Skip to main content

Kanto Regionals The Focus of the Weekend

by Brett Larner

While the corporate leagues take a breather after their regional track and field championships last week, Kanto-area university runners are bracing for the second weekend of Japan's best track meet, the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium.

The men's 800 m should be highlights of the meet, Nihon University senior Sho Kawamoto having set a national record of 1:45.75 two weeks ago at the Golden Grand Prix Tokyo meet in Tokyo's National Stadium.  His second-year teammate Jun Mitake is the next-best runner in the field with a 1:48.67 PB, so while another NR is probably too much to ask between the two of them they should have a good chance of taking the 1:48.06 meet record set in 2009 by Kenyan Daniel Gitau, another Nihon University runner.

It says a lot about the quality of Kanto university men's distance running that four of the five Japanese men in this week's ARRS world top 200 rankings are collegiates, three of them having run in last weekend's Kanto Regionals 10000 m where identical twins Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) and Kota Murayama (Josai Univ.) won the D2 and D1 titles respectively.  Kenta sits this weekend out in preparation for a shot at a national title in two weeks at the National Track and Field Championships, but Kota, fresh off a 13:38.83 PB two weeks ago in Nobeoka, is returning to go for a double in the D1 5000 m.  His main competition includes sub-13:30 man Genki Yagisawa (Meiji Univ.), defending champion Enock Omwamba (Kenya/ Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) back from the stress fracture he sustained at January's Hakone Ekiden to win last weekend's D1 1500 m, 2013 National University 5000 m champion Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) and the talented but injured-plagued Kazuto Nishiike (Hosei Univ.).

With a 13:37.09 best Kenyan John Maina (Takushoku Univ.) is the heavy favorite in the D2 race, his closest Japanese competitor, Masaki Toda (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) coming in at 13:43.72.  Possible contenders in a slower race include Yuta Oikawa and Hironori Tsuetaki of Chuo Gakuin University and 1500 m specialist Taketo Kumazaki (Teikyo Univ.).

The men's half marathon, run on a criterium course through and around the stadium grounds, is always one of the highlights of the Kanto Regionals meet.  Second behind Kota Murayama in the 10000 m last weekend, 2014 World Half Marathon team member Hiroto Inoue (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) leads the D1 field with his 1:01:39 best but should have plenty of competition from 62-minute half marathoners Tatsumi Abe (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.), Koki Ido (Waseda Univ.), Yuki Matsumura (Juntendo Univ.), Shota Miyagami (Tokai Univ.), Shogo Sekiguchi (Hosei Univ.) and Daiki Taguchi (Waseda Univ.). At 28:41.09 for 10000 m Yuki Arimura (Meiji Univ.) could also be a factor.

The D2 half should be a showdown between 2014 World University XC team member Shota Baba (Komazawa Univ.) and Aoyama Gakuin University's leading pair Daichi Kamino and Tadashi Isshiki, with sub-63 man Keita Shioya (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) also a favorite.  Yuki Kawauchi's youngest brother Koki Kawauchi, now a senior at Takasaki Keizai University, will make his final Kanto Regionals appearance in the D2 half.

In the women's races, talented first-year Yuki Jinbo (Tsukuba Univ.) holds the promise of something good in the 200 m, her 23.65 PB faster than two-time World Championships team member Momoko Takahashi's meet record of 23.69.  The meet record is also up for grabs in the women's 5000 m, where Maki Izumida (Rikkyo Univ.), Natsumi Ozawa (Hakuho Univ.), Hitomi Suzuki (Tamagawa Univ.) and Haruka Wada (Josai Univ.) all come in with PBs better than World XC junior bronze medalist Yoshiko Fujinaga's antique record of 15:50.27 from 2001. With a PB of 15:38.22 as a first-year Izumida is the favorite, but front-running 10000 m winner Sakurako Fukuuchi (Daito Bunka Univ.) should give her a challenge for the title despite a best of only 15:53.09.

JRN will be on-site to cover the Kanto Regionals throughout the weekend.  Check back for the only English-language coverage of Japan's best university track and field meet.

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

National Track and Field Championships Entry Lists

The JAAF has released the entry lists for the 2019 National Track and Field Championships to be held June 27-30 in Fukuoka. Anyone who has the standard for this fall's Doha World Championships and wins their event will be guaranteed a place on the Doha team, with most others having to wait until the IAAF's September deadline to find out if the JAAF will add them based on qualifying standard or world ranking. Fourteen athletes on the Nationals entry list across eight events currently have the standard and stand to firm up their fall schedules in Fukuoka, with another twenty-two in range of making the final cut based on current world rankings. Entry list highlights below.
103rd National Track and Field ChampionshipsEntry List Highlights
Fukuoka, June 27-30, 2019
marks listed are best in last two years except where noted
athletes in bold have cleared 2019 Doha World Championships standard
athletes in italics are currently ranked inside Doha field size without standard
complete entry …

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…