The New Balance Nationals Outdoor was the weekend's big high school meet in the U.S.A., but from Thursday through Monday regions across Japan also held their qualifying meets for the July 29 - Aug. 2 National High School Track and Field Championships in Yamagata. Performances were at a high level across the board, with at least eight meet records nationwide in distance events.
Five girls broke 4:20 in the 1500 m, with Helen Ekarare (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) leading the way with a 4:09.67 meet record to win the Tohoku Region. Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) was the fastest Japanese girl, winning the Kinki Region title in 4:18.32. On the boys' side, four broke 3:50 in the 1500 m, three of them in the Kinki Region meet. Yusuke Takahashi (Hyogo H.S.) took the Kinki title in 3:46.86.
In the girls' 3000 m, five girls including both Ekarare and Tanaka were under 9:05 nationwide. Ekarare and Tanaka both doubled with 3000 m wins, but the fastest time came from Tabitha Kamau (Kamimu…
After a DNF in the final round knocked it out of contention last year, Kanagawa University led the qualifiers for November's National University Men's Ekiden from the most competitive region in Japan to win the Kanto Region Qualifier Sunday in Urawa, Saitama.
With six schools from Kanto already seeded for Nationals after taking the top six spots last year twenty more lined up in Urawa for four heats of 10000 m on the track, two runners from each school per heat. The combined times of each school's eight runners would determine who would stay and who would go come November, the top nine teams on aggregate time making the cut. With the four heats graded by time the first heat established the early favorites, runners from Kanagawa, Tokai University and Daito Bunka University taking the top three spots.
Heat 2 went out bafflingly slow, with one exception. Running alone, Juntendo University senior Kento Hanazawa fearlessly went it alone, opening up a 300 m lead at one point a…
For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.
Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…
At a June 15 meeting at the Kochi Prefectural Government offices, the Kochi Ryoma Marathon organizing committee confirmed that it will again be seeking to host a field of over 10000 participants at next February's race. In the event's fifth edition this February the number of starting runners broke 10000 for the first time.
In addition, as the number of overseas participants has continued to grow the organizers aim to have the course certified by the IAAF, with the certification process set to take place July 9. The organizers' hope is that the international recognition will help to further increase overseas participation. Organizers will also aim to improve the event's aid and safety protocols.
It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.
Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…
Twenty university teams from around the Tokyo are will square off Sunday at Saitama's Komaba Sports Park Field for the chance to run the Nov. 5 National University Men's Ekiden. Last year the top six-placing teams at the National University Men's Ekiden, winner Aoyama Gakuin University, Waseda University, Yamanashi Gakuin University, Komazawa University, Chuo Gakuin University and Toyo University, were all from the Tokyo-centric Kanto Region, all six earning seeded places at this year's Nationals.
The next twenty teams in Kanto with the fastest average time 10000 m among their top eight men based on certified times in 10000 m track races between Jan. 1, 2016 and June 3, 2017 all earned the right to run Sunday's Kanto Region Qualifier for Nationals. Featuring two strong graduate students eligible to run the National University Men's Ekiden, Tsukuba University is making its first appearance in the field in fourteen years, knocking out last year's participant…
Japanese elites in the ASICS Half Marathon include Mizuki Tanimoto (Team Tenmaya), Koji Gokaya (Team JR Higashi Nihon), Keita Nagura (Team Mazda) and Hiroki Yamagishi (Team GMO Athletes). The elite field for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon led by previous winners Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) is listed here.
On June 12 the JAAF announced that it is withdrawing its team from the IAAF World U18 Championships[formerly World Youth Championships] scheduled to be held in Nairobi, Kenya in July. In light of security concerns about Kenya and the situation regarding other countries' participation, the JAAF executive committee made the decision to pull out on the 12th.
The United States had previously announced it would not participate due to the dangers of crime and terrorism perpetrated by Islamic extremists. Great Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand are also not participating for the same reasons.
At the last edition of the Championships in Cali, Colombia in 2015, Japan's Hakim Sani Brown attracted global attention when he won the 100 m and 200 m.
The IUAU has announced a 38-member team for the Aug. 23-28 Summer Universiade in Taiwan, with 24 men and 14 women representing 26 universities. Rio Olympian Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) leads the team in men's long distance, with newly sub-10.10 Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) an expected favorite in men's sprints. Javelin throw and heptathlon collegiate record holders Haruka Kitaguchi (Nihon University) and Meg Hemphill (Chuo University) lead the women's team. The complete team roster:
Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin University)
Yusuke Tanaka (Nihon Wellness University)
Jun Yamashita (Tsukuba University)
Sho Kitagawa (Juntendo University)
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo University)
Shusei Nomoto (Waseda University)
Taio Kanai (Hosei University)
Ryo Kajiki (Josai University)
Wataru Tochigi (Juntendo University)
Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo University)
Takato Suzuki (Aoyama Gakuin University)
Kengo Suzuki (Kanagawa University)
Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ…
Two top international meets over the weekend featured some of Japan's best track athletes. Women's 10000 m year leader Yuka Takashima (Team Shiseido) ran in the Netherlands' FBK Games on Saturday. Far off the 31:33.33 PB she set last month at the Payton Jordan meet in California, Takashima managed only 33:08.76 for 12th of 13 finishers nearly two and a half minutes behind Ethiopian winner Gelete Burka's world-leading 30:40.87.
Racing for the first time since his debut at April's Boston Marathon, Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) ran the 5000 m Sunday at the Portland Track Festival. Clearing 13:30 for the first time since his Japanese national record two years ago, Osako was 3rd in 13:25.56 just over two seconds behind Kirubel Erassa (U.S.A.) and Morgan McDonald (Australia).
Still three seconds shy of the 13:22.60 qualifying standard for August's London World Championships, Osako's performance means that at the time of writing the only Japanese man with a L…
The National University Individual Track and Field Championships are a poorer cousin to September's National University Track and Field Championships, no team scoring, no combined events, no 10000 m, held every year in Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka just south of Yokohama. It's rarely mattered much to the bigger names, but it's just as rarely been as good as this year's edition.
準決勝では追参ですが、国内初の9秒台。 自分でもびっくりしました😳 本当に嬉しかったのが、決勝10秒08で世界選手権標準記録突破✨ 本当に応援ありがとうございました。 浮かれず、日本選手権に向けて追い込んでいきます！！ またご声援のほどよろしくお願いします😌 pic.twitter.com/J60282fmTO
— 多田 修平 (@shu_hei_0624) June 10, 2017
Meet records fell in fourteen events across sprints, middle distance, jumps and throws, with up to five athletes breaking the old record in some of them. In the 800 m, shot put and discus throw, both the men's and women's winners set new records. The 100 m, the highlight of the weekend, almost saw the same.
After several women skimmed the 11.62 meet record in the women's 100 m, strong tailwinds p…
Daniel Njenga is a longtime member of the Yakult corporate team, formerly as an athlete and currently as part of its coaching staff. On June 8 Kenyan media published a detailed article credited to Peter Mwangi claiming that Njenga had been kidnapped during a carjacking two days earlier while picking up his daughter from school. Longtime Njenga associate Brendan Reilly tweeted a link to the article, but after retweeting it in Japanese JRN received a tweet from a Yakult runner saying that he had talked to Njenga, who was at home as usual. The Yakult athlete subsequently deleted the tweet, but JRN confirmed with another source that Njenga is safe at home and that the article by Mwangi is a fabrication.
JAAF marathon development project leader Toshihiko Seko, 60, and three-time Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University head coach Susumu Hara, 50, appeared together June 7 at the JAAF's kickoff meeting for its 2020 Tokyo Olympics-centered marathon development plan. Speaking frankly, the pair caused a stir in the Japanese athletics world.
Concerning Japan's biggest race Seko said, "The Hakone Ekiden is a local competition. If you have some success you're treated like you rule everything under the sun. Even athletes who haven't done anything particularly special get coverage in the media. They're quick to earn the label "God," but that is a misunderstanding. I tell you: there is no God." With the top corporate league coaches looking on he continued, "Toyota, Konica, Nissin Shokuhin, Fujitsu, they have to do better with the talented athletes they have. I'm not kidding. For real."
Hara was just as sharp in his words, saying, "…
"It seems like I'm always getting bullied by the Nikkan Gendai, and whenever I see one of those articles it's like, 'Here we go again.....'"
From the beginning, he's overflown with idiosyncrasy. On the frontlines of the marathon without belonging to a corporate team, Japan's "strongest amateur runner" Yuki Kawauchi, 30, has always brought controversy to the Japanese marathon world with his outspoken comments. Having said that his appearance at August's London World Championships will be his "last time running on the national team," the Nikkan Gendai asked Kawauchi to tell us all about the current state of the marathon world.
"It feels like the war."
Kawauchi was the top Japanese finisher at 3rd overall in 2:09:11 at last December's Fukuoka International Marathon, the first domestic selection race for the London World Championships team. His ticket to London was in his hand. At a press conference later in March, JA…
Two previous winners Yuki Kawauchi and Risa Takenaka will lead a strong Japanese charge at the 39th Gold Coast Airport Marathon on Sunday 2 July.
A flat and fast course will provide the stage for this IAAF Road Race Gold Label event with one of the strongest elite fields ever assembled to fight out the 42.195km race. One of the most popular runners in world athletics Kawauchi, 30, will return to the scene of his epic runner up finish last year behind Kenneth Mungara of Kenya. The two will do battle once again with Kawauchi hoping he can win this coveted race once again as he did in 2013.
Takenaka had a breakout year in 2015 with a win on the Gold Coast and setting her personal best of 2:28:09 in Nagoya. The 27-year-old will be attempting to continue the stranglehold that Japanese runners have had on the women’s race with a total of 14 winners including the past f…
On June 3 the Kyoto Athletics Association held a ceremony at Kyoto's Nishi Kyogoku Field to unveil a new stone monument commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ekiden. Led by Association chair Setsuko Tanaka, roughly 30 dignitaries took part.
In April this year another monument was erected at Shinjo Ohashi, the starting point of Japan's first-ever ekiden in 1917. To help "spread the good word about the first century of the ekiden to as many people as possible," the Association chose to place a second monument at Nishi Kyogoku Field, the start and finish points for the National High School Ekiden Championships.
The new monument is of the same design, material and size as the one at Sanjo Ohashi, made of granite and measuring 1.8 m tall by 1.2 m wide. While the Sanjo Ohashi monument is engraved with "starting point," the new monument reads "Nishi Kyogoku Field, Kyoto," letting fans get different selfies at each. Tanaka commented "We will be …
Abrha Milaw and formerly Japan-based Konjit Tilahun Biruk scored an Ethiopian double at the 2017 ASICS Stockholm Marathon, both pulling away from packs late in the race to win in 2:11:36 and 2:35:45. (video highlights above)
The men's race went out hotter than planned, going through the mostly downhill and flat first 5 km in 15:10 and the uphill-heavy next 5 km in 15:20, mid-2:08 pace on a course with a 2:10:58 record. Things calmed down over the next 10 km, putting the front end of the group at 1:04:56 at halfway, but with a slight surge up front on a gentle downhill leading to the halfway mark Japanese favorite Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) began to drift off the back of the pack. By 25 km he was over 10 seconds behind and backwardly mobile as the race progressed.
Another surge coming off the large bridge near 34 km broke up the remaining pack, Milaw putting more than 30 seconds on 2nd-place Samuel Getachew (Ethiopia) by 40 km and cruising in unchallenged to win in 2:1…
Fresh from a men's course record of 2:10:58 at last year's race, the ASICS Stockholm Marathon looks ready for an update to that time on Saturday. Ethiopian-born Shumi Dechasa (Bahrain) leads the field on paper, his best time in the last three years a 2:07:20 at the 2015 Tokyo Marathon followed up by a 5th-place finish at the 2015 Beijing World Championships. He hasn't raced in the two years since then, leaving a question mark by his name. #2-ranked John Kemboi (Kenya) has a 2:08:56 PB from the 2015 Frankfurt Marathon, but in his only race since then, last summer's Gold Coast Airport Marathon, he was a DNF.
In that race Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/ Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 2nd in 2:09:01, putting him at 3rd in the field. Dechasa and Kawauchi have raced twice before, Dechasa beating Kawauchi by over a minute at the 2013 Seoul International Marathon and by more than 3 minutes at the 2014 Hamburg Marathon. A win over Dechasa would be a major boost to Kawauchi's chances fo…