Skip to main content

Mitsuoka Schools Hakone Stars, Nishihara and Takahashi Score Meet Records, Iizuka Flat on Final Day of Japanese University Nationals

by Brett Larner


The final day of the 2010 Japanese National University Track and Field Championships wrapped up with some of the best action of the meet's three days. Despite missing its three top-ranked runners Kiragu Njuguna (Kenya/Daiichi Kogyo Univ.), Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) and Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.), the men's 5000 m field included 18 men with PBs under 14 minutes. The conditions, 32 degrees, sunny and windy, meant that the race would be slow and allow some of the slower men to have a chance.

With the early leaders taking it out on track for a 14:10, Hiroki Mitsuoka (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) took full advantage of the situation. One of the only men in the field from outside the Kanto region, with just the 15th-best PB in the field, 13:57.67, Mitsuoka patiently waited until the final 800 m to get into the race. With no warning he suddenly kicked from 700 m out and dropped a 59-second 400 m. Pursued partway by Waseda University ace Yo Yazawa, Mitsuoka broke away and held on with a 62-second final lap to steal the win in 14:01.90 and trump some of the best Hakone Ekiden runners. Mitsuoka beat 14 men with better PBs, and the next-best runner from outside Kanto finished only 17th. It was a rare win at Nationals by a complete outsider, the first time a non-Kanto runner has won the men's 5000 m since 2000 and the first time since the great Toshinari Takaoka's win in 1992 that a runner from the Kansai region has taken the title. You have to love it.


The women's 5000 m saw the season debut of the two best distance runners in the Japanese university scene, 2009 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and 5000 m silver medalist Kasumi Nishihara and 10000 m national collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto of Bukkyo University. The pair faced a likely challenge only from Kyoto crosstown rivals Michi Numata and Risa Takenaka of Ritsumeikan University. Yoshimoto took things out right on pace for the 9 year-old meet record of 15:38.75 despite the heat, sun and wind, with Nishihara, in her first race in 4 months following a left leg injury in the late spring, at her side and the Ritsumeikan pair right behind. Partway through Nishihara took over and, pursued by Takenaka and unheralded Ayuko Suzuki of Nagoya University, sped off to claim the meet record by less than a second as she won in 15:38.19. 10000 m winner Hanae Tanaka of Ritsumeikan overtook Numata for 4th, while Yoshimoto faded badly to a distant 7th. In contrast to the men, the highest finisher from a school in Kanto was no higher than 11th, Josai University's Miki Yamada.




Expectations were heavy for 2010 World Junior 200 m Champion Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) in his event of choice, but as in Saturday's 4x100 m relay he appeared relatively flat. A terrible run through the curve put him near the rear of the pack coming into the straight with little chance of catching eventual winner Yuichi Kobayashi (Hosei Univ.). Iizuka's superior closing speed allowed him to bridge the gap to 2nd, but Kobayashi was far out of reach. Kobayashi crossed the line in a wind-aided 20.52, faster than Iizuka's PB of 20.58, as the World Champion came home in a disappointing 20.70.


Having already broken her own meet record on Saturday in the 100 m, Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) did it again with a 23.62 win in the women's 200 m. Takahashi's time clipped the old record, held by 400 m specialist Asami Tanno, by just 0.02. Less than 2 hours later Takahashi was back again to anchor Heisei Kokusai's 4x400 m squad. Although she ran by far the fastest split in the field she was unable to catch Miyabi Tago (Chuo Univ.). Tago collapsed after holding Takahashi in a duel to the line and giving Chuo the win in 3:40.23. Video is linked below.

2010 Japanese National University Track and Field Championships
click here for complete results
click event headers for video links
Women's 5000 m
1. Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:38.19 - MR
2. Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:46.99
3. Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) - 15:49.22
4. Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:54.18 - PB
5. Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:57.33

Men's 5000 m
1. Hiroki Mitsuoka (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 14:01.90
2. Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.) - 14:03.92
3. Benjamin Gando (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 14:04.61
4. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.) - 14:05.54
5. Yuki Yagi (Waseda Univ.) - 14:07.20

Women's 200 m - wind +0.8 m/s
1. Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 23.62 - MR
2. Rina Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.) - 23.84
3. Saori Imai (Shigakkan Univ.) - 23.88

Men's 200 m - wind +3.8 m/s
1. Yuichi Kobayashi (Hosei Univ.) - 20.52
2. Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - 20.70
3. Kei Takase (Juntendo Univ.) - 20.74

Men's 3000 mSC
1. Minato Yamashita (Chukyo Univ.) - 8:53.45
2. Kosei Yamaguchi (Josai Univ.) - 8:53.98
3. Ken Akazome (Tokai Univ.) - 8:54.40

Women's 4x400m Relay
1. Chuo Univ. - 3:40.23
2. Heisei Kokusai Univ. - 3:40.72
3. Shigakkan Univ. - 3:41.51

Men's 4x400m Relay
1. Chuo Univ. - 3:06.70
2. Waseda Univ. - 3:06.98
3. Chukyo Univ. - 3:06.99

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Dark Side of the Rising Sun

For all the good things that happened this year, just like anywhere else Japan had its share of problems. In sports, speed skater Kei Saito's doping suspension at the Pyeongchang Olympics, the harassment case around coach Kazuhito Sakae and Olympic gold medalist wrestler Kaori Icho, and the Nihon University football scandal involving head coach Masato Uchida directing a player to deliberately take out the opposing team's quarterback were some of the bigger stories, but in athletics as well there was no shortage of problems. From actions ranging from the individual to the systemic and societal, from doping to corruption to abuse and harassment, a quick list of the year's lows two years out from Tokyo 2020.
Drugs and Injections'Top Canoeist Suspended for Framing Rival for Doping'

Why is the Number of Doping Offenders Growing in Once-Upon-a-Time Clean Japan?

National Corporate Women's Ekiden Champion Team to be Stripped of Title After Member Tests Positive

Nakamura …

JAAF Announces Last-Chance Olympic Marathon Standards: 2:05:49 and 2:22:22

We hereby announce the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon Team qualifying standards for the MGC Final Challenge.
men: 2:05:49
women: 2:22:22 These times are one second faster than the fastest times run by Japanese men and women within the MGC Race qualifying period. The fastest athlete under these standards at one of the MGC Final Challenge series races will earn the third and final spot on the Tokyo 2020 team following the two to be decided at September's MGC Race. MGC Final Challenge series races:
Men:73rd Fukuoka International MarathonTokyo Marathon 202075th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Women:5th Saitama International Marathon39th Osaka International Women's MarathonNagoya Women's Marathon 2020 For more information on the overall Tokyo 2020 Olympic team qualification process please click here.
The official MGC site:  http://www.mgc42195.jp/
source press release:
https://www.jaaf.or.jp/news/article/12712/
translated and edited by Brett Larner

10000 m National Championships Lead Weekend Action

It's a busy weekend on the track across the country. In long distance action the main event is Sunday's 10000 m national championships, held this year a month and a half before the rest of the National Track and Field Championships in an effort to help people produce better performances to maximize their world rankings points. The 10000 m will be held in Osaka's Nagai Stadium just after the Golden Grand Prix Osaka meet, which maxes out this time around with the 3000 m steeplechase.

22 women are entered in the 10000 m including 6 of the 7 who have cleared the 31:50.00 Doha World Championships standard and the only one who has cleared the 31:25.00 Tokyo Olympics standard. That would be the currently world-ranked #3 Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC), who lapped 2nd place the last time she ran Nationals back in 2013 en route to a still-standing championships record 31:06.67. #16-ranked Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post), jointly #22-ranked Kaori Morita (Panasonic) and Mizuki Matsuda (Daiha…