Skip to main content

Fujiwara and Watanabe Win on the Roads At Opposite Ends of Japan

by Brett Larner

Two weeks after finishing 4th and 6th in 1:02:44 and 1:02:58 at the Great North Run half marathon, London Olympian Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) and the Koichi Morishita-coached Ryuji Watanabe (Team Toyota Kyushu) scored wins on the roads at opposite ends of Japan.

Running at Hokkaido's Hakodate Half Marathon against a strong domestic field including perennial rival Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) who was 8th at the Great North Run, Fujiwara bided his time in hot conditions before attacking 2008 World Half Marathon 5th-placer Yusei Nakao and Taiga Ito of Suzuki Hamamatsu AC with 1.5 km to go and taking the win in 1:04:19.  "It was quite hot out there, so it ended up being a slow day," Fujiwara told JRN post-race.  After not having raced domestically since last December, though, he added, "Everyone made it a great race and I'm really happy to have gotten the win."  It was only the third road race victory of Fujiwara's career.

Kawauchi was 4th in 1:04:51.  "The athletes around me, Fujiwara included, had their craft down," he commented.  "That was pretty disappointing."  Fujiwara and Kawauchi will next square off at December's Fukuoka International Marathon.

In the women's race, fresh from a 10000 m title at last weekend's National Corporate Track and Field Championships, Kenyan Doricah Obare (Team Hitachi) won easily in 1:13:06 over 2010 Nagoya International Women's Marathon winner Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido), 2nd in 1:15:44 in her first race in recent memory.  Click here for a nice collection of photos from Hakodate.

Far to the south in Kyushu, Watanabe continued his recent hot streak with his first win at the Fukuoka Prefecture Road Championships 10-Miler.  With two runner-up finishes to his name Watanabe applied pressure punctuated with surges to get rid of his teammates, defending champion Yuya Konishi and last year's 3rd-place finisher Yuki Oshikawa. Unchallenged over the last stretch of the race, he won in 48:34 with Oshikawa well back in 48:52 for 2nd.  Konishi dropped out near 11 km after losing touch with the two leaders. Both Watanabe and Oshikawa scored places on the defending champion Fukuoka team for the final running of the prestigious Grand Tour Kyushu ekiden late next month and on into November.

23rd Hakodate Half Marathon
Hakodate, Hokkaido, 9/29/13
click here for complete results

Men
1. Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) - 1:04:19
2. Yusei Nakao (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:04:24
3. Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:04:38
4. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:04:51
5. Kenya Sonota (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:05:29

Women
1. Doricah Obare (Kenya/Team Hitachi) - 1:13:06
2. Yuri Kano (Team Shiseido) - 1:15:44
3. Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 1:17:47

67th Fukuoka Prefecture Road Championships
Omuta, Fukuoka, 9/29/13
click here for complete results

Men's 10 Miles
1. Ryuji Watanabe (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:34
2. Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 48:52
3. Shinnosuke Ogura (Team Kurosaki Harima) - 49:04
4. Tsubasa Akagi (Team Nishitetsu) - 49:06
5. Kaoru Hirosue (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 49:11
DNF - Yuya Konishi (Team Toyota Kyushu)

High School Boys' 10 km
1. Yuki Ueda (Tamana Kogyo H.S.) - 31:14
2. Koki Tokunaga (Omuta H.S.) - 31:24
3. Tomotaka Yasuda (Omuta H.S.) - 31:37

Women's 5 km
1. Maki Saito (Fukuoka Univ.) - 16:39
2. Wakana Itsuki (Fukuoka Univ.) - 16:40
3. Hitomi Sakaguchi (Fukuoka Univ.) - 16:44

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Men's Marathon Rout - JAAF Executives Announce Resignation

http://www.nikkansports.com/olympic/rio2016/athletics/news/1698472.html

translated by Brett Larner

In the Rio de Janeiro Olympics men's marathon on Aug. 21, Satoru Sasaki (30) was the top Japanese man at 16th in 2:13:57.  Suehiro Ishikawa (36) was 36th, with Hisanori Kitajima (31) placing 94th.

At the end of athletics competition Japan's total was two medals and two top eight finishes, a total exceeding the JAAF's target one medal but falling short of its goal of five top eight finishes.  JAAF strengthening committee chairman Kazunori Asaba (55) announced that he intends to resign his position following the Rio Olympics.  Strengthening committee vice-chairman Katsumi Sakai (56) and director of men's marathoning Takeshi Soh (63) are also expected to join the exodus of resignations.  Japanese athletics will be forced to make a fresh start before the Tokyo Olympics.

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Kawauchi Leaves for Oslo After Trying 100 m Time Trial

The civil servant runner admits to being shocked. 2017 London World Championships marathoner and men's captain Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) left from Tokyo's Narita Airport for Norway the evening of Sept. 13 to run the Sept. 16 BMW Oslo Marathon.

On Sept. 9 at the National University Track and Field Championships, Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) became the first Japanese man to break 10 seconds in the 100 m when he set a new national record of 9.98. The news has been the talk of the nation ever since. Kawauchi said, "It's pretty amazing. It took up the front page of every newspaper." What can he run for 100 m? "My PB is 13.1, but right now, 13.9," he admitted.

Kawauchi ran that time, "in the morning the day before yesterday," he said. "I did two time trials. I even wore spikes. I ran them for real and only did 13.9. To be honest, it was pretty shocking." Although short sprints are well outside his area of expertise it seemed…