Skip to main content

Takayuki Matsumiya Wins Olympic Selection 10000m at Japanese National Track & Field Championships

by Brett Larner



5000 m national record holder and 30 km world record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica-Minolta) won the Japanese National Track and Field Championships men`s 10000 m for the third straight year at Kawasaki`s Todoroki Stadium on June 26. Under the Japanese Olympic selection system, an athlete holding an Olympic A-standard time will be guaranteed a spot on the Beijing Olympics team if he or she wins an event at this year`s National Championships. With the absence of Waseda University senior Kensuke Takezawa, Matsumiya was the only runner in the field entering the competition with an A-standard qualifying time after running 27:41.75 at last month`s Cardinal Invitational. His 27:51.27 victory here, while itself falling short of the A-standard, met the selection criteria and was enough to secure Matsumiya a place in the Olympic 10000 m. The other eight runners who broke the 10000 m Olympic B-standard in the National Championships are unlikely to be named to the team but must wait until June 30 when Rikuren will announce the complete team membership.

Fresh from securing a spot on the Japanese national team for October`s World Half Marathon Championships by finishing as top Japanese at the Sapporo International Half Marathon less than two weeks ago, Chuo Gakuin University senior Masato Kihara took the race out hard, immediately taking the lead position in a pack including all the top Japanese professionals. Immediately behind Kihara was junior national record holder Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei), who competed in the Athens Olympics 10000 m as an 18-year old, followed by Ono`s Athens teammate Terukazu Omori (Team Shikoku Denryoku). Strung out behind the leading three was a large pack led by the man with the fastest PB in the field, Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu), with Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo) and Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin) right behind. Matsumiya sat back in the middle of the pack.

Kihara took the pack through the first km in 2:43. Through 5 km nothing changed among the leaders until Kihara, noting with the 13:59 5k split that the pace had slowed, put on a surge to keep the pace on track to break 28 minutes. Ono followed, but the two opened a small gap on Omori. The move was enough to break things up as Mitsuya, Irifune and Matsumiya went past Omori to regain contact with the two leaders.

At 6500 m Irifune went wide to try to move past Mitsuya into third, but the move was unsuccessful and he returned to the fourth postion on the back curve. At the same time, Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) went past Omori to move into the sixth. At 7500 m Matsumiya made his first move of the race, accelerating down the home straight to pass Kihara before the curve, with Irifune moving out to follow. Kihara covered the move and the two were forced to step back into the line. The top six were now Kihara, Ono, Matsumiya, Mitsuya, Irifune and Maeda, with Kitamura and Omori at the head of the chase pack. Ono ran slightly on the outside, effectively boxing Matsumiya in behind Kihara.

By 8200 m the professionals had had enough of the ambitious university student Kihara`s lead. Ono made a quick attack, streaking past Kihara and opening the door for Matsumiya to move as well. Mitsuya, Irifune and Maeda rapidly followed suit, but Kihara managed to hold on to the rear of the pack. 200 m later as the group entered the back straight Matsumiya moved out to set up his final push, but behind him Kihara put on an astonishing spurt to pass Irifune and Maeda and regain contact with the three leaders. Matsumiya would not have it, launching his kick the moment Kihara arrived and taking the lead for the first time. Only Mitsuya was able to follow, as first Kihara then Ono dropped away. By 8800 m Mitsuya also began to fade, and the race was Matsumiya`s. Ono caught Mitsuya at 9 km but was unable to match Matsumiya`s 2:39 final kilometer and had to settle for an anguished second place in 27:55.16. Mitsuya was the last man to break 28 minutes, third in 27:58.63, his season best but doubtless a disappointment.

Maeda had a sensational final kilometer to take fourth. Irifune, Kihara, Tomoaki Bungo (Team Asahi Kasei), Omori, Kitamura and Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku) finished in rapid succession after him, with Kihara, Bungo and Nakao recording personal bests. The top nine finishers met the Olympic B-standard, but it is unlikely that any will join Matsumiya in Beijing later this summer.

The Japanese National Track and Field Championships continue on June 27 with the women`s 10000 m, featuring a highly-anticipated battle between 10000 m national record holder Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), 3000 m, 5000 m and half marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), the rising star Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), and darkhorse Noriko Matsuoka (Team Suzuki).

leader`s splits:
1 km: 2:43 2 km: 5:29 3 km: 8:18 4 km: 11:09 5 km: 13:59
6 km: 16:49 7 km: 19:40 8 km: 22:34 9 km: 25:12 10 km: 27:51.27

Top Finishers:
1. Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica-Minolta): 27:51.27 (selected for Olympic team)
2. Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei): 27:55.16
3. Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu): 27:58.63 (SB)
4. Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko): 28:00.29
5. Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo): 28:05.44
6. Masato Kihara (Chuo Gakuin Univ.): 28:06.48 (PB)
7. Tomoaki Bungo (Team Asahi Kasei): 28:07.20 (PB)
7. Terukazu Omori (Team Shikoku Denryoku): 28:07.20
9. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin): 28:09.22
10. Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku): 28:10.19 (PB)

Complete results are available here.

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Roberto said…
"The top nine finishers met the Olympic B-standard, but it is unlikely that any will join Matsumiya in Beijing later this summer."

I would imagine that anyone who manages an A-standard time prior to the team selection, assuming a decent finish in last night's race, would have a good chance at selection?
Roberto said…
Okay, I heard you say during the video that they're announcing the team on June 30. So, no time to get an A.

Never mind!
Brett Larner said…
In principle yes, but apart from Matsumiya and Takezawa, who didn`t run, nobody else had run the A-standard within the qualification period.

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …