Skip to main content

Kensuke Takezawa to Make Pro Debut June 10

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/p-sp-tp0-20090522-497447.html

translated by Brett Larner

Beijing Olympian, former Waseda University ace and Hakone Ekiden star Kensuke Takezawa (22, Team S&B) is taking his first steps toward August's World Championships in Berlin. On June 10 Takezawa will make his pro debut in the Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa meet 3000 m, his first race since his stage-record run in January's Hakone Ekiden. Four days later he will run the 5000 m in the Challenge's Shibetsu meet, targeting the World Championships B-standard of 13:29.00. If he is successful in attacking this mark, Takezawa will go for his first national title at the National Track and Field Championships in Hiroshima at the end of the month to seal his place on the Berlin team.*

Four years of abusing his body led to injuries including stress fractures and knee, hip and Achilles tendon problems, but Takezawa says he is now finally feeling back in one piece. His Waseda-era coach Yasuyuki Watanabe commented, "Kensuke once told me, 'Without big goals you can't get anywhere.' He's the kind of guy who will always try to run outside of himself." So far only World Championships marathon team member Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) and Takezawa's teammate Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) have made the Berlin 5000 m B-standard qualification time, so the places on the national team are wide open for the taking. Having run in the 2007 World Championships and the 2008 Beijing Olympics Takezawa stands to extend his world-level competition streak to three straight years if he is truly back to his full powers.

*Translator's note: Takezawa holds a 5000 m PB of 13:19.00. He was 2nd in last year's National Championships 5000 m after having been out of training for over 4 months with injuries. As only one B-standard runner per country is allowed to run in a given event, in addition to making the World Championships B-standard Takezawa will have to break his teammate Yuichiro Ueno's recent B-standard mark of 13:26.31 to get a chance to run in Berlin.

Other notable runners on the start list for the June 10 Fukagawa meet include women's 5000 m national record holder Kayoko Fukushi, Berlin World Championships marathoner Arata Fujiwara, men's 3000 mSC national record holder Yoshitaka Iwamizu, men's 1500 m national record holder Fumikazu Kobayashi, and top jitsugyodan runners Mika Yoshikawa, Noriko Matsuoka, Bene Zama, Ann Karindi, Betelhem Moges and Micah Njeru.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …