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Golden Week Long Distance Track Roundup

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 the first time since his 2:08:53 PB at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 14th in 29:37.23.  The same day at the Shizuoka International meet, women's 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) got her Olympic season off to a good start, winning the 5000 m in 15:30.95 over a solid field including 5000 m national champion Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno), ekiden ace Yurie Doi (Team Starts), Kenyans Susan Wairimu and Grace Kimanzi and others.  Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) came out on top of the men's 5000 m in 13:19.18 against top-ranked Kenyan competition including Martin Mathathi (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and John Thuo (Team Toyota) and past 1500 m and 5000 m Japanese national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B).  Also on the 3rd, dominant high schooler Shiori Yano (Kita Kyushu Civic H.S.) won the National Junior Championships women's 5000 m in 15:59.93 in a sprint finish against twins Moe and Haruka Kyuma, 16:02.45 and 16:03.90 in their debuts wearing the Tsukuba University uniform.  Ken Yokote likewise made his debut for Meiji University, winning the boys' 10000 m in 29:24.79 by a margin of over 45 seconds.  Kota Murayama (Josai Univ.) won the boys' 5000 m in a modest 14:23.06, narrowly outkicking his twin Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) and Genki Yagisawa (Meiji Univ.), both of whom were also under 14:24.

The May 6 Golden Grand Prix Kawasaki meet was light on distance action but did feature a world-leading 8:18.06 by Kenyan Jairus Kipchoge in the men's 3000 m SC, where the top four men all broke the meet record.  Thicker distance action came at the nearby Nittai University Time Trials meet split over May 5 and 6.  JRN independent favorite Minami Yamanouchi (Koriyama Hosei H.S. AC) was the star of the weekend, showing up in her characteristic heavy t-shirt and baggy basketball shorts to win the 3000 m A-heat in 9:30.55 on the 5th, then returning less than 24 hours later to take down a pro field including 10000 m national record holder Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and 2010 Nagoya International Women's Marathon winner Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido) as she won the women's 5000 m A-heat in 16:05.13.  Making up for a poor 25th-place showing at last month's Nittai Time Trials, Kenyan Johnson Kiumbani (Team Konica Minolta) outran teammate Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) by a step to win the men's 5000 m A-heat in 13:48.11.  Naohiro Domoto (Team JR Higashi Nihon) was the top Japanese finisher, 3rd in 13:56.86.

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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2019 Japanese Distance Rankings

JRN's 2019 Japanese track and road distance running rankings. Overall rankings are calculated using runners' times and placings in races over 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and marathon and the strength of these performances relative to others in the top ten in each category. Distances will be added as the season progresses. Click any image to enlarge.


Past years:
2018 ・ 2017 ・ 2016・ 2015 ・ 2014 ・ 2013 ・ 2012 ・ 2011

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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