Friday, May 29, 2015

Prefontaine Classic Men's 10000 m - Japanese Results

Eugene, U.S.A., 5/29/15
click here for complete results

1. Mo Farah (Great Britain) - 26:50.97
2. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 26:51.96
3. Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) - 26:52.65 - PB
4. Cam Levins (Canada) - 27:07.51 - NR
5. Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) - 27:17.91
6. Emmanuel Bett (Kenya) - 27:22.34
7. El Hassan El Abbassi (Bahrain) - 27:25.02 - PB
8. Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) - 27:27.57 - PB
9. Diego Estrada (U.S.A.) - 27:30.53 - PB
10. Titus Mbishei (Kenya) - 27:31.48
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16. Suguru Osako (Japan/Nike Oregon Project) - 27:45.24

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Federation Eliminates International Chiba Ekiden Citing Overcrowded Calendar and Declining Significance

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASH5X5RP5H5XUTQP02J.html
http://www.jiji.com/jc/zc?k=201505/2015052800724&g=spo 
http://www.sankei.com/sports/news/150529/spo1505290004-n1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner
photo courtesy of STITCHrunner

On May 28 the JAAF announced that it is cancelling the International Chiba Ekiden, scheduled for Nov. 23 this year, and will no longer stage it.  The event's organizing committee at the Federation made the decision today, citing difficulty in recruiting top-level athletes in the midst of a calendar already crowded with marathons and other ekidens and a decreasing significance in staging Chiba as both Japanese and international athletes focus on other international races.

The International Chiba Ekiden was first held in 1988.  Beginning in 2007 it featured mixed teams alternating men's and women's legs over a six-stage, 42.195 km course.  At last year's 26th running 13 teams from 11 countries took place including a team of top Japanese university students, with the Japanese national team winning for the first time in 5 years.  Federation officials summarized Chiba's legacy by saying, "It played a large role in developing our athletes as well as in providing opportunities for international exchange."  Marathon great Toshihiko Seko, who ran the first International Chiba Ekiden as the final race of his career, commented, "It's really sad news."

Translator's note: With the cancellation of the Yokohama International Women's Ekiden in 2009 in favor of the now-defunct Yokohama International Women's Marathon, the elimination of the International Chiba Ekiden means that the last vestige of internationalism in Japan's ekiden circuit is the Ivy League alumni team at October's Izumo Ekiden.  Combined with the announcement a few months ago of the corporate federation's million dollar bonus for a new marathon national record and concomitant bonuses for other quality time performances in the marathon it seems clear where priorities lie in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Federation Eliminates Selection Advantage from National Team Program

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/1483468.html

an editorial by Hirokazu Ogishima
translated by Brett Larner

At a meeting of its executive committee May 27 in Tokyo, the JAAF made the decision to eliminate the advantage in Olympic and World Championships marathon team selection given to members of its National Team program.  The National Team program was launched last spring and is overseen directly by the JAAF's Development Committee, who at the time of the program's inauguration said that members would receive priority in consideration for the 2016 Rio Olympic team.  A year later they have flip-flopped and gone in exactly the opposite direction.

At the meeting the JAAF board discussed the organization of this year's National Team, the members of which have not yet been announced.  Criteria such as evaluation of athletes' performances over the last year will not change, but Vice-Chairman of Development Katsumi Sakai stated, "At the point in time when we determine Olympic team membership we will not take into consideration whether candidates are member of the National Team program."  Board member Toshihiko Seko, who at an earlier board meeting had said, "It would be strange is someone who ran a solid time was not chosen just because they were not in the National Team program," commented, "I think it's a good change.  It will give motivation to young athletes who are not members of the National Team program."

The change will help improve competition for the Olympic team by giving more chance for athletes without proven track records to make it, but the National Team program itself remains vague and ill-defined.  Last year team members were announced at the start of the fiscal year at the beginning of April, but at this point in the program's second year the Development Committee is still talking to potential members.  Vice-Chairman Sakai has said, "Our goal in Rio is to have our athletes finish among the top places.  To that end we will offer support for dealing with hot weather and such."  Be that as it may, with the National Team program members' advantage in Olympic and World Championships team selection eliminated it is likely that we will see athletes decline to take part in the program.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Yamanashi Gakuin's Omwamba After 1500 m Collegiate National Record - "I Want to Win at All Three University Ekidens"

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20150523-OHT1T50192.html

translated by Brett Larner
video by naoki620



With Yamanashi Gakuin University having scored a place in the Hakone Ekiden's seeded bracket for the first time in 3 years, on May 15 its star senior Enock Omwamba broke the 1500 m national collegiate record in winning the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships in 3:35.69, at the time the fastest mark in the world this year.  He became the first man in 78 years to win four-straight Kanto 1500 m titles, and returning to win the 5000 m two days later he scored his third-straight Kanto double.  Heading into his last year of university in good form, we sat down to talk to the enthusiastic Kenyan star.

At Kanto Regionals you won your fourth-straight 1500 m title, and your time of 3:35.69 was the fastest in the world this year as well as big improvement on your 3:38.78 PB.  Tell us about your race.

Omwamba: When I started warming up I could tell I was feeling good.  The last 200 m were really tough, but the training I had done to get there was tougher [laughs].  I ran at 100% all the way to the finish.

You also broke both the 3:37.96 national collegiate record set by Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.) and the 3:37.42 Japanese national record.

Omwamba: My target this time was 3:35.  Hitting it was the result of four years of hard work.

This was your third-straight 1500 m - 5000 m double at Kanto Regionals.  Are you going to go for the 10000 m title at the National University Track and Field Championships too?

Omwamba: I'd like to give it a try.  I think I can break my predecessor Mekubo Mogusu's 27:27.64 national collegiate record.

On the first day of Kanto Regionals YGU's new first-year Dominic Nyairo won the 10000 m but was disqualified for coming in from the outer lanes too soon at the start.

Omwamba: Nyairo was really depressed after that, so I gave him a lot of advice.  He just got to Japan.  I don't think he's going to blow it next time.

You usually practice together as well.  What advice have you given him?

Omwamba: I told him that the first year here is a nightmare, but that you have to give everything you have to both your training and your studies.  It's better to decide the pace in workouts together and run together than it is to do it by yourself, and more fun that way too.

The YGU team's motto this year is "Break your own shell."  What kind of shell do you have to break?

Omwamba: Up to now this season things have been good over the middle distances on the track, so in summer I want to build up a solid mileage base and really do it this ekiden season.  This will be the first time in three years that we are running all three of the Big Three University Ekidens.  I want to make everyone happy by winning my stages at the Izumo Ekiden, the National University Ekiden and the Hakone Ekiden.

Enock Omwamba: Senior, Yamanashi Gakuin University.  Born April 4, 1993 in Nairobi, Kenya.  22 years old.  Began running at age 12, first focusing on middle distance and then moving to long distance at Nakuru High School.  PBs this season include 3:35.69 for 1500 m and 13:28.41 for 5000 m.  Has also run 28:00.33 for 10000 m and 1:01:15 for the half marathon.  170 cm, 54 kg.  Family includes his parents and eight siblings, of which he is sixth-born.

Bolder Boulder - Japanese Results

Bolder, U.S.A., 5/25/15
click here for complete results

Women
1. Meskerem Assefa (Ethiopia) - 33:32
2. Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) - 33:38
3. Risper Gesabwa (Kenya) - 33:54
4. Rei Ohara (Japan/Tenmaya) - 34:05
5. Makida Abdela (Ethiopia) - 34:24
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9. Miho Ihara (Japan/Sekisui Kagaku) - 34:47
20. Yurie Fujita (Japan/Tenmaya) - 37:23

Men
1. Belete Assefa (Ethiopia) - 29:05
2. Solomon Deksisa (Ethiopia) - 29:21
3. Allan Kiprono (Kenya) - 29:34
4. Bobby Curtis (U.S.A.) - 29:43
5. Abdi Abdirahman (U.S.A.) - 29:51

Monday, May 25, 2015

Collegiate 5000 m National Record Holder Takezawa: "I'm Almost Back"

http://www.sankei.com/west/news/150524/wst1505240046-n1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Holder of the 13:19.00 collegiate national record for 5000 m, Kensuke Takezawa (Team Sumitomo Denko) won Sunday's Kansai Corporate Track and Field Championships men's 5000 m in 13:59.67 with a surge over the last 300 m.  Having just come off a long season off due to an Achilles tendon injury Takezawa nodded as he said, "I'm almost back.  I've grown since last year."

Starting this spring, Takezawa's former coach at Waseda University, Yasuyuki Watanabe, has joined the Sumitomo Denko team as head coach, reunited the pair.  A member of the 2008 Beijing Olympics team, Takezawa, still just 28,  was optimistic of making a full comeback as he said, "Coach Watanabe understands me better than anybody.  Having him around changes my mentality." 

Translator's note: Two weeks ago Takezawa ran 13:37.89 for 4th at the Golden Games in Nobeoka meet, his best time in over three years.

Kawauchi and Nojiri Set Kurobe Meisui Marathon Course Records

http://www.tulip-tv.co.jp/news/detail/?TID_DT03=20150524112830

translated and edited by Brett Larner

More than 10,000 people took on the Kurobe Meisui Marathon in Kurobe, Toyama on Sunday, the most in the event's 32-year history.  Special guests included former world record holder and Sydney Olympics gold medalist Naoko Takahashi and 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't).  "Let's make this the liveliest race in Japan, in the world!" Takahashi called out to runners at the start.

Kawauchi set the men's course record, winning in 2:17:58.  2011 World Championships marathoner Azusa Nojiri (Hiratsuka Lease) likewise set a new women's course record of 2:44:56.

Its popularity increasing due to the opening of the new Hokuriku shinkansen line, Kurobe hosted a record-setting 10,485 starters in the marathon, 10 km and 5 km divisions.  Nice weather meant comfortable running for all under clear blue skies.

32nd Carter Memorial Kurobe Meisui Marathon
Kurobe, Toyama, 5/24/15
click here for complete results

Men
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:17:58 - CR
2. Takaya Sakamoto (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 2:23:51
3. Naoki Inoue (Ibaraki T&F Assoc.) - 2:27:15

Women
1. Azusa Nojiri (Hiratsuka Lease) - 2:44:56 - CR
2. Haruka Shiina (Gifu Joshi Univ.) - 3:02:14
3. Junko Otani (Hyogo T&F Assoc.) - 3:05:06

'Ethiopians Mekuria and Birhanu Claim Ottawa Marathon Victories' - Japanese Results

http://www.iaaf.org/news/report/ottawa-marathon-2015-mekuria-birhanu

Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon
Ottawa, Canada, 5/24/15
click here for complete results

Women
1. Aberu Zennebe (Ethiopia) - 2:25:30
2. Rebecca Chesir (Kenya) - 2:25:41
3. Abebech Afework (Ethiopia) - 2:25:53
4. Agnes Kiprop (Kenya) - 2:26:12
5. Meselech Melkamu (Ethiopia) - 2:26:45
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11. Rika Shintaku (Japan/Shimamura) - 2:33:34
DNF - Zivile Balciunaite (Lithuania)

Men
1. Girmay Birhanu (Ethiopia) - 2:08:14
2. Philip Kangogo (Kenya) - 2:09:56
3. Chele Dechase (Ethiopia) - 2:09:59
4. Rachid Kisri (Morocco) - 2:10:18
5. Peter Kirui (Kenya) - 2:10:23
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DNF - Deriba Merga (Ethiopia)