Skip to main content

Osako 13:20.80 at Nittai University Time Trials

by Brett Larner
video courtesy of Ekiden News



Among the seven major Japanese races and meets over the weekend, the Nittai University Time Trials meet featured a standout showing from 22-year-old Waseda University senior Suguru Osako.  Already in the all-time Japanese top five for 10000 m after a 27:38.31 runner-up finish at Stanford in the spring, Osako hung tough in the Nittai 5000 m A-heat against the likes of international-level Kenyans Jonathan Ndiku (Team Hitachi Butsuryu), Bidan Karoki (DeNA RC) and Leonard Barsoton (Team Nissin Shokuhin) to take seven seconds off his best with a new mark of 13:20.80, making him the all-time sixth-fastest Japanese man over 5000 m and the second-fastest Japanese collegiate ever behind only former Waseda star Kensuke Takezawa's 13:19.00.  Two-time World Junior 3000 mSC champion Ndiku took the win over Karoki in 13:14.97, with 2013 World XC Junior silver medalist Barsoton outkicking William Malel (Kenya/Team Honda) and Osako for 3rd in 13:19.04.  Further back, Kento Hanazawa (Yachiyo Shoin Gakuin H.S.) ran 13:59.09 to join the growing ranks of sub-14 Japanese high schoolers.

Kenyan high schooler Miriam Waithera (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) took the women's 5000 m A-heat win in 15:33.47 over 2011 Japanese national 10000 m champion Kayo Asaba (Team Denso), formerly Kayo Sugihara.  Asaba's Denso teammates swept the top three spots in the women's 3000 m with Miyuki Oka first across the line in 9:18.36, setting Denso up for a strong showing at next month's National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships, the focus of the year for corporate league women.  Further south at the Shizuoka Long-Distance Time Trials meet the top-end of the women's 5000 m results were of similar quality, Ayumi Uehara (Matsuyama Univ.) taking the win in 15:37.89 over Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Univ.).

Back at Nittai in the men's 10000 m, Ethiopian Mekashaw Kassa (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) took an easy in 28:30.73 win over a field that included four Team Subaru runners under 29 minutes. Three collegiates from minor Hakone Ekiden schools went under 28:40 led by Masaya Kakihara (Kanagawa Univ.), 4th overall in a PB of 28:33.50.  Other noteworthy sub-29 performances included Ataru Otani of the Nanyo City Hall team, which earlier this month qualified for the New Year Ekiden corporate men's national championships for the first time, was 9th in 28:38.84, and Daisuke Uekado (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.), 12th in 28:48.22 to become the second university runner from outside the Hakone Ekiden-centered Kanto region to break 29 this season.  The explosive growth happening right now in Japanese university men's athletics looks as though it's not just limited to the power centers of Hakone.

234th Nittai University Time Trials
Nittai University, Yokohama, Nov. 16~17, 2013
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m Heat 31
1. Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya/Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:14.97
2. Bidan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA RC) - 13:15.75
3. Leonard Barsoton (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:19.04
4. William Malel (Kenya/Team Honda) - 13:19.83
5. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 13:20.80
6. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 13:27.38
7. Ronald Kemwoi (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 13:41.99
8. Charles Ndungu (Kenya/Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) - 13:44.53
9. Leul Gebreselassie (Ethiopia/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 13:46.17
10. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/Nanyo City Hall) - 13:51.94
-----
13. Kento Hanazawa (Yachiyo Shoin Gakuin H.S.) - 13:59.09

Women's 5000 m Heat 4
1. Miriam Waithera (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 15:33.47
2. Kayo Asaba (Team Denso) - 15:37.63
3. Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) - 15:40.58
4. Miki Sakakibara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:41.82
5. Aki Saito (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 15:42.16
6. Kanako Shimada (Team Uniqlo) - 15:42.81
7. Ami Hirose (Kansai Univ.) - 15:43.69
8. Shiori Morita (Eda H.S.) - 15:44.10
9. Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:44.19
10. Mayumi Hatakeyama (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 15:44.79

Men's 10000 m Heat 4
1. Mekashaw Kassa (Ethiopia/Team Yachio Kogyo) - 28:30.73
2. Keiji Akutsu (Team Subaru) - 28:31.72
3. Atsushi Yamazaki (Team Subaru) - 28:32.54
4. Masaya Kakihara (Kanagawa Univ.) - 28:33.50
5. Chiharu Takada (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 28:34.29
6. Kenshi Sawano (Senshu Univ.) - 28:34.39
7. Shohei Kurata (Jobu Univ.) - 28:35.00
8. Kazuya Namera (Team Subaru) - 28:36.38
9. Ataru Otani (Nanyo City Hall) - 28:38.84
10. Kazuma Ganaha (Kanagawa Univ.) - 28:46.08

Women's 3000 m Heat 5
1. Miyuki Oka (Team Denso) - 9:18.36
2. Naoko Koizumi (Team Denso) - 9:19.24
3. Kaori Koriki (Team Denso) - 9:23.56
4. Yumika Miura (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 9:24.73
5. Mirai Waku (Nasutakuyo H.S.) - 9:26.04

Shizuoka Long-Distance Time Trials
Ecopa Stadium, Shizuoka, 11/17/13
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m - Heat Two
1. Ayumi Uehara (Matsuyama Univ.) - 15:37.89
2. Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:40.68
3. Misuzu Nakahara (Matsuyama Univ.) - 15:48.66
4. Saori Noda (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 15:49.38
5. Nanami Aoki (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:56.84

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

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…

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …

New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…