Skip to main content

Chiba International Cross-Country Meet: Kobayashi, Iwamizu, Hiroyama and More Headline

http://mainichi.jp/enta/sports/news/20090204k0000m050050000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Rikuren has announced the lineup for the Chiba International Cross Country Meet to take place Feb. 15. As a selection race for the Japanese national team for this year's Jordan World Cross Country Championships in March, the Chiba XC Meet has attracted a range of top athletes looking to represent their nation.

The men's 12000 m race includes 3000 m steeplechase Olympian Yoshitaka Iwamizu (Team Fujitsu), 2009 Interprefectural Ekiden 7th stage winner Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku), two-time Olympic marathoner Jon Brown (Canada/U.K.) and 2009 Shibuya New Ekiden 1st stage winner Jason Lawrence (New Zealand).

The women's 6000 m race features Beijing Olympics 5000 m runner Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki), 2007 World Championships 6th place finisher Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC), and veteran Harumi Hiroyama (Team Shiseido).

In the junior men's 8000 m race, the top Japanese finisher and overall 3rd place finisher from last summer's National High School Meet 5000 m, Yutaro Fukushi (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) will compete against 2008 National High School 10000 m champion Hirotaka Tamura (Aomori Yamada H.S.) for a spot on the national team.

The junior women's 5000 m race includes National High School champion Ayaka Mori (Suma Gakuen H.S.) and National High School Ekiden 1st stage winner Rei Obara (Kojokan H.S.).

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
I think this could be a breakthrough race for Jason Lawrence.

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Takes Six Minutes Off Kitakyushu Marathon Course Record to Lead Weekend Results

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record. Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in the first 100 m in Kitakyushu and never looked back.

In the hilly first 10 km his pace fluctuated from high-2:12 to high-2:10, but once Kawauchi got into the flatter section of the course he settled out on track for a high-2:11 to low-2:12 time. After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly on the outbound trip to the turnaround near 31 km, but picking it up again after 35 km he marked a 6:34 from 40 km to the finish to stop the clock at 2:11:46,  a 1:05:55 second half …

Kenyans Kabuu, Jemeli and Cheyech Lead Nagoya Women's Marathon Field

The Nagoya Women's Marathon is the largest women-only marathon in the world, one with a long history as an elite race and adapting to the times with a mass-participation field of 20,000. The last few years it has seen a series of dynamic, high-level performances by top Japanese women, from Sairi Maeda's 2:22:48 in 2015 to the 2:23:19 to 2:23:20 sprint finish battle between Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara in 2016 to Yuka Ando's stellar 2:21:36 debut and teammate Mao Kiyota's 2:23:47 breakthrough last year.

Maeda, Ohara and Kiyota all return this year to face the Kenyan trio of Lucy Kabuu, Valary Jemeli and Flomena Cheyech Daniel. Kabuu went to high school in Japan before moving on to the big leagues, but she hasn't finished a marathon since her 2:20:21 in Dubai 2015. Cheyech also used to be based in Japan as is a familiar face here, winning the last two Saitama International Marathons. Jemeli is making her Japanese debut, and with a 2:21:57 win in Prague and a 2:20:53 …

Kipsang Talking Loud and Aga Mumbling Bold - Tokyo Marathon Preview

After stepping up to the big leagues last year with course records in the 2:03 and 2:19 range, the Tokyo Marathon hopes to go one better this year. Men's course record setter Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) is back, stepping up from a 2:03:50 prediction for Tokyo in January to a 2:02:50 world record prediction at Friday's pre-race press conference. In the unmentioned absence of women's course record breaker Sarah Chepchirchir the top-ranked woman is Ruti Aga (Ethiopia), coming in hot off a 1:06:39 win last month in Houston and turning heads at the press conference with a boldly mumbled 2:18:00 prediction.

Management for both Kipsang and Aga were skeptical to JRN of their athletes' predictions, people from each camp saying times two minutes slower would be more likely, one minute slower in a best-case scenario. But whatever the prediction, Kipsang was clear to fellow past champs Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) and Dickson Chumba (Kenya) about one thing: he wants a more conservative fi…