Skip to main content

London 4x100 m Bronze Medalist Shuhei Tada Leads Japanese Team at Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade

Following protests outside the main stadium that interrupted its opening ceremonies Saturday night, the athletics component of the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade is set to start Wedenesday. As always Japan is sending a solid crew of its A-list collegiate talent to the World University Games, with a team of 24 men and 14 women set to compete over the six day run of athletics.

Getting things off to a quick start, London World Championships men's 4x100 m bronze medallist Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin University) is set to run the first men's 100 m on the first day on competition. Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo University), Ryo Kajiki (Josai University), Ryoma Yamamoto (Juntendo Univ.) and Marina Saito (Kokushikan University) will also double back from representing Japan in London to compete in Taipei, Kitagawa in the men's 400 m, Kajiki in the men's 400 m hurdles, Yamamoto in the men's triple jump and Saito in the women's javelin throw. London men's 20 km race walk alternate Toshikazu Yamanishi (Kyoto University) will also get his chance in Taipei after spending London on the bench.

Rio Olympian Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo University) leads the men's long distance squad, who swept the men's half marathon medals at the last Universiade. Japanese women have medalled in the half marathon every time it has been held at the Games including a podium sweep in 2009 and will be looking to do the same again this year. With a 31:58.46 best and a pair of mid-32 times in June and early July, 19-year-old Yuki Munehisa (Tokyo Nogyo University) stands a good chance of following up on future national champion and Olympian Ayuko Suzuki's women's 10000 m gold medal at the 2013 Universiade. No Japanese woman has won 5000 m gold since Rie Ueno in 1999, but the 15:33.95 PB of Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka University) ranks her as one of the favorites.

The complete Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade athletics schedule, starting lists and results can be found here. JRN's breakdown of the Japanese team of 38 is here.

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Chebii Returns - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

Defending champ Ezekiel Chebii (Kenya) returns to lead the field for the Mar. 4 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. Chebii is one of three men in the field with recent 2:06 times, his 2:06:07 in Amsterdam two years ago leading Tadesse Abraham (Switzerland) and Abera Kuma (Ethiopia) to form a clear trio of favorites.

Making up the second pack are four current sub-2:10 Japanese men, 2017 Gold Coast winner Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), Rio Olympian Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei), and Sasaki's teammates Takuya Fukatsu and Fumihiro Maruyama. The addition of sub-61 half marathoner Kenta Murayama in his second shot at the marathon after a failed debut in Tokyo two years ago makes for a formidable quartet of men from 2017 and 2018 New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei all aligned in training and talent.

With Japan's depth it's never surprising to see a relatively anonymous runner make a breakthrough and factor into the action. Yoshiki Takenouchi (NTT Nishi Nihon) was one of the …

Yamazaki, Ndirangu, Kamulu and Shitara Top Weekend Road Racing Action

Snow and cold impacted road races across Japan over the weekend, but at the top level almost every event went off as planned. In his marathon debut, Shota Yamazaki (Yakult) downed two-time defending champ Ryoichi Matsuo and debuting training partner Takumi Honda of the locally-based New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei corporate team to take the top spot at the Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon in a three-way sprint finish.

Shaking off first-timer Keisuke Tanaka (Fujitsu) late in the race, Yamazaki did all the work in the lead trio with the Asahi Kasei duo hanging off both of his shoulders. Hitting a bridge with 750 m to go Honda surged into the lead with Matsuo following. Yamazaki fell back, looking behind him with 500 m to go and seeming to have settled for 3rd. At 400 m to go Matsuo went to the front and looked to be on track to become only the second man to win Nobeoka three times, but as the pair rounded the final corner Yamazaki came back with a kick that left both his riv…

In Memory of Ken Young

I'm very saddened to hear of the passing of Ken Young, founder of the Association of Road Racing Statisticians. If you're not familiar with Ken or the ARRS, Amby Burfoot's 2016 piece on him in Runners World, The Endless Toil of the Big Data Guy, says everything you need to know. Back in the early days of JRN, Ken was one of several industry people to contact me after I published JRN's first hit article, 397 Under 70 Minutes: The 20th Ageo City Half Marathon. He wanted verification of the results and, seemingly having missed Ageo before, asked me to research its history and past results.

That soon led to me transliterating results from Japanese road, track and cross-country races for him on a weekly basis, results otherwise unavailable to the outside world except for some already covered by Japanese contributors Ken Nakamura and Shigenobu Ota. For the last 10 years I've spent about 10 hours on average every Sunday night and Monday morning, sometimes Tuesday, someti…