Skip to main content

Watanabe Just Misses 10000 m A-Standard, Sophomore Yufu 28:02.46 to Lead Five Komazawa Univ. Men Under 29 in Fukagawa

by Brett Larner


With unseasonably cool temperatures ahead of an approaching typhoon the Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet on June 25 saw a raft of significant PB performances. Gideon Ngatuny (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) led three Japan-resident Kenyans to the top of the men's 10000 m A-heat with a win in 27:43.82, but the trio had company from 5000 m national champion Kazuya Watanabe (Team Shikoku Denryoku) who was shooting for the Daegu World Championships A-standard of sub-27:40 but came up just short in a large PB of 27:47.79 In so doing Watanabe, the all-time #2 Japanese man over 1500 m best-known for blacking out meters before the finish while leading the 2008 National Championships 1500 m, became the first Japanese man to break both 3:40 and 28:00. Missing the A-standard means that Watanabe will run only the 5000 m in Daegu.

More of a shock than Watanabe were the next two runners after him, Komazawa University sophomore Ikuto Yufu and junior Hiromitsu Kakuage, who ran PBs of 28:02.46 and 28:03.27 to beat Kenyans Benjamin Gandu (Nihon Univ.) and Micah Njeru (Team Toyota Boshoku). It's rare to see collegiate times this fast, particularly two teammated doing it in one race, and what's more three other Komazawa runners set new PBs under 29 minutes. 2011 Hakone Ekiden top two Waseda University and Toyo University are hovering aroung ten sub-29 minute men apiece, but with Komazawa up to six men that level now including star first-year Kenta Murayama, Yufu and Kakuage could lead Komazawa in a legitimate shot at challenging Waseda and Toyo for dominance in the upcoming ekiden season.

The women's 10000 m was also fast, with nine of the top ten recording new PBs led by Kenyan Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko) going under the World Championships A-standard with a 31:27.98. Seika Nishikawa (Team Sysmex), a teammate of marathon national record holder Mizuki Noguchi, was 2nd in a quick 32:12.64.

The final meet in this year's Hokuren Distance Challenge series takes place this Wednesday in Shibetsu and will focus on the 5000 m with Hitomi Niiya (Chiba Pref.) and Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) among others going for World Championships A-standard marks.

2011 Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet
Fukagawa, Hokkaido, 6/25/11
Men's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Gideon Ngatuny (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 27:43.82
2. James Rungar (Kenya/Team Toyota) - 27:44.86 - PB
3. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) - 27:47.51
4. Kazuya Watanabe (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 27:47.79 - PB
5. Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:02.46 - PB
6. Hiromitsu Kakuage (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:03.27 - PB
7. Benjamin Gandu (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 28:03.43 - PB
8. Micah Njeru (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku) - 28:03.48
9. Hiroyuki Ono (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:06.35 - PB
10. Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 28:12.02 - PB
-----
15. Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:23.61 - PB

Women's 10000 m
1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 31:27.98 - PB
2. Seika Nishikawa (Team Sysmex) - 32:12.64 - PB
3. Eriko Kushima (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 32:16.84 - PB
4. Miho Ihara (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 32:18.00 - PB
5. Yuko Watanabe (Team Edion) - 32:27.89 - PB
6. Korei Omata (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 32:37.89 - PB
7. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 32:44.00 - PB
8. Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 32:44.60
9. Kumi Ogura (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 32:50.36 - PB
10. Akane Sekino (Team Hokuren) - 32:53.44 - PB

Men's 10000 m B-Heat
1. Kazuhiro Kuga (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:32.32 - PB
2. Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) - 28:42.29
3. Wataru Ueno (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:42.89 - PB
4. Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 28:44.18
5. Shunsuke Nomura (Team Osaka Gas) - 28:47.04

Men's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/Sozo Gakuen Univ.) - 13:46.85
2. Tomoya Shirayanagi (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 13:49.67
3. Yasuhiro Tago (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:51.98
4. Masato Kikuchi (Meiji Univ.) - 13:54.16
5. Yuki Arimura (Meiji Univ.) - 13:55.01

Women's 3000 m A-Heat
1. Ayaka Mori (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 9:17.68
2. Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 9:18.82
3. Natsuki Morita (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 9:19.32
4. Arina Urakawa (Meijo Univ.) - 9:20.15
5. Sayuri Sendo (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 9:20.42

(c) 2011 Brett Larner

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kiplagat, Ichiyama, Tadese and Shitara Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

The Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon is always one of Japan's deepest races of the year on the men's side, its 2012 running setting a world record for the most men under 64 minutes in a single half marathon in history. On the women's side the field is always smaller but still home to the 1:07:26 Japanese national record set by Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) back in 2006.

Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), Sara Hall (U.S.A.) and Betsy Saina (Kenya) lead the women's international field, two-time defending champ Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) giving Marugame a miss this year. Fresh off a 1:09:14 PB at last month's Sanyo Ladies Half, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) leads a trio of Japanese women with recent sub-1:10 times, something that has become a puzzling rarity lately. Fukushi is also back, her recent best of 1:12:04 a long way from her best days.

Speaking of which, world record holder Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) will be looking to break 60 minutes for the first time since 2015. His toughest…

Kawauchi Outruns 103 Teams to Win Yashio Isshu Ekiden

2017 London World Championships marathon 9th-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) gave local club and high school runners something to remember when he ran Sunday's Yashio Shinai Isshu Ekiden solo against 103 six-runner teams. Kawauchi spent most of the 20.0 km race in 2nd, briefly taking the lead at the end of the 3.9 km Second Stage before falling behind after a Third Stage course record run by Kotaro Minowa (Matsudo T&F Assoc.).

Down 13 seconds, Kawauchi came back to split a time 14 seconds faster for the 2.7 km Fifth Stage than its fastest ekiden runner, Yusei Otsuki (Kasukabe H.S. A). Now ahead of Matsudo and out front alone, Kawauchi saved his biggest running for last, dropping a 2:40 final km to split 14 seconds under the 12:34 course record for the 4.0 km anchor stage. Desperate to catch him, Matsudo anchor Shunsuke Matsui went 6 seconds under the old record to become its official new holder but couldn't match Kawauchi's closing speed.

Kawauchi's…

Cheboitibin, Kiprono and Sonoda Top Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Elite Entries

With just over two weeks to go the organizers of the Feb. 4 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon have released their elite field for this year's race. With its history as an elite men-only race Beppu-Oita's women's field is still tiny given its status as an IAAF silver label race, but this year promises a good race between two local 2:32 women, 2016 winner Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) and Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu), that should see the 2:39:57 course record fall. Defending champ Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) also returns with a 2:38:43 PB from last fall that puts her range of the course record as well.

The men's race is heavier-duty, with a spot in the MGC Race Tokyo Olympic Trials available to the top Japanese man under 2:11:00 and to up to five others if they clear 2:10. Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) and Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) are the only Japanese men in the field to have run those kinds of times in the last couple of years, and with support from 2:09~2:10 men