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

Comments

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 Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…