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Nineteen Collegiates Go Sub-29 at Kanto Region University 10000 m Time Trials

by Brett Larner
video courtesy of Ekiden News



Just a week after record-setting depth at the Ageo City Half Marathon, where seventeen men from Kanto-region universities broke 1:03, most for the first time, more records fell at the Kanto Region University 10000 m Time Trials meet at Tokyo's National Stadium, site of the future 2020 Olympic Stadium.  Like Ageo, the Kanto meet serves to build toward final team selection for the biggest event in Japanese sports, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. Spurred on by the drive to make their schools' Hakone teams and by scholarships on offer to any university man who ran a sub-29 PB at the meet, last year fifteen collegiate men broke 29 in the A-heat.  This year the number was up to a stunning eighteen, led by Takuya Fujikawa of 2012 Izumo Ekiden winner Aoyama Gakuin University in 28:35.72.

Fujikawa and Kenyan Duncan Muthee (Takushoku Univ.) who ran in the lead group most of the way in Ageo last weekend, ran together at an ambitious pace up front while a large pack stayed on a steady 28:40 pace.  In the final 1000 m the pack moved to try to catch Fujikawa and Muthee, Kazuma Tashiro (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) nearly closing the gap to Muthee but Fujikawa getting away on a strong last kick.  Fujikawa's time of 28:35.72 was a PB by over 45 seconds and led four Aoyama Gakuin men under 29, all in PBs.  A nineteenth man joined the sub-29 ranks in Heat 14, where Shintaro Miwa (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) unexpectedly ran 28:59.67 for the win, his first time under 29.

Again this year Kanto organizers added a university women's 10000 m to the timetable. Largely a dual race between 2013 National University Women's Ekiden Championships 2nd and 3rd placers Daito Bunka University and Matsuyama University, Daito Bunka athletes swept the top three spots led by Yuko Iwata in 33:14.88.  The top runner from a school other than the above two was Kana Kurosawa of Ibaraki University, 7th in 33:35.75.

All told the meet was another sign of the rapid rate of growth both depth and quality in Kanto Region university men's athletics that is transforming Japanese men's distance running.  With this generation of university athletes set to reach their peak at the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics the next seven years should be very interesting to say the least.

2013 Kanto Region University 10000 m Time Trials
National Stadium, Tokyo, 11/23/13
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m Heat 16
1. Takuya Fujikawa (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 28:35.72 - PB
2. Duncan Muthee (Kenya/Takushoku Univ.) - 28:37.53
3. Kazuma Tashiro (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:38.81 - PB
4. Taketo Kumazaki (Teikyo Univ.) - 28:40.20 - PB
5. Daichi Kamino (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 28:41.48 - PB
6. Kenshi Sawano (Senshu Univ.) - 28:41.85 - PB
7. Ikki Takeuchi (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 28:42.71 - PB
8. Ryu Takaku (Toyo Univ.) - 28:42.78 - PB
9. Kengo Namioka (Kokushikan Univ.) - 28:43.44 - PB
10. Yuki Matsumura (Juntendo Univ.) - 28:44.29 - PB
11. Kazuki Uemura (Toyo Univ.) - 28:44.81 - PB
12. Tsukasa Koyama (Teikyo Univ.) - 28:45.24 - PB
13. Takaya Sato (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:46.02 - PB
14. Mizuho Tanaka (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 28:48.24 - PB
15. Shunsuke Ishida (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 28:48.62 - PB
16. Taiki Yoshimura (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 28:50.23 - PB
17. Takahiro Yagihara (Teikyo Univ.) - 28:50.33 - PB
18. Takafumi Kikuchi (Kokushikan Univ.) - 28:54.17 - PB
19. Kenta Muto (Kokushikan Univ.) - 29:00.67 - PB
20. Shuji Matsuo (Senshu Univ.) - 29:01.99 - PB

Men's 10000 m Heat 14
1. Shintaro Miwa (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 28:59.67 - PB
2. Daiji Kawai (Reitaku Univ.) - 29:17.68
3. Kenta Nakayama (Senshu Univ.) - 29:19.44 - PB
4. Yusuke Nakayama (Kokushikan Univ.) - 29:20.01 - PB
5. Keita Nagura (Toyo Univ.) - 29:20.64 - PB

Women's 10000 m
1. Yuko Iwata (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 33:14.88
2. Fueka Kimura (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 33:16.45
3. Eri Tayama (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 33:16.76
4. Anna Matsuda (Matsuyama Univ.) - 33:20.38
5. Natsumi Fujiwara (Matsuyama Univ.) - 33:25.57
6. Mari Tayama (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 33:33.85
7. Kana Kurosawa (Ibaraki Univ.) - 33:35.75
8. Hiromi Hikida (Nittai Univ.) - 33:39.55
9. Marie Yamakami (Matsuyama Univ.) - 33:44.06
10. Eri Utsunomiya (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 33:57.97

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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Lexicon

Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

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