Skip to main content

Kizaki Cracks World Champs Standard With 2:23:34 Win in Nagoya

by Brett Larner

With temperatures in the high-mid teens on the first truly warm day of the year Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu), Japan's top woman at the London Olympics, became the first athlete male or female to break the Japanese Federation's tough sub-2:08 and sub-2:24 standards for the Moscow World Championships, blasting a PB of almost exactly 3 minutes to win the Nagoya Women's Marathon in 2:23:34.

After a passable comeback from over 4 years of injury in Nagoya last year, national record holder and Athens Olympics marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex)  brought much of the fury, refusing to settle for less as she ran even with the pacers and pushed them to go ahead of the scheduled 3:24/km target pace after an on-point 33:56 first 10 km.  A 3:17 split between 13 and 14 km took them to 15 km in 50:48 and dropped a handful of competitors from the pack including debuting Ome 30 km winner Asami Kato (Team Panasonic).

At halfway the lead group of Noguchi, Kizaki, Georgina Rono (Kenya), Margaret Agai (Kenya), Genet Getaneh (Ethiopia), Berhane Dibaba (Ethiopia) went through in a fine 1:11:32 with Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) and Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto) a stride or two behind.  Agai and Dibaba went to the front for the first time, taking the leaders through 25 km in 1:24:49 and opening a gap on Getaneh.  Favorite Rono joined them up front briefly but just before 30 km slipped backwards after a move by Dibaba and lost touch with the leaders, followed shortly by Agai.  At 30 km, hit in 1:41:54, it was down to Dibaba, Noguchi and Kizaki running single-file.

At an uphill at 33 km Noguchi made a move to go ahead, but Dibaba and Kizaki were right with her.  35 km came in 1:59:07, well on track for the sub-2:24 Federation standard.  Then a step at a time Noguchi began to lose touch, 2 seconds behind Dibaba and Kizaki at 36 km, 6 seconds at 37 km and on.  With 5 km Dibaba attacked, Kizaki slipping behind but quickly regaining her footing.  At 39 km it was Kizaki's turn for a move, then Dibaba again as they hit 40 km in 2:16:23.  Noguchi was 10 seconds behind.

With 2 km to go Kizaki attacked again, and this time it was for good.  As in her 2011 Yokohama win she showed superlative closing speed, a 3:18 from 40 to 41 km creating a 5 second gap over Dibaba that grew all the way to her 2:23:34 finish a full 17 seconds ahead, splitting 7:11 from 40k to the end.  Dibaba was likewise under 2:24 in a big new PB of 2:23:51.  14 seconds further back, Noguchi just missed the sub-2:24 standard but took 3rd in a solid 2:24:05, the fourth-best time of her career (!) and faster than Osaka runner-up Kyoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), heretofore the leading candidate for the Moscow team.  She's back.  Prokopcuka improved on her performance in Yokohama with a 2:25:46 for 4th, while Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto) followed up on the promise of her PB at last month's Marugame Half Marathon by smashing her 8 1/2-year-old best by 2 minutes to round out the top five in 2:26:17.

Although Nagoya was the final domestic selection race for Moscow, the London Marathon also factors into the calculations, and with at least three top-flight Japanese women, Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) and Remi Nakazato (Team Daihatsu) due to run there the team lineup is far from clear.  Kizaki is in, and Noguchi, who pre-race was vocal in her criticism of the current state of Japanese women's marathoning and its typical ignore-the-race-and-go-for-top-Japanese mentality best exemplified by top Yokohama Japanese finisher Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Univ. Ent.), has a good chance after making the race and finishing with a strong time and placing 10 years after her silver at the Paris World Championships.  The top two Japanese women in Osaka, Fukushi and the young Yuko Watanabe (Team Edion) are also in the fold for the team after strong runs.  If one or two of the women in London run 2:25 or faster the Federation will have plenty of choices in putting together a team without having to resort to including Nasukawa.  Presumably the sub-2:24 time standard was an indication that they expect more than just shooting to be the top Japanese.  The exclusion of the Yoshio Koide-coached Nasukawa would send the clear and necessary message that that kind of mindset is not going to be tolerated or rewarded any more.  But regardless of their final decision, it was refreshing to see Japanese women running like their reputation of old, up front, in control and ambitious.

2013 Nagoya Women's Marathon
Nagoya, 3/10/13
click here for complete results

1. Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - 2:23:34 - PB
2. Berhane Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 2:23:51 - PB
3. Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) - 2:24:05
4. Jelena Prokopcuka (Latvia) - 2:25:46
5. Eri Hayakawa (Team Toto) - 2:26:17 - PB
6. Mestawet Tufa (Ethiopia) - 2:26:20 - debut
7. Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 2:27:17
8. Genet Getaneh (Ethiopia) - 2:28:08
9. Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) - 2:30:26 - debut
10. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 2:30:52 - PB
11. Asami Furuse (Team Kyocera) - 2:30:57
12. Nicole Chapple (Australia) - 2:32:31 - debut
13. Hiroko Yoshitomi (First Dream AC) - 2:32:43
14. Chizuru Ideta (Team Daihatsu) - 2:32:50
15. Kumi Ogura (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 2:34:01 - PB
16. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 2:35:47 - debut
17. Akane Mutazaki (Team Edion) - 2:37:14
18. Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 2:38:06
19. Tomomi Higuchi (Team Daihatsu) - 2:39:22
20. Mai Tanabe (Team Aichi Denki) - 2:40:21
21. Megumi Kanetomo (Team Yamada Denki) - 2:41:26
22. Miki Oka (Team Kojima Press) - 2:42:23
23. Mariko Asato (Okinawa T&F Assoc.) - 2:44:11
24. Sayaka Yamaguchi (Team Aichi Denki) - 2:45:54
25. Saori Kawai (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 2:47:33

DNF - Georgina Rono (Kenya)

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Named Captain of Japanese National Team for London World Championships

At a JAAF event at the British Embassy in Tokyo on July 21, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) was named men's captain of the Japanese national team for next month's London World Championships. Javelin throw national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was chosen as women's captain.

In a wide-ranging and impassioned speech 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, Kawauchi stoked the team's morale as he told attendees, "I think that there are athletes here today who look at London as just a checkpoint along the way to the Tokyo Olympics. But as a representative of Japan it is not enough just to be there competing. I feel it strongly. You must produce results at this event, the London World Championships. This is the task assigned to each and every one of us. It is critical that we work seriously to achieve our goals. The Japanese people want nothing less. What can we as athletes do for them? More than just wearing the uniform, each of us mus…

'$500,000 USD Prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 Launched in Beijing'

http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/k2-component/143-500-000-usd-prized-asian-premier-marathon-series-2017-18-launched-in-beijing

A very interesting World Marathon Majors-style development with prize money only for Asian athletes. Equally interesting is the absence of a Japanese race in the series. Japanese marathoners would dominate the series if they ran its three component races, their only real current competition in Asia coming from East African-born Bahraini athletes.

Hayakawa and Ichiyama Win Shibetsu Half

2nd in 2015 and 3rd last year, Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) finally succeeded in scoring 1st at the Shibetsu Half Marathon, outrunning 2013-14 winner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) by 6 seconds to win in 1:03:38. Hayakawa pushed it from the early stages of the race, Imai the only one to try to stay with him but ultimately losing touch. 2016 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon winner Melaku Abera (Kurosaki Harima) was 3rd in 1:03:51.

士別ハーフマラソン
日差しが強くなってきました…💦 pic.twitter.com/qRfUei3aRt — はたのまき (@machakin77) July 23, 2017
The women's field was split between two distances, 10 km and half marathon. Kanako Takemoto (Daihatsu) won the 10 km in 34:27 by a margin of almost 10 seconds over an Otsuka Seiyaku trio led by Ayaka Inoue. 2017 National Cross-Country champion and last year's 10 km runner-up Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) took the top spot in the half marathon, outrunning teammate and national record holder Kayoko Fukushi and others to win in 1:14:01. Fukushi finished 4th in 1:15:41 behind last ye…