Skip to main content

Weekend Track Update - Kiryu Makes University Debut, A Meet Record in Kyoto and More

by Brett Larner
videos by toyosina2008komazawaOB and Ekiden News

Track season continued to build up momentum with the first Nittai University Time Trials meet in Yokohama and a handful of other meets around the country.



The biggest news of the weekend was the debut of teen sprint star Yoshihide Kiryu in the Toyo University uniform. Kiryu ran third for Toyo's 4x100 m relay team at the Iwakabe Cup Eight University meet in Tokyo.  Starting his leg mid-pack Kiryu easily blew past the competition to put Toyo out front, but on the anchor leg national university record holder Chuo University retook the lead and pulled away for the win. Nevertheless, in his first race Kiryu helped the Toyo team take the school record from 39.99 to 39.69, a sure sign of what's to come. Post-race the entire Chuo team gave him a round of applause.



Kiryu's long distance teammates stayed at home in Saitama for the Five University Meet hosted by Daito Bunka University.  Strong winds prevented fast times, but in his first race since setting the 30 km national university record of 1:28:52 at February's Kumanichi Road Race Toyo's #1 man Yuma Hattori got his junior year off to a good start with a comfortable 5000 m A-heat win in 14:05.21 by a margin of more than five seconds.



His younger brother Hazuma Hattori nearly got the win in the 3000 m A-heat, coming up just short of running down Kota Murayama (Josai Univ.), the identical twin of World Half Marathon Championships team leader Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.). Kota Murayama started the race very slow with a considerable gap between him and the pack before gradually building up the pace and making a break for the win with more than two laps to go, obviously a reaction to his performance at last weekend's Kanaguri Memorial Meet where he went out at national record pace in the 5000 m A-heat and finished last.  Murayama took the win in 8:15.33 with Hattori just a couple of strides behind.

Bad weather also impacted the West Japan Time Trials in Fukuoka, where 2014 Toyo grad Kento Otsu made his debut with the Koichi Morishita-coached Toyota Kyushu team.  Ethiopian Melaku Abera (Team Kurosaki Harima) had no trouble leading the race to the win despite conditions of extreme rain, finishing in 14:20.03 almost eight seconds ahead.  Otsu was 5th in 14:31.64, the third Toyota Kyushu man across the line.

Better weather earlier in the weekend meant decent times in Kyoto, where Bukkyo University senior Sayaka Kuwahara raced Kyoto Sangyo University's Yukiko Okuno to the 10000 m meet record, both breaking the old record with Kuwahara getting the win in 33:31.32.  2013 national champion Ritsumeikan University's top placer in the 10000 m was only 4th, but in the 5000 m its second years swept the podium in a near-photo finish, Natsuki Omori taking 1st in 15:53.20.  The men's 10000 m also saw a meet record as the elite Kyoto University's Kentaro Hirai won in 29:42.66.



For contrast and insight into the impact of January's Hakone Ekiden, exclusively for Tokyo-area Kanto Region schools, the first Nittai University Time Trials meet of the season saw eight university men break 29 minutes for 10000 m, almost all in PB times.  Meiji University's Ken Yokote started his junior year with a 20-second PB of 28:38.73, his teammate Kei Fumimoto just behind in 28:39.40, his best by eight seconds.



Times were also decent in the 5000 m A-heat, where another Ethiopian, Miliyon Zewdie (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) led the way in 13:28.81, the second-fastest outdoor time in the world so far this year.  2012-2013 10000 m national champion Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) was the top Japanese man in the 5000 m, 5th overall in 13:43.61 in his first real race since an injury at the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden scuttled his plans to run February's Tokyo Marathon.



The women's races at Nittai were very thin, the top result going to Kenyan Doricah Obare (Team Hitachi), 1st in the 3000 m A-heat in 9:12.23.

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

videos (c) 2014 their respective owners
all rights reserved


Comments

Most-Read This Week

Nikkan Sports Reports Olympic Ticket Lottery Success Rate of 2.95% Within Company

The Nikkan Sports newspaper company conducted a survey of its employees' success rate at scoring tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the ticket lottery drawing following the announcement of the lottery's results on June 20. Including the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field, gymnastics, tennis, badminton, baseball, softball and medal sessions in other major sports, out of the 1288 sessions for which Nikkan employees applied they won tickets to a total of 38 sessions. The success rate among survey respondents was just 2.95%, an indication of how hard it was to get tickets to Japan's home soil Olympics.

Translator's note: Of the 28 sessions I applied for I won tickets to three, two in athletics and one in archery. Including only medal sessions, I got tickets to two of the 22 to which I applied, both in athletics. Interestingly, one of the ones I didn't get was stadium seating for the men's marathon finish, showing what a hot ticket that is going be.

A…

17-Year-Old Ryuji Miura Breaks 3000 m Steeplechase High School Record in World-Leading Time

At the Kinki Region High School Track and Field Championships Saturday in Osaka’s Nagai Stadium, 17-year-old Ryuji Miura of Rakunan H.S. took down one of the oldest records in Japanese athletics, breaking the 30-year-old 3000 m steeplechase high school record by 5 seconds to win in 8:39.49.

Running in heavy rain after clocking the fastest time in the qualifying rounds, Miura went straight to the front in the final and was on his own within 200 m. From the start the record was in reach as he went through 1000 m in 2:49 and 2000 m in 5:43, building up a lead of about 200 m over the rest of the field.

Miura’s final time of 8:39.49 was the fastest in the world this year by an U18 athlete and 6th-best among U20 men, a new Japanese U18 record and all-time #2 for the U20 category. He came short of the outright Japanese high school record of 8:19.21 held by future marathon great Daniel Njenga, but took 5 seconds off the Japanese citizen high school record of 8:44.77 set back in 1989 by futu…

National Track and Field Championships Preview - Jumps

Japan's National Track and Field Championships kick off this Thursday in Fukuoka. It's the start of an important cycle for Japan, with national representation at this fall's Doha World Championships on the line in the lead-up to next year's Tokyo Olympics. Anyone who has cleared the Doha standard in their event will make the team if they win at Nationals, with other qualifiers and hgh-ranked athletes having to wait until mid-September to learn their fates. Over the next four days JRN will break down the favorites in each event.

In the jumps, not a single athlete in any event on the women's side looks to have a realistic chance of making it to Doha without a big PB in the next couple of months. All four of last year's women's national champions, Haruka Nakano (Nippatsu) in the high jump, Juri Nanbu (Chukyo Univ.) in the pole vault, Ayaka Kora (Tsukuba Univ.) in the long jump and Eri Sakamoto (Nihon Shitsunai TC) in the triple jump, return. Of them only Kora…