Skip to main content

Japanese World Cross-Country Team Rosters

by Brett Larner

With a few exceptions cross-country has never been a major part of Japanese long-distance methodology, but each World Cross-Country Championships sees a roster featuring many of Japan's best.  London Olympian Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) heads the senior women's squad for Sunday's Worlds in Bydgoszcz, Poland, accompanied by the runner-up in last weekend's National Corporate Half Marathon Championships, Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) and top-ranked collegiate Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya University).  2013 Hakone Ekiden winner Nittai University fields three members of its champion team, Takumi Honda and Keigo Yano in the senior men's race and 1st-year Hideto Yamanaka leading the junior men's squad.  Alongside Yamanaka is Tadashi Isshiki of 2012 National High School Ekiden champion Toyokawa H.S.  Curiously, the senior men's team includes only four athletes, with top-ranked men Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.), Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) and Yuya Konishi (Team Toyota Kyushu) having given Worlds a pass after finishing well at the Chiba and Fukuoka selection races.

As usual Japan's best chance of getting into the medals comes in the junior women's 6 km where it has a long streak of team medals.  With a 9:06.91 best for 3000 m Miyuki Uehara (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) is the top-ranked woman on the list, along with Nanami Aoki of 2012 National High School Ekiden winner Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. and Fukuoka International XC winner Azusa Sumi of runner-up Toyokawa H.S.

Two members of the Kenyan men's team also run for Japanese corporate teams.  On the junior team, Leonard Baroston runs for Tokyo-based Team Nissin Shokuhin, while on the senior team Jonathan Ndiku is a longtime member of Chiba-based Team Hitachi Butsuryu.

Senior Men's 12 km
Takumi Honda (Nittai University) 5000 m: 13:56.47   10000 m: 28:46.38   half: 1:02:37
Hiroyuki Ono (Team Nissin Shokuhin) 5000 m: 13:44.76   10000 m: 28:06.35   half: 1:03:30
Wataru Ueno (Komazawa University) 5000 m: 13:46.79   10000 m: 28:42.89   half: 1:02:50
Keigo Yano (Nittai University) 5000 m: 13:54.54   10000 m: 28:53.25   half: 1:03:16

Senior Women's 8 km
Yukari Abe (Team Shimamura) 5000 m: 15:53.03
Miho Ihara (Team Shikoku Denryoku) 5000 m: 15:48.23   10000 m: 32:18.00
Mai Ishibashi (Team Denso) 5000 m: 15:35.38   10000 m: 32:37.25
Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) 5000 m: 15:10.20   10000 m: 30:59.19   half: 1:11:41
Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) 5000 m: 15:34.21   10000 m: 32:27.56   half: 1:09:18
Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya University) 5000 m: 15:34.15

Junior Men's 8 km
Tatsuya Hayashi (Ishin H.S.) 5000 m: 14:05.90 10000 m: 29:20.35
Yuki Hirota (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) 5000 m: 14:07.85
Tadashi Isshiki (Toyokawa H.S.) 5000 m: 14:00.31
Yusuke Nishiyama (Iga Hakuo H.S.) 5000 m: 14:03.12
Kazuki Takahashi (Omagari Kogyo H.S.) 5000 m: 14:16.07
Hideto Yamanaka (Nittai University) 5000 m: 14:10.49   10000 m: 29:26.74

Junior Women's 6 km
Nanami Aoki (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) 3000 m: 9:17.14
Yui Fukuda (Suma Gakuen H.S.) 1500 m: 4:17.15
Maki Izumida (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) 3000 m: 9:13.30
Azusa Sumi (Toyokawa H.S.) 3000 m: 9:11.30
Miyuki Uehara (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) 3000 m: 9:06.91
Saki Yoshimizu (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) 3000 m: 9:19.31

(c) 2013 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…