Skip to main content

Osako, Murayama Win National University 1500 m and 5000 m

by Brett Larner

At the 2011 Japanese National University Track & Field Championships in Kumamoto, Waseda University sophomore Suguru Osako added further evidence to back up the argument that he is Japan's best all-around university distance runner.  Consider everything he has done in the last 10 months:
  • An Asian junior area record 1:01:47 in his half marathon debut to win last November's Ageo City Half Marathon with the largest-ever margin of victory at the world's deepest half marathon
  • A solo 1:02:23 win with another commanding margin of victory on the 21.4 km First Stage at January's Hakone Ekiden, equivalent to a 1:01:31 half marathon
  • A 13:31.27 PB for 5000 m in May, the fastest in several years by a Japanese university runner
  • A 10000 m gold medal at last month's World University Games
At the National University Championships he ran a PB 3:45.06 to win the 1500 m national title over teammate and 1500 m specialist Tatsuro Okazaki (Waseda Univ.), giving Osako dominant performances at everything from 1500 m to half marathon.  All that is missing is a strong 10000 m PB run to match the marks set this season by Tetsuya Yoroizaka (27:44.30, Meiji Univ.) and Osako's former Saku Chosei H.S. teammate Akinobu Murasawa (28:00.78, Tokai Univ.), but that can't be far away.

With the fastest 5000 m PB in the field by a considerable margin Osako was also the favorite in the 5000 m, but his wins in both the heats and final of the 1500 m caught up to him as he was outrun by two first-years, Komazawa University's Kenta Murayama and the Stephen Mayaka-coached Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/Sozo Gakuen Univ.).  Murayama, who ran the all-time 3rd best Japanese high schooler 10000 m time of 28:23.18 in December, won out in a four-way sprint finish against Onsarigo, Osako and teammate Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.), clocking 13:54.00 to Onsarigo's 13:54.76.  Osako took 3rd a few steps back in 13:55.22.  Murayama's win was a landmark performance, the first time in 35 years that a Japanese first-year has won the Nationals 5000 m.  The last runner to achieve the feat?  The legendary Toshihiko Seko (Waseda Univ.).

In the women's 1500 m, Akane Yabushita of once-dominant Ritsumeikan University picked up her school's only national title of these championships, winning in 4:17.35 by more than one second over Chikako Mori of Daito Bunka University.  Yabushita's superb teammate Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) was the favorite in the 5000 m, but she lost out in a one-on-one match race against Nagoya University ace Ayuko Suzuki.  Suzuki had an excellent kick over the last lap to take Takenaka down, 15:44.02 to 15:44.88.  Chinami Mori of defending national champion Bukkyo University was 11 seconds back in 3rd, meaning Bukkyo's distance squad came up empty-ended at this year's championships.

2011 National University Track & Field Championships
Kumamoto, 9/9-11/11
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m
1. Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:54.00
2. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/Sozo Gakuen Univ.) - 13:54.76
3. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 13:55.22
4. Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:56.62
5. Hideyuki Tanaka (Juntendo Univ.) - 14:02.65

Women's 5000 m
1. Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) - 15:44.02
2. Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:44.88
3. Chinami Mori (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:55.35
4. Mai Ishibashi (Bukkyo Univ.) - 16:05.12
5. Sayuri Oka (Osaka Taiku Univ.) - 16:05.44

Men's 1500 m
1. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 3:45.06
2. Tatsuro Okazaki (Waseda Univ.) - 3:45.17
3. Toshihiro Kenmotsu (Int'l Pacific Univ.) - 3:46.91
4. Keisuke Hirata (Josai Univ.) - 3:47.70
5. Ryota Matono (Juntendo Univ.) - 3:49.09

Women's 1500 m
1. Akane Yabushita (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 4:17.35
2. Chikako Mori (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 4:18.70
3. Haruka Mochizuki (Juntendo Univ.) - 4:20.72
4. Satoe Kikuchi (Matsuyama Univ.) - 4:21.40
5. Risa Shibuya (Bukkyo Univ.) - 4:22.02

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Anonymous said…
Ayuko Suzuki is not a member of Meijo University.
She is a student at Nagoya University.
Brett Larner said…
Whoops, right you are. Wrong expansion from the 名大given in the results. Thanks for catching that.

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Katanishi Scores Best-Ever Japanese Collegiate Placing at United Airlines NYC Half

Wearing bib #21 on his 21st birthday, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa University) turned in the best-ever Japanese collegiate placing at the United Airlines NYC Half, taking 7th in 1:03:05 just 26 seconds off the win.

Katanishi and his Komazawa teammate Shogo Ise earned invites to the NYC Half by taking the top two Japanese collegiate spots at last November's Ageo City Half Marathon. Off the tougher new New York course both Katanishi and Ise ran in the lead group for the first two-thirds of the race, Ise near the front and Katanishi biding his time at the back of the pack. When the first real move came on the uphill approaching Times Square Katanishi was quick to reposition himself into the top three just off the shoulder of leader Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.), staying in the action and looking smooth through the first set of Central Park hills. "I just took the early part easy and watched the others and what was going," Kat…