (Kenya) - 59:15
Zane Robertson (New Zealand) - 59:47
Stephen Sambu (Kenya) - 1:00:41
Juan Luis Barrios (Mexico) - 1:00:46
Diego Estrada (U.S.A.) - 1:00:51
Sam Chelanga (U.S.A.) - 1:01:04
Daniele Meucci (Italy) - 1:01:06
Lusapho April (South Africa) - 1:01:16
Kevin Chelimo (Kenya) - 1:01:21
Girma Mecheso (U.S.A.) - 1:02:16
Jordan Chipnagama (Zambia) - 1:02:24
Yusuke Nishiyama (Japan/Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:43
Ian Burrell (U.S.A.) - 1:02:51
Haruki Minatoya (Japan/Tokai Univ.) - 1:02:54
Yonas Mebrahtu (Eritrea) - 1:02:59
Herbert Okuti (Uganda) - 1:03:52
Matthew Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:03:59
Byron Piedra (Ecuador) - 1:04:09
Lee Merrien (Great Britain) - 1:04:12
John Beattie (Great Britain) - 1:04:48

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japan's London World Championships Marathon Squad Arrives Back Home

The six members of Japan's men's and women's marathon teams at the ongoing London World Championships returned to Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Aug. 9. Decked out in the official team suit, Japanese team captain and at 9th the top-placing Japanese marathoner in London Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) spoke to the media.

Having declared pre-race his intention to withdraw from consideration for future Japanese National Team positions, post-race Kawauchi showed no change in that intent. With regard to his future plans, his motivation as a competitor likewise remaining unchanged, Kawauchi indicated that he will run Decmeber's Fukuoka International Marathon,where his 3rd-place overall finish last year earned him his place in London. "In Fukuoka I want to break my PB and run 2:07," he said. "There are things I want to accomplish besides being on the National Team."

Kawauchi revealed that his next marathon will be September's Oslo Marathon, whe…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

Silver and Bronze - Summary of Japanese Performances at 2017 London World Championships

Thanks to a last-minute rush Japan walked away from the London World Championships with a passable haul. The JAAF judges performance in terms of medals and top 8 finishes. Up to Saturday, only one Japanese athlete had met either, 18-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finishing 7th in the men's 200 m final as the first Japanese man to make a 200 m final at Worlds since 2003. Three other Japanese athletes had scored top 10 placings, Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto in the men's marathon and Ayuko Suzuki in the women's 10000 m, but under the JAAF's criteria these were not viewed as success.


Saturday's men's 4x100 m final brought the first Japanese medal of the Championships, with Japan following up on its Rio Olympics silver with a bronze, its first-ever Worlds medal in the discipline. Sunday morning brought Japan's best-ever showing in the men's 50 km race walk, Rio bronze medalist Hirooki Arai moving up to silver, Kai Kobayashi taking bronze wit…