Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kawauchi and Iwade Racing Sunday's BMW Berlin Marathon

by Brett Larner

Japan's Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) will be in the field for Sunday's BMW Berlin Marathon.  Berlin has been good to Japan in the past, with the country's first 2:06 men's national record and the last three women's national records all happening on the ultra-flat Berlin course.  But in the last decade Berlin has seen fewer and fewer quality runs from Japanese athletes.  Kurao Umeki placed 3rd in 2006, but the fastest time over the decade was only 2:10:24 in 2013 by future Rio Olympian Suehiro Ishikawa.  For women too, Tomo Morimoto placed 3rd in 2010, her 2:26:10 also the fastest time in the last ten years but far off the quality of the 2:19 marks set  in Berlin by Naoko Takahashi, Yoko Shibui and Mizuki Noguchi.  The ten-year average times and places for Japanese athletes in the top ten in Berlin are 2:12:00 for 8th for men and 2:29:26 for 7th for women. Can Kawauchi and Iwade beat those averages?

Running in Berlin with support from JRN, Kawauchi has been on a solid comeback trail this year after losing pretty much all of 2015 to a lingering ankle injury initially caused by slipping on ice.  In April he won the Zurich Marathon in 2:12:04 in freezing rain and sleet, following up with a 2:44:07 national record for 50 km in June and a 2:09:01 for 2nd at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon two weeks later, his first sub-2:10 since pre-injury.  Since then he has taken a different approach to his Berlin prep, uncharacteristically not racing a single marathon in the 12 weeks since Gold Coast, the longest he has gone without racing that kind of distance since he started running world-class times, and only raced two half marathons and a 30 km.  "I've been doing a lot of long trail runs, 6 to 7 hour runs, to get ready for Berlin," he said at the pre-race press conference.  "My goal in Berlin is a 2:07 PB.  I get a lot of pressure to try racing a marathon without doing so many races in training, so that's what I've done this time.  If it works then yes, I will have to re-examine my approach."

If he succeeds Kawauchi will be the first Japanese man since 2004 to run under 2:08 outside Japan.  At least 22 men have run ten or more sub-2:10 times in their career, and both Kawauchi and Vincent Kipruto (Kenya) stand to join the club in Berlin with nine each so far.  Kawauchi would also pick up his fifteenth career sub-2:11 and sixtieth sub-2:20.  The JAAF has set sub-2:07:00 as the standard for the 2017 London World Championships team, and a 2:07 in Berlin would help his chances of making the cut, his intended last time going for a Japanese national team.  To help him get there Berlin is providing the 2:07 group, expected to be pack #3, with two pacers and a lead car with the same timing display system designed for the lead pack by Dr. Helmut Winter.  Kawauchi will likely never get a better chance to run a permanent lifetime PB.


Also in Berlin is the fastest ever Japanese woman under age 20, Reia Iwade with a 2:27:21 in Yokohama in 2014 two weeks before her 20th birthday.  In Nagoya in March this year Iwade was part of one of the greatest marathons in Japanese women's history, running a 2:24:38 PB at age 21.  With only one serious race since then, a 32:28.60 track 10000 m in July, there's not much to go on, but given her ability if she is fit she stands a good chance of beating both Morimoto's time and teammate Misato Horie's 2:26:40 course record win at Gold Coast in July, currently the fastest of the year by a Japanese woman outside Japan.  Ranked third in the field on PB, at the very least Iwade should be able to beat the ten-year Japanese women's average and the best Abbott World Marathon Majors mark by a Japanese woman this year, 2:31:17 for 10th in Tokyo by Yukiko Okuno (Team Shiseido).  After a mostly disappointing Olympics for Japan a strong run by a young talent would be a welcome change.

JRN is on-site supporting Kawauchi and covering the race live.  Follow his splits and projected finish time live here: http://hm.hwinter.de/?p=333

43rd Berlin Marathon Start List Highlights
Berlin, Germany, 9/25/16
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya) - 2:03:13 (Berlin 2014)
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) - 2:03:23 (Berlin 2013)
Tsegaye Mekonnen (Ethiopia) - 2:04:32 (Dubai 2014)
Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) - 2:05:04 (Paris 2014)
Sisay Lemma (Ethiopia) - 2:05:16 (Dubai 2016)
Eliud Kiptanui (Kenya) - 2:05:21 (Berlin 2015)
Evans Chebet (Kenya) - 2:05:33 (Seoul 2016)
Mark Kiptoo (Kenya) - 2:06:00 (Eindhoven 2015)
Vincent Kipruto (Kenya) - 2:06:15 (Frankfurt 2013)
Alfers Lagat (Kenya) - 2:06:48 (Frankfurt 2015)
Suleiman Simotwo (Kenya) - 2:08:49 (Frankfurt 2015)
Jacob Kandagor (Kenya) - 2:08:56 (Seoul 2016)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:09:01 (Gold Coast 2016)
Geoffrey Ronoh (Kenya) - 2:10:09 (Valencia 2015)
Yohanes Gebregergish (Eritrea) - 2:10:44 (Prague 2016)
Nick Arciniaga (U.S.A.) - 2:11:47 (Boston 2014)
Chalachew Tiruneh (Ethiopia) - 2:11:54 (Berlin 2015)

Women
Aberu Kebede (Ethiopia) - 2:20:48 (Berlin 2015)
Birhane Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 2:22:40 (Tokyo 2014)
Reia Iwade (Japan/Noritz) - 2:24:38 (Nagoya Women's 2016)
Ruti Aga (Ethiopia) - 2:25:27 (Vienna 2016)
Janet Ronoh (Kenya) - 2:26:03 (Tokyo 2014)
Charlotte Purdue (Great Britain) - 2:32:48 (London 2016)
Cassie Fien (Australia) - 2:33:36 (London 2016)
Mone Stockhecke (Germany) - 2:33:43 (Hamburg 2016)
Katharina Heinig (Germany)  - 2:33:56 (Hamburg 2014)
Gladys Ganiel (Ireland) - 2:38:53 (Seville 2016)
Claire McCarthy (Ireland) - 2:39:27 (Dublin 2013)
Sara Bird (Great Britain) - 2:39:55 (London 2014)
Lonah Chemtai (Israel) - 2:40:17 (Tel Aviv 2016)

text and photos © 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Monday, September 19, 2016

Japanese Results at Rio de Janeiro Paralympics

by Brett Larner

The Japanese athletics team at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics came up short of scoring gold, with a final tally of four silver and three bronze medals. Tomoki Sato led the team with a pair of silvers in the men's T52 400 m and 1500 m, with another highlight coming from the bronze medal-winning men's T42-47 4x100 m relay team.  A complete breakdown of Japanese finalists in athletics at the Rio Paralympics:

Rio de Janeiro Paralympics Athletics
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sept. 8-18, 2016
click here for complete results

Women's T33/34 100 m - Sept. 10 -0.1 m/s
1. Hannah Cockroft (Great Britain) - 17.42
2. Kare Adenegan (Great Britain) - 18.29
3. Alexa Halko (U.S.A.) - 18.81
-----
7. Haruka Kitaura (Japan) - 20.23

Men's T42 100 m - Sept. 15 -0.2 m/s
1. Scott Reardon (Australia) - 12.26
2. Daniel Wagner (Denmark) - 12.32
3. Richard Whitehead (Great Britain) - 12.32
-----
7. Atsushi Yamamoto (Japan) - 12.84

Women's T45/46/47 100 m - Sept. 11 +0.2 m/s
1. Deja Young (U.S.A.) - 12.15
2. Alicja Fiodorow (Poland)  12.46
3. Teresinha De Jesus Correia Santos (Brazil) - 12.84
-----
7. Sae Tsuji (Japan) - 13.30

Women's T51/52 100 m - Sept. 17 +1.0 m/s
1. Michelle Stilwell (Canada) - 19.42
2. Kerry Morgan (U.S.A.) - 19.96
3. Marieke Vervoort (Belgium) - 20.12
-----
4. Yuka Kiyama (Japan) - 24.44

Women's T45/46/47 200 m - Sept. 16 +0.0 m/s
1. Deja Young (U.S.A.) - 25.46
2. Alicja Fiodorow (Poland) - 25.61
3. Lu Li (China) - 26.26
-----
7. Sae Tsuji (Japan) - 27.97

Women's T43/44 200 m - Sept. 15 +0.7 m/s
1. Marlou Van Rhun (Netherlands) - 26.16
2. Irmgard Bensusan (Germany) - 26.90
3. Marie-Amelie Le Fur (France) - 27.11
-----
7. Saki Takakuwa (Japan) - 28.88

Women's T33/34 400 m - Sept. 14
1. Hannah Cockroft (Great Britain) - 58.78 - WR
2. Alexa Halko (U.S.A.) - 1:00.79
3. Kare Adenegan (Great Britain) - 1:01.67
-----
6. Haruka Kitaura (Japan) - 1:13.82

Women's T38 400 m - Sept. 14
1. Kadeena Cox (Great Britain) - 1:00.71
2. Junfei Chen (China) - 1:01.34
3. Veronica Hipolito (Brazil) - 1:03.14
-----
7. Yuka Takamatsu (Japan) - 1:11.64

Women's T45/46/47 400 m - Sept. 14
1. Lu Li (China) - 58.09
2. Anrune Liebenberg (South Africa) - 58.88
3. Sae Tsuji (Japan) - 1:00.62

Women's T51/52 400 m - Sept. 10
1. Michelle Stilwell (Canada) - 1:05.43
2. Marieke Vervoort (Belgium) - 1:07.62
3. Kerry Morgan (U.S.A.) - 1:08.31
-----
4. Yuka Kiyama (Japan) - 1:21.87

Men's T52 400 m - Sept. 13
1. Raymond Martine (U.S.A.) - 58.42
2. Tomoki Sato (Japan) - 58.88
3. Gianfranco Iannotta (U.S.A.) - 1:02.16
-----
6. Hirokazu Ueyonabaru (Japan) - 1:04.72

Men's T11 1500 m - Sept. 13
1. Samwel Mushai Kimani (Kenya) - 4:03.25
2. Odair Santos (Brazil) - 4:03.85
3. Semih Deniz (Turkey) - 4:05.42
-----
6. Shinya Wada (Japan) - 4:15.62

Women's 1500 m T20 - Sept. 16
1. Barbara Niewiedzial (Poland) - 4:24.37
2. Ilona Biacsi (Hungary) - 4:27.88
3. Liudmyla Danylina (Ukraine) - 4:28.78
-----
6. Sayaka Makita (Japan) - 4:51.90
7. Moeko Yamamoto (Japan) - 5:01.99

Men's T51/52 1500 m - Sept. 15
1. Raymond Martin (U.S.A.) - 3:40.63
2. Tomoki Sato (Japan) - 3:41.70
3. Pichaya Kurattanasiri (Thailand) - 3:53.96
-----
4. Hirokazu Ueyonabaru (Japan) - 3:54.04
DQ - Akikazu Noda (Japan)

Men's T53/54 1500 m - Sept. 13
1. Prawat Wahoram (Thailand) - 3:00.62
2. Marcel Hug (Switzerland) - 3:00.65
3. Saichon Konjen (Thailand) - 3:00.86
-----
8. Masayuki Higuchi (Japan) - 3:02.05

Men's T11 5000 m - Sept. 8
1. Samwel Mushai Kimani (Kenya) - 15:16.11
2. Odair Santos (Brazil) - 15:17.55
3. Wilson Bil (Kenya) - 15:22.96
-----
6. Shinya Wada (Japan) - 16:02.97

Men's T53/54 5000 m - Sept. 11
1. Prawat Wahoram (Thailand) - 11:01.71
2. Marcel Hug (Switzerland) - 11:02.04
3. Kurt Fearnley (Australia) - 11:02.37
-----
4. Masayuki Higuchi (Japan) - 11:02.54

Men's T12 Marathon - Sept. 18
1. El Amin Chentouf (Morocco) - 2:32:17
2. Alberto Suarez Laso (Spain) - 2:33:11
3. Masahiro Okamura (Japan) - 2:33:59
-----
4. Tadashi Horikoshi (Japan) - 2:36:50
5. Shinya Wada (Japan) - 2:39:52

Women's T12 Marathon - Sept. 18
1. Elena Congost (Spain) - 3:01:43
2. Misato Michishita (Japan) - 3:06:52
3. Edneusa De Jesus Santos Dorta (Brazil) - 3:18:38
-----
5. Hiroko Kondo (Japan) - 3:23:12
DNF - Mihoko Nishijima (Japan)

Men's T54 Marathon - Sept. 18
1. Marcel Hug (Switzerland) - 1:26:16
2. Kurt Fearnley (Australia) - 1:26:17
3. Gyu Dae Kim (South Korea) - 1:30:08
-----
7. Kota Hokinoue (Japan) - 1:30:11
11. Masazumi Soejima (Japan) - 1:30:13
12. Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Japan) - 1:30:14
18. Kozo Kubo (Japan) - 1:46:31

Women's T54 Marathon - Sept. 18
1. Lihong Zou (China) - 1:38:44
2. Tatyana McFadden (U.S.A.) - 1:38:44
3. Amanda McGrory (U.S.A.) - 1:38:45
-----
4. Wakako Tsuchiya (Japan) - 1:38:45

Men's T42-47 4x100 m Relay - Sept. 12
1. Germany - 40.82
2. Brazil - 42.04
3. Japan - 44.16
-----
DQ - U.S.A.

Women's T11 Long Jump - Sept. 16
1. Silvania Costa De Oliveira (Brazil) - 4.98 m +0.5 m/s
2. Fatimata Brigitte Diasso (Cote D'Ivoire) - 4.89 m -0.5 m/s
3. Lorea Salvatini Spoladore (Brazil) - 4.71 m +0.6 m/s
-----
8. Chiaki Takada (Japan) - 4.45 m -0.5 m/s

Men's T20 Long Jump - Sept. 11
1. Abdul Latif Romly (Malaysia) - 7.60 m -1.2 m/s - WR
2. Zoran Talic (Croatia) - 7.12 m +0.1 m/s
3. Dmytro Prudnikov (Ukraine) - 6.99 m +0.2 m/s
-----
10. Mitsuo Yamaguchi (Japan) - 5.98 m +0.2 m/s

Women's T42 Long Jump - Sept. 10
1. Vanessa Low (Germany) - 4.93 m -0.4 m/s - WR
2. Martina Caironi (Italy) - 4.66 m +0.2 m/s
3. Malu Perez Iser (Cuba) - 3.92 m +0.0 m/s
-----
4. Kaede Maegawa (Japan) - 3.68 m +0.9 m/s
6. Hitomi Onishi (Japan) - 3.58 m +0.7 m/s

Men's T42 Long Jump - Sept. 17
1. Heinrich Popow (Germany) - 6.70 m +0.4 m/s
2. Atsushi Yamamoto (Japan) - 6.62 m -0.2 m/s
3. Daniel Wagner (Denmark) - 6.57 m +0.2 m/s

Women's T43/44 Long Jump - Sept. 9
1. Marie-Amelia Le Fur (France) - 5.83 m -0.5 m/s - WR
2. Stef Reid (Great Britain) - 5.64 m -0.5 m/s
3. Marlene Van Gansewinkel (Netherlands) - 5.57 m +0.7 m/s
-----
4. Maya Nakanishi (Japan) - 5.42 m -0.5 m/s
5. Saki Takakuwa (Japan) - 4.95 m +0.3 m/s

Men's T45/46/47 Long Jump - Sept. 14
1. Roderick Townsend-Roberts (U.S.A.) - 7.41 m +0.2 m/s
2. Hao Wang (China) - 7.30 m +0.3 m/s
3. Arnaud Assoumani (France) - 7.11 m +0.5 m/s
-----
12. Hajimu Ashida (Japan) - 6.52 m +0.1 m/s

Men's F53 Shot Put - Sept. 14
1. Che Jon Fernandes (Greece) - 8.44 m
2. Scot Severn (U.S.A.) - 8.41 m
3. Asadollah Azimi (Iran) - 8.14 m
-----
7. Toshie Oi (Japan) - 6.48 m

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Three Wins In One Day - Japanese Overseas Road Race Results

by Brett Larner

Japanese athletes scored three overseas road race wins Sunday.  In Australia, Tomohiro Tanigawa (Team Konica Minolta) and Kei Katanashi (Komazawa Univ.) doubled at the Sydney Marathon, Tanigawa outlasting the field in the men's marathon to score a second-straight win for Japanese men and Katanishi soloing his way to the half marathon title.  At Portugal's Sport Zone Porto Half Marathon, Nao Isaka (Team Hitachi) followed up with a win in the women's race, running down #1-ranked Martha Akeno (Kenya) to win in 1:12:12.  Hiroshi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei) was the top Japanese man in Porto, 9th overall in 1:04:01, while Yusei Nakao (Smiley Angel AC) was a DNF after coming down with a fever during his flight to Porto.  At the Czech Republic's Usti Nad Labem Half Marathon, last year's Sydney Half women's winner Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Team Noritz) equalled Ichida's performance, 9th in 1:13:26 with teammate Misato Horie 39 seconds back in 11th.

Sydney Marathon
Sydney, Australia, 9/18/16
click here for complete results

Men
1. Tomohiro Tanigawa (Japan/Konica Minolta) - 2:12:11
2. Belachew Alemayehu Ameta (Ethiopia) - 2:13:07
3. Julius Muriuki Wahome (Kenya) - 2:14:14
4. Taiki Yoshimura (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 2:15:44
5. Mogos Shumay Solomon (Eritrea) - 2:16:25
-----
7. Keisuke Kusaka (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:19:08
9. Nao Kazami (Japan/Aichi T&F Assoc.) - 2:21:49
10. Sota Hoshi (Japan/Fujitsu) - 2:27:45

Women
1. Makda Harun Haji (Ethiopia) - 2:32:20
2. Merima Mohammed Hasan (Bahrain) - 2:39:09
3. Yinli He (China) - 2:44:15
4. Goitetom Haftu Tesema (Ethiopia) - 2:46:41
5. Elizabeth Pittaway (Australia) - 2:49:31
-----
6. Yukie Tamura (Japan) - 2:56:11

Half Marathon - Men
1. Kei Katanishi (Japan/Komazawa Univ.) - 1:05:22
2. Thomas Do Conto (Australia) - 1:06:07
3. Matthew Cox (Australia) - 1:07:04

Half Marathon - Women
1. Victoria Beck (Australia) - 1:18:25
2. Marnie Ponton (Australia) - 1:19:18
3. Fiona Yates (Australia) - 1:21:05

Sport Zone Porto Half Marathon
Porto, Portugal, 9/18/16
click here for complete results

Men
1. Daniel Rotich (Uganda) - 1:00:59
2. Pius Maiyo Kirop (Kenya) - 1:01:54
3. Sammy Kurui (Kenya) - 1:01:55
4. Emmanuel Bor (Kenya) - 1:02:15
5. Moses Kipkosgei Bowen (Kenya) - 1:02:53
-----
9. Hiroshi Ichida (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 1:04:01
12. Shun Inoura (Japan/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 1:07:18
DNF - Yusei Nakao (Japan/Smiley Angel)

Women
1. Nao Isaka (Japan/Hitachi) - 1:12:12
2. Martha Akeno (Kenya) - 1:13:16
3. Filomena Costa (Portugal) - 1:13:27
4. Ayumi Kubo (Japan/Kagoshima Ginko) - 1:15:01
5. Emma Linda Quaglia (Italy) - 1:15:36

Usti Nad Labem Half Marathon
Usti Nad Labem, Czech Republic, 9/18/16
click here for complete results

Men
1. Barselius Kipyego (Kenya) - 59:15
2. Adugna Takele (Ethiopia) - 1:01:31
3. Abraham Kapsis Kipyatich (Kenya) - 1:01:40
4. Peter Kwemoi (Kenya) - 1:01:45
5. Wilson Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 1:01:55

Women
1. Peres Jepchirchir (Kenya) - 1:07:24
2. Lucy Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 1:08:17
3. Afera Godfay (Ethiopia) - 1:08:32
4. Ashete Bekere (Ethiopia) - 1:11:52
5. Aberu Mekuria (Ethiopia) - 1:13:12
-----
9. Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Japan/Noritz) - 1:13:26
11. Misato Horie (Japan/Noritz) - 1:14:05

text and photo © 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sport Zone Porto Half Marathon Elite Field

by Brett Larner

Portugal's Sport Zone Porto Half Marathon celebrates its 10th running with a strong men's field.  Silas Kimutai (Kenya) leads four men with recent times under 61 minutes followed closely by five more under 62.  Hiroshi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei) and Shun Inoura (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) lead the third group of sub-63 men followed by countryman Yusei Nakao (Smiley Angel AC), the top Japanese man at May's Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon for the last three years in a row.

Martha Akeno (Kenya) is the top-ranked woman in the field under 71 minutes but could get some competition from Japan's Ayumi Kubo (Team Kagoshima Ginko) who ran 1:11:29 last December.  Nao Isaka (Team Hitachi) should provide a good target for top Portuguese woman Filomena Costa with just 25 seconds separating their recent bests.

10th Sport Zone Porto Half Marathon
Porto, Portugal, 9/18/16
times listed are best within last three years

Men
Silas Kimutai (Kenya) - 1:00:17 (2014)
Mustapha El Aziz (Morocco) - 1:00:39 (2016)
Vincent Chepkop (Kenya) - 1:00:53 (2014)
Joel Kemboi (Kenya) - 1:00:58 (2015)
Emmanuel Bor (Kenya) - 1:01:04 (2016)
Daniel Rotich (Uganda) - 1:01:45 (2014)
Teklemariam Medhin (Eritrea) - 1:01:47 (2014)
Moses Kipkosgei (Kenya) - 1:01:55 (2014)
Lucas Rotich (Kenya) - 1:01:57 (2014)
Hiroshi Ichida (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 1:02:25 (2015)
Shun Inoura (Japan/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 1:02:32 (2014)
Pius Maiyo (Kenya) - 1:02:37 (2016)
Sammy Kurui (Kenya) - 1:02:41 (2015)
Simone Gariboldi (Italy) - 1:02:51 (2015)
Jacob Cheshari (Kenya) - 1:03:01 (2013)
Yusei Nakao (Japan/Smiley Angel AC) - 1:03:24 (2014)
Jose Moreira (Portugal) - 1:04:19 (2014)
Daniel Pinheiro (Portugal) - 1:04:45 (2014)
Rui Teixeira (Portugal) - 1:05:20 (2015)

Women
Martha Akeno (Kenya) - 1:10:56 (2015)
Ayumi Kubo (Japan/Kagoshima Ginko) - 1:11:29 (2015)
Nao Isaka (Japan/Hitachi) - 1:12:21 (2016)
Filomena Costa (Portugal) - 1:12:46 (2015)
Emma Linda Quaglia (Italy) - 1:14:00 (2014)
Catarina Ribeiro (Portugal) - 1:14:01 (2013)
Vera Nunes (Portugal) - 1:16:46 (2013)

photo © 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kimura's 2000 m National Record Tops Japanese DecaNation Results

by Brett Larner

In its third appearance at France's DecaNation Japan turned in its best team performance to date, placing 4th out of 6 teams.  Tomoka Kimura (Team Univ. Ent.) led the way in the women's 2000 m, taking over 6 seconds off the rarely-challenged national record with a 5:47.17 for 2nd, the best placing among any of the ten women on the team.  Her counterpart on the men's squad Masaki Toda (Team Nissin Shokuhin) went one better to win the men's 2000 m in 5:14.39.  Rio Olympian and 2016 national champion Julian Walsh (Toyo Univ.) likewise won the men's 400 m, running 46.09.  Five other men including Walsh's Toyo and Rio teammate Yoshihide Kiryu took 2nd in their events, coming ten points short overall of overtaking Ukraine to make the team podium.

DecaNation 2016
Paris, France, 9/13/16
click here for detailed results

Women
100 m - Ami Saito (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) - 11.89 (-0.4 m/s) - 3rd
400 m - Seika Aoyama (Osaka Seikei Univ.) - 54.21 - 5th
800 m - Shoko Fukuda (Matsue Kita H.S.) - 2:08.50 - 6th
2000 m - Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 5:47.17 - NR - 2nd
100 mH - Ayako Kimura (Edion) - 13.59 (-0.3 m/s) - 5th
400 mH - Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex RC) - 57.06 - 3rd
High Jump - Sakura Asai (Okazaki Josai Prep H.S.) - 1.76 m - 4th
Long Jump - Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.) - 5.85 m (+1.0 m/s) - 6th
Shot Put - Aya Ota (Fukuoka Univ.) - 15.37 m - 6th
Discus Throw - Eriko Nakata (Shikoku Univ.) - 45.27 m - 5th

Men
100 m - Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 10.35 (-1.9 m/s) - 2nd
200 m - Shota Hara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 20.63 (-0.4 m/s) - 2nd
400 m - Julian Walsh (Toyo Univ.) - 46.09 - 1st
800 m - Jun Mitake (Nihon Univ.) - 1:53.22 - 5th
2000 m - Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) - 5:14.39 - 1st
110 mH - Wataru Yazawa (Descente) - 13.74 (-0.1 m/s) - 2nd
Triple Jump - Ryoma Yamamoto (Juntendo Univ.) - 16.45 m (+0.0 m/s) - 2nd
Pole Vault - Seito Yamamoto (Toyota) - 5.60 m - 2nd
Shot Put - Daichi Nakamura (Mizuno) - 17.36 m - 5th
Discus Throw - Yuji Tsutsumi (Alsok) - 55.23 m - 4th

Team Results
1. France - 115
2. Americas - 109
3. Ukraine - 102
4. Japan - 92
5. China - 68
6. DecaClubs - 64

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sakamoto 2nd in Volksbank Muenster Marathon - Japanese Overseas Results

by Brett Larner

Japanese athletes raced in three European road races in three different countries on Sunday, 2015 Zurich Marathon winner Yoshiko Sakamoto (Y.W.C.) leading the way at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon.  Starting off at a conservative pace that left her 20 seconds behind the lead group at 5 km and over a minute and a half behind by 15 km, over the second half she overtook three women, Ethiopian Belaynesh Yigezu, then Kenyans Janet Cheruiyot and Salina Jebet, to move into 2nd.  2015 Nairobi Marathon winner Elizabeth Rumokol of Kenya, the only woman in the field to have broken 2:30, took 1st in 2:33:01, Sakamoto next in 2:38:46 and Jebet 3rd in 2:42:27.  "I wanted to try to run with the lead group, but they went out too fast," Sakamoto said post-race.  "I was hoping for a faster time but I'm really, really happy to have gotten 2nd.  This was the first time I've ever enjoyed myself while racing seriously."

In the Muesnter men's race 2016 Katsuta Marathon course record-setter Shingo Igarashi (Josai Univ. Coaching Staff) didn't have the same kind of day.  With the leaders going out faster than planned on low-2:09 pace Igarashi let go after 5 km.  Like Sakamoto he was left entirely alone, but in his case nobody came back to him.  #1-ranked Duncan Koech of Kenya, still on track for the 2:10:25 course record at 30 km, took the win in 2:12:59, his countryman Rogers Melly next in 2:13:38 and pacer Hosea Kipkemboi choosing to finish the race in 2:13:59 for 3rd.  Igarashi was a distant 8th in 2:20:58.  "I had a minor stress fracture in April after Boston and had to take some time off," he said post-race.  "I thought I had had enough time to get ready for this and felt light and fresh before the race, but my stamina wasn't where it needed to be."

In the Czech Republic, 2016 Gold Coast Airport Marathon winner Misato Horie (Team Noritz) ran the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km with teammate Kikuyo Tsuzaki, the winner of last year's Sydney Half Marathon.  With winner Violah Jepchumba of Kenya missing the world record by just 3 seconds in 30:24,  Horie could manage only 34:10 for 10th and Tsuzaki 35:20 for 13th.

At the U.K.'s Great North Run half marathon, 2:08:00 marathoner Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) replicated Tsuzaki's placing with a similar time margin from the front-end action.  As local hero Mo Farah outran American Dathan Ritzenhein for a third-straight Great North Run title in 1:00:04, Maeda was a non-factor, 50 seconds off the leaders after 5 km and moving backwards from there to finish 13th in 1:06:20.

Volksbank Muenster Marathon
Muenster, Germany, 9/11/16
click here for complete results

Women
1. Elizabeth Rumokol (Kenya) - 2:33:01
2. Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan/Y.W.C.) - 2:38:46
3. Salina Jebet (Kenya) - 2:42:27
4. Janet Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 2:44:54
5. Vanessa Rosler (Germany) - 3:00:12
-----
DNF - Belaynesh Yigezu (Ethiopia)

Men
1. Duncan Koech (Kenya) - 2:12:59
2. Rogers Melly (Kenya) - 2:13:38
3. Hosea Kipkemboi (Kenya) - 2:13:59
4. Joel Kositany (Kenya) - 2:14:22
5. Arnold Kipatoi (Kenya) - 2:17:20
-----
8. Shingo Igarashi (Japan/Josai Univ.) - 2:20:58

Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km
Prague, Czech Republic, 9/10/16
click here for complete results

Women
1. Violah Jepchumba (Kenya) - 30:24
2. Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) - 31:08
3. Afera Godfay (Ethiopia) - 31:49
4. Gladys Cherono (Kenya) - 31:58
5. Lucy Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 32:59
-----
10. Misato Horie (Japan/Noritz) - 34:10
13. Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Japan/Noritz) - 35:20

Great North Run Half Marathon
Newcastle, U.K., 9/11/16
click here for complete results

Men
1. Mo Farah (U.K.) - 1:00:04
2. Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.) - 1:00:12
3. Emmanuel Bett (Kenya) - 1:01:22
4. Bashir Abdi (Belgium) - 1:02:03
5. Duncan Maiyo (Kenya) - 1:02:06
-----
13. Kazuhiro Maiyo (Japan/Kyudenko) - 1:06:20

text and photo © 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, September 9, 2016

Igarashi and Sakamoto Face Koech and Rumokol at 15th Volksbank Muenster Marathon

by Brett Larner


Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon celebrates its 15th running this Sunday.  Appearing with support from JRN, Japan's Shingo Igarashi (Josai Univ. Coaching Staff) and Yoshiko Sakamoto (Y.W.C.) face competitive fields from Kenya and Ethiopia.  The course record setter at January's Katsuta Marathon, Igarashi scored some attention at April's Boston Marathon when he frontran the first 10 km before suffering a minor stress fracture.  Muenster will be his first marathon since then, and he is optimistic of bettering his 2:13:15 best from his Katsuta win.  That PB ranks him 3rd in the field, not far behind 2:12:08 man Joel Kositany (Kenya).  In another class is the heavy favorite, Kenya's Duncan Koech with a 2:09:17 at the 2014 Vienna Marathon.  At the pre-race press conference race director Michael Brinkmann said that he hopes to see a 2:07 winning time, a major improvement on the current 2:10:25 course record and something that only Koech could conceivably deliver.

The 2015 Zurich Marathon winner, Sakamoto's 2:36:29 best from the 2015 Osaka International Women's Marathon puts her at 5th in the field.  With the scratch of last year's winner Nancy Koech (Kenya) the probable favorite is Elizabeth Rumokol (Kenya) with a solid 2:29:32 best at altitude at the 2015 Nairobi Marathon.  Ethiopians Belaynesh Yigezu and Alemtsehay Demse fill in the low-mid 2:30's gap between the front pair and Sakamoto.  JRN will be on-site at the Muenster Marathon to cover the race and support Igarashi and Sakamoto.

15th Volksbank Muenster Marathon Entry Lists
Muenster, Germany, 9/11/16
times listed are best in last three years except where noted

Men
Duncan Koech (Kenya) - 2:09:17 (Vienna 2014)
Joel Kositany (Kenya) - 2:12:08 (Tiberias 2014)
Shingo Igarashi (Japan/Josai Univ.) - 2:13:15 (Katsuta 2016)
Rogers Kipchirchir (Kenya) - 2:13:45 (Lodz 2016)
Benard Rotich (Kenya) - 2:14:17 (La Rochelle 2013)
Henry Kibet (Kenya) - 2:15:13 (Cividale 2015)
Arnold Kibet (Kenya) - 2:17:34 (Nairobi 2013)
Matthew Sang (Kenya) - 2:18:33 (Lens 2015)
M
Women
Elizabeth Rumokol (Kenya) - 2:29:32 (Nairobi 2015)
Belaynesh Yigezu (Ethiopia) - 2:31:08 (Barcelona 2015)
Alemtsehay Demse (Ethiopia) - 2:35:18 (Karlsruhe 2013)
Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan/Y.W.C.) - 2:36:29 (Osaka Int'l 2015)
Salina Jebet (Kenya) - 2:39:39 (Mainz 2014)
Janet Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 2:44:33 (Nairobi 2014)

text and photo © 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, September 8, 2016

'BMW Berlin Marathon on September 25: Strong Competition for Kipsang and Bekele'

NEWS RELEASE – BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on September 25:

Wilson Kipsang and Kenenisa Bekele face strong competition

Expectations are high once again for a very fast race in the 43rd edition of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on September 25. All the omens are favourable with the recruitment of another high quality field which, given good weather conditions, points to another year of outstanding, world class times. The former world record holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele have taken centre stage as the pre-race build-up has taken place, but alongside them are a clutch of athletes possessing the talent to be right up there with them. Seven runners in the field have best times under 2:06. At the head of the women’s field is the double BMW BERLIN-MARATHON champion Aberu Kebede of Ethiopia. The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors Series and an IAAF Gold Label event, the highest category of road race awarded by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The men’s world record has been broken seven times in Berlin and the world’s fastest time of the year was achieved here on five consecutive occasions. These performances combine to make the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON the fastest race for the classic distance of 42.195km in the world. The recruitment of Wilson Kipsang, who brought the world record down to 2:03:23 in Berlin in 2013 and Kenenisa Bekele, who will be looking to make a big improvement on his marathon debut time of 2:05:04 in Paris in 2014, was announced some time ago. But these two outstanding runners shouldn’t think that the race will be simply a duel between themselves.

The fastest man on the start list is not Wilson Kipsang but his fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai. He finished second in Berlin two years ago in 2:03:13, beaten only by the man who set the world record, Dennis Kimetto (2:02:57). Another to take into account is the Ethiopian Tsegaye Mekonnen who will be making his Berlin debut. In 2014 the teenager ran a world junior best of 2:04:32 to make headlines in Dubai but failed to win a place on the national team for the Olympics.

“I think we’ll see a relatively big group in the lead this time since there are a number of athletes capable of going with the kind of pace which will bring a time under 2:04. It could be very exciting and – depending on the weather – very fast,” said the Race Director Mark Milde, who has also brought in three more Kenyans in Vincent Kipruto (2:05:13), Eliud Kiptanui (2:05:21) and Evans Chebet (2:05:33) who have shown they can break 2:06.

While the Japanese Yuki Kawauchi’s best of 2:08:14 may not threaten the leaders, this prolific marathoner will be making his Berlin debut. Noted for the frequency and consistency of his marathons, the 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist has already run five races at the distance this year, including his most recent effort of second place with 2:09:01 in Australia’s Gold Coast marathon on July 3. In 2014 he ran a total of 13 marathons and the following year even improved on that with 15. However he intends to focus on Berlin and ran less marathons this year.

Ethiopians are the favourites in the women’s race. Aberu Kebede not only has the fastest personal best but a great deal of experience in the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. Her tally from three appearances comprises two wins and one second place, an impressive CV. Kebede won in 2010 in 2:23:58 and set her current personal best of 2:20:30 two years later when she took the race again. Last year she was beaten only by the Kenyan Gladys Cherono who ran the fastest time in the world with 2:19:25 with Kebede runner-up in 2:20:48. Her chief ambition remains to break the 2:20 barrier. A third victory in the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON would also bring her level to the pair who have won a record number of women’s titles for the race: Uta Pippig of Germany and Renata Kokowska of Poland.

Two more Ethiopian women will be among Aberu Kebede’s strongest opponents: Amane Beriso took a big step forward with second place in 2:20:48 in Dubai in January. Birhane Dibaba ran her best of 2:22:30 two years ago as runner-up in Tokyo. Their compatriot Ruti Aga (2:25:27) could also have a say in the outcome.

“It’s noticeable with the women’s race that, since we’ve just had the Olympics, many of the top runners ran in Rio. Compared to the men the women’s top marathon runners worldwide have not quite the strength in depth. But the situation also offers the chance for another runner to make a name for herself,” reflected Mark Milde and added: “We hope to have world class performances and a fast race.”

Main contenders with personal bests

MEN
Emmanuel Mutai KEN 2:03:13
Wilson Kipsang KEN 2:03:23
Tsegaye Mekonnen ETH 2:04:32
Kenenisa Bekele ETH 2:05:04
Vincent Kipruto KEN 2:05:13
Eliud Kiptanui KEN 2:05:21
Evans Chebet KEN 2:05:33
Mark Kiptoo KEN 2:06:00
Jacob Kendagor KEN 2:07:47
Yuki Kawauchi JPN 2:08:14

WOMEN
Aberu Kebede ETH 2:20:30
Amane Beriso ETH 2:20:48
Birhane Dibaba ETH 2:22:30
Reina Iwade JPN 2:24:38
Ruti Aga ETH 2:25:27
Janet Ronoh KEN 2:26:03

More information is available online at: www.berlin-marathon.com

photo © 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved