Skip to main content

Komazawa Ace Junior Kubota Aiming for Hakone Win, World Championships Qualification in Marathon Debut at Lake Biwa

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/p-sp-tp0-20121215-1059960.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Their ace is leading the way to the crown.  Aiming for their first Hakone Ekiden win in five years at the 89th running of the race on Jan. 1-2, national champions Komazawa University held a public training session on Dec. 14 in Tokyo.  Having turned heads in November by running down leader Toyo University on the anchor stage to bring Komazawa its tenth National University Ekiden title and giving Beijing Olympics 5000 m bronze medalist Edwin Soi a run for it at the International Chiba Ekiden, junior Shinobu Kubota is now aiming for his second-straight Hakone stage win.  "Last time we weren't even close to being able to compete with Toyo," he says.  "The disappointment hasn't faded a year later.   If you're not #1 in Hakone then you can't really be called the best.  That's what I want to become."

He has further ambitions to appear in Moscow next year.  "I want to run the World Championships," he nods, confirming that after Hakone he plans to make his marathon debut at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.  Facing off against the likes of Yuki Kawauchi, Kubota hopes to do the exceptional and qualify for the Japanese World Championships marathon team as a student.  His goal time is a sub-2:10 clocking, a mark which would better the former national collegiate record of 2:10:07 set by Komazawa's Atsushi Fujita as a senior.  Fujita later went on to run a then-national record 2:06:51.  "I'm already doing longer runs in training," says Kubota, "but for the time being the focus is Hakone.  We are going to win."

Shinobu Kubota - Third-year, Komazawa University.  Born 12/12/91 in Fukui.  
5000 m: 13:49.53   10000 m: 28:07.01   half-marathon: 1:01:38

Translator's note: Aoyama Gakuin University junior Takehiro Deki and Waseda University junior Shota Hiraga debuted at the 2012 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon.  Deki ran 2:10:02 for 9th, with Hiraga running 2:16:30 for 32nd.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…