Skip to main content

2009 National University Track and Field Championships - Results

by Brett Larner

The Japanese National University Track and Field Championships are strangely timed, coming at the start of the fall semester after several months of intense mileage training separating the spring track and fall ekiden seasons. It's a time when many of the best university runners are not aiming to peak, focusing instead on the roads, and as a consequence upsets are common. Last year Kenyan Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.) staged a rare coup over the far superior Mekubo Mogusu (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) over both 5000 m and 10000 m, while unknown first-year Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) stole the women's 10000 m.

This year's Nationals took place Sept. 4-6 at Tokyo's National Stadium. Among the meet's highlights:

  • Gitau, the undisputed top man in Japanese university distance running following Mogusu's graduation this year, easily retained his titles in the 5000 m and 10000 m, running 13:41.77 and 28:34.71. The bigger story in the 10000 m was perhaps Tokai Univ. first year Akinobu Murasawa's 2nd place finish 10 second behind Gitau as he outkicked Kenyans Cosmas Ondiba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) and Benjamin Gando (Nihon Univ.) to get there. Like the absent Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.) last year, Murasawa is the rookie to watch this season.

  • The women's 10000 m was a match race between defending champion Numata and her senior teammate Kazue Kojima (Ritsumeikan Univ.), the most dominant university woman of her generation. The pair finished together nearly a minute of 3rd placer Natsuko Godo (Nihon Univ.) as Kojima, known more as a 5000 m and ekiden specialist, beat Numata to the line by 0.51 of a second to take the national title away. In the 5000 m Kojima could not summon up a comparable performance, beaten by a sizeable margin by 2009 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) and Kojima's sophomore teammate Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.). Nishihara's battle with Kojima over the fall and winter season will be the highlight of Japanese university women's distance running this year.

  • 100 m national champions Masashi Eriguchi (Waseda Univ.) and Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) duly added the men's and women's national university titles to their collections in their first races since last month's World Championships. Both Eriguchi and Takahashi missed the meet records by 0.02 seconds, sat out the 200 m, then led their school's 4x100 m relay team to victory. Eriguchi was assisted by Waseda and World Championships teammate Shintaro Kimura.

  • Kazuaki Yoshida (Juntendo Univ.), who ran a memorable and unexpected PB in the men's 400 mH in Berlin, took the national university title, but national champion Yuzo Kanemaru (Hosei Univ.) was kept out of competition by the injury he sustained just before the World Championships. In his absence national team comrade Hideyuki Hirose (Keio Univ.) won his first national university championship in 46.94.

  • Yusuke Suzuki (Juntendo Univ.) took down national record holder Isamu Fujisawa (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) in the men's 10000 mRW, winning in 40:13.38.

  • Tomomi Abiko (Doshishia Univ.) broke her own meet and national university records in the women's pole vault, setting new records with a mark of 4.22. In the men's pole vault Hiroki Sasase (Waseda Univ.) tied national record holder Daiichi Sawano's meet record of 5.50.

2009 National University Track and Field Championships - Top Results
click here for complete results
Men's 10000 m
1. Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.) - 28:34.71
2. Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:44.23
3. Cosmas Ondiba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:44.62
4. Benjamin Gando (Nihon Univ.) - 28:45.86
5. Hiroki Mitsuoka (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 29:06.16

Women's 10000 m
1. Kazue Kojima (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 32:55.43
2. Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 32:56.04
3. Natsuko Godo (Nihon Univ.) - 33:43.49
4. Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) - 33:45.87
5. Miki Yamada (Josai Univ.) - 33:52.59

Men's 5000 m
1. Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.) - 13:41.77
2. Kiragu Njuguna (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 13:48.55
3. Takuya Ishikawa (Meiji Univ.) - 13:56.40
4. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:57.37
5. Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 13:58.51

Women's 5000 m
1. Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:40.79
2. Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:42.68
3. Kazue Kojima (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:46.77
4. Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:48.09
5. Toshika Tamura (Matsuyama Univ.) - 15:54.96

Men's 100 m
1. Masashi Eriguchi (Waseda Univ.) - 10.13
2. Shintaro Kimura (Waseda Univ.) - 10.32
3. Daiki Goto (Keio Univ.) - 10.35

Women's 100 m
1. Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 11.64
2. Shiho Takagi (Ryukoku Univ.) - 11.86
3. Shiori Ishikawa (Chuo Univ.) - 11.91

(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…