Skip to main content

World Championships Day Four

Click here to enter JRN's World Championships marathon prediction contest for a chance to win a 2009 Japanese national team singlet.

by Brett Larner

Barring a repeat of the Beijing Olympics marathons, 2009 national champion Yuzo Kanemaru's performance in the men's 400 m will be the biggest disappointment of this year's World Championships for Japanese fans. A legitimate contender for the final, despite setting a PB of 45.16 in May and being reliably under 46 seconds all season Kanemaru, who sustained a minor injury to his left thigh on the final day of training for Berlin, failed to make it out of the first round heats after delivering only a 46.83. Hideyuki Hirose actually ran faster in his heat, clocking 46.80, but likewise failed to advance.

The men's 200 m squad fared better, with Beijing Olympics 4x100 m relay bronze medalist Shinji Takahira and the young Kenji Fujimitsu leaving teammate Hitoshi Saito behind to advance to the quarterfinal. However, both Takahira and Fujimitsu were eliminated in the quarter, Takahira missing the semifinal by less than 0.01 of a second. Women's 100 m hurdles national champion Asuka Terada joined in the off day festivities as she likewise did not advance to the second round.

The only bright spot of the day came from Team Honda's Japan-based Ethiopian Yacob Jarso. Jarso set the Ethiopian national record in the men's 3000 mSC while finishing 4th at last year's Beijing Olympics. Having lost the national record last month to fellow World Championships team member Roba Gary, Jarso came to Berlin determined to get a medal. The extremely competitive quality of the race kept the hardware out of his range, but Jarso finished a credible 5th in a new PB of 8:12.13, 0.10 seconds short of Gary's record but beating the man himself by 0.27 seconds.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay with Kazami, high-volume marathoner Hayasaka dropped Gyoba afte…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

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