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Köln Marathon and Usti nad Labem Half Marathon - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Following up on a disappointing showing at last weekend's Great North Run and Prague Grand Prix 10 km, Japan's corporate league runners underwhelmed again at Sunday's Köln Marathon and Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.  In a race won by Kenya's Anthony Maritim in 2:10:26 in Köln, 2:09:18 marathoner Yuko Matsumiya (Team Hitachi Butsuryu), the twin brother of 5000 m and 30 km national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta), could do no better than 2:18:41 for 3rd.  2:15:05 man Kenta Iinuma (Team Sagawa Group) fell well below the professional level, running only 2:23:12 for 4th.  Formerly Japan-based Kenyan Julia Mumbi took the women's race in 2:28:00.

Further east, Japanese results at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem mirrored those at the Great North Run, with 1:02 half marathoners Yuya Ito (Team Toyota) and Masamichi Yasuda (Team Aichi Seiko) and their 1:03 counterpart Atsushi Yamazaki (Team Subaru) all clocked leisurely 1:05 times nearly 5 minutes behind winner Adugna Takele (Ethiopia) a week after running around the 30:00 level at the Prague Grand Prix 10 km.  As at the Great North Run the Japanese women in the race performed slightly more seriously, 1:10:26 woman Misato Horie (Team Noritz) running 1:12:29 for 5th and Ayaka Inoue (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) making her European debut in 1:14:59 for 8th.

But taken altogether the results of the four races over the last two weekends show evidence of a troubling attitude in the corporate leagues, particularly among the men, that it's enough to just show up at an overseas race, that how you run when you race internationally doesn't matter in the slightest and that races outside Japan are simply for getting experience, doing laundry, and sightseeing.  Consistent amateur-quality performances certainly don't do much for your country's reputation.  Times have changed, but some things are slow to adapt. 

Köln Marathon
Köln, Germany, 9/14/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Anthony Maritim (Kenya) - 2:10:26
2. Marcel Brautigam (Germany) - 2:17:55
3. Yuko Matsumiya (Japan/Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:18:41
4. Kenta Iinuma (Japan/Team Sagawa Group) - 2:23:12
5. David Cherop (Uganda) - 2:24:20

Women
1. Julia Mumbi (Kenya) - 2:28:00
2. Shasho Insermu (Ethiopia) - 2:35:36
3. Simret Restle-Apel (Germany) - 2:50:19

Usti nad Labem Half Marathon
Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic, 9/14/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Adugna Takele (Ethiopia) - 1:00:45
2. Azmeraw Bekele (Ethiopia) - 1:00:58
3. Gefrey Kusuro (Uganda) - 1:01:04
4. Richard Kiprop Mengich (Kenya) - 1:01:19
5. Festus Talam (Kenya) - 1:01:47
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8. Yuya Ito (Japan/Team Toyota) - 1:05:13
9. Masamichi Yasuda (Japan/Team Aichi Seiko) - 1:05:27
11. Atsushi Yamazaki (Japan/Team Subaru) - 1:05:44

Women
1. Correti Jepkoech (Kenya) - 1:09:35
2. Helah Kiprop (Kenya) - 1:10:48
3. Esther Chemtai Ndiema (Kenya) - 1:10:51
4. Flomena Chepchirchir (Kenya) - 1:11:14
5. Misato Horie (Japan/Team Noritz) - 1:12:29
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8. Ayaka Inoue (Japan/Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:14:59

Prague Grand Prix 10 km
Prague, Czech Republic, 9/6/14
click here for complete results

Men
1. Geoffrey Ronoh (Kenya) - 27:28
2. Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) - 27:32
3. Nicholas Kipchirchir Bor (Kenya) - 27:38
4. Simon Cheprot (Kenya) - 27:41
5. Richard Kiprop Mengich (Kenya) - 27:48
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14. Masamichi Yasuda (Japan/Team Aichi Seiko) - 29:44
16. Atsushi Yamazaki (Japan/Team Subaru) - 29:58
17. Yuya Ito (Japan/Team Toyota) - 30:04
18. Yuta Shitara (Japan/Team Honda) - 30:09
19. Shota Hattori (Japan/Team Honda) - 30:20

Women
1. Correti Jepkoech (Kenya) - 31:05
2. Esther Chemtai Ndiema (Kenya) - 31:51
3. Flomena Chepchirchir (Kenya) - 32:30
4. Helah Kiprop (Kenya) - 32:33
5. Lucy Liavoga (Kenya) - 33:12

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
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