Skip to main content

Omwamba Secures Triple Title; More World-Class Sprinting at Kanto Regionals

by Brett Larner

After doubling in the 1500 m and 10000 m last weekend, Yamanashi Gakuin University sophomore Enock Omwamba took his third title of this year's Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships, outrunning #1-ranked Japanese collegiate Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) and fellow Kenyan Daniel Kitonyi (Nihon Univ.) for the win in the Div. I 5000 m, clocking a solid 13:31.54.  Kosei Yamaguchi (Josai Univ.), 6th in 13:55.85, deserves special mention for running the 5000 m just after winning his fourth-straight Kanto Div. I steelechase title.  The Div. II 5000 m was a nearly perfect replica of the Div. I race, Duncan Muthee (Takushoku Univ.) outkicking Yudai Okamoto (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) and Ethiopian Leul Gebrselassie (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) for the win in 13:56.22.

Earlier the same morning, Takumi Honda of 2013 Hakone Ekiden champion Nittai University took the honors in the Div. I half marathon, running 1:04:25 just ahead of a 1:04:38 photo finish between Shogo Sekiguchi (Hosei Univ.) and Kento Otsu (Toyo Univ.).  Hiroshi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.), whose identical twin Takashi Ichida impressed in last week's 10000 m, was the top in the Div. II half marathon in 1:05:43.

Sprint action continued the momentum among Japan's younger set over the last month with a 20.41 (-0.5) win by London Olympian Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) in the Div. I men's 200 m final, a sizeable PB and well under the World Championships A-standard.  Yamagata is now the third Japanese man to get the A-standard this season, all collegiates.  One of those other collegiates, 2010 World Junior 200 m gold medalist Shota Iizuka of Chuo University, led an incredible Div. I 4x100 m relay final, with Iizuka anchoring Chuo to the win in 38.75 just ahead of rival Waseda University in 38.81.  Chuo's time was just short of its own 38.54 national collegiate record from Iizuka's first year at Chuo in 2010, but with a thrilling near photo-finish and two teams under 39 nobody was complaining.  With the three star collegiates and high school star Yoshihide Kiryu (Rakunan H.S.) Japan has the makings of a pretty impressive relay team for August's World Championships even without any of the established names.

92nd Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships Pt II
Nissan Stadium and environs, 5/25-26/13
click here for complete results

Men's Div. I 200 m Final (-0.5 wind)
1. Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - 20.41 - PB
2. Asuka Cambridge (Nihon Univ.) - 20.73
3. Masafumi Naoki (Chuo Univ.) - 20.81
4. Kotaro Taniguchi (Chuo Univ.) - 20.87
5. Keisuke Nakamura (Juntendo Univ.) - 20.89

Men's Div. I 4x100 m Relay Final
1. Chuo University - 38.75
2. Waseda University - 38.81
3. Hosei University - 39.31
4. Keio University - 39.34
5. Nihon University - 39.35

Men's Div. I 5000 m
1. Enock Omwamba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:31.54
2. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 13:34.30
3. Daniel Kitonyi (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 13:35.21
4. Shota Hattori (Nittai Univ.) - 13:50.01
5. Shuho Dairokuno (Meiji Univ.) - 13:50.13
6. Kosei Yamaguchi (Josai Univ.) - 13:55.85
7. Kazuma Kubota (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:56.69
8. Keigo Yano (Nittai Univ.) - 13:59.20
9. Kazuto Nishiike (Hosei Univ.) - 14:06.95
10. Ken Yokote (Meiji Univ.) - 14:09.72

Men's Div. II 5000 m
1. Duncan Muthee (Kenya/Takushoku Univ.) - 13:56.22
2. Yudai Okamoto (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 13:58.29
3. Leul Gebreselassie (Ethiopia/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 13:58.76
4. Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 14:00.23
5. Hironori Tsuetaki (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 14:01.30

Men's Div. I Half Marathon
1. Takumi Honda (Nittai Univ.) - 1:04:25
2. Shogo Sekiguchi (Hosei Univ.) - 1:04:38
3. Kento Otsu (Toyo Univ.) - 1:04:38
4. Yusuke Suzuki (Nittai Univ.) - 1:04:39
5. Hiroto Inoue (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:47
6. Masaya Taguchi (Toyo Univ.) - 1:04:55
7. Yoshiki Takenouchi (Nihon Univ.) - 1:05:03
8. Shota Kai (Nittai Univ.) - 1:05:13
9. Koki Takada (Waseda Univ.) - 1:05:45
10. Yuma Morii (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:54

Men's Div. II Half Marathon
1. Hiroshi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:05:43
2. Keita Shioya (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:51
3. Junji Katakawa (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:06:01
4. Kota Kakinuma (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:06:16
5. Yusei Tsutsumi (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:06:25

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …