Skip to main content

Kirui, Kipruto and Vega for Sapporo International Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

If the preliminary announcement is to be believed, the organizers of the Sapporo International Half Marathon have done an outstanding job in setting up a strong field for this year's 53rd edition to be held July 4. Last year's race was expected to include Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya), but his listing turned out to be only the empty promise of a promoter. This year's men's field is slated to include a handful of big names, and if all show Sapporo could be one of the best races of the summer.

Topping the overseas men's field are Berlin World Championships marathon gold medalist Abel Kirui and 2:05 marathoner Vincent Kipruto, both of Kenya, along with their Japan-resident sub-hour countrymen Gideon Ngatuny (Team Nissin Shokuhin), the 2009 Sapporo winner, and Mekubo Mogusu (Team Aidem), the course record holder and 2007-08 winner. Somewhat of a non-sequitur, American Antonio Vega rounds out the overseas men's field.

The domestic field will be vying for a spot on the Japanese national team for this fall's World Half Marathon Championships. The strongest is 13:18/27:41 man Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu), who has fallen short of his 2010 goals of a strong marathon debut and the 10000 m national record but has recently show himself to be rounding back into peak form. Veterans Tsuyoshi Ogata (Team Chugoku Denryoku) and Toshinari Suwa (Team Nissin Shokuhin) are also on the invite list but are unlikely to figure into the action. It's one of the quirks of Sapporo management that the complete elite entry lists are not usually publicly released before the race, and thus there are always a few surprises come race day. One runner in this group who may challenge Mitsuya for the top Japanese spot is independent Arata Fujiwara, who became the first Japanese man since 1987 to win an overseas marathon with a sub-2:10 time when he set the course record at last month's Ottawa Marathon.

With no women being brought in from overseas the domestic women's field is deep and competitive. Japan resident Mara Yamauchi (U.K.) will be a solid contender against 2009 winner Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) and 2008 winner Yuri Kano (Second Wind AC). Other top Japanese women in the field include Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido), Chika Horie (Team Universal Ent.), Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu), Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya), Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Universal Ent.), Miki Ohira (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), Chisato Osaki (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC).

Click here for a complete invited elite field listing. The race will be broadcast live nationwide. Overseas viewers should be able to watch live online for free through Keyhole TV. JRN will offer live race commentary through its Twitter feed JRNLive. Check back closer to race date for further details.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

hotboykevin said…
Will Akaba break Fukushi record? Fukushi record is impossible to break.
hotboykevin said…
Mizuho is too slow. She needs to break 1:12:00. 10 people PRS are faster than her. When will Fukushi run the half marathon?
hotboykevin said…
Mizuho is too slow. Everyone's half marathon PRS are faster than her.
Brett Larner said…
Welcome back, Dennis. We missed you.

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …