Skip to main content

Hosaka, Nakamura, Yoshimura, Tanaka, Gitau, Ondiba and More (updated)

by Brett Larner

Brett Larner, Toyokazu Yoshimura and Wilson Kipketer at the finish of the 2009 Copenhagen Marathon. Photo by Piia Doyle (DMG).

Update 5/29: I missed Daniel Gitau's 800m record at the Kanto Championships and have updated the summary below.

I just got back from Copenhagen yesterday. There was a fair amount of overseas action featuring Japanese runners and at least one big domestic meet this past weekend that I couldn't cover at the time, but for the sake of thoroughness I wanted to put up a few summaries. I'll go in reverse chronological order.

Los Angeles Marathon
Men's marathon 60+ world record holder Yoshihisa Hosaka ran the L.A. Marathon in 2:39:31. Although he fell 3 minutes 2 seconds shy of breaking his own world record set in February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, Hosaka was a highly creditable 27th overall and the 19th place male finisher. Needless to say, he won his age group. The June issue of Running Times magazine contains an interview with Hosaka which can be read here.

Bolder Boulder
Led by Beijing Olympian Yurika Nakamura's 3rd place finish in 33:28, the Japanese women placed 2nd overall in the team competition at the Bolder Boulder 10 km. Veteran Hiromi Ominami was 9th in 35:01, with 2008 Honolulu Marathon winner Kiyoko Shimahara finishing 12th to complete the team score in 35:35 just a week after running San Francisco's Bay to Breakers road race.

Copenhagen Marathon
As previously reported, Toyokazu Yoshimura and Chihiro Tanaka pulled off a rare overseas Japanese marathon double, winning the men's and women's divisions of the Copenhagen Marathon in 2:18:04 and 2:40:59 respectively and garnering IAAF coverage. Tanaka was 14th overall; her husband Katsutoshi Tanaka, a retired former professional steeplechase runner, ran the race for fun and finished in 2:57:54. Video highlights of the Copenhagen Marathon are available through race sponsor Politiken.

Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships pt. II
Nihon Univ. senior Daniel Gitau completed a rare quadruple crown on the second weekend of the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships, Japan's most competitive university meet. After winning the 1500 m and 10000 last weekend, Gitau set a meet record of 1:48.06 in the men's 800 m, then returned an hour later to win the 5000 m in 13:47.19. As in the 10000 m last week, Toyo Univ. star sophomore Ryuji Kashiwabara was close behind, beating out Meiji Univ. senior Takuya Ishikawa by a stride for 2nd in 13:48.54.

Tamagawa Univ. junior Takumi Komiya had a surprise win over Nihon Univ. ace senior Natsuko Goto in an equally surprisingly slow women's 5000 m. Coming back to from a year of injury which kept her out of last winter's ekiden season, Komiya won her first Kanto title in 16:19.30 with Goto nearly 4 seconds back in 16:23.10. Defending champion Yui Sakai of Josai Univ. was a DNS after running poorly in last week's 10000 m.

Yamanashi Gakuin Univ. senior Aoi Matsumoto won a two-man battle against Chuo Univ. sophomore Yuki Munakata in the men's 3000 m SC. Matsumoto clocked 8:41.56 to Munakata's 8:43.85, with their nearest competitor finishing almost 6 seconds behind.

The biggest result of the meet came in the men's half marathon. Run on a hilly, twisting 10-loop course on which athletes enter and exit Tokyo's National Stadium on each lap, the Kanto Championships half marathon has never been known as a fast event. Last year Yamanashi Gakuin Univ. senior Mekubo Mogusu, a runner with three sub-hour half marathons to his name at the time, became the first man to break 1:03 on the course when he set its record of 1:02:23. The now-graduated Mogusu's younger teammate and countryman Cosmas Ondiba picked up where Mogusu left off, winning the half marathon in 1:02:29. The sophomore Ondiba had not previously shown any signs of being close to Mogusu in ability, but this result suggests Yamanashi Gakuin may have another titan on its hands. Last year's 2nd and 3rd place finishers both broke last year's times but switched places, Waseda Univ. senior Takahiro Ozaki landing 2nd this time in 1:04:00 and Komazawa Univ. senior Tsuyoshi Ugachi 3rd in 1:04:09.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Brett Larner said…
No, I didn't run. I had too much to take care of and had to be there when Toyokazu and Chihiro finished to translate for them.

Most-Read This Week

Kenenisa Bekele Withdraws from Tokyo Marathon with Stress Fracture

The Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced on Feb. 20 that 5000 m and 10000 m world record holder Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) has withdrawn from the Mar. 3 Tokyo Marathon 2019 due to injury. The statement read, "He has a stress fracture that is going to take a little more time to heal. His motivation to recover and set his sights on a new goal is high, but unfortunately it seems that is still going to take a while."

#2-ranked Marius Kipserem (Kenya) has also withdrawn with injuries. On the domestic front, Kengo Suzuki (23, Fujitsu) has pulled out due to his condition. Yohei Suzuki (24, Aisan Kogyo) and Shinobu Kubota (27, Toyota) have also sustained injuries that will prevent them from starting. In the women's race, 2017 London World Championships team member Yuka Ando, 24, who earlier this month transferred from the Suzuki Hamamatsu AC team to the Wacoal corporate team, is also out with injury.

source article:
https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20190220-00000112-sph-spo
trans…

Cheboitibin Breaks Seko's Course Record at Ome 30 km

One of Japan's longest-standing course records at its elite races fell Sunday as Kenyan Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Sunbelx) beat the great Toshihiko Seko's 38-year-old Ome 30 km Road Race record by almost 30 seconds.

Tough and hilly with a net climb in the first half and descent on the return trip, Ome is a standard spring marathon prep run and a natural partner for April's Boston Marathon, with which it has a longstanding athlete exchange program. The 2017 Ome winner, this time out Cheboitibin was gunning for Seko's record from the start, hitting the mostly uphill 10 km completely solo in 29:47, 20 km midway through the return trip in 59:30, and saving his fastest 10 km split for the end as he crossed the finish line in 1:29:06. Seko's 1:29:32 just two months before his first Boston win had made him the only man in Ome history to break 90 minutes. With the best performance of his career Cheboitibin turned the page on that history.

With the withdrawal of Fukuoka winner

Last Chance for Tokyo 2020? - Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Elite Field

With just under three weeks to go the organizers of the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon's 74th running have finally released the elite field. For Japanese men it's the last chance - almost - to qualify for September's MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials, the last domestic race with up to six spots up for grabs for anyone under 2:11:00 or 2:10:00 and more for anyone else under 2:08:30 or averaging under 2:11:00 between Lake Biwa and another marathon in the last year and a half. The window on that last two-race option runs through April 30th so there will still be a few chances left, but realistically for most of the men at Lake Biwa this is it, all or nothing for a home soil Olympic team.

There's a good international field of twelve African-born runners of eight nationalities at the 2:06 to 2:09 level to help pull the Japanese men to hit those times. Last year's winner Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) is back, ranked 6th in a field led by 2:06 men Deribe…