Skip to main content

Nihon University's Benjamin Gandu to Join Bar-Sponsored Monteroza Team

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/news/130131/prl13013113380032-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

The Monteroza corporation, owner of bar chains Shirokiya, Uotami and Warawara, announced on Feb. 1 that Nihon University's Benjamin Gandu, winner of the highly competitive Second Stage at the Jan. 1-2 Hakone Ekiden, will join the company as a member of its track and field team following his graduation next month.  Running against other schools' best athletes on the Second Stage, Gandu passed twelve people to complete the 23.4 km stage in 1:08:46, the fastest of the day.  After joining the company Gandu will continue to use Nihon University's facilities as his training base, working to improve his track and half marathon times before moving on to a career in the marathon. Gandu commented, "I've very happy to have the opportunity to have a career as an athlete through the support of Monteroza.  With their backing my goal is to run the Olympic marathon."  Gandu will next race in the Feb. 3 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, where he was 4th last year in a PB of 1:01:06.  He was born May 21, 1991 in Kenya.

The Monteroza team was founded in April, 2003 when a new employee with a background as an athlete joined the company.  This year it celebrates 10 years of competition.  The nine current members, all top-class Japanese athletes, compete in disciplines including hurdles, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, discus, javelin, decathlon and long distance. Not limited only to domestic competition, Monteroza athletes have competed against the best in the world at the World Championships and Asian Games.

In addition to competing, team members are actively helping to fight the growing lack of physical fitness among elementary school students by hosting children's programs across the country, showing the nation's kids what elite athletes can do and sharing with them the fun and excitement of track and other sports.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…