Skip to main content

Fujiwara and Sato Likely Choices for Asian Games

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2010030700132

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Following the final selection race on Mar. 7, Rikuren director Keisuke Sawaki discussed the candidates for the two men's marathon spots available on the Japanese national team for November's Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. "Now that we have the results from the three selection races [Fukuoka, Tokyo and Biwako], I would like to settle the lineup."

Director Sawaki's indicated his first choice is Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda), the winner of February's Tokyo Marathon. "He set a brilliant example in Tokyo. His newfound strength has brought him to the forefront." Rikuren director of men's marathoning Yasushi Sakaguchi suggested that he favors Biwako runner-up Tomoyuki Sato (Team Asahi Kasei). "In the pressure of a selection race he had the fastest time [by a Japanese runner] and with just a little more luck would have gone under 2:10. He at least cleared one of the main criteria."

In Fukuoka the top Japanese finisher was general division entrant Tadashi Shitamori (Team Yasukawa Denki). Shitamori finished 9th but beat Sato in the process.

Translator's note: Prior to Biwako yesterday Tokyo runner-up Arata Fujiwara (Team JR Higashi Nihon) was also in contention for the Asian Games team. In past years a marathon medal at the Asian Games has secured a Japanese runner a spot on the following year's World Championships team. With Japan's only major competition on the men's side at the Games being Koreans and Qatari Kenyans, of which there are at maximum two each, the chance of at least one medal is high enough that it has happened every time the Asian Games have ever been held. As such, the Asian Games are the easiest way for a Japanese marathoner to make the World Championships.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…