Skip to main content

Mathathi Headlines 2012 Sapporo International Half Marathon Elite Field

By Brett Larner

The organizers of the 2012 Sapporo International Half Marathon have released the elite invited field of eight men and eight women for this year's 55th running, scheduled for July 1.  The 1:30 p.m. start time in recent years has meant slower times, but Sapporo remains Japan's deepest summer road race and always delivers.

At the top of the men's field is Kenyan great Martin Mathathi (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), who set a searing course record of 58.56 on the aided Great North Run course last fall.  Sapporo will be Mathathi's next step along a course to a planned marathon debut at this December's Fukuoka International Marathon.  Alongside him are 2011 Fukuoka winner Josphat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.), national record holder Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku), and London Olympic marathoners Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) and Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express), both of whom set half marathon bests at February's Marugame International Half Marathon.

London Olympics women's marathon alternate Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) tops the women's list, where she will face the likes of 2012 National University Half Marathon champion Ayame Takagi (Meijo Univ.), 2012 Sendai International Half Marathon winner Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) and 2011 Ichinoseki International Half Marathon winner Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC).

Look for additional noteworthy names to surface unexpectedly in both the men's and women's general elite field, typically not announced prior to the race.  Check back closer to race date for more information on live coverage of this year's Sapporo International Half Marathon.

55th Sapporo International Half Marathon
Sapporo, Hokkaido, 7/1/12

Men
Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 58:56a (Great North Run 2011)
Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:00:25 (World Half 2007)
Josphat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 1:01:07 (Ras Al Khaimah 2010)
Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) - 1:01:34 (Marugame 2012)
Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 1:01:41 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2009)
Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) - 1:01:54 (Marugame 2012)
Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) - 1:02:17 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2009)
Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda) - 1:02:32 (Marugame 2002)

Women
Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 1:08:11 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2008)
Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:09:23 (Sanyo Women's 2011)
Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:10:03 (Sanyo Women's  2011)
Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 1:10:50 (Marugame 2011)
Ayame Takagi (Meijo Univ.) - 1:11:10 (Nat'l Univ. Women's Half 2012)
Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) - 1:11:21 (Sendai 2012)
Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) - 1:11:22 (Ichinoseki 2011)
Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) - 1:11:43 (Miyazaki Women's 2010)

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

JAAF Announces Preliminary Team for London World Championships

A day after the end of the 2017 Japanese National Track and Field Championships, the JAAF announced its preliminary team for August's London World Championships. No men made the team in long distance, while no women were named in any event except long distance. Top-placing athletes at the National Championships have until July 23 to chase standards in hope of being added to the team, but excluding the marathon and race walk, the team as announced on June 26:

Women's Long Distance
Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 5000 m
Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 5000 m / 10000 m
Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 10000 m
Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 10000 m

Men's Sprints
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 100 m / 200 m
Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 100 m
Aska Cambridge (Nike) - 100 m
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 200 m
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 400 m

Additional Relay Members
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 4x100 m
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 4x100 m
Kentaro Sato (Fujitsu) -…

Itagaki Runs Second-Fastest 100 km Ever to Win Lake Saroma

The IAAF-certified Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon took place June 25 along the lake's interior shore in the Okhotsk coast towns of Yubetsu, Saroma and Kitami, the selection race for the Japanese national team for the 2018 IAU 100 km World Championships.

Three weeks after winning the JAL Chitose Marathon in 2:17:19, Tatsuya Itagaki (Sapporo Kokusai Univ.) won the men's race for the second year in a row. His time of 6:14:18 was the second-fastest ever run for 100 km on the roads, missing the 6:13:33 world record set at Lake Saroma in 1998 by Takahiro Sunada by just 45 seconds after going through halfway in 3:00:50.

In the women's race 2009 Berlin World Championships marathon 7th-placer and 2010 Nagoya International Women's winner Yuri Kano (Will Forward RC) ran 7:37:21 to win her debut.



32nd Lake Saroma Ultramarathon
Yubetsu, Hokkaido, 6/25/17

Men's 100 km
1. Tatsuya Itagaki (Sapporo Kokusai Univ.) - 6:14:18
2. Yasuyuki Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 6:29:52
3. Nao K…