Skip to main content

Yamagata, Kiryu and More Getting Ready for World Championships in Domestic Meets This Month

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20130714-1157211.html

translated by Brett Larner

With August's Moscow World Championships drawing near, the members of the Japanese national team are building toward their sharpening phase.  While the world focues on the Diamond League, some of the Japanese team's star members will be competing domestically at the Twilight Games and National High School Championships.

The July 28 Twilight Games at Shibuya's Oda Field will feature three members of the Moscow team, Ryota Yamagata (21, Keio Univ.) and Kei Takase (24, Team Fujitsu) in the men's 100 m, with Miyuki Fukumoto (36, Konan Gakuen AC) leading the women's high jump.  Yamagata, who beat teen sensation Yoshihide Kiryu (17, Rakunan H.S.) at last month's National Championships, comes to the Twilight Games in excellent shape after winning silver at last week's World University Games.  He is a strong contender in the race for Japan's first sub-10, but with a Federation-sponsored training camp on his schedule immediately before the Twilight Games it's doubtful he'll run the time there.  More likely is that he will use the race to work on his technique.  Under those circumstances anything under 10.20 would put him in good position to be competitive in the semi-finals at the World Championships.

One of Japan's leading mother athletes, Fukumoto is the type who builds toward peak fitness through high-level performances in a series of competitions.  It wouldn't be surprising to see her jump close to her National Championships-winning 1.90 m.

Other athletes who missed making the Moscow team will also be in the spotlight as they build back from disappointment.  Among them, javelin star Roderick Genki Dean (21, Waseda Univ.), 400 m hurdler Tetsuya Tateno (21, Chuo Univ.) and sprinter Takumi Kuki (21, Waseda Univ.) were all part of the Japanese men's team at the London Olympics.  Of particular interest is Dean.  In London he finished 10th, but this spring his condition slipped and he lost ground to rival Yukifumi Murakami (33, Suzuki Hamamatsu AC).  At both the National Championships and the World University Games he threw only 78 m.  Fans will hope to see him get back on his feet with a return over-80 m territory.

On the second day of the July 30-Aug. 3 National High School Championships, Kiryu and Anna Doi (17, Saitama Sakae H.S.) are scheduled to run the 100 m.  Besides the 100 m, Kiryu is also entered to run the 200 m and 4x100 m relay, with the possibility of also running the 4x400 relay.  With a tough schedule like this it would be hard to run a fast time, but there are cases where the super-focused concentration of running in the biggest meet on the high school calendar has led to fast times.  There's no telling whether Kiryu could come out of it with a sub-10.

Having become the youngest post-war Japanese Olympian in athletics last year in London, Doi experienced back trouble in February and is off to a late start this season.  Her rival Yuki Jinbo (Kanazawa Nisui H.S.) has run 11.61 this year, better Doi's season best by 0.05 s.  Doi's best is the national high school record, 11.43.  If she cannot return to the 11.5 level it will be a challenge for her to win.

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
           …