Skip to main content

Seven Rio Medalists in Kawasaki - Weekend Preview

by Brett Larner

It's a busy weekend ahead both at home and abroad. The main road action happens overseas, with London Olympian and 2:07:48 marathoner Arata Fujiwara in Mongolia to run the Ulanbaatar Marathon where a victory will earn him a horse. A group of five Japanese men and women led by 1:01:37 runner Ken Yokote and 2017 National Corporate Half Marathon champion Ami Utsunomiya is in Sweden on a corporate league junket to the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon to gain valuable experience running and going to laundromats internationally.

Back home, many of their corporate league brethren and sistren will instead be lining up at one of four regional corporate league track championships. Up north in Akita, the East Japan Region meet features top-level Japan-based Africans Jonathan Ndiku, William Malel and Wesley Ledama, with Yuta Shitara, Masato Kikuchi and Azusa Sumi leading the Japanese crowd. The Kansai Region meet happens at the same time in Osaka, with the Chugoku Region meet, which held its 5000 m races last weekend, wrapping up its second half in Hiroshima. The Kyushu Region, home of 2017 New Year Ekiden national champion team Asahi Kasei, will hold its meet in Kita-Kyushu.

One of Asahi Kasei's top men, Tetsuya Yoroizaka, will give the corporate regional meet a miss in favor of racing Rio Olympis 10000 m silver medalist Paul Tanui in the 3000 m being held in Kanagawa as part of Sunday's Golden Grand Prix Kawasaki meet. Gold medalists Thomas Rohler (javelin throw) and Tiana Bartoletta (long jump) and silver medalist Wenxiu Zhang (hammer throw) lead the field events at the Kawasaki meet, which will be broadcast on TBS Sunday afternoon. Sprint events include Rio silver medalists Justin Gatlin, Asuka Cambridge and Shota Iizuka.

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


CK said…
"...valuable experience going to laundromats internationally". Well at least they'll be good at it by the time they are selected for a championship event and so will be able to concentrate on packing their own koshi-hikari...

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Katanishi Scores Best-Ever Japanese Collegiate Placing at United Airlines NYC Half

Wearing bib #21 on his 21st birthday, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa University) turned in the best-ever Japanese collegiate placing at the United Airlines NYC Half, taking 7th in 1:03:05 just 26 seconds off the win.

Katanishi and his Komazawa teammate Shogo Ise earned invites to the NYC Half by taking the top two Japanese collegiate spots at last November's Ageo City Half Marathon. Off the tougher new New York course both Katanishi and Ise ran in the lead group for the first two-thirds of the race, Ise near the front and Katanishi biding his time at the back of the pack. When the first real move came on the uphill approaching Times Square Katanishi was quick to reposition himself into the top three just off the shoulder of leader Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.), staying in the action and looking smooth through the first set of Central Park hills. "I just took the early part easy and watched the others and what was going," Kat…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …