Skip to main content

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

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kusu Runs Steeplechase World-Leading Time, Yabuta and Yoshimura Break National Records, Tanaka Just Misses Fukushi's NR - Kitami and Liege Highlights

Wednesday afternoon and evening saw the fourth meet in this year's five-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series, this time in the town of Kitami. The program included the little-raced 2000 m steeplechase as a tuneup for Monday's series-closing Abashiri meet, and in both the women's and men's races the national records went down. A top collegiate steepler while at Kyoto Sangyo University, Yui Yabuta (Otsuka Seiyaku) ran 6:27.74 to break the women's record. In the men's race 1500 m specialist Yasunari Kusu (Ami AC) surprised many by breaking the Japanese national record with a world-leading 5:31.82 despite little experience in the steeple.

The women's 3000 m in Kitami was more explicitly set up as a national record attempt, with four of the ten fastest Japanese women ever over the distance lined up to gun for the great Kayoko Fukushi's 8:44.40 record dating back to 2002. From the gun it was out at NR pace, with pacers Hellen Ekalale (Toyota Jidoshokki) an…

Lemeteki and Aoki Win Shibestu Half

Kenyan Razini Lemeteki (Takushoku Univ.) and relative unknown Nanami Aoki (Iwatani Sangyo) took the top spots in hot and sunny conditions at the Shibetsu Half Marathon in Hokkaido. With Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) doing early frontrunning in the men's race only to fade to a 20th-place finish in 1:06:40 Lemeteki had little competition for the win in 1:03:25. 2017 Shibetsu winner Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) was the top Japanese man at 2nd in 1:03:42, beating MGC Race Olympic marathon trials qualifiers Daichi Kamino (New Balance) and Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) - by 4 seconds and 11 seconds. Other MGC Race qualifiers Masato Imai (Toyota Jidoshokki), Yuji Iwata (MHPS) and Ryo Kiname (MHPS) all struggled, none of them breaking 66 minutes.

Aoki won the women's race easily in 1:15:12 by almost a minute over Mai Nagaoka (Sysmex). MGC Race qualifiers Reia Iwade (Under Armour) and Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) were listed to start but apparently did not run.
33rd Suffolkland Shibets…

Japan Tops Universiade Medal Count With 33 Golds

A global celebration of university student sports, the closing ceremonies for 30th anniversary Summer Universiade took place July 14 in Napoli, Italy to bring 12 days of competition across a range of collegiate sports. Japanese athletes took part in all 15 categories of competition, winning a total of 33 gold medals to rank #1 worldwide in the medal count standings. Japanese athletes also won 21 silver medals and 28 bronze for a total of 82 medals overall, also ranking #1. Russia scored 82 medals total but had 22 golds, with China 3rd at 22 golds and 43 medals overall. The U.S.A. was 4th.

Just before the start of the closing ceremonies, Japanese delegation leader Ichiro Hoshino gave a positive evaluation of the teams's performance, saying, "I believe that our athletes in each area of competition carried their weight to help achieve this excellent result, and that that will provide momentum in Tokyo 2020." The next Summer Universiade takes place in Chengdu, China in 2021…