Skip to main content

Ongori and Ueno Shine at Mt. SAC Day Two

by Brett Larner

Four distance races featured Japanese and Japan-based athletes on the second day of the Mt. SAC Relays meet in Walnut, CA.



Former high school and university star Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) showed that he has finally overcome the illness which kept him under medical treatment for most of 2008, running a PB of 3:42.51 to finish 5th in the men's invitational 1500 m. Ueno was also entered in the invitational 5000 m but wisely sat it out.



Kenyan Philes Ongori (Team Hokuren) easily dominated the women's invitational 5000 m, starting slowly and gradually accelerating to grind down her competitors. She finished in 15:23.33 nearly 11 seconds ahead of 2nd place finisher Christin Wurth-Thomas (Nike). Over 30 seconds off her PB, the run amounted to little more than a buildup practice run for the talented Ongori.



In Ueno's absence, Honda teammates Suehiro Ishikawa and Seigo Ikegami, the top Japanese men in last month's World Cross-Country Championships, were the sole Japanese entrants in the men's invitational 5000 m. Each turned in solid if unremarkable early-season performances around 3 seconds of their PBs, Ishikawa 25th in 13:45.92 and Ikegami 27th in 13:50.79.



Ueno's former Saku Chosei High School teammate and university-era rival Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) made his professional debut with Nissin in the men's Olympic development 5000 m. Sato, who holds a PB of 13:23.57, ran in the B-level heat as part of his continued recovery from injuries which have kept him sub-par since last summer. He was 3rd in 13:48.71, his best time since getting injured but one which shows how much ground he still needs to make up to regain his former level. Sato's Nissin teammate Satoru Kitamura, a 2008 graduate of the currently scandal-plagued Nittai University, was a surprise DNS.

Complete results from the Mt. SAC Relays are available here.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…