Skip to main content

Long Weekend Track Roundup

by Brett Larner

Japan's fall track season is well underway, a transition period designed to sharpen the summer base as the focus shifts to the ekiden season. The Monday, Oct. 11 national holiday saw two major track meets alongside the Izumo Ekiden.

The Niigata Big Athletics Festa focused on 10000 m for the distance runners. Former Sendai Ikuei H.S. standout Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) led the way with a 27:50.64 to move into the 2010 worldwide top 30. In second came Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) in a PB of 28:07.99, just clearing the 2011 World Championships B-standard. The women's 10000 m added two more Japanese women to the 2010 worldwide top 30, with veteran Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) clearing the World Championships A-standard in 31:44.93 and Remi Nakazato (Team Daihatsu) the B-standard in 31:53.22.

In other Niigata events, Miwa Yokoyama (Niigata Meikun H.S.) broke the prefectural high school girls' 5000 m record with a solo 15:58.81, winning by over a minute. Steepler Aoi Matsumoto (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) ran the fastest Japanese men's time of the year, 8:30.49 in a 5-second PB. Men's 800 m national record holder Masato Yokota was just 0.02 off his own record, winning in 1:46.18. Second placer Takanori Matsumoto (SDF Academy) was also under 1:47 and the top four all broke 1:48, the first time this has ever happened in a domestic Japanese 800 m.

Across the country at the Chubu Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships, Kenyan Micah Njeru (Team Toyota Boshoku) set a meet record of 13:37.07 in the men's 5000 m. Sugihara's teammate, Ethiopian ace Betelhem Moges (Team Denso),had an easy win in the women's 3000 m, winning in 9:03.43 by a margin of nearly 45 seconds. Meet records also came in the women's 100 m, men's 110 mH, men's and women's triple jump and men's discus.

For complete Niigata Big Athletics Festa results, click here.

For complete Chubu Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships results, click here.

(c) 2010 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…