Skip to main content

Their Father a Kenyan, Distance Star Takamatsu Sisters Power Osaka to National Title

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20150111-OHT1T50282.html

translated by Brett Larner

Rising stars in the women's long distance world, the Takamatsu sisters powered Osaka to its first National Women's Ekiden win in three years on Jan. 11 in Kyoto.  Their father a Kenyan, Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (3rd year, Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin J.H.S.) ran the fastest time on the 3.0 km Third Stage to pass five people and put Osaka in 2nd before handing off to older sister Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (2nd year, Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) who, even though losing ground, kept the team in contention with the leaders.  Both played important roles in Osaka winning over defending champion Kyoto by 1 second.

Just before the finish and Osaka's come-from-behind win both Takamatsu sisters were all smiles.  Having repeated her stage win from last year, Tomomi said, "I had a lot of strong competition on the Third Stage so I'm really happy to win it again."  Getting a shout of, "Go get 'em!" from her younger sister along with the tasuki, Nozomi was disappointed at having lost spirit and dropped from 2nd to 6th, saying, "My little sister put us into such a good position and everything...I wanted to win having run my best."

At August's Youth Olympics in China Nozomi won the gold medal in the girls' 3000 m.  Tomomi was 2nd in the National Junior High School Track and Field Championships girls' 1500 m last summer.  Both aspire to futures as Olympians.  In the spring Tomomi will enter the same high school as her older sister.  "I want to do my best while we have this important chance to be together," she said.  Nozomi agreed, saying, "At home we're ordinary sisters, but in races we're rivals.  I want to keep improving my times while competing with her."

Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu - Born Aug. 31, 1997.  17 years old, 160.5 cm tall.  Came to Japan from her father's hometown in Kenya when she was 3.

Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu - Born Feb. 23, 2000.  14 years old, 144.5 cm tall.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

Kawauchi Breaks Nobeyama Ultra Course Record

2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) won the longest race of his career to date Sunday in Nagano, taking over six minutes off the Yatsugatake Nobeyama Kogen 71 km Ultramarathon in 4:41:55.

A training run for next month’s Stockholm Marathon, Kawauchi set off solo at a steady pace around 3:45/km. Climbing from 1355 m to 1908 m as he approached 20 km he naturally slowed, but with over 1000 m of descent over the next 30 km he was soon back on track. Hitting the marathon split around 2:39, he was so far ahead of the 2nd placer that the announcer initially forget Kawauchi had already gone by and announced the next runner as the leader.

At 58 km Kawauchi was on track to clear 4:30:00, but hitting the uphills in the final 10 km and feeling the effects of the unfamiliar distance he slowed to almost 5:00/km. But with so much leeway to work with there was never any danger of the 4:48:13 course record slipping out of reach. Kawauchi stopped the clock in 4:41:55, please…

Late-Bloomer Hiroko Yoshitomi Dropping One Course Record After Another

There’s a woman in her 30s who has been breaking marathon course records left and right. A native of Saga, her name is Hiroko Yoshitomi (34, Memolead). In the last year she has broken course records at three domestic marathons including a 2:33:57 at March’s Saga Sakura Marathon. “In terms of my age, I’ve still got years left to be breaking records,” Yoshitomi says. “If you approach your running in terms of that kind of thinking then it’s totally natural that the times are going to come.” At one point she had thought about retiring this season, but for now she’s determined to push on.

Tokyo-based running Industry conglomerate Rbies recently launched the Marathon Challenge Cup (MCC) series, a grouping of 33 domestic marathons across the country. In the 2017 season 19 of those member races saw a total of 23 new course records. The only person to set multiple new course records was Yoshitomi. Along with these records, at December’s Honolulu Marathon, February’s Tokyo Marathon and April’s…