Skip to main content

Track Season Underway

by Brett Larner

#316 Tatsuro Okazaki leads half marathon Asian jr. area record holder Suguru Osako, #315, in the 1500 m on Apr. 2 at Tokyo's National Stadium. Click here for more pictures courtesy of WESC.

Even as road races continue to be cancelled in the wake of last month's earthquake and tsunami, track season got underway this weekend with a handful of competitive meets across the country. Among highlights of the distance events:
  • At the Mar. 30 Kokushikan University Time Trials in Tama, Tokyo, women's 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno) returned from a long layoff due to injury to run 15:46.58, the lone woman in a men's 5000 m.



  • 2011 Hakone Ekiden winners Waseda University dominated the distance events at the Tokyo Six University Meet at the National Stadium on Apr. 2. Seniors Yo Yazawa and Yuki Yagi went 1-2 in the 5000 m, clocking 14:03.04 and 14:15.73. Sophomores Kohei Kudo and Noriki Tazawa likewise went 1-2 in the 3000 m SC in 9:04.33 and 9:08.53.



    Waseda's lone loss came in the 1500 m, where Meiji University's star recruit Genki Yagisawa got his university career off to a solid start by beating half marathon Asian junior area record holder and sophomore Suguru Osako. Yagisawa clocked 3:48.60 with Osako closing fast for a PB 3:49.01. Waseda senior Tatsuro Okazaki was 3rd in 3:50.60.
  • Across the country the same day at the Fukuoka University Open, the hosts took the top seven spots in the women's 5000 m, led by junior Rina Hidaki who ran 16:11.70. Local pro team Kyudenko took the top eight spots in the men's 5000 m, Kazuharu Takai outrunning marathoner Kazuhiro Maeda by three seconds to win in 14:02.06.
(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Men's Marathon Rout - JAAF Executives Announce Resignation

http://www.nikkansports.com/olympic/rio2016/athletics/news/1698472.html

translated by Brett Larner

In the Rio de Janeiro Olympics men's marathon on Aug. 21, Satoru Sasaki (30) was the top Japanese man at 16th in 2:13:57.  Suehiro Ishikawa (36) was 36th, with Hisanori Kitajima (31) placing 94th.

At the end of athletics competition Japan's total was two medals and two top eight finishes, a total exceeding the JAAF's target one medal but falling short of its goal of five top eight finishes.  JAAF strengthening committee chairman Kazunori Asaba (55) announced that he intends to resign his position following the Rio Olympics.  Strengthening committee vice-chairman Katsumi Sakai (56) and director of men's marathoning Takeshi Soh (63) are also expected to join the exodus of resignations.  Japanese athletics will be forced to make a fresh start before the Tokyo Olympics.

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Kawauchi Leaves for Oslo After Trying 100 m Time Trial

The civil servant runner admits to being shocked. 2017 London World Championships marathoner and men's captain Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) left from Tokyo's Narita Airport for Norway the evening of Sept. 13 to run the Sept. 16 BMW Oslo Marathon.

On Sept. 9 at the National University Track and Field Championships, Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) became the first Japanese man to break 10 seconds in the 100 m when he set a new national record of 9.98. The news has been the talk of the nation ever since. Kawauchi said, "It's pretty amazing. It took up the front page of every newspaper." What can he run for 100 m? "My PB is 13.1, but right now, 13.9," he admitted.

Kawauchi ran that time, "in the morning the day before yesterday," he said. "I did two time trials. I even wore spikes. I ran them for real and only did 13.9. To be honest, it was pretty shocking." Although short sprints are well outside his area of expertise it seemed…