http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/okayama/news/20120530-OYT8T01297.htm?from=topics_p_osaka translated by Brett Larner The Bizen Municipal Track & Field Association held a public pilgrimage from City Hall to Ebisu Shrine starting at midnight on May 30 to pray for the fortunes of locally-born London Olympics marathoner Risa Shigetomo (24, Team Tenmaya). Held at the unusual starting time in order to coordinate with the TAFISA World Challenge Day international amateur sports and physical fitness promotion event, the 1.2 km pilgrimage was billed by organizers as "The earliest walk in Japan." 37 members of the Bizen City Junior Track & Field Club, to which Shigetomo belonged during her days a student at Bizen J.H.S., took part. Participants arrived at Ebisu Shrine roughly 20 minutes after leaving City Hall, their journey ending with a climb up steep stone steps to the shrine leaving them a little out of breath on their arrival. Shigetomo's former coach at the
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20120530-959350.html translated and edited by Brett Larner The highlight of the first half of track season, the 96th National Track and Field Championships , is getting set to kick off June 8-10 at Osaka's Nagai Stadium. Doubling as the Japanese Olympic Trials, any athlete holding an Olympic A-qualifying mark who wins their event at Nationals will earn their place on the Olympic team then and there. The day after the Championships, June 11, the complete Olympic team apart from relay squads will be announced. Having failed in her bid to make the marathon squad, multiple national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (30, Team Wacoal), will seek for her third-straight Olympic 5000 m and 10000 m double. If she is anywhere near her normal strength there is almost no chance she will lose the 10000 m. If anyone can score an upset it will be Hitomi Niiya (24, Team Universal Entertainment). In her 10000 m debut she won April
http://www.nagasaki-np.co.jp/kiji/20120529/02.shtml translated by Brett Larner Corporate women's track and field teams Juhachi Ginko and Kagoshima Ginko of Kagoshima, Higo Ginko of Kumamoto and Toto of Fukuoka, began a joint training camp together in Shimahara, Nagasaki on May 21. Fifty athletes participated in the nine day, eight night program in and around the Shimahara Municipal Track and Field Grounds and Shimahara Fukko Arena. The joint training camp was the brainchild of Team Juhachi Ginko head coach Koji Takagi . Through the assistance of the parent Juhachi Ginko bank, Takagi was able to enlist the brand-new bank-sponsored Kagoshima Ginko and Higo Ginko teams, training together for the first time last July in Kuju, Oita. For the second joint camp this time they were invited to Shimahara, the site of Team Juhachi Ginko's regular training camps. Team Toto was a new addition. The athletes' training at the camp including shifting pace 10000 m and 5000 m
by Brett Larner Two weeks out from the 2012 National Track and Field Championships in Osaka, the second-to-last Nittai University Time Trials meet of the season was relatively quiet. Olympic track favorites Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) faced off against African newcomers Demmababa Bikila (Team Kanebo), Hassan Agatoyashin (Team Chuo Hatsujo) and Johana Maina (Team Fujitsu) over 5000 m with a challenge from Toyo University ace Yuta Shitara . All six took their turns leading, but Sato and Ugachi pulled away over a faster second half to turn the race into a duel, Sato taking the win by three seconds in 13:43.01. Seven men altogether cleared 14 minutes, Shitara recording a new PB of 13:51.16. But the big result of the meet came in the men's 800 m A-heat, where national high school record holder Sho Kawamoto (Nihon Univ.), who hails from the distance-running Mecca of Saku, Nagano, raced national record holder Masato Yokota
http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/WHM12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=65092 Almost simultaneously with the BUPA London 10,000, defending Ottawa Marathon champion Laban Moiben (Kenya) ran 2:09:13 to break Fujiwara's 2010 CR by 21 seconds . Moiben was the runner-up behind Fujiwara by 10 seconds in 2010. Ottawa was the only world-class marathon to have a CR held by a Japanese man. Note that the IAAF story on Moiben's CR incorrectly reports Fujiwara's old CR as 2:09:44, which was Moiben's time in that race, rather than as 2:09:34.
http://www.the-star.co.ke/sports/sports/77164--karoki-sure-of-making-team-to-london-olympic-games Thanks to Run Kenya for sending this link. Karoki is a graduate of Hiroshima's Sera H.S. and runs for the Saitama-based Team S&B which includes marathon great Toshihiko Seko among its coaching and management staff.
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/hokkaido/sports/news/20120524-OHT1T00161.htm translated and edited by Brett Larner In the men's 5000 m first-round heats on the second day of the Hokkaido regional qualifier for the National High School Track and Field Championships, May 23 at Sapporo's Atsubetsu Park Field, the first Kenyan to ever run the meet, Sapporo Yamanote H.S. first-year Charles Ndungu made history with the meet's first-ever sub-14 clocking as he won his heat in 13:58.83. Both a personal best and the Hokkaido international student high school record, Ndungu's shocking debut took him to the final as the top seed. His performance marked the beginning of a new era in Hokkaido high school boys' distance running. In only the first-round heats of the 5000 m Ndungu surged hard over the last lap, battling a strong headwind as he came down the home straight in first place. When the digital clock showed his time of 13:58.83 a huge roar of cheering and applause c
The Daihatsu women's team posted this video of London Olympics marathon team member Ryoko Kizaki and her teammate, 2:24:28 marathoner Remi Nakazato , training in Flagstaff, Arizona on its website . According to the splits being called out, in the early part of the video the group is running just under 4:00/km pace. After the jump Kizaki and Nakazato are running roughly 3:35/km, closing with a 3:28 before doing some sprints. Nakazato's comments: I'm Remi Nakazato. Right now I'm based in Flagstaff in the United States. Every day I'm training hard with all my great teammates. Since I got here I've been feeling better and better, so the workouts have been really fulfilling and day-to-day life has been a lot of fun. My next race is the National Track and Field Championships in Osaka in June. I'm from Osaka, so I want to run the kind of race that's going to make everybody who comes to watch happy. I also want to tell everyone who ordinarily supp
http://www.daily.co.jp/gossip/article/2012/05/25/0005081854.shtml translated and edited by Brett Larner On May 24, comedians Tamori (66) and Tsurubei Shofukutei (60) appeared with SMAP members Masahiro Nakai (39), Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (37) and Shingo Katori (35) at a press event annouｎcing Fuji TV's July 21 "FNS 27-Hour TV 'It's OK to Laugh!' Midsummer Super Unity Special." Kusanagi revealed that during the 27-hour live broadcast he will run a 100 km ultramarathon. With regard to the program's theme of "unity," Kusanagi said, "I'm going to be number one, thanks to the power of unity! If you all give me your support and hope, that is. I think it's going to be really hard but I'll do my best," promising to deliver an "emotional run."
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/athletics/news/20120521-OHT1T00218.htm translated by Brett Larner Cambodian Olympic Committee director Vath Chamrouen announced on May 21 that 800 m runner Kieng Samorn has been named to the Cambodian Olympic team. Samorn is a replacement for Japanese-born comedian Hiroshi Neko (born Kuniaki Takizaki) who changed his citizenship in a bid to make the Cambodian Olympic team in the men's marathon. Neither Samorn nor Neko has run an Olympic-qualifying time. Translator's note: Having no athletes qualified for any track and field event, Cambodia is entitled to send one athlete in an event of its choosing in a special exemption granted under Olympic rules. Samorn was chosen over marathon national record holder Hem Bunting , who had been ignored in favor of Neko despite running a new national record at April's Paris Marathon seven minutes' faster than Neko's best time.
by Brett Larner On the second of two straight weeks of regional track championship meets the most exciting racing came at the biggest Japanese collegiate meet, the Kanto Regional University Track & Field Championships. Mai Shinozuka (Chuo University) won the women's 5000 m to record her second-straight 5000 m - 10000 m double. Looking to complete a 1500 m - 5000 m - 10000 m triple, Kenyan first-year Enoch Omwamba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) fell victim to Waseda University ace Suguru Osako , who came on strong late in the race to win the Division 1 men's 5000 m in 13:47.44 less than a second ahead of Omwamba. The Division 2 race was dominated by two new African first-years from relatively unknown schools. William Malel (Kenya/Sozo Gakuen Univ.) won in a meet-record 13:25.82 as Leul Gebresilase (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.), a rare Ethiopian collegiate, held of Komazawa University's Shinobu Kubota for 2nd in 13:55.25. Top-ranked Kenyan Benjamin Gandu (Nihon Univ.) ro
Haile Gebrselassie leads Tsegaye Kebede and Ayele Abshero in front of Manchester United's home ground Old Trafford. http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/LRR12/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=65030 Translator's note: Ishikawa's Honda teammate Takahiro Yamanaka finished 16th at the Great Manchester Run in 29:54. 2008 Osaka International Women's Marathon winner Mara Yamauchi (GBR) was 6th in the women's race in 32:28. Elsewhere overseas, national champion Team Nissin Shokuhin's Manabu Itayama was 7th at the Jakarta International 10 km road race in 31:33 while sub-2:10 man Tomoya Shimizu (Team Sagawa Express) ran 2:16:57 to take 2nd at the Riga Marathon, his teammate Masanori Ishida 6th in 2:23:00. Men's marathon world record holder Patrick Makau watches the start of the City Games Manchester men's 150 m. photos (c) 2012 Brett Larner all rights reserved
http://jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2012052000089 translated and edited by Brett Larner In the race's second running, held May 20, 2007 Osaka World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) won his second-straight Naoko Takahashi Cup Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon in a time of 1:01:29. London Olympics marathon team member Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) was the top Japanese finisher, 6th overall in 1:03:05, while civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) was 12th in 1:04:13. Both Fujiwara and Kawauchi ran last weekend's Sendai International Half Marathon as well, with Fujiwara marking a faster time in Gifu. "Running consistently two weeks in a row makes me feel like I've got the risks involved with what I want to do [at the Olympics] under control," said Fujiwara of his performance, which confirmed that he is able to produce desired results even under unfavorable conditions. To simulate the heat he is likely t
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/olympic/news/2012/05/19/kiji/K20120519003285991.html translated and edited by Brett Larner At the Chugoku Corporate Track & Field Championships May 19 at Hiroshima's Miyoshi Sports Park Field, London Olympics women's marathon team member Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) won the 10000 m title in a new PB of 33:25.48. "It wasn't as fast as I wanted," she said afterwards, indicating the main task she has ahead of her in the time left until the Olympics. Shigetomo had not raced since winning January's Osaka International Women's Marathon. She took the 10000 m out hard, running alone with focus, but with lost training due to sciatic nerve problems she has been suffering since mid-March she was forced to scale back her target time by one minute. Her coach Yutaka Taketomi commented, "We knew she wasn't in shape yet. The goal now is to get her legs strong." At the end of the month Shigetomo will run the Bupa
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2012/05/19/kiji/K20120519003286760.html translated by Brett Larner London Olympics men's marathon team member Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) set a 10000 m PB May 19 at Sayagatani Field in Kita-Kyushu, finishing 9th at the Kyushu Corporate Track & Field Championships in 28:54.59. "A PB makes me feel pretty good inside about things," Nakamoto commented with a smile. "I'll be going into marathon training in good shape." Nakamoto's previous best time was 29:04.24. In today's race he stuck to the back of the lead pack, saving his energy for a intended surge over the final stage but unable to execute as planned. "My closing speed is still a problem," he said without seeming too concerned. His coach Naoki Yamagashira said, "We achieved our goal of improving his track speed. He scored 100% today." Next up Nakamoto will run the Bupa London 10000 road race on April 27 as par
by Brett Larner A second-straight weekend of regional track and field championship meets takes place across Japan this weekend. The highlight is the second half of Japan's most competitive university meet, the Kanto Regional University Track & Field Championships, featuring the men's and women's 5000 m and men's half-marathon. Kanto is relatively weak for women's running, but four women entered in the 5000 m have bests under 16 minutes and another half-dozen are close so look for a quality race between defending champion Mai Shinozuka (Chuo Univ.), Nanaka Izawa (Juntendo Univ.), Azusa Kurusu (Juntendo Univ.), twins Haruka and Moe Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.), Narumi Shirataki (Hakuoh Univ.) and more. Having already won the Division 1 1500 m and 10000 m titles last weekend, Kenyan 1st-yr Enoch Omwamba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) will be looking to complete the triple crown in the D1 5000 m where he will face the likes of sub-28 10000 m men Akinobu Murasa
by Brett Larner In addition to the big Golden Games in Nobeoka and the Kanto and Kansai Regional University Track & Field Championships, several regional corporate championship meets also saw noteworthy results over the weekend. At the Chugoku Jitsugyodan Championships in Hiroshima, former Sera H.S. ace Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) continued his unbeaten streak in his second pro race, scoring his tenth-straight win by winning the 5000 m in 13:42.00 by a margin of over 18 seconds. Team Tenmaya runners made up the majority of the field in the women's 5000 m, with young Akari Ota winning in 16:05.99. Tenmaya's former great Yurika Nakamura continued her apparent downward spiral, 15th in 17:47.93. Almost on a par with Ndirangu's performance was that of year-leading half-marathoner Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota), who beat a pack of Kenyans including 2011 Fukuoka International Marathon winner Samuel Ndungu (Team Aichi Seiko) to set a meet record 13:43.97 in t
by Brett Larner scroll down to results for video of all races The first university to bring Kenyans to run in Japan, Yamanashi Gakuin University debuted its newest find, first-year Enock Omwamba , on the first weekend of Japan's biggest and best university meet, the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships, May 12-13 in Tokyo's National Stadium. Omwamba got the weekend started by taking down rival Nihon University's Kenyan first-year Daniel Kitonyi in the 1500 m, winning the final in 3:45.92. Returning the next day in the 10000 m, Omwamba stayed at the rear of the lead pack throughout the race as Nihon University senior Benjamin Gandu battled with Hakone Ekiden winner Toyo University's ace twins Keita Shitara and Yuta Shitara . The Shitara twins worked together to crack Gandu and other at the front of the race, alternating the lead and pushing the pace until they were alone. Omwamba came on strong in the final 2000 m, gaining contact with t
by Brett Larner Cancelled following last year's disasters, the Sendai International Half Marathon returned May 13 in a new format putting more emphasis on mass participation and less on the elite race with a notable absence of any foreign competition based outside Japan. The women's division suffered when former national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) scratched earlier this week, but in her place the young Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) came through with a PB of 1:11:21 for the win over Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera), dropping her late in the race after dueling much of the way. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) was a distant 3rd in 1:13:21. In the men's race, Kenyan newcomer Johana Maina (Team Fujitsu) easily won in 1:01:34, going out in front of elder teammate Daniel Gitau (Team Fujitsu) and gradually ratcheting up his pace. The popular Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) tried to run with Gitau but soon faded back into the all-Japanese chase pack led by Olymp
by Brett Larner After failing to qualify for the London Olympics in the marathon, 5000 m national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) successfully regrouped at the May 12 Golden Games in Nobeoka meet, clearing the Olympic A-standard as she narrowly finished 2nd behind Kenyan Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko) 15:18.01 to 15:18.46. No other women were even close to the lead pair, with Ai Igarashi (Team Sysmex) 3rd in 15:33.80. The bid for Olympic A qualifying times in the men's 10000 m was less successful. Waseda University 3rd-year Suguru Osako , the Asian half-marathon junior record holder, 2011 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and 1500 m national university 1500 m champion, emerged from a small pack chasing the time behind pacer and Osaka WC bronze medalist Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) to give it a good shot but faded over the last 2000 m. He nevertheless succeeded in breaking 28 for the first time, 2nd in a photo-finish with Mathathi in 2
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/athletics/news/20120511-OHT1T00217.htm translated by Brett Larner London Olympics men's marathon team member Arata Fujiwara (30, Miki House) attended an Olympic sendoff party held by his alma mater Takushoku University in Tokyo on May 11 together with his fellow Olympic marathoner Kentaro Nakamoto (29, Team Yasukawa Denki), one year below him at Takushoku. The pair vowed to work together to target the top. As students at Takushoku Fujiwara and Nakamoto were roommates. "He is a great role model. Standing on the same starting line at the Olympics, I want to work together," Nakamoto declared. Fujiwara told the party's attendees with conviction, "Nakamoto wasn't really an athlete you would have noticed, but I always thought he was going to become strong. We're going to focus everything we have and aim for the top." The pair received advice and encouragement from Takushoku alumnus Shuichi Yoneshige (50),
by Brett Larner This weekend is the first of two successive weekends featuring regional track championships and an elite half marathon. The Kansai Regional University T&F Championships , the most competitive university women's region in the country, starts things off May 10 and runs through the 13th, the first major meet following the graduation of Bukkyo University's collegiate 10000 m record holder Hikari Yoshimoto (Team Yamada Denki). Entry list standouts include Chinami Mori (Bukkyo Univ.), Sayuri Oka (Osaka Taiku Univ.) and Eriko Kushima (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.). The Kanto Region University T&F Championships , the center of university men's running and typically a higher-level meet than the National University Championships, is split between this weekend and next. Women's competition is thinner than in Kansai, but the meet will see talented twins Haruka and Moe Kyuma making their Regionals debut for Tsukuba University in the 10000 m. The men
http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2012/05/20120509t14021.htm translated by Brett Larner Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and invited athlete Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) has withdrawn from the May 13 Sendai International Half Marathon due to poor physical condition. Noguchi set the still-standing women's marathon national record of 2:19:12 at the 2005 Berlin Marathon and went on to run both the 2007 and 2008 Sendai International Half Marathons as an invited athlete. In March this year she ran her first full marathon in four years, four months, finishing 6th at the Nagoya Women's Marathon and missing her chance at making a third-straight Olympic team.
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2012/05/09/kiji/K20120509003210830.html translated and edited by Brett Larner It's time to start stitching up that special new outfit. London Olympics marathon team member Arata Fujiwara (30, Tokyo T&F Assoc.) returned to Japan's Narita Airport May 8 from training in California. "My base training is done," he said of his time overseas. The former "independent runner" has signed a sponsorship contract with children's clothing manufacturer Miki House, and, according to an involved party, "The new uniform has to be put together as quickly as possible." At the Olympics Fujiwara will wear the national team uniform, but in other races he must wear his new uniform sporting the Miki House logo. It's a rush job, but he hopes to debut his new outfit at the May 13 Sendai International Half Marathon. On May 9 he will officially sign a contract, with Miki House president Koichi Kimura (67) schedul
http://www.47news.jp/CN/201205/CN2012050801001972.html translated by Brett Larner On May 8 it was announced that the IAAF has sent a ruling to the Cambodian federation that Japanese comedian Hiroshi Neko (34, born Kuniaki Takizaki ), who changed his citizenship last October with the aim of making Cambodia's London Olympic team in the marathon, does not satisfy Olympic entry qualifications. Cambodia had already announced Neko as a member of its Olympic team, but the IAAF's decision kills his Olympic ambitions. Cambodian Olympic Committee executive member Vath Chamrouen commented, "We're not going to take this any further. We're going to pick someone else as soon as possible and send another athlete." Translator's note: Cambodian national record holder Hem Bunting broke his own mark with a new national record of 2:23:29 at April's Paris Marathon, almost seven minutes faster than Neko's PB set at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in Febr
http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/other/athletic/headlines/20120507-00000043-kyodo_sp-spo.html translated by Brett Larner The Japanese federation Rikuren announced May 7 that it is organizing a pre-Olympics base for its marathon team in the London suburbs and that team members will conduct their final training there beginning in July. In response to the marathon squad's complete failure at the Beijing Olympics after one after another of them got injured, this will be Rikuren's first attempt at having its athletes dedicate themselves to working together and sharing their information and know-how. Rikuren has previously left final training up to each athlete's individual camp, but, said a party involved with the federation's strengthening committee, "We want to make sure that each athlete is fully acclimated to London's weather and environment and to be sure of their condition so that they arrive at the Olympics in peak form." Rikuren also indicated th
by Brett Larner click any meet name for complete results Japan's Golden Week national holidays saw a series of meets with noteworthy long distance results across the country. At the April 29 Nobeoka Spring Time Trials meet, 13:18 man Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) continued his comeback from a year of injury in 2011 with a 13:50.27 win in the 5000 m A-heat. Former sub-28 high school sensation Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei) was likewise under 14 after a seemingly endless series of injuries. Closer to Tokyo, five-time women's 1500 m national champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) had an easy win in 3000 m at the Tokai University Time Trials meet, winning in 9:03.72 over teammate Akiko Matsuyama 's 9:22.60. Mitsuya and Ono doubled in the 10000 m four days later at the May 3rd Nobeoka Time Trials meet, going 1-2 with Mitsuya getting the win again in 28:49.61. Olympic marathon team member Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) returned to competition for t
Today I attended an event at the Berlin Sports Museum's AIMS Marathon - Museum of Running through an invitation from Berlin Marathon founder Horst Milde and Dr. Helmut Winter . A few pictures from the day: 1936 Berlin Olympics marathon gold medalist Sohn Kee Chung of Korea with eyes covered and downcast to avoid looking at the Japanese flag and doing his best to cover the Rising Sun on his chest during the medal ceremony. The Naoko Takahashi booth, including one of the shoes she wore in her historic first-ever women's sub-2:20 WR at the 2001 Berlin Marathon. Berlin Marathon founder Horst Milde (center) with the first two Berlin Marathon winners, 1974 champ Guenter Hallas (right) and 1975 winner Ralf Bachroeder (left) Presenting the rarest and strangest race t-shirt in my collection, a signed shirt from the cancelled 30th anniversary running of the Kanagawa Half Marathon featuring a picture of an aged 1988 Seoul Olympics marathon gold med