Tuesday, May 31, 2016

'Bolder Boulder: At Long Last, Gobena a Winner in Women's Elite Race'

http://www.dailycamera.com/sports/ci_29957340/bolder-boulder-at-long-last-amane-gobena-winner

2016 Bolder Boulder 10 km
Boulder, CO, U.S.A., 5/30/16
click here for complete results

Women
1. Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) - 33:40
2. Miyuki Uehara (Japan) - 34:16
3. Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui (Kenya) - 34:19
4. Risper Gesabwa (Kenya) - 34:28
5. Margarita Hernandez Flores (Mexico) - 34:36
-----
6. Sakiko Matsumi (Japan) - 34:39
12. Sayaka Kuwahara (Japan) - 35:12

Men
1. Isaac Mukundi (Kenya) - 29:13
2. Terefe Debela (Ethiopia) - 29:23
3. Diego Estrada (U.S.A.) - 29:41
4. MacDonald Ondara (Kenya) - 29:49
5. Tsegay Tuemay (Eritrea) - 29:53
-----
18. Suehiro Ishikawa (Japan) - 30:46
25. Yuki Matsumura (Japan) - 31:29
31. Shohei Tomita (Japan) - 32:39

Monday, May 30, 2016

Kawauchi Wins Kahoku Shinpo Kinshuko 30 km

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/tohokunews/201605/20160530_14028.html

translated by Brett Larner

The 36th Kahoku Shinpo Kinshuko Road Race took place May 29 in Nishiwaga, Iwate, with 2000 runners from across the country joining in.  Never giving up in the face of unseasonable summerlike heat, each of them gave it their best to meet their own personal goals.  Local residents, fans and supporters cheered on 2014 Incehon Asian Games marathon bronze medalist Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't).

Following his 2014 Kahoku appearance, Kawauchi ran in the 30 km division, beating second place by six minutes to win in 1:35:20.  "It was a pretty hilly course, but I was able to keep pushing without slowing down," he said post-race, giving himself a positive evaluation of his performance.  Temperatures at the start were a very hot 28 degrees.  "That wasn't the kind of weather I was expecting," Kawauchi said, "but it's pretty typical of what the Olympics and World Championships are like.  This course lets you get a good idea of your stamina and speed.  It was a great training run."

Kawauchi was also excited to return to Kahoku to enjoy the local specialties and hospitality.  "I was looking forward to enjoying the local milk they give out after the finish," he said.  "The local crowd support was very warm and from the heart."  Targeting next year's London World Championships he plans to run December's Fukuoka International Marathon.  "Everything is going well," he said confidently.  "My goal is to win Fukuoka in 2:07."

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Prefontaine Classic 10000 m - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Saitama-based William Malel (Team Honda) gave defending Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah (Great Britain) a run for it in Saturday's Prefontaine Classic men's 10000 m, kicking over the last 250 or so meters before Farah caught him in the final 50 m.  Malel finished less than a second behind Farah in 26:54.66, a new PB that, given the injured status of Bedan Karoki (Team DeNA), surely puts Malel into consideration for the Rio team.  Interestingly enough, Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia), who won the 2011 Daegu World Championships 10000 m over Farah with a mighty kick while running for the Honda team, was close behind in a new PB of 26:58.75 for 5th.

Japan-based Kenyans Leonard Barsoton (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and James Mwangi (Team NTN) took 12th and 13th, both in the 27:30 range.  Japan's Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) wasn't up to the night's task, losing touch with the leaders after the first 1000 m and dropping out early in the second half.  One of 11 Japanese men to hold the Rio qualifying standard in the 10000 m, Osako will need to turn it around in time for next month's National Championships in order to make the Rio team.

Prefontaine Classic Men's 10000 m
Eugene, Oregon, 5/27/16
click here for complete results

1. Mo Farah (Great Britain) - 26:53.71
2. William Malel (Kenya/Honda) - 26:54.66
3. Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) - 26:57.33
4. Stephen Sambu (Kenya) - 26:58.25
5. Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia) - 26:58.75
6. Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) - 27:00.66
7. Nicholas Kosimbei (Kenya) - 27:02.59
8. Idema Guye (Ethiopia) - 27:09.78
9. Vincent Yator (Kenya) - 27:25.94
10. Birhan Nebebew (Ethiopia) - 27:27.30
-----
12. Leonard Barsoton (Kenya/Nissin Shokuhin) - 27:31.86
13. James Mwangi (Kenya/NTN) - 27:38.97
DNF - Suguru Osako (Japan/Nike Oregon Project)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

JAAF Bows to Public Pressure With New Selection Policies for 2017 World Championships Marathon Team

http://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2016052400852&g=spo

translated by Brett Larner

At a Tokyo-area press conference on May 24 the JAAF announced the selection criteria for the marathon teams for the August, 2017 London World Championships.  The new selection criteria represent a significant change from past policies in which athletes' positions on Olympic and World Championships teams have not been guaranteed until after the completion of the final selection race.  Under the new policy, an athlete who breaks the JAAF's pre-determined selection standard time and finishes as the top Japanese at one of the selection races will be guaranteed a place on the team.

The selection standards are 2:07:00 for men and 2:22:30 for women, times that correspond to a 7th-place world ranking in recent results.  Times run in domestic or international races will be counted during a period of time beginning in January this year.  Any athlete with the time standard who takes the top Japanese position in one of the three men's and women's selection races next winter will be immediately named to the team.

During the qualifying cycle for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics marathon team, the management of Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) raised the issue of the problems with the seleciton process after she won January's Osaka International Women's Marathon under the JAAF selection standard.  When she was not immediately named to the team she declared that she had no choice but to run another selection race, creating a popular uproar.  JAAF Development Committee chairman Kazunori Asaba told the executive board, "The fact is that voices were loudly raised from all directions saying that when someone breaks the selection standard and wins, that's when you have to put them on the team," suggesting that the new selection policy was a direct reaction to the problems that arose surrounding Fukushi.

In addition to the new auto-selection criteria, athletes will be named to the World Championships team based factors such as their time, placing and racing style at the domestic selection races.  The top three Japanese men at the Fukuoka International Marathon, Tokyo Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon and the top Japanese man at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, and the top three Japanese women at the Saitama International Marathon, Osaka International Women's Marathon and Nagoya Women's Marathon and the top Japanese woman at the Hokkaido Marathon will all come into consideration.  The men's and women's teams will each consist of three runners and one alternate.

Translator's note: Along with the new auto-selection process, other significant changes mentioned above include the relaxation of the men's standard from 2:06:30 to 2:07:00 and the reintroduction of an alternate to the national team lineup.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekend Corporate Track Review

by Brett Larner

Hot and windy across the country, it was a busy weekend on the corporate circuit with four regions holding their spring track championships, a high-level time trial meet and one decent result overseas.

Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Universal Entertainment) turned in the fastest women’s 10000 m of the weekend, running 32:04.11 to win the East Japan corporate region. Hisami Ishii (Team Yamada Denki) was next across the line, just missing the Rio standard in 32:16.60 but scoring the fastest Japanese time in the four corporate meets. Already on the Rio team in the marathon, Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) won the Kansai region women’s 10000 m in 33:02.94.

The fastest women’s 5000 m also came in East Japan as Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Team Starts) took the A-heat in 15:23.10. 4th-placer Sayaka Kuwahara (Team Sekisui Kagaku), returning from a solid 2:25:09 marathon debut in Nagoya in March, ran 15:44.99, topping the 15:46.40 time of Kansai region winner Mizuki Matsuda (Team Daihatsu). Several regions also featured a women’s 3000 m. East Japan again topped the list, Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) taking the win in 9:07.27. Kyushu region winner Hana Omori (Team Toto) set a meet record 9:15.75, just a fraction of a second slower than East Japan runner-up Risa Kikuchi (Team Hitachi).

Two-time World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) dropped the weekend’s fastest men’s 10000 m, winning the Kyushu region in 27:30.59. For the second time this month the year’s #1-ranked Japanese man Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei) tried to run with Tanui in hopes of clearing the sub-28 Rio standard but dropped off over the second half of the race, eventually finishing 3rd in 28:22.67 as the top Japanese man. Ichida’s time was also the best Japanese mark of the weekend both he and teammate Keijiro Mogi (Team Asahi Kasei) outclassing top East Japan man Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta) who ran only 28:38.94.

John Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) dueled with William Malel (Kenya/Team Honda) and Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/Team ND Software) in East Japan to produce the three fastest men’s 5000 m times of the weekend, 13:31.26, 13:32.97 and 13:34.11. The Chukyo University Saturday Time Trials meet 5000 m was expected to go out on pace to hit the 13:25.00 Rio standard for the benefit of 2015 national university champion Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) who skipped the Kanto Regionals meet to be there, but the group of five Kenyans up front weren’t up to the task, Rogers Shumo Kemoi (Team Aisan Kogyo) winning in just 13:36.91. Neither was Hattori, for that matter, who faded to 9th in 14:01.11.

Only one Japanese man cleared 13:40 over the weekend, and that came overseas at California’s Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic. Running in the B-heat Hiroki Matsueda (Team Fujitsu) clocked a PB 13:37.84 for 3rd, putting him 7th among Japanese men so far this year. At the top of that list for the year at 13:28.91, Takanori Ichikawa (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) was off his game in East Japan as he ran 14:31.37 for 21st.

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hosoda and Wambui Do the Distance Double on Final Day of Kanto Regionals

by Brett Larner


D1 10000 m champs Ai Hosoda (Nittai Univ.) and Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) came back on a hot and windy final day of the 95th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships to score double titles with wins in the 5000 m.  In the women's 5000 m Hosoda ran steady in a lead group of four before holding off a strong charge from first-year Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka Univ.) to win by half a second in 16:12.18.


After a 2:42 opening 1000 m Wambui went to the front to shake things down to another group of four.  Like the women's race it came down to a duel over the last lap, fourth-year Kazuma Taira (Waseda Univ.) staying with Wambui until 150 m to go before Wambui put him away for the title in 13:47.18.


D2 men's 10000 m runner-up Tadashi Isshiki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) took the 5000 m out in 2:40, alternating the lead with Kenyan first-year Muthoni Muiru (Soka Univ.) through 3000 m before Muiru surged to open a lead of 50 m.  Over the last lap Isshiki fought back, kicking hard with 200 m to go and overtaking Muiru in the last half of the home straight for the win in 13:51.15.  AGU runners Takato Suzuki and Kazuki Tamura took 3rd and 4th, a solid team performance especially given first-year Suzuki's first sub-14 clocking, no small feat in the tough conditions.


AGU also represented in the D2 half marathon, where their defending champ Kinari Ikeda again battled with Kenyan Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) throughout the race.  Where Kariuki went out unsustainably fast last year, this year he seemed controlled if still fast.  A smarter race, maybe, but still not enough to keep away from Ikeda, who pulled away on the last lap of the ~2 km circuit course for the win in 1:04:18.  On the uphill leading back into Nissan Stadium in the last kilometer Kariuki was caught by Rei Omori (Chuo Gakuin Univ.), who almost caught Ikeda on the last lap of the track as he took 2nd in 1:04:23.  Kariuki shuffled in for 3rd 10 seconds back in 1:04:33.


The D1 half marathon was slower from the start, the entire field running the first few laps together before people began to fade.  Second-year Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.), runner-up to 5000 m winner Wambui in the 10000 m and the only man in the field with a sub-61 half marathon best, took off in the second half of the race, quickly opening a lead and winning easily in 1:05:07.  As in the 5000 m a Waseda runner was next across the line, fourth-year Koki Ido just holding off Kyota Yabushita (Meiji Univ.) for 2nd as both clocked 1:05:35.


Outside of the distance events the biggest news of the day came in the D1 men's triple jump.  With a headwind of 1.1 m/s fourth-year Kohei Yamashita (Tsukuba Univ.) hit the Rio Olympics standard dead-on with a meet record 16.85 m on his final jump.  With just one shot at outdoing him Ryoma Yamamoto (Juntendo Univ.) also cleared the old meet record on his final jump, but despite a 1.1 m/s tailwind his 16.68 m was only good enough for 2nd.  With a decent performance at next month's National Championships Yamashita is almost guaranteed to be named to the Rio team.

The final day's other meet record came in the women's heptathlon.  With six events down high school and university national record holder Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.) needed only a moderately good time in the 800 m to break her own university record.  Starting aggressively Hemphill led through 500 m, but on the back straight of the second lap she abruptly slowed, falling back to almost last and finishing in just 2:27.65.  Limping badly, she needed the assistance of medical staff to get off the track, but despite whatever setback she faced she still managed to break her own meet record by 10 points in 5577.  With two more years ahead of her at Chuo it's a mark she's bound to better.

In overall team scoring, Tsukuba University edged Nittai University by 7.5 points to take the title in 108.5 points.  The men's D1 and D2 titles were more clear-cut, Nihon University taking D1 by a margin of over 20 points with a score of 125 and Kokusai Budo University dominating D2 by 40 points with 120.66.

95th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships Day Four
Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 5/22/16
click here for complete results

Division 1 Men's Half Marathon
1. Dominic Nyairo (2nd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:07
2. Koki Ido (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1:05:35
3. Kyota Yabushita (4th yr., Meiji Univ.) - 1:05:35
4. Noritoshi Hara (3rd yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:05:41
5. Kenta Ueda (3rd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:59

Division 2 Men's Half Marathon
1. Kinari Ikeda (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:18
2. Rei Omori (3rd yr., Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:23
3. Simon Kariuki (2nd yr., Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 1:04:33
4. Shohei Otsuka (4th yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 1:04:44
5. Kiyotaka Morita (4th yr., Jobu Univ.) - 1:05:14

Division 1 Women's 5000 m
1. Ai Hosoda (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 16:12.18
2. Natsuki Sekiya (1st yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) - 16:12.60
3. Yuki Munehisa (1st yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 16:17.82
4. Maki Izumida (3rd yr., Rikkyo Univ.) - 16:22.51
5. Sayaka Sato (4th yr., Toyo Univ.) - 16:26.68

Division 1 Men's 5000 m
1. Patrick Wambui (2nd yr., Nihon Univ.) - 13:47.18
2. Kazuma Taira (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) - 13:50.08
3. Ryo Kuchimachi (4th yr., Toyo Univ.) - 13:54.90
4. Shogo Hata (4th yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 14:05.06
5. Hiroki Abe (1st yr., Meiji Univ.) - 14:05.70
6. Ryuichi Yoshida (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 14:06.59
7. Kohei Nakajima (2nd yr., Josai Univ.) - 14:08.08
8. Makoto Mitsunobu (3rd yr., Waseda Univ.) - 14:08.63
9. Yoshiki Ito (4th yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 14:08.79
10. Yuta Bando (2nd yr., Hosei Univ.) - 14:10.51

Division 2 Men's 5000 m
1. Tadashi Isshiki (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:51.15
2. Muthoni Muiru (1st yr., Soka Univ.) - 13:52.35
3. Takato Suzuki (1st yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:58.48
4. Kazuki Tamura (3rd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 14:08.18
5. Workneh Derese (2nd yr., Takushoku Univ.) - 14:12.14
6. Yuji Serunarudo (4th yr., Soka Univ.) - 14:12.57
7. Fuma Kato (3rd yr., Asia Univ.) - 14:12.65
8. Yusuke Nishiyama (4th yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 14:14.35
9. Tatsuya Maruyama (4th yr., Senshu Univ.) - 14:17.00
10. Yuta Fujiki (3rd yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 14:24.02

Division 1 Women's 800 m Final
1. Yume Kitamura (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 2:05.82
2. Hana Yamada (4th yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 2:06.00
3. Ran Urabe (3rd yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 2:06.03

Division 1 Men's 800 m Final
1. Tatsuya Nishikubo (1st yr, Waseda Univ.) - 1:51.60
2. Jun Mitake (4th yr., Nihon Univ.) - 1:51.60
3. Kodai Shimoda (4th yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:53.29

Division 2 Men's 800 m Final
1. Manabu Oki (4th yr., Chiba Univ.) - 1:51.31
2. Miran Saito (3rd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:51.48
3. Jiro Shikai (1st yr., Asia Univ.) - 1:51.60

Division 1 Women's 200 m Final -1.2 m/s
1. Yumi Hosoya (3rd yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) - 24.55
2. Kotomi Eguchi (2nd yr., Saitama Univ.) - 24.65
3. Momoe Makino (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 24.87

Division 1 Men's 200 m Final +0.6 m/s
1. Kazuma Oseto (4th yr., Hosei Univ.) - 20.55
2. Yuki Koike (3rd yr., Keio Univ.) - 20.69
3. Takanori Kawase (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 20.70

Division 2 Men's 200 m Final -1.5 m/s
1. Akihiro Fujita (4th yr., Tokyo Univ.) - 21.39
2. Yuya Ishii (3rd yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 21.58
3. Asuka Aoyagi (2nd yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 21.60

Division 1 Women's 400 mH Final
1. Mako Fukube (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 58.26
2. Saki Miyazaki (4th yr., Chuo Univ.) - 58.51
3. Tomomi Nono (2nd yr., Waseda Univ.) - 58.58

Division 1 Men's 400 mH Final
1. Naoya Nakano (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) - 49.60
2. Yoshiro Watanabe (2nd yr., Josai Univ.) - 49.96
3. Takahiro Matsumoto (4th yr., Keio Univ.) - 50.09

Division 2 Men's 400 mH Final
1. Mizuki Endo (Gr. 2nd yr., Gunma Univ.) - 51.80
2. Kei Sakamoto (3rd yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 52.63
3. Nobuyuki Mukai (2nd yr., Boei Ika College) - 52.74

Division 1 Women's 4x400 m Relay Final
1. Tsukuba University - 3:43.05
2. Aoyama Gakuin University - 3:43.33
3. Surugadai University - 3:43.83

Division 1 Men's 4x400 m Relay Final
1. Waseda University - 3:05.25
2. Toyo University - 3:05.75
3. Juntendo University - 3:05.82

Division 2 Men's 4x400 m Relay Final
1. Surugadai University - 3:09.71
2. Tokyo Keizai University - 3:11.83
3. Tokyo Nogyo University - 3:12.20

Division 1 Women's High Jump
1. Haruka Nakano (2nd yr., Waseda Univ.) - 1.80 m
2. Misa Ono (2nd yr., Nihon Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 1.73 m
3. Haruka Terui (4th yr., Seigakuin Univ.) - 1.70 m

Divison 2 Men's Pole Vault
1. Yoshiki Shinozuka (2nd yr., Seiwa Univ.) - 5.00 m
2. Hibiki Uehara (1st yr., Kanto Gakuen Univ.) - 4.90 m
3. Kazuto Takahashi (3rd yr., Seiwa Univ.) - 4.70 m

Division 1 Women's Shot Put
1. Hitomi Naganuma (3rd yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 14.99 m
2. Saki Saito (4th yr., Tokyo Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 14.18 m
3. Asuka Ishii (2nd yr., Tokyo Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 14.11 m

Division 1 Men's Triple Jump
1. Kohei Yamashita (4th yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 16.85 m -1.1 m/s - MR
2. Ryoma Yamamoto (3rd yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 16.68 m +1.1 m/s (MR)
3. Shunya Okabayashi (4th yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 15.86 m -0.3 m/s

Division 1 Men's Discus Throw
1. Yume Ando (2nd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 54.30 m
2. Jun Yoshida (3rd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 53.14 m
3. Ren Kondo (4th yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 51.51 m

Division 1 Women's Heptathlon
1. Meg Hemphill (2nd yr., Chuo Univ.) - 5577 - MR
2. Konoka Takahashi (1st yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 5338
3. Akiko Ito (3rd yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 5276

Division 1 Women Overall Team Scoring
1. Tsukuba University - 108.5
2.  Nittai University - 101
3. Chuo University - 83

Division 1 Men Overall Team Scoring
1. Nihon University - 125
2. Tokai University - 103
3. Juntendo University - 99

Division 2 Men Overall Team Scoring
1. Kokusai Budo University - 120.66
2. Tokyo Gakugei University - 81
3. Aoyama Gakuin University - 68

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Overseas Half Marathon Japanese Results

Mattoni Karlovy Vary Half Marathon
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, 5/22/16
click here for complete results

Women
1. Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) - 1:09:07
2. Ayantu Gemechu (Ethiopia) - 1:11:19
3. Bekelech Daba (Ethiopia) - 1:11:42
4. Risa Takenaka (Japan/Shiseido) - 1:11:52
5. Etalemahu Zeleke (Ethiopia) - 1:15:04

Men
1. Abraham Akopesha (Kenya) - 1:02:08
2. Evans Kurui (Kenya) - 1:02:27
3. Wilson Too (Kenya) - 1:02:48
4. Amos Kurgat (Kenya) - 1:03:25
5. Simon Tesfay (Eritrea) - 1:04:01

GoteborgsVarvet Half Marathon
Goteborg, Sweden, 5/21/16
click here for complete results

Men
1. Richard Mengich (Kenya) - 59:35
2. Geoffrey Yegon (Kenya) - 1:00:12
3. Leonard Langat (Kenya) - 1:01:40
4. Morris Munene (Kenya) - 1:01:40
5. Festus Talam (Kenya) - 1:01:48
-----
9. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Japan/Toyota) - 1:04:12
11. Keita Baba (Japan/Honda) - 1:04:51

Women
1. Viola Jepchumba (Kenya) - 1:08:01
2. Worknesh Degefa (Ethiopia) - 1:08:54
3. Angela Tanui (Kenya) - 1:09:32
4. Ashete Bekele (Ethiopia) - 1:10:36
5. Didaba Kuma (Ethiopia) - 1:12:15
-----
8. Yukari Abe (Japan/Shimamura) - 1:14:47

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Matsunaga Sets 10000 m Race Walk National University Record at Kanto Regionals Day Three

by Brett Larner

Toyo University fourth year Daisuke Matsunaga delivered the biggest result of the third day of competition at the 2016 Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, breaking the men's 10000 m national university record by two seconds to win in 38:16.76.  Meet records also came in the D1 women's hammer throw and D1 men's pole vault, Hitomi Katsuyama (Tsukuba Univ.) breaking her own record by nearly two meters with a throw of 62.61 m and Koki Kuruma (Juntendo Univ.) clearing 5.40 m to tie the existing Kanto Regionals record.

Kuruma's Juntendo teammate Kazuya Shiojiri returned from a 3rd-place finish as the top Japanese man in Thursday's D1 10000 m and the fastest time in the 3000 mSC heats on Friday to win the D1 3000 mSC final, just missing the 39-year-old meet record by 2 seconds to take first in 8:37.84.  Soyoka Segawa continued the Daito Bunka University domination of the women's steeple, claiming the title in 10:10.68.

The Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships wrap up tomorrow at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium.

95th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships Day Three
Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 5/21/16
click here for complete results

Division 1 Men's 3000 mSC Final
1. Kazuya Shiojiri (2nd yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 8:37.84
2. Yasutaka Ishibashi (4th yr., Tokai Univ.) - 8:48.86
3. Hikaru Nakano (4th yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) - 8:50.32
4. Yuhei Koyama (4th yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 8:52.30
5. Kota Oki (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 8:53.70

Division 2 Men's 3000 mSC Final
1. Taisei Ogino (1st yr., Kanagawa Univ.) - 8:57.41
2. Masaki Sakuda (2nd yr., Soka Univ.) - 9:00.17
3. Kazuki Tamura (4th yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 9:00.34

Division 1 Women's 3000 mSC Final
1. Soyoka Segawa (4th yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) - 10:10.68
2. Moeno Shimizu (2nd yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 10:14.53
3. Maki Izumida (3rd yr., Rikkyo Univ.) - 10:15.44

Division 1 Men's 10000 mRW
1. Daisuke Matsunaga (4th yr., Toyo Univ.) - 38:16.76 - NUR
2. Fumitaka Oikawa (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 40:03.67
3. Tomohiro Noda (3rd yr., Meiji Univ.) - 40:22.86

Division 2 Men's 10000 mRW
1. Seiya Watanabe (4th yr., Tokyo Univ.) - 42:00.47
2. Taiga Takizawa (1st yr., Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 42:04.11
3. Katsuya Endo (4th yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 42:19.31

Division 1 Men's High Jump
1. Yuji Hiramatsu (2nd yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 2.22 m
2. Ryo Sato (4th yr., Tokai Univ.) - 2.22 m
3. Yoshihiro Yamashita (4th yr., Toyo Univ.) - 2.19 m

Division 1 Men's Pole Vault
1. Koki Kuruma (3rd yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 5.40 m - MR
2. Takumi Okamoto (2nd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 5.20 m
3. Shingo Sawa (2nd yr., Nihon Univ.) - 5.20 m

Division 2 Men's Long Jump
1. Naoya Yoshizawa (3rd yr., Sakushin Univ.) - 7.57 m +0.6 m/s
2. Yuta Mizushima (3rd yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 7.51 m -0.2 m/s
3. Satoshi Ninomiya (4th yr., Tsuru Bunka Univ.) - 7.49 m +1.6 m/s

Division 1 Women's Triple Jump
1.Saki Kenmochi (4th yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 12.62 m -0.8 m/s
2. Mariko Morimoto (4th yr., Nihon Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 12.61 m -1.0 m/s
3. Yume Asazuma (3rd yr., Chuo Univ.) - 12.44 m +0.4 m/s

Division 2 Men's Discus Throw
1. Shingo Miyairi (3rd yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 45.40 m
2. Kohei Yaguchi (3rd yr., Saitama Univ.) - 41.53 m
3. Tsubasa Watanabe (3rd yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 40.89 m

Division 1 Men's Hammer Throw
1. Takuya Matsubara (4th yr., Nihon Univ.) - 62.43 m
2. Masayoshi Okumura (4th yr., Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 61.90 m
3. Takaya Nakasako (3rd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 61.87 m

Division 2 Men's Hammer Throw
1. Hiroki Sueya (4th yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 58.33 m
2. Katsuya Hirata (4th yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 53.39 m
3. Ryoya Takano (4th yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 52.41 m

Division 1 Women's Hammer Throw
1. Hitomi Katsuyama (4th yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 62.61 m - MR
2. Kosumo Ehara (2nd yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 57.75 m
3. Kiyono Sekiguchi (1st yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 54.16 m

Division 2 Men's Javelin Throw
1. Takashi Yabe (3rd yr., Hitotsubashi Univ.) - 63.88 m
2. Kazushi Sakurai (3rd yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 63.69 m
3. Ryoma Nakaura (3rd yr., Ibaraki Univ.) - 62.62 m

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, May 20, 2016

Kiryu Back on Top With Kanto Regionals 100 m Win

by Brett Larner

After a DNS in the final at last year's Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, 2014 D1 men's 100 m champ Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) was back on top with another title to add to his frosh year success.  With a slow start and relaxed finish Kiryu led the semifinals in 10.27 into a -0.2 m/s headwind.  The wind built to -1.4 m/s for the final, slowing to Kiryu to 10.35, but he was still in another class from the rest of the field as he easily took the win.  His dream of Japan's first sub-10 remains ahead of him.

The day's other big star was heptathlon national high school record holder Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.).  After competing in two events yesterday Hemphill won the women's 100 mH final in 13.53 with a -0.4 m/s headwind.  Hemphill gets into her main event on Saturday with the first half of the heptathlon.

The lone distance running final, the women's 10000 m, saw the Kanto Region's #1-ranked woman so far this year, third-year Ai Hosoda (Nittai Univ.) take a comfortable win over rivals Saori Imamura (Juntendo Univ.) and Sayaka Sato (Toyo Univ.) in 33:19.76.  Just a day after finishing 3rd in the D1 men's 10000 m, second-year Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) scored the fastest time in the four D1 and D2 men's 3000 mSC heats, running 8:50.81 to win D1 Heat 1.  Shiojiri will be back Saturday for the final but, not carrying the entire Juntendo team on his back, will sit out Sunday's 5000 m and half marathon.

95th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships Day Two
Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, 5/20/16
click here for complete results

Division 1 Women's 10000 m
1. Ai Hosoda (3rd  yr., Nittai Univ.) - 33:19.76
2. Saori Imamura (3rd yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 33:25.81
3. Sayaka Sato (4th yr., Toyo Univ.) - 33:28.94
4. Yumi Motohiro (2nd yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) - 34:00.96
5. Saki Fukui (3rd yr., Josai Univ.) - 34:05.33

Division 1 Men's 400 m Final
1. Julian Walsh (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 46.22
2. Kentaro Sato (4th yr., Josai Univ.) - 46.96
3. Nobuya Kato (3rd yr., Waseda Univ.0 - 46.96

Division 2 Men's 400 m Final
1. Fuga Sato (2nd yr., Sakushin Univ) - 47.45
2. Keitaro Aiyama (4th yr., Surugadai Univ.) - 47.83
3. Hiroaki Takayama (3rd yr., Surugadai Univ.) - 48.17

Division 1 Women's 400 m Final
1. Yuna Iwata (1st yr., Chuo Univ.) - 55.56
2. Nanako Matsumoto (2nd yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 55.94
3. Konomi Anzai (4th yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 56.90

Division 1 Men's 100 m Final -1.4 m/s
1. Yoshihide Kiryu (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 10.35
2. Kazuma Oseto (4th yr., Hosei Univ.) - 10.50
3. Yuki Koike (3rd yr., Keio Univ.) - 10.58

Division 2 Men's 100 m Final +0.4 m/s
1. Issei Kobayashi (3rd yr., Surugadai Univ.) - 10.66
2. Yusuke Tanaka (1st yr., Wellness Sports Univ.) - 10.72
3. Kazuki Watanabe (4th yr., Surugadai Univ.) - 10.72

Division 1 Women's 100 m Final -0.6 m/s
1. Anna Fujimori (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 11.85
2. Sayaka Adachi (2nd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 11.94
3. Sae Shimada (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 12.04

Division 1 Men's 110 mH Final +0.3 m/s
1. Shunya Takayama (4th yr., Meiji Univ.) - 13.75
2. Takumu Furuya (2nd yr., Waseda Univ.) - 13.80
3. Taio Kanai (3rd yr., Hosei Univ.) - 13.80

Division 2 Men's 110 mH Final -0.9 m/s
1. Gen Yada (4th yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 14.00
2. Anthony Kuriki (2nd yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 14.00
3. Ryo Kumada (3rd yr., Tokyo Rika Univ.) - 14.34 

Division 1 Women's 100 mH Final -0.4 m/s
1. Meg Hemphill (2nd yr., Chuo Univ.) - 13.53
2. Mako Fukube (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 13.59
3. Kaho Horiike (2nd yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 13.68

Division 1 Women's 10000 m Racewalk
1. Yukiho Mizoguchi (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 47:24.87
2. Saori Nishimura (1st yr., Nihon Univ.) - 48:09.76
3. Yuki Yoshizumi (3rd yr., Chiba Hoken Iriyo Univ.) - 48:13.38

Division 1 Men's 4x100 m Relay Final
1. Tsukuba Univ. - 39.26
2. Chuo Univ. - 39.35
3. Hosei Univ. - 39.66

Division 2 Men's 4x100 m Relay Final
1. Surugadai Univ. - 40.16
2. Tokyo Gakugei Univ. - 40.21
3. Tokyo Nogyo Univ. - 40.52

Division 1 Women's 4x100 m Relay Final
1. Aoyama Gakuin Univ. - 45.60
2. Daito Bunka Univ. - 46.04
3. Nittai Univ. - 46.48

Division 2 Men's High Jump
1. Shota Komori (3rd yr., Utsunomiya Univ.) - 2.09 m
2. Shunsuke Kobayashi (3rd yr, Saitama Univ.) - 2.06 m
3. Kaihei Suzuki (1st yr., Tokyo Keizai Univ.) - 2.03 m

Division 1 Men's Long Jump
1. Yasuhiro Moro (4th yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 7.96 m +2.5 m/s
2. Natsuki Yamakawa (3rd yr., Nihon Univ.) - 7.90 m -0.5 m/s
3. Yuya Takamasa (3rd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 7.72 m +0.3 m/s

Division 2 Men's Triple Jump
1. Yuta Saito (2nd yr., Sakushin Univ.) - 15.75 m +1.9 m/s
2. Takato Okumura (4th yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 15.20 m +1.5 m/s
3. Taro Nishiuchi (4th yr., Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 15.09 m +1.3 m/s

Division 1 Men's Shot Put
1. Reiji Takeda (3rd yr., Nihon Univ.) - 17.50 m
2. Daichi Morishita (4th yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 17.25 m
3. Hikaru Murakami (3rd yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 16.33 m

Division 1 Women's Javelin Throw
1. Marina Saito (3rd yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 55.96 m
2. Kiho Kuze (4th yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 55.94 m
3. Nagisa Mori (2nd yr., Keio Univ.) - 52.43 m

Division 1 Men's Decathlon
1. Suguru Shiozaki (2nd yr., Nihon Univ.) - 7265
2. Hiroyoshi Ushiro (4th yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 7203
3. Akimasa Kurihara (4th yr., Nihon Univ.) - 7053

Division 2 Men's Decathlon
1. Asuka Kashiwagura (4th yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 7038
2. Taikan Takemoto (4th yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 7029
3. Reiji Inaba (4th yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 6916

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wambui and Nakatani Take 10000 m Titles on First Day of Kanto Regionals

by Brett Larner


The 95th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, the year's toughest meet for university men, kicked off Thursday at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium.  27-minute Kenyan second-years Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) and Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) went head-to-head in the D1 men's 10000 m, Nyairo pushing it at 28:00 pace through 3000 m to burn off all the Japanese competition except for Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.), the fastest Japanese man in the race with a 28:32.85 best and likewise a second-year.  As the pace relaxed Shojiri held on through 8000 m before a small gap opened, but it wasn't until Wambui attacked with two laps to go that he really lost ground.  Wambui and Nyairo came into the home straight side-by-side and with his last kick Wambui proved the stronger, winning by less than a second in 28:21.69.  Shiojiri held on to 3rd in 28:42.56, short of his PB but the best Japanese time of the day.  Along with Nyairo, Yamanashi Gakuin runners took 4th and 5th to put three in the top five.


In the D2 race Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.), yet another second-year, took the race out at a very steady 28:40 pace followed by Tadashi Isshiki of 2015-16 Hakone Ekiden winner Aoyama Gakuin University, #1-ranked Japanese collegiate runner Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.) and little-known Kengo Suzuki (Kanagawa Univ.).  Nothing changed in the lead group until Suzuki made a surprising move to drop Kariuki at 9000 m.  Both Nakatani and Isshiki went after him, and with one lap to go Nakatani kicked away for the win in 28:43.96.  Isshiki, who broke 2:12 in his debut at February's Tokyo Marathon, was 2nd in 28:45.33 with Suzuki 3rd in a PB 28:50.13.


Wambui was entered to double in the 1500 m but gave it a miss, leaving last year's 5000 m national university champion Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) ranked #1 in the D1 race with a best of 3:42.06.  Hattori ran the qualifying heat but struggled, finishing 5th in Heat One and squeezing into the final on time in 3:51.15. When the windy final came around a few hours later he had scratched.  In his absence, another Yamanashi Gakuin runner, fourth-year Shogo Hata, pulled out a big run to win in 3:49.69.


After a DNS last year, 2014 Kanto Region D2 1500 m champion Lazarus Motanya (Obirin Univ.) returned to take the title again, outkicking the field over the last lap to win in 3:48.18.  Motanya's coach Stephen Mayaka told JRN post-race, "I'm happy that he won, but not happy with the time!"  In the only women's distance event of the day, second-year Mina Ueda (Josai Univ.) won a very slow women's 1500 m in 4:35.14.  The women's distance events continue Friday with the 10000 m.

In non-distance action, sub-10 hopeful Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) made it through the opening heats of the D1 men's 100 m with ease, running 10.47 with a -1.7 m/s headwind to win his heat.  Ippei Takeda (Chuo Univ.) topped the qualifiers for the semi-final, clocking 10.28 with a 1.7 m/s tailwind.  Kiryu also ran on Toyo's 4x100 m team, surprisingly on 3rd rather than anchoring.  Toyo failed to move on to the final, finishing 6th in its heat in 40.10.  High school champion Iyoba Edobah (Chuo Univ.) missed her Kanto Regionals collegiate debut, scratching from her heat in the women's 100 m.  With the heptathlon not starting until Saturday national high school record holder Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.) was already busy, winning her 100 mH heat in 13.90 -2.4 and taking 2nd in the women's long jump final behind winner Yu Yamada (Tsukuba Univ.), who jumped 6.32 m +2.8.

95th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships Day One
Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, 5/19/16
click here for complete results

Division 1 Men's 10000 m
1. Patrick Wambui (2nd yr., Nihon Univ.) - 28:21.69
2. Dominic Nyairo (2nd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:22.50
3. Kazuya Shiojiri (2nd yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 28:42.56
4. Kenta Ueda (3rd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:11.84
5. Ryutaro Ichitani (3rd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:13.34
6. Takumi Komatsu (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 29:13.96
7. Ryo Kuchimachi (4th yr., Toyo Univ.) - 29:17.07
8. Satoshi Kikuchi (4th yr., Josai Univ.) - 29:20.66
9. Hayate Kurumada (2nd yr., Waseda Univ.) - 29:26.69
10. Shota Onizuka (1st yr., Tokai Univ.) - 29:32.86

Division 2 Men's 10000 m
1. Keisuke Nakatani (4th yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 28:43.96
2. Tadashi Isshiki (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 28:45.33
3. Kengo Suzuki (3rd yr., Kanagawa Univ.) - 28:50.13 - PB
4. Simon Kariuki (2nd yr., Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 29:02.12
5. Yuji Serunarudo (4th yr., Soka Univ.) - 29:05.76
6. Rei Omori (3rd yr., Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 29:06.71
7. Workneh Derese (2nd yr., Takushoku Univ.) - 29:11.48
8. Yuta Shimoda (3rd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 29:14.04
9. Kai Takushita (2nd yr., Teikyo Univ.) - 29:19.17
10. Naoki Koyama (2nd yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 29:19.81

Division 1 Men's 1500 m Final
1. Shogo Hata (4th yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 3:49.69
2. Ryohei Sakaguchi (1st yr., Tokai Univ.) - 3:50.55
3. Tatsuhiko Hori (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 3:50.66
4. Shoma Funatsu (1st yr., Chuo Univ.) - 3:50.90
5. Kazuma Yamazaki (4th yr., Nihon Univ.) - 3:51.01

Division 2 Men's 1500 m Final
1. Lazarus Motanya (3rd yr., Obirin Univ.) - 3:48.18
2. Ryota Motegi (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 3:48.60
3. Hiroya Inoue (3rd yr., Jobu Univ.) - 3:48.84
4. Mizuki Sekiguchi (4th yr., Asia Univ.) - 3:50.05
5. Tomoya Nakamura (1st yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 3:50.94

Division 1 Women's 1500 m Final
1. Mina Ueda (2nd yr., Josai Univ.) - 4:35.14
2. Rina Koeda (4th yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) - 4:36.04
3. Chinatsu Uchiyama (4th yr., Tamagawa Univ.) - 4:36.22
4. Kana Tsuchida (1st yr., Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 4:36.42
5. Maki Izumida (3rd yr., Rikkyo Univ.) - 4:36.88

Division 1 Women's Pole Vault
1. Miki Kuramochi (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 3.75 m
2. Aina Kubo (1st yr., Seiwa Univ.) - 3.70 m
3. Rina Suzuki (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 3.60 m

Division 1 Women's Long Jump
1. Yu Yamada (4th yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 6.32 m +2.8 m/s
2. Meg Hemphill (2nd yr., Chuo Univ.) - 6.21 m +2.5 m/s
3. Nonoka Rito (3rd yr., Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 5.98 m +0.9 m/s

Division 1 Women's Discus Throw
1. Natsumi Fujimori (3rd yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 51.45 m
2. Minori Tsujikawa (3rd yr., Tsukuba Univ.) - 49.49 m
3. Asuka Ishii (2nd yr., Tokyo Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 49.05 m

Division 1 Men's Javelin
1. Junya Sado (2nd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 73.77 m
2. Kazunori Seki (4th yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 72.68 m
3. Kenji Ogura (3rd yr., Nihon Univ.) - 71.27 m

Division 2 Men's Shot Put
1. Koichi Ishii (3rd yr., Wellness Sports Univ.) - 15.39 m
2. Koki Hattori (4th yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 14.50 m
3. Ryoma Ito (3rd yr., Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 13.50 m

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships Preview

by Brett Larner

The Tokyo area’s best springtime meet, the 95th edition of the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships run this Thursday through Sunday, banished again by the poorly-conceived demolition of the beloved 1964 Olympic Stadium to Nissan Stadium in the remote wildlands of suburban Yokohama. Kanto being the home of the Hakone Ekiden the men’s distance events make up most of the most exciting action, but there are other highlights on the entry list.

It’s hard to believe sprint wunderkind Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) is already in his junior year, but with the Olympics looking he still soldiers on in hopes of scoring Japan’s first legit sub-10 in the 100 m. He is entered in both the 100 m and the 4x100 m, giving the 200 m a miss with bigger things at stake in the next few months. National high school record holder Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.) is the favorite in the women’s heptathlon, still well shy of the Rio standard of 6200 with a best of 5730 but still growing stronger. Making her college debut, Edoba Iyoba (Nihon Univ.) is likewise a heavy favorite in the 100 m but still 0.4 short of Rio at 11.72.

Hazumi Hattori (Toyo Univ.) scored a rare Japanese win in the 5000 m at last fall’s National University Track and Field Championships and comes to Kanto Regionals fresh off a school record 13:34.64 two weeks ago at the Golden Games in Nobeoka meet, but still short of the 13:25.00 Rio standard he is focusing on the 1500 m to try to improve his speed ahead of next month’s National Championships. His best of 3:42.06 puts him at #2 in the entire D1 field, and he will face #1 seed Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) in the first heat on Thursday.

Wambui also tops Sunday’s D1 5000 m with a 13:27.63 best, his nearest competition coming from Jinnosuke Matsumura (Josai Univ.) at 13:46.23 and Kazuto Kawabata (Tokai Univ.) at 13:49.33. The D1 and D2 split works differently from what American readers might be familiar with, meaning that Hakone powerhouses like Aoyama Gakuin University and Komazawa University turn up in D2 instead of in D1 against rivals like Toyo and Tokai. AGU’s Tadashi Isshiki leads the D2 5000 m with a best of 13:40.93, his nearest competition coming from teammate Kazuki Tamura, 13:50.43, and Komazawa ace Naoki Kudo at 13:52.97.

Kudo is ranked #2 in the D2 10000 m at 28:23.85 behind Komazawa teammate Keisuke Nakatani’s 28:17.56 best. Nobody else in the field has broken 28:30, with AGU’s Yuta Shimoda, Yuki Nakamura and Isshiki and Kenyan newcomer Titus Mogusu (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) all weighing in under 28:40. With a 27:54.98 best Wambui's strongest event so far is the 10000 m, and the D1 race features a stellar matchup between him and fellow Kenyan second-year Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.), with Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.), also a second-year, leading the Japanese entries at 28:32.85.

With the 10000 m going down Thursday Nyairo is set to double in Sunday’s half marathon, leading the D1 field with a best of 1:00:50 from February. Haruki Minatoya (Tokai Univ.) is the top Japanese man with a best of 1:02:54, running his first half since March’s NYC Half Marathon. The D2 half looks deeper on talent, including sub-1:03 men Kinari Ikeda (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.), Rei Omori (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) and Shohei Otsuka (Komazawa Univ.) and sub-29 track runners Stanley Siteki (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) and Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.).

Click here for complete entry lists for the entire 95th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships meet. JRN will be on-site throughout the weekend to provide the only English-language coverage of one of Japan's best meets.

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Monday, May 16, 2016

Eritreans Dominate 250th Nittai University Time Trials

by Brett Larner

With the launch of the Sky Project exchange program earlier this year, Kanagawa prefecture will play host to Eritrean athletes between now and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with Eritrea scheduled to hold its pre-Olympic and Paralympic training camps in the prefecture along Tokyo's southern side.  The Eritreans made their presences felt at the 250th edition of the Nittai University Time Trials meet in suburban Yokohama over the weekend, winning the A-heats of both the men's 5000 m and 10000 m and a number of women featuring in the 5000 m as well.

Four Eritrean women ran the single women's 5000 m heat on Saturday.  With top Japanese track runner Ayuko Suzuki and teammate Hanami Sekine (both Team Japan Post) going 1-2 in 15:26.28 and 15:28.88, Kokob Tesfagaber Solomon and Merhawit Ghide Medhin led the Eritrean contingent in 6th and 7th in 16:18.68 and 16:18.79.  Kokob Ghebru Abraha and Berhane Tesfay Berhe made more of an impact in the men's 10000 m A-heat, also on Saturday, taking the top two spots in 28:38.46 and 28:45.98.

Kokob Ghebru Abraha was back on Sunday for the men's 5000 m A-heat, where Eritrean men took six of the top seven spots.  Teklit Teweldebrhan Tesfable and Awet Habte Gebregi dominated the field, 1st and 2nd in 13:24.13 and 13:24.40, with Kokob 4th another 25 seconds back.  Unknown Yohei Suzuki (Waseda Univ.) was the only runner to break up the Eritrean pack, outrunning Berhane Mehansho Beru for 6th in 13:53.58, a PB by 25 seconds.  The vibe at Nittai, the Tokyo area's main spring and fall track series, is bound to change for the more competitive.

250th Nihon Taiiku University Time Trials
Yokohama, Kanagawa, May 14-15, 2016
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m
1. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 15:26.28
2. Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) - 15:28.88
3. Harumi Okamoto (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 15:35.43
4. Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 16:06.76
5. Rui Aoyama (Universal Entertainment) - 16:10.80
6. Kokob Tesfagaber Solomon (Eritrea) - 16:18.68
7. Merhawit Ghide Medhin (Eritrea) - 16:18.79
-----
10. Rahma Mohammed Abas (Eritrea) - 16:48.36
13. Kidanu Teshome Teurde Medhin (Eritrea) - 17:08.01

Men's 10000 m Heat 5
1. Kokob Ghebru Abraha (Eritrea) - 28:38.46
2. Berhane Tesfay Berhe (Eritrea) - 28:45.98
3. Ryo Hashimoto (GMO Athletes) - 29:06.20
4. Saiya Yamamoto (Toyo Univ.) - 29:10.11
5. Hotaka Murofushi (Nittai Univ.) - 29:16.83

Men's 5000 m Heat 16
1. Teklit Teweldebrhan Tesfable (Eritrea) - 13:24.13
2. Awet Habte Gebregi Aberu (Eritrea)  13:24.40
3. Berhane Tsegaye Tekle (Eritrea) - 13:48.87
4. Kokob Ghebru Abraha (Eritrea) - 13:49.16
5. Yohannes Mehansho Teskete (Eritrea) - 13:49.41
6. Yohei Suzuki (Waseda Univ.) - 13:53.58
7. Berhane Mehansho Beru (Eritrea) - 13:54.35
8. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:54.71
9. Hiroki Miura (Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:57.73
10. Hiroyoshi Umegae (NTN) - 14:06.60

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Kirwa and Mwaka Win Gifu Seiryu Half

by Brett Larner

Bahraini national record holder Eunice Kirwa did it again, easily breaking the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon women's course record in 1:08:55 to win by over two minutes.  Kenyan Rebecca Kangogo Chesir was the only one to put up some competition, running with Kirwa through 5 km in 15:49 before dropping back to take 2nd in 1:11:09.  Formerly Japan-based Ethiopian Betelhem Moges started much more conservatively, over 30 seconds behind the lead pair at 5 km but closing to take 3rd close enough to record the same 1:11:09 finish time as Chesir.  Japan's Rio Olympics marathon medal hopeful Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) started in the 2nd pack with Moges but fell far off pace in the second half, taking 6th overall in 1:12:04 and just holding off Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) for top Japanese honors.

In the men's race Kenyan Kenneth Keter pushed a lead group of nine, eight Africans plus Mongolian national record holder Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Team NTN) through a fast first 5 km before the competition faded, but in the second half Keter paid for his early work as he fell to 4th overall.  Running him down were Japan-based Kenyans Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Team Aisan Kogyo) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta), with 2007 Osaka World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Martin Mathathi of Kenya coming on strong in the last 5 km to take 3rd.  Mwaka and Kuira were side-by-side through 20 km, but in a reverse of Kuira's win at last year's Marugame Half Mwaka had the stronger kick to score the win by 3 seconds in 1:01:51.

Mathathi was 18 seconds behind Kuira in 1:02:12.  His former Suzuki Hamamatsu AC teammate Yusei Nakao (Smiley Angel AC) ran in a Japanese chase pack with Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Genta Yodogawa (Team Aisan Kogyo), all three working together to try to reel in Bat-Ochir.  It came down to a track sprint finish, Bat-Ochir hanging on to 9th in 1:03:37 with Nakao taking the top Japanese spot for the third year in a row at 10th in 1:03:38.  Kawauchi marked a season best 1:03:39 but missing his goal of a top ten finish at 11th, knocked out of the top ten in the last kick by Nakao for the second time in three years, with Yodogawa right behind at 12th in 1:03:40.  Nakao is scheduled to run next month's Grandma's Marathon in the U.S.A. with support from JRN.

Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon
Gifu, 5/15/16

Women
1. Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) - 1:08:55 - CR
2. Rebecca Kangogo Chesir (Kenya) - 1:11:09
3. Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia) - 1:11:09
4. Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya) - 1:11:33
5. Veronicah Wanjiru (Kenya) - 1:11:59
6. Kayoko Fukushi (Japan/Wacoal) - 1:12:04
7. Yuka Ando (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:12:07
8. Mao Kiyota (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:12:20
9. Bornes Jepkirui (Kenya) - 1:12:40
10. Sayo Nomura (Japan/Daiichi Seimei) - 1:13:10

Men
1. Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 1:01:51
2. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 1:01:54
3. Martin Mathathi (Kenya) - 1:02:12
4. Kenneth Keter (Kenya) - 1:02:26
5. Michael Githae (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:02:52
6. James Rungaru Kenya/Chuo Hatsujo) - 1:03:04
7. Fabiano Sulle (Tanzania) - 1:03:29
8. Dishon Karukuwa Maina (Kenya/Omokawa Zaimokuten) - 1:03:35
9. Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 1:03:37
10. Yusei Nakao (Japan/Smiley Angel AC) - 1:03:38
11. Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:03:39
12. Genta Yodogawa (Japan/Aisan Kogyo) - 1:03:40
-----
25. Cuthbert Nyasango (Zimbabwe) - 1:05:07

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ueda 3rd at ITU World Triathlon Series Yokohama - Results

Japan's Ai Ueda took 3rd in the women's race at today's ITU WTS Yokohama.  The official ITU reports:

Women's race:
'Jorgensen Gains Fourth Straight Yokohama Win'

Men's race:
'Mola Earns First-Time Yokohama Gold'

Paratriathlon division:
'Yokohama Paratriathlon Review'

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Rio Olympics Marathoner Ishikawa Visits City Hall: "I Want to Prove You Can Still Do It At My Age"

http://www.sankei.com/region/news/160512/rgn1605120038-n1.html

translated by Brett Larner

On May 11 Rio Olympics men's marathon team member Suehiro Ishikawa (36, Team Honda) visited city hall in Sayama, Saitama, home ground of the Honda corporate team.  "My goal is to make top eight," he said with determination.  "I'm overjoyed and utterly thrilled.  Making the Olympics is a dream come true and I hope that I can enjoy it at least a little." 

Mayor Tsuyoshi Koyano offered Ishikawa words of support, saying, "On behalf of the city, I offer you our congratulations and best wishes.  We are all looking forward to cheering you on on race day."

Ishikawa turns 37 in September.  In Rio he will become the oldest-ever Japanese man to make an Olympic marathon team, surpassing the record set at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics by Hiromi Taniguchi,  recently turned 36 at the time.  "I want to prove that you can still do it even at this age," Ishikawa said.

'French Prosecutors Reportedly Investigating €1.3 Million Payment by Tokyo Bid Team Ahead of 2020 Vote'

http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1037349/french-prosecutors-reportedly-investigating-13-million-payment-by-tokyo-bid-team-ahead-of-2020-vote

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The 2016 Harmony Geneva Marathon in Review

by Brett Larner
click any photo to enlarge
videos by Athletics Weekly


In the eleven years since its inception the Harmony Geneva Marathon for UNICEF has quickly grown to become one of Switzerland’s premier road races, bringing 16,000 runners together in eight different divisions, the fastest marathon on Swiss soil in 2015 and this year earning recognition from the IAAF with a bronze label for its twelfth running, the country’s first IAAF label race. With a solid elite field thanks to the bronze label and changes to the course cutting out some of the hillier sections race director Benjamin Chandelier was optimistic of seeing Geneva’s first sub-2:10 and sub-2:30 clockings, but although warm and sunny conditions kept that from happening Julius Chepkwony of Kenya ran just 11 seconds off the event record to win the men’s race in 2:11:11, surpassing the 2:12:04 winning time by Japan’s Yuki Kawauchi two weeks ago in Zurich. Jane Kiptoo of Kenya won for the second year in a row, farther off the course record in 2:35:04 but likewise beating the winning time in Zurich to put Geneva ahead again as the probable fastest Swiss course of 2016.

12th Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef
Geneva, Switzerland, 5/8/16
click here for complete results


Men
1. Julius Chepkwony (Kenya) - 2:11:11
2. Emmanuel Sikuku (Kenya) - 2:12:44
3. Ronny Kiboos (Kenya) - 2:14:53
4. Petro Mamu (Eritrea) - 2:15:16 - PB
5. Tariku Kinfu (Ethiopia) - 2:15:52 - debut


Women
1. Jane Kiptoo (Kenya) - 2:35:04
2. Helen Jepkurgat (Kenya) - 2:35:16 - debut
3. Roze Dereje (Ethiopia) - 2:36:55
4. Ednah Kimaiyo (Kenya) - 2:37:30
5. Tesfanesh Denbi (Ethiopia) - 2:38:03

The course itself is the event’s main draw, and not just for fast times. This is a truly beautiful route.  32 km winding and rolling through the Swiss-French borderland countryside, sometimes right on the border, through lush green and yellow fields and a dozen tiny villages under the watchful eye of Mont Blanc, the tallest of the Alps.  A long descent to the final 10 km along the shores of Lake Geneva in full view of the United Nations and Jet d'Eau before a spectacular finish in the center of the city on the Pont du Mont-Blanc bridge over the Rhone River.

With over forty 90-degrees turns and a variety of surfaces from perfect asphalt streets to hard concrete farm roads and even a few kilometers of dirt and gravel lanes it’s not a course that runners who like a steady rhythm to their marathon will find easy, not until the last 10 km at least, but if like me you prefer courses that force you to change things up it will be right up your alley.  The constant variation and the sheer beauty of the surroundings keep it fresh and almost completely eliminate the mental impact of the distance covered.  The course map deserves a close study before the race, but the first 32 km will seem like the shortest of any marathon you've run.  A word of advice: hold back a little on the gradual downhill between 20 and 32 km or you will be paying for it on the steeper downhill and long flat to come.

Chandelier told JRN that his young event production team focuses on detail and services offered to the runner to make the Harmony Geneva Marathon more than just another pretty course. Logistics are very smooth. The race expo and Saturday afternoon kids’ races are in the city center Jardin Anglais adjacent to the finish line and Lake Geneva, walking distance from all the major hotels. The start in the village of Chene-Bourg, shared by the marathon, half marathon, 10 km, 6.5 km La Genevoise women’s race and the first leg of the six-runner marathon relay, is easily accessible by free public transit, a 15-minute tram ride from downtown, with exceptionally well-organized baggage transport back to the finish. Massage and physio services, more than fifteen designated pace groups across the 10 km, half and full, very well-stocked refreshment tables, cool race t-shirts and finishers’ medals and more add to the event’s value.  Good relationships with the city and local sponsors mean lots of support for out-of-town marathoners who want to get the most out of their trip to Geneva.

And other small details. Just after hitting the lakeside near 32 km the course enters a long underpass tunnel, dark and illuminated by intermittent electric lighting. It could be a soul-crushingly depressing few minutes after the pristine countryside hours just before, but Geneva’s solution? A DJ booth in the middle of the tunnel pumping beats that transform it into the world's longest club, just about the most energizing section of the entire course and right when you need it.

Not all was perfect.  About 6 km into the marathon course the first relay exchange zone and refreshment station were positioned immediately after a right-hand corner bottlenecked runners from a two-lane road onto a narrow rough-surface path. Marathon runners had to jump to the left to avoid the relay exchange zone, then had to either fight their way back to the right or skip the first refreshment station on an unseasonably warm day.  Bib numbers were made of poor quality material; the pins tore out of two corners of my bib within the first 14 km and had to be re-pinned on the fly.

But, Chandelier told JRN, “We are a young race and we are always looking for ways to improve. We listen closely to feedback from participants, from volunteers, from the community and our sponsors and rely on it to help us become the best event we can, step-by-step.  We're proud that 97% of our participants say they would recommend our event to others.” JRN would be included in that number.  Despite a few minor flaws, the Harmony Geneva Marathon delivers on the best experience the city can provide, a fast and scenic course and exceptional organization. Just another step or two and it will stand as one of Europe’s best destination marathons if it’s not there already.


photos and text © 2016 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
videos © 2016 Athletics Weekly, all rights reserved

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Imai Over Kawauchi at Sendai International Half Marathon

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20160508/ath16050817510006-n1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

 The Sendai International Half Marathon took place May 8 in Sendai, Miyagi, starting and finishing at Sendai Municipal Field.  Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), a DNS with illness in last summer's Beijing World Championships marathon, won in 1:03:06, the first Japanese male to win in 12 years.  2014 Asian Games marathon silver medalist and two-time World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 5th in 1:04:35.

Kenyan Felista Wanjugu (Team Universal Entertainment) won the women's race in 1:12:05, the first non-Japanese women's champion since 2005.  Honami Maeda (Team Tenmaya) was 2nd.

26th Sendai International Half Marathon
Sendai, Miyagi, 5/816
click here for complete results

Men
1. Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:06
2. Tomohiro Tanigawa (Konica Minolta) - 1:03:11
3. Yuki Oshikawa (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:34
4. Ezekiel Chebotibin (Kenya/Toho Refine) - 1:04:22
5. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:35

Women
1. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Universal Entertainment) - 1:12:05
2. Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) - 1:13:02
3. Misato Horie (Noritz) - 1:13:21
4. Sachi Tanaka (Sports Yamagata 21) - 1:14:51
5. Haruna Takada (Yamada Denki) - 1:15:48

'Bartoletta Double Again, Vadlejch World-Leading Javelin Mark in Kawasaki'

http://www.iaaf.org/news/report/kawasaki-bartoletta-vadlejch

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Kamais, Bulo and Ichida Twins Top Golden Games in Nobeoka

by Brett Larner

Japan's best spring distance meet, the Golden Games in Nobeoka came up short on Rio qualifying marks but still delivered some fast times with the winners of all the major races running PBs to get to the top.

Ethiopian newcomer Shuru Bulo (Team Toto) was the only woman to clear the 15:24.00 women's 5000 m Rio standard, winning the women's A-heat in a PB 15:18.54.  Top Japanese woman Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) was far short of the mark in 15:42.29 for 4th.  After having helped Sera H.S. break the legendary Samuel Wanjiru-era National High School Boys Ekiden course record last December, Kenyan Paul Kamais (Team Chugoku Denryoku) continued to dominate in the 5th week of his pro career, leading four Japan-based Africans under the 13:25.00 men's Rio standard to win the 5000 m C-heat in a PB 13:17.50.  Hopes of another Japanese man getting the standard went unrequited, but top Japanese man Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) still delivered a solid 13:34.64, 4 seconds better than the 13:38.45 PB he ran to win last September's National University Championships 5000 m.

The best hopes for additions to Japan's list of Rio qualifiers was in the men's 10000 m.  With pacing from two-time World Championships medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) and a solid field of top-level Japanese men things were on track through 7000 m, but the field was unable to maintain momentum and slowed.  2016 national cross-country champion Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei), fresh off a less than 1 second PB for 5000 m at last weekend's Oda Memorial Meet, came through with a PB by just under 2 seconds to win in 28:16.00, well short of the 28:00.00 Rio standard but another mark in his favor for a place on the Rio team should he hit the time in time.  His twin brother Hiroshi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei) came up with a 5-second PB to win the 5000 m B-heat in 13:50.45.  Waseda University graduate Toshiyuki Yanagi (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) won the 5000 m A-heat in 13:42.10, also a PB by 5 seconds.

Golden Games in Nobeoka Top Results
Noboeka, Miyazaki, 5/7/16
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m
1. Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:16.00 - PB
2. Shogo Nakamura (Team Fujitsu) - 28:27.50
3. Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA) - 28:27.81
4. Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 28:29.97
5. Minato Oishi (Toyota) - 28:34.70
6. Daichi Kamino (Konica Minolta) - 28:37.71
7. Keita Baba (Honda) - 28:38.26
8. Masato Kikuchi (Konica Minolta) - 28:39.42
9. Keita Shitara (Konica Minolta) - 28:43.28
10. Kenji Yamamoto (Mazda) - 28:55.66

Men's 5000 m C-Heat
1. Paul Kamais (Kenya/Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:17.50 - PB
2. John Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) - 13:17.93
3. Teresa Nyakola (Ethiopia/Mazda) - 13:23.66
4. Leonard Barsoton (Kenya/Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:24.46
5. Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:25.53
6. Charles Mneria (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:26.23
7. Alfred Ngeno (Kenya/Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:30.39
8. Kassa Mekashaw (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 13:33.65
9. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Kanebo) - 13:34.04
10. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 13:34.64 - PB

Women's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Shuru Bulo (Ethiopia/Toto) - 15:18.54 - PB
2. Pauline Kamulu (Kenya/Route Inn Hotels) - 15:30.10
3. Mariam Waithira Mururi (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 15:31.24
4. Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 15:42.29
5. Ai Inoue (Noritz) - 15:44.07

Men's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Toshiyuki Yanagi (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:42.10 - PB
2. Kazuya Deguchi (Asahi Kasei) - 13:50.84
3. Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) - 13:51.27
4. Yusuke Nishiyama (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:53.80
5. Ryunosuke Hayashi (Tokai Univ.) - 13:56.69

Men's 5000 m B-Heat
1. Hiroshi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 13:50.45 - PB
2. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/YKK) - 13:56.04
3. Masaru Aoki (Kanebo) - 13:56.22
4. Shin Kimura (Honda) - 13:56.92
5. Shohei Otsuka (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:57.29

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, May 6, 2016

Korir and Kiptoo Lead Geneva Marathon Elite Field


JRN is back in Switzerland this weekend to cover Sunday's Harmony Geneva Marathon.  An IAAF bronze label race, Geneva features quality men's and women's fields led by 2:07:29 man Ronald Korir (Kenya) and defending women's champion Jane Kiptoo (Kenya).  With good weather in the forecast the course records of 2:11:00 and 2:32:34 should be on for updating.  Look for coverage throughout race weekend.

12th Harmony Geneva Marathon Elite Fields
Geneva, Switzerland, 5/8/16
times listed are 2013-16 bests except where noted

Men
Ronald Korir (Kenya) - 2:07:29 (Frankfurt 2014)
Julius Chepkwony (Kenya) - 2:09:00 (Daegu 2014)
Hailu Shume (Ethiopia) - 2:09:27 (Nice-Cannes 2014)
Nixon Machichim (Kenya) - 2:10:14 (Lyon 2015)
Emmanuel Sikuku (Kenya) - 2:11:20 (Zurich 2014)
Daniel Songok (Kenya) - 2:11:46 (Brescia 2013)
Ronny Kiboos (Kenya) - 2:12:08 (Hefei 2014)
Petro Mamu (Eritrea) - 2:15:54 (Zheng Kai 2015)
Tariku Kinfu (Ethiopia) - debut - 1:03:35 (Remich Half 2015)

Women
Jane Kiptoo (Kenya) - 2:31:08 (Sydney 2014)
Ednah Kimaiyo (Kenya) - 2:31:25 (Rennes 2015)
Martha Komu (France) - 2:33:33 (Paris 2015)
Roze Dereje (Ethiopia) - 2:34:02 (Algiers 2015)
Tesfanesh Denbi (Ethiopia) - 2:34:44 (Dublin 2015)
Helen Jepkurgat (Kenya) - debut - 1:09:56 (Placenza Half 2015)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Golden Games in Nobeoka Preview

by Brett Larner

Held in Athlete Town Nobeoka, Japan's Eugene, Saturday's Golden Games in Nobeoka are one of the highlights of outdoor track season.  Fans line the outer lane of the track, banging on metallic sponsor boards to create a rhythmic roar that follows athletes all the way through the race and the great Soh twins working the field, calling to each athlete by name over loudspeakers to urge them on and welcoming them to the finish.  Every year it produces some of the fastest Japanese times of the year, and in an Olympic year that's going to be more true than ever.

Last year the men's 10000 m was little more than a time trial for Kenta Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei) and Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) with pacing from double World Championships bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko), both breaking 27:45.  This year it's big, arguably the main race of the day as Olympic team hopefuls look to join the eleven Japanese men already under the 28:00.00 Rio standard in the lead-up to June's National Championships.  60-61 minute half marathoners Keita Shitara (Konica Minolta), Masato Kikuchi (Konica Minolta), Daichi Kamino (Konica Minolta), Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.), Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ.), Taku Fujimoto (Team Toyota) and Shogo Nakamura (Team Fujitsu) are all entered along with Yuta Shitara, the only man in the field who already holds a Rio standard time apart from pacer Tanui.  One name to watch out for is 2016 national XC champion Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei), the top Japanese man in the 10000 m at last month's Hyogo Relay Carnival where he scored a potential in for the Rio team if he breaks 28.

The men's 5000 m A-heat's main draw is 17-year-old Gakuho Ishikawa H.S. senior Hyuga Endo, red-hot lately with wins in four of his last five races including a 13:48.13 PB for 5000 m in his first race this outdoor season to move up to all-time #7 among Japanese high schoolers.  13:39.87 is the mark to beat for #1.  As with last year, the C-heat is the real A-heat as a few ambitious Japanese line up among almost all the best Japan-based Africans to try to get pulled to fast times.  It worked for Kota Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei) last year with a rare Japanese sub-13:20, and this year the likes of 2016 year leader to date Takanori Ichikawa (Team Hitachi Butsuryu), 2015 national university 5000 m champion Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) and 5000 m national collegiate record holder Kensuke Takezawa (Team Sumitomo Denko) hope to follow suit.  13:25.00 is the time to beat for Rio, a time three Japanese men currently hold.

Seven women have cleared the 15:24.00 Rio standard so far.  Three of the five fastest so far this year without Rio marks are entered, Hisami Ishii (Team Yamada Denki), Sakie Arai (Osa Gakuin Univ.) and Risa Kikuchi (Team Hitachi), but the best chance of a Rio-qualifying mark may come from #1-ranked high schooler Yuka Mukai (Sera H.S.), 15:31.92 last fall for all-time H.S. #6.  Look also for U-20 marathon record holder Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) hitting the track after missing Rio in the marathon despite a 2:24:38 PB at March's Nagoya Women's Marathon.

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

'Ex-No. 2 Women's Marathoner of All Time Retires After Doping Ban Ends'

http://olympics.nbcsports.com/2016/05/04/liliya-shobukhova-retires-marathon-doping-russia-track-and-field/

Ex-#2 all-time, Liliya Shobukhova of Russia remains #1 on the athlete roster of agent Andrey Baranov's now-deleted Spartanik RS Inc International Sport Management website.  JRN is glad to help make that website and its roster available again thanks to Internet Archive's public Wayback Machine utility.  At least 12 of the female athletes on that roster, 2/3 of those to have broken 2:26 in the marathon, have been suspended for positive drug tests or biological passport violations along with other subsequently Baranov-managed athletes such as Belarus' Alexsandra Duliba.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Suzuki Impresses at Payton Jordan

by Brett Larner


Virtually the only bright spot on the Japanese team at last year's Beijing World Championships, Ayuko Suzuki (Team Japan Post) delivered again with the best Japanese performance of this year's Payton Jordan Invitational.  With her 15:08.29 in the Beijing 5000 m final having put her at #5 on the all-time Japanese lists, Suzuki ran a 30-second PB of 31:18.16 for 3rd at Payton Jordan, landing at #8 all-time among Japanese women.  Four other Japanese women went under the 32:15.00 Olympic standard, three of them breaking 32.  Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) was the only Japanese man to clear the 28:00.00 men's Olympic standard, easily outdistancing Japanese year leader Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) for 2nd in 27:50.27.

Last year's 5000 m national champion Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) came up just short of the 15:24.00 Olympic standard, running 15:24.10 for 9th in the fastest women's 5000 m heat, but with a valid time from last year the impact on her chances of making the Rio team wasn't major.  More so for past 3000 m steeplechase national champion Jun Shinoto (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko), who came up short of the 8:30.00 standard when he ran 8:34.81 for 3rd in the second heat of the men's steeple.  The next big chance for Japanese athletes to score fast times ahead of June's National Championships, where much of the Rio lineup will be decided, comes at Saturday's Golden Games in Nobeoka, the best meet on the Japanese calendar.

Payton Jordan Invitational
Stanford University, California, U.S.A., 5/1/16
click here for complete results

Women's 10000 m Heat 1
1. Irene Cheptai (Kenya) - 31:15.38
2. Caroline Chepkoech (Kenya) - 31:16.38
3. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan/Japan Post) - 31:18.16 - all-time JPN #8
4. Marielle Hall (U.S.A.) - 31:37.45
5. Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal (Norway) - 31:37.91
-----
7. Miyuki Uehara (Japan/Daiichi Seimei) - 31:38.80
12. Hanami Sekine (Japan/Japan Post) - 31:48.90
14. Riko Matsuzaki (Japan/Sekisui Kagaku) - 31:55.26
20. Kasumi Nishihara (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 32:07.77
24. Yuka Miyazaki (Japan/Kyudenko) - 32:24.07
29. Rei Ohara (Japan/Tenmaya) - 33:31.47

Men's 10000 m Heat 1
1. Bernard Lagat (U.S.A.) - 27:49.35 - 40+ WR
2. Suguru Osako (Japan/Nike Oregon Project) - 27:50.27
3. Futsum Zienasellassie (U.S.A.) - 27:52.70
4. Abraham Habte Ghebrezghiabher (Eritrea) - 27:53.38
5. Sam Chelanga (U.S.A.) - 27:54.57
-----
7. William Malel (Kenya/Honda) - 27:56.23
22. Yuta Shitara (Kenya/Honda) - 28:51.21

Women's 10000 m Heat 2
1. Sarah Lahti (Sweden) - 31:54.87 - NR
2. Margarita Hernandez Flores (Mexico) - 32:11.04
3. Sara Slattery (U.S.A.) - 32:13.03
----
17. Kotomi Takayama (Japan/Sysmex) - 33:34.86

Women's 5000 m Heat 1
1. Sally Kipyego (Kenya) - 14:58.60
2. Nicole Tully (U.S.A.) - 15:04.08
3. Maureen Koster (Netherlands) - 15:07.20
-----
9. Misaki Onishi (Japan/Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:24.10

Men's 3000 mSC Heat 2
1. Ole Hesselbjerg (Denmark) - 8:30.51
2. Caleb Hoover (U.S.A.) - 8:34.23
3. Jun Shinoto (Japan/Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 8:34.81
-----
13. Aoi Matsumoto (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 9:07.57

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Takenaka Breaks 12 km National Record

Lilac Bloomsday Run
Spokane, WA, U.S.A., 5/1/16
click here for complete results

Women
1. Cynthia Cherotich Limo (Kenya) - 38:03 - NR
2. Alphine Tuliamuk Bolton (Kenya) - 39:42
3. Jane Kibii Cheruto (Kenya) - 39:59
4. Lineth Chepkurui (Kenya) - 40:22
5. Abnet Ysehanbel Simegne (Ethiopia) - 40:36
6. Risa Takenaka (Japan/Shiseido) - 40:38 - NR
7. Etalemahu Habtewold (Ethiopia) - 40:57
8. Lindsey Scherf (U.S.A.) - 40:59
9. Monicah Wanjuhi Ngige (Kenya) - 41:14
10. Allison Morgan (U.S.A.) - 41:36

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kawauchi Wins Inaugural Kawauchi Half Marathon

http://www.minyu-net.com/sports/running/FM20160501-070419.php

translated by Brett Larner

Yuki Kawauchi Road in Kawauchi, Fukushima

Held to inspire former residents to return to the area after the nearby TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident five years ago, the village of Kawauchi held the first "Kawauchi no Sato Kaeru Half Marathon - From Reconstruction to Creation" on April 30.  The course started and finished at the village heliport.  1188 runners from across the country gathered to celebrate the village's revival as they ran through its springtime streets.

The event's organizing committee was made up of local government and board of education members with support from the Fukushima Minyu Newspaper and other sponsors.  The race's purpose was to transmit the vitality and charm of the reconstructing Kawauchi village to the rest of the nation in hopes of helping to reverse the area's population decline.  Leading the half marathon was the world-famous "Civil Servant Runner" Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), who ran along with his two younger brothers.  Kawauchi wowed everyone by winning in 1:05:40, shaking hands and posing for pictures with other participants after the race.