Friday, July 31, 2015

Ishizuka and Yukinaga Break Junior and H.S. National Records on National High School Track and Field Championships Day Three

by Brett Larner
videos by naoki620



After setting a National High School Track and Field Championships record to win the girls' 400 m on Wednesday and anchoring her school's 4x100 m relay team, Haruko Ishizuka (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) tore it up again on the Championships' third day of competition.  After dominating the 400 m hurdles semifinals and her 800 m heat Ishizuka was sensational in the 400 mH final, kicking hard in the last 100 m to win in 57.06, a new junior national record, high school national record and meet record.  Her Keiai teammate Mizuki Murakami and 3rd-placer Yuri Arashima (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) both ran PBs under 59 seconds but were nearly 2 second behind.  Incredibly, less than an hour later Ishizuka was back to win her 800 m semifinal in 2:08.65, the slowest of the three semifinal winning times but still credible given the dangerously hot conditions and, of course, the fact that she had just broken a junior national record.  1500 m champion Chika Mukai (Shigakukan H.S.) had the fastest time in the 800 m semifinals, 2:07.02, promising a great showdown in tomorrow's final.  The 2:02.23 junior national record may be a stretch, but with any luck Mukai and a rested Ishizuka will push each other to the 2:04.00 national high school record.

The other big news came in the boys' shot put, where favorite Shinichi Yukinaga (Seiko Gakuen H.S.) opened with a National High School Championships record throw of 17.87 m in the qualifying round.  On his second throw in the final Yukinaga broke the 18.02 m junior and high school national record with a throw of 18.04 m, coming back on his fifth throw to overtake both records again with a mark of 18.21 m.  Before this year's Championships Yukinaga was the only athlete in the field to have cleared 16.00 m, but in the final the 2nd through 4th placers all threw new bests over 16, a nice uptick in the quality of Japanese throwing.



The boys' 400 mH also saw a new National High School Championships record, with Kazunari Takada (Daini Hosei Prep H.S.) running a PB 50.27 to beat 2015 World Youth Championships silver and bronze medalists Ryusei Fujii (Kokura Kogyo H.S.) and Masaki Toyoda (Rakunan H.S.) for the win and the meet record.  Nanaka Kori (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) rounded out the day's record-breaking action with a meet record and PB 49.15 to win the girls' discus throw by nearly 8 m.  Tokyo H.S. took both the girls' and boys' 4x100 m relays, with its individual 100 m champions Iyoba Edoba and Kenta Oshima anchoring the teams to their wins.  World Youth Championships 100 m and 200 m gold medalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, outdone by Oshima in yesterday's 100 m final, anchored the Josai Prep H.S. team to a 6th-place finish in the boys' race.



68th National High School Track and Field Championships 
Day Three Highlights
Wakayama, July 31
click here for complete results

Boys' 5000 m Qualifiers
14:27.15 - Silas Kingori (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 1st, H1
14:28.65 - Paul Kamais (Sera H.S.) - 1st, H3
14:28.68 - Kazuya Nishiyama (Tokyo Nogyo Prep Daini H.S.) - 2nd, H1
14:29.52 - Shota Onizuka (Omuta H.S.) - 2nd, H3
14:30.00 - Yuta Kanbayashi (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 3rd, H3
14:30.19 - Rei Hasegawa (Toyokawa H.S.) - 4th, H3
14:31.97 - Kido Miwa (Aichi H.S.) - 5th, H3
14:34.89 - Ryunosuke Omori (Sano Nittai Prep H.S.) - 6th, H3
14:35.76 - Hiroki Abe (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 3rd, H1
14:36.29 - Tomoki Ota (Hamamatsu Nittai Prep H.S.) - 4th, H1
14:36.87 - Taiji Nakashima (Sera H.S.) - 5th, H1
14:37.07 - Shunsuke Imanishi (Kobayashi H.S.) - 6th, H1
14:40.48 - Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 1st, H2
14:40.80 - Takato Suzuki (Ryutsu Keizai Prep Kashiwa H.S.) - 2nd, H2
14:40.81 - Kiseki Shiozawa (Iga Hakuho H.S.) - 3rd, H2
14:41.03 - Jun Kato (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 4th, H2
14:41.10 - Keiichiro Otsuka (Tosu Kogyo H.S.) - 5th, H2
14:41.18 - John Kariuki (Aomori Yamada H.S.)  6th, H2

Girls' 400 m Hurdles Final
1. Haruko Ishizuka (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 57.06 - Jr. NR, H.S. NR, MR
2. Mizuki Murakami (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 58.95 - PB
3. Yuri Arashima (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) - 58.99 - PB
4. Sawako Nakagama (Kagoshima H.S.) - 59.71 - PB
5. Saki Kodama (Oita Oginodai H.S.) - 1:00.04 (59.75 PB in semifinals)
6. Kana Koyama (Kawasaki Tatebashi H.S.) - 1:00.15 (59.61 PB in semifinals)
7. Honoka Iwata (Chukyo Prep H.S.) - 1:00.40 (59.62 PB in semifinals)
8. Minami Nakahara (Osaka H.S.) - 1:00.52 (1:00.46 PB in semifinals)

Boys' 400 m Hurdles Final
1. Kazunari Takada (Daini Hosei Prep H.S.) - 50.27 - MR, PB
2. Masaki Toyoda (Rakunan H.S.) - 50.85
3. Tatsuhiro Yamamoto (Narita H.S.) - 51.32 - PB
4. Ryusei Fujii (Kokura Kogyo H.S.) - 51.34
5. Masahito Tashiro (Morioka Nishi H.S.) - 51.92
6. Kazuki Hamamura (Osaka Toin H.S.) - 53.19 (51.82 PB in semifinals)
7. Rui Takahashi (Shibata H.S.) - 53.24
8. Hirotaka Minato (Osaka H.S.) - 54.55 (52.09 PB in semifinals)

Boys' 5000 m Race Walk Final
1. Minoru Onogawa (Tokyo Jitsugyo H.S.) - 21:22.29
2. Masatora Kawano (Gotemba Minami H.S.) - 21:25.10
3. Ryutaro Yamamoto (Toyama Shogyo H.S.) - 21:32.58

Girls' 4x100 m Relay Final
1. Tokyo H.S. (Saita - Fukuda - Uemura - Edoba) - 45.55
2. Kyoto Tachibana H.S. (Honjo - Yoshino - Himeno - Iki) - 45.87
3. Kurashiki Chuo H.S. (Saito - Miyake - Sawatani - Saito) - 46.01

Boys' 4x100 m Relay Final
1. Tokyo H.S. (Usuda - Hidaka - Inoue - Oshima) - 40.20
2. Yokkaichi H.S. (Kadoya - Sakakura - Kawamura - Ito) - 40.32
3. Nagoya H.S. (Inagaki - Aoki - Irie - Ogawa) - 40.40
-----
6. Josai Prep H.S. (Ikeda - Kurata - Yoshida - Sani Brown) - 40.63

Boys' Long Jump Final
1. Kazuma Adachi (Osaka Toin H.S.) - 7.74 m +0.6 m/s - PB
2. Hiroshi Endo (Osaka Toin H.S.) - 7.60 +0.9 m/s - PB
3. Chihiro Nozaki (Rakunan H.S.) - 7.49 m +1.2 m/s

Boys' Shot Put Final
1. Shinichi Yukinaga (Seiko Gakuen H.S.) - 18.21 m - Jr. NR, H.S. NR, MR
2. Kei Shimosaka (Omura H.S.) - 16.46 m - PB
3. Kotaro Kazahari (Mizusawa Daiichi H.S.) - 16.32 m - PB

Girls' Discus Throw Final
1. Nanaka Kori (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 49.15 - MR, PB
2. Rie Kai (Kumamoto Kokufu H.S.) - 41.49 m - PB
3. Sana Atagi (St. Catalina Joshi H.S.) - 40.48 m

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

'Tokyo Olympic Games Logo Embroiled in Plagiarism Row'

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jul/30/tokyo-olympics-logo-plagiarism-row

'Kenyans Plot to Stop Mo'

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/kenyans-plot-stop-mo

2015 World XC silver medalist Bedan Karoki runs for Tokyo-based DeNA, while 2013 World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist and 2011 World XC silver medalist Paul Tanui runs for Fukuoka's Kyudenko team.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Oshima Over Sani Brown, Kitaguchi Wins Again and Fast 1500 m Finals on Day Two of Japanese National High School Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner
videos by naoki620



Defending champ Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.) brought the highlight of the second day of the Japanese National High School Track and Field Championships, delivering a big upset in the boys' 100 m final with a win over the fastest boy in the field, 2015 World Youth Championships double gold medalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.).  With Sani Brown holding a PB 0.11 seconds faster and leading his times in both the heats and semifinals, Oshima had a great start in the final, opening an early lead as Sani Brown was slow out of the blocks.  Sani Brown closed throughout the race, but Oshima had enough for the win in 10.29, his second-straight national H.S. 100 m title and a PB by 0.09 seconds despite a -0.8 m/s headwind.  Sani Brown was almost even with him in 10.30, just off his best, with 3rd-placer Kenta Katsuse (Saku Yakonohana H.S.) running a PB 10.48.  Both Oshima and Sani Brown returned later to anchor their teams in  4x100 m relay semifinal 1, both schools qualifying for tomorrow's final.



Oshima's teammate Iyoba Edoba (Tokyo H.S.) likewise picked up a second-straight national H.S. title in the girls' 100 m. In spite of a -1.2 m/s headwind Edoba destroyed the competition, clocking an 11.72 PB well ahead of Sayaka Shibayama (Shigakukan H.S.), runner-up in 11.89.  Kaho Nishio (Osaka H.S.) rounded out the podium in 11.91.



Despite high humidity and temperatures hovering around 35 degrees, the boys' 1500 m final was one of the fastest and deepest in the National H.S. Championships' history.  Favorite Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) got the win in 3:48.48 less than a second off the PB he set earlier this month in far better conditions in Hokkaido, kicking from near the back of the pack with 250 m to go to beat last year's runner-up Masahide Saito (Waseda Jitsugyo H.S.) who ran a PB 3:49.07 and #2-ranked Kazuki Kawamura (Ogaki Nihon Prep H.S.), 3rd in 3:49.24.  Behind them, six more boys, all Japanese, broke 3:50, five for the first time despite the conditions.  The current wave of improvement in Japanese long distance and sprinting may finally be touching the middle distances.



The girls' 1500 m final was also solid.  Facing the same extreme conditions as the boys #4-ranked Chika Mukai (Shigakukan H.S.) ran 4:16.76, her first time under 4:20, to take the win over last year's champion Nana Kuraoka (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) and favorite Monica Margaret (Aomori Yamada H.S.).  Kuraoka also ran a PB of 4:18.05, with Margaret just off her best in 4:19.61.  Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.), a two-time National Women's Ekiden stage winner in junior high school and daughter of sub-2:30 amateur marathon woman Chihiro Tanaka, made a good high school debut in 5th in 4:23.10.  The top nine all broke 4:25, five in PBs, almost equalling the number at this year's NCAA D1 Championships where ten university women broke 4:25.

2015 World Youth Championships gold medalist Haruka Kitaguchi (Asahikawa Higashi H.S.) was another athlete to pick up a second-straight national H.S. title, winning the girls' javelin with a throw of 56.63 m after a challenge from last year's 4th-placer Mikako Yamashita (Kyoei Gakuen H.S.), who threw a large PB of 55.40 for 2nd.  The girls' 5000 m race walk also saw high-level performances, with the top three all going under 24 minutes in PB times.  Yukiho Mizoguchi (Nagano Higashi H.S.) scored an unexpected win in 23:13.98 over #2-ranked Saori Nishimura (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.).  The #2-ranked boy in the pole vault, Takuma Arai (Kashiwa Nittai Prep H.S.) had better luck, clearing 5.20 m for the win as favorite Masaki Ejima (Eda H.S.) finished 11th of 14 after clearing only 4.80 m.  The girls' high jump went more according to script as #1-ranked Yuzuki Ishioka (Sendai Tohoku H.S.) outdid #2 and #3-ranked teammates Misaki Nakanishi and Sakura Asai (Okazaki Joshi H.S.) for the win in 1.75 m.  Likewise in the boys' decathlon, where favorite Hayao Tagami (Rakunan H.S.) set a championships record 6002 for the win.  The National High School Track and Field Championships continue through Sunday, August 2nd.

68th National High School Track and Field Championships 
Day Two Highlights
Wakayama, July 30
click here for complete results

Boys' 1500 m Final
1. Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 3:48.48
2. Masahide Saito (Waseda Jitsugyo H.S.) - 3:49.07 - PB
3. Kazuki Kawamura (Ogaki Nihon Prep H.S.) - 3:49.24
4. Kakeru Nakamura (Saikyo H.S.) - 3:49.28 - PB
5. Rikuto Iijima (Midorioka H.S.) - 3:49.68 - PB
6. Tomoya Nakamura (Toin H.S.) - 3:49.72
7. Atsuya Ubukata (Sano Nihon Prep H.S.) - 3:49.86 - PB
8. Tsubasa Komuro (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 3:49.89 - PB
9. Taku Tomihara (Jinsei Gakuen H.S.) - 3:49.94 - PB
10. Taisei Ogino (Kato Gakuen H.S.) - 3:50.54 - PB

Girls' 1500 m Final
1. Chika Mukai (Shigakukan H.S.) - 4:16.76 - PB
2. Nana Kuraoka (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 4:18.05 - PB
3. Monica Margaret (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 4:19.61
4. Miho Shimada (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 4:20.70
5. Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 4:23.10
6. Keiko Okada (Yawatahama H.S.) - 4:23.16 - PB
7. Kana Tsuchida (Niigata Meikun H.S.) - 4:23.19 - PB
8. Kanami Hiraga (Junten H.S.) - 4:24.57
9. Yuna Wada (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 4:24.84 - PB
10. Ryo Koido (Suijo H.S.) - 4:25.07 - PB

Boys' 100 m Final -0.8 m/s
1. Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.) - 10.29 - PB
2. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) - 10.30
3. Kenta Katsuse (Saku Yakonohana H.S.) - 10.48 - PB
4. Jun Yamashita (Fukushima H.S.) - 10.63
5. Yoshihiro Someya (Tsukuba Shuei H.S.) - 10.68
6. Daisuke Miyamoto (Rakunan H.S.) - 10.70
7. Kengo Masuda (Sano H.S.) - 10.73
8. Naoya Tamura (Niigata Shogyo H.S.) - 10.76

Girls' 100 m Final -1.2 m/s
1. Iyoba Edoba (Tokyo H.S.) - 11.72 - PB
2. Sayaka Shibayama (Shigakukan H.S.) - 11.89
3. Kaho Nishio (Osaka H.S.) - 11.91
4. Shino Araki (Nagara H.S.) - 11.96
5. Marina Miyake (Kurashiki H.S.) - 11.96
6. Mako Nakano (Anjo Gakuen H.S.) - 11.98
7. Tomomi Kawamura (Morioka Daiichi H.S.) - 12.04
8. Shiori Yoshino (Kyoto Tachibana H.S.) - 12.11

Girls' 5000 m RW Final
1. Yukiho Mizoguchi (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 23:13.98 - PB
2. Saori Nishimura (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 23:24.02 - PB
3. Yukako Hayashi (Yawatahama H.S.) - 23:59.35 - PB

Girls' High Jump Final
1. Yuzuki Ishioka (Sendai Tohoku H.S.) - 1.75 m
2. Sakura Asai (Okazaki Joshi H.S.) - 1.75 m - PB
3. Misaki Nakanishi (Okazaki Joshi H.S.) - 1.75 m

Boys' Pole Vault Final
1. Takuma Arai (Kashiwa Nittai Prep H.S.) - 5.20 m
2. Koki Takekawa (Fujinomiya Kita H.S.) - 5.10 m - PB
3. Kairi Uematsu (Hamamatsu Kita H.S.) - 5.05 m - PB

Girls' Javelin Throw Final
1. Haruka Kitaguchi (Asahikawa Higashi H.S.) - 56.63 m
2. Mikako Yamashita (Kyoei Gakuen H.S.) - 55.40 m - PB
3. Mizuho Imamura (Kumamoto Nishi H.S.) - 49.95 m - PB

Boys' Octathlon Final Scores
1. Hayao Tagami (Rakunan H.S.) - 6002 - MR
2. Toshiki Kuge (Toba H.S.) - 5691
3. Shota Hirono (Rakunan H.S.) - 5639 - PB

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ishizuka 400 m MR, Sani Brown Anchors Josai 4x100m Semis on Day One of Japanese National High School Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner
videos by naoki620 and aoshin0507



#1-ranked Haruko Ishizuka (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) turned in the performance of the day on the opening day of the National High School Track and Field Championships, setting a meet record 53.30 to win the girls' 400 m.  After dominating the semifinals in 53.92, the only girl in the field to break 54, Ishizuka had no trouble at all running away from closest competitor Yuna Iwata (Niijima Gakuen H.S.) in the final, winning by more than a second over Iwata's 54.37 PB.  2015 World Youth Championships team member Rin Aoki (Soyo H.S.) also ran a PB of 54.74 for 3rd.  The boys' 400 m final saw Daisuke Funato (Higashi Fukuoka H.S.) unexpectedly win with a 47.06 PB, taking down favorites Manato Sasaki (Morioka Minami H.S.) and Sho Someya (Seibudai Chiba H.S.) who took only 4th and 5th.



Another highlight came in the first heat of the boys' 1500 m, where a strong surge from Kakeru Nakamura (Saigyo H.S.) at 700 m meant a fast race for #1-ranked Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.).  Nakamura opened up a good-sized lead over the third lap, but in the home straight Tamogami easily caught him, jogging across the line under control in 3:49.69 with Nakamura just behind in 3:49.80.  Tamogami's recent 3:47.63 best looks like it may be in danger.  #2-ranked Kazuki Kawamura (Ogaki Nihon Prep H.S.) with a best of 3:47.69 coasted it in in the second heat in 3:54.44 while four other boys, two of them in the first heat with Tamogami and Nakamura, broke 3:51, promising some depth to tomorrow's final.



The boys' hammer throw final saw all three podium placers throw PBs over 60 m, Ryota Muraki (Hisai H.S.) getting the win with a throw of 63.62 m. In the boys' 4x100 m relay heats, World Youth Championships double sprint gold medalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) turned in a big anchor run to move Josai up from 5th to 2nd in 40.93, just missing 1st but moving his team on to Thursday's semifinals.  Ishizuka also returned in the girls' 4x100 m to anchor the Keiai girls, coming up from 4th and running down first place to put them into the semis in 46.93.

68th National High School Track and Field Championships 
Day One Highlights
Wakayama, July 29
click here for complete results

Boys' 400 m Final
1. Daisuke Funato (Higashi Fukuoka H.S.) - 47.06 - PB
2. Hiroki Daira (Sanda Shosei H.S.) - 47.28 (47.24 PB in semifinal)
3. Takuto Eto (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 47.46
4. Manato Sasaki (Morioka Minami H.S.) - 47.55
5. Sho Someya (Seibudai Chiba H.S.) - 48.29
6. Haruhiko Nakatsukue (Soyo H.S.) - 49.03
7. Ayumu Miura (Junshin H.S.) - 49.10
8. Shuichiro Matsubara (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 50.98

Girls' 400 m Final
1. Haruko Ishizuka (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 53.30 - MR, PB
2. Yuna Iwata (Niijima Gakuen H.S.) - 54.37 - PB
3. Rin Aoki (Soyo H.S.) - 54.74 - PB
4. Airi Ikezaki (Funairi H.S.) - 55.08 (55.02 PB in semifinal)
5. Fumi Matsumoto (Okazaki Joshi H.S.) - 55.68
6. Yuna Uesugi (Hirakata H.S.) - 55.74
7. Ryo Koda (Tochiku H.S.) - 55.82
8. Sayumi Yoshida (Aichi H.S.) - 55.97

Boys' 1500 m Qualifiers
3:49.69 - Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 1st, H.1
3:49.80 - Kakeru Nakamura (Saigyo H.S.) - 2nd, H.1
3:50.46 - Kazuya Nishiyama (Daisan Tokyo Nogyo Prep H.S.) - 1st, H.3
3:50.51 - Taku Tomihara (Jinsei Gakuen H.S.) - 3rd, H.1
3:50.88 - Atsuya Ubukata (Sano Nihon Prep H.S.) - 2nd, H.3
3:50.95 - Tsubasa Komuro (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 4th, H.1
3:51.03 - Tomohiro Soeda (Tosu Kogyo H.S.) - 3rd, H.3
3:51.65 - Taisei Ogino (Kato Gakuen H.S.) - 5th, H.1
3:51.66 - Masahide Saito (Waseda Jitsugyo H.S.) - 1st, H.4
3:51.80 - Satoshi Tsuboi (Ogaki Nihon Prep H.S.) - 4th, H.3
3:51.82 - Haruki Nishimura (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 2nd, H.4
3:51.84 - Hiroaki Saito (Kugayama Koku Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 6th, H.1
3:51.99 - Yuya Nakamura (Osaka Toin H.S.) - 3rd, H.4
3:54.18 - Rikuto Iijima (Midorioka H.S.) - 1st, H.2
3:54.44 - Kazuki Kawamura (Ogaki Nihon Prep H.S.) - 2nd, H.2
3:54.58 - Shoma Funatsu (Ohori Fukuoka Prep H.S.) - 3rd, H.2

Girls' 1500 m Qualifiers
4:21.80 - Monica Margaret (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 1st, H.4
4:22.74 - Miho Shimada (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 1st, H.2
4:22.97 - Kimi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 2nd, H.2
4:23.24 - Kanami Hiraga (Junten H.S.) - 3rd, H.2
4:23.61 - Chika Tarumoto (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 2nd, H.4
4:24.32 - Yuki Kometani (Tokiwa H.S.) - 3rd, H.4
4:24.84 - Yuna Wada (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 4th, H.4
4:25.05 - Chika Mukai (Shigakukan H.S.) - 1st, H.1
4:25.14 - Ryo Koido (Suijo H.S.) - 5th, H.4
4:25.76 - Kana Tsuchida (Niigata Meikun H.S.) - 4th, H.2
4:26.97 - Keiko Okada (Yawatahama H.S.) - 2nd, H.1
4:27.02 - Yuka Matsumura (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) - 5th, H.2
4:27.06 - Shino Wakisaka (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 3rd, H.1
4:27.59 - Nana Kuraoka (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 1st, H.3
4:28.39 - Honoka Kudo (Oita Nishi H.S.) - 2nd, H.3
4:29.17 - Arisu Fuwa (Takasaki Kenko Fukushi Prep H.S.) - 3rd, H.3

Boys' Hammer Throw Final
1. Ryota Muraki (Hisai H.S.) - 63.62 m - PB
2. Masao Ikeda (Sayama H.S.) - 61.72 m - PB
3. Kenji Miyazaki (Wakayama Kogyo H.S.) - 60.45 m - PB

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

'New National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan Statement by Zaha Hadid Architects'

http://www.zaha-hadid.com/2015/07/28/new-national-stadium-tokyo-japan-statement-by-zaha-hadid-architects/

World Youth Champions Kitaguchi and Sani Brown Lead 68th National High School Championships - Preview and Live Streaming

by Brett Larner
live streaming courtesy of Inter-High School Television


The 68th National High School Track and Field Championships kick off today in Wakayama.  All four Japanese medalists from this month's World Youth Championships, girls' javelin gold medalist Haruka Kitaguchi (Hokkaido Asahikawa Higashi H.S.), boys' 100 m and 200 m championships record-setting double gold medalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) and boys' 400 m hurdles silver and bronze medalists Ryusei Fujii (Kokura Kogyo H.S.) and Masaki Toyoda (Rakunan H.S.), are on the entry lists along with 2014 Youth Olympics girls' 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.), boys' 10000 m race walk gold medalist Minoru Onogawa (Tokyo Jitsugyo H.S.) and boys' 100 m silver medalist Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.).

Most eyes will be on Sani Brown, who is set to run at the Beijing World Championships next month aged just 16, but with just 0.10 separating their bests last year's 100 m national H.S. champion Oshima should give him a run for it.  The girls' 3000 m looks like another of this year's highlights, with Takamatsu, the star of 2014 National High School Girls Ekiden champion Kunei Joshi Gakuin leading three athletes with bests under 9:10.  Her younger sister Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu will also make her high school debut in the 3000 m seeded 6th at 9:13.35.  Likewise for the boys' 5000 m, featuring 2014 National High School Boys Ekiden champion Sera's superstar Paul Kamais dominating the field after running 13:2152 this spring but 16-year-old Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) giving some hope of a Japanese athlete making the podium thanks to his 13:50.51 PB earlier this month.  Fresh back from World Youth's, Endo's teammate Kazuyoshi Tamogami leads four Japanese runners with sub-3:50 bests in an unusually deep boys' 1500 m, his 3:47.63 PB from the beginning of the month putting him just 0.06 seconds ahead of Kazuki Kawamura (Ogaki Nihon Prep H.S.).

68th National High School Track and Field Championships
Entry List Highlights
Wakayama, July 29-Aug. 2
click here for complete English entry lists
click here for complete Japanese start lists
click here for live results

Sprints
Boys' 100 m - heats/semifinals/final: July 30
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) - 10.28
Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.) - 10.38
Wataru Inuzuka (Hamana Municipal H.S.) - 10.44
Jun Yamashita (Fukushima H.S.) - 10.49
Kendai Katsuse (Saku Yakonohana H.S.) - 10.49

Girls' 100 m - heats/semifinals/final: July 30
Iyoba Edoba (Tokyo H.S.) - 11.80
Kaho Nishio (Osaka H.S.) - 11.88
Sayaka Shibayama (Shigakukan H.S.) - 11.88
Miku Yamada (Morioka Seio H.S.) - 11.90
Marina Miyake (Kurashiki H.S.) - 11.91

Boys' 200 m - heats/semifinals/final: Aug. 1
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) - 20.34
Wataru Inuzuka (Hamana Municipal H.S.) - 20.87
Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.) - 20.99
Jun Yamashita (Fukushima H.S.) - 20.99
Noriki Tamura (Shimonoseki Shogyo H.S.) - 21.12

Girls' 200 m - heats/semifinals/final: Aug. 1
Marina Miyake (Kusashiki H.S.) - 24.01
Ami Saito (Tottori Chuo H.S.) - 24.17
Sayaka Shibayama (Shigakugan H.S.) - 24.30
Amika Miyazaki (Hitsuyukan H.S.) - 24.49
Tomomi Yanagiya (Seiryo H.S.) - 24.56

Boys' 400 m - heats/semifinals/final: July 29
Manato Sasaki (Morioka Minami H.S.) - 46.85
Sho Someya (Seibudai Chiba H.S.) - 47.07
Daisuke Funato (Higashi Fukuoka H.S.) - 47.18
Hiroki Daira (Sanda Shosei H.S.) - 47.28
Kazuki Matsukiyo (Yoshikan H.S.) - 47.29

Girls' 400 m - heats/semifinals/final: July 29
Haruko Ishizuka (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 53.97
Rin Aoki (Soyo H.S.) - 54.80
Yuna Uesugi (Hirakata H.S.) - 55.23
Fumi Matsumoto (Okazaki Joshi H.S.) - 55.25
Yuna Iwata (Niijima Gakuen H.S.) - 55.26

Middle Distance
Boys' 800 m - heats/semifinals: July 31 / final: Aug. 1
Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 1:50.31
Soichiro Sawada (Kansai Prep Hokuyo H.S.) - 1:50.62
Takuto Hanamura (Higashi H.S.) - 1:51.15
Koki Kobe (Takasaki Kenko Fukushi Prep H.S.) - 1:51.53
Tatsuya Nishikubo (Seibo Gakuen H.S.) - 1:51.63

Girls' 800 m - heats/semifinals: July 31 / final: Aug. 1
Haruko Ishizuka (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 2:08.01
Atsumi Toya (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 2:08.55
Chika Mukai (Shigakukan H.S.) - 2:08.63
Shoko Fukuda (Matsue Kita H.S.) - 2:08.74
Airi Ikezaki (Funairi H.S.) - 2:08.77

Boys' 1500 m - heats: July 29 / final: July 30
Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 3:47.63
Kazuki Kawamura (Ogaki Nihon Prep H.S.) - 3:47.69
Takumi Yokokawa (Nakanojo H.S.) - 3:48.74
Tomoya Nakamura (Toin H.S.) - 3:49.01
Atsuya Ubukata (Sano Nihon Prep H.S.) - 3:50.00

Girls' 1500 m - heats: July 29 / final: July 30
Monica Margaret (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 4:19.02
Nana Kuraoka (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 4:19.84
Miho Shimada (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 4:20.10
Chika Mukai (Shigakukan H.S.) - 4:20.59
Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:20.61

Long Distance
Boys' 5000 m - heats: July 31 / final: Aug. 1
Paul Kamais (Sera H.S.) - 13:21.52
Silas Kingori (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 13:43.28
Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 13:50.51
John Kariuki (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 13:54.44
Shota Onizuka (Omuta H.S.) - 13:58.43
Hiroki Abe (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 14:00.48

Girls' 3000 m - heats: Aug. 1 / final: Aug. 2
Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:01.58
Yuka Mukai (Sera H.S.) - 9:04.81
Helen Ekarare (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 9:06.91
Miho Shimada (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 9:10.51
Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:13.22
Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:13.35
Emi Sagayama (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:13.60
Fukiko Ando (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:14.04

Hurdles
Boys' 110 mH - heats/semifinals/final: Aug. 2
Hayao Tagami (Rakunan H.S.) - 14.10
Nao Kanai (Kawasaki Tachibana H.S.) - 14.20
Papdenpa Hiramatsu (Roka H.S.) - 14.24
Masaki Toyoda (Rakunan H.S.) - 14.29
Rei Igarashi (Aizu Gakuho H.S.) - 14.37

Girls' 100 mH - heats/semifinals/final: Aug. 2
Yumi Tanaka (Daiichi Kansai Prep H.S.) - 13.64
Rino Ito (Saikyo H.S.) - 13.89
Risa Hayashi (Ritsumeikan Keisho H.S.) - 13.91
Kaori Yamamoto (Kannabe Asahi H.S.) - 13.94
Sakiko Kamata (Koryo H.S.) - 13.95

Boys' 400 mH - heats: July 30 / semifinals/final: July 31
Ryusei Fujii (Kokura Kogyo H.S.) - 50.33
Masaki Toyoda (Rakunan H.S.) - 50.53
Rui Takahashi (Shibata H.S.) - 51.41
Tatsuhiro Yamamoto (Narita H.S.) - 51.55
Takafumi Iwasaki (Koriyama Higashi H.S.) - 51.68

Girls' 400 mH - heats: July 30 / semifinals/final: July 31
Haruko Ishizuka (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 58.16
Mizuki Murakami (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 59.84
Sawako Nakagama (Chukyo Prep H.S.) - 1:00.09
Chisa Kitazawa (Nishi Joyo H.S.) - 1:00.21
Tomoka Harada (Gyosei Tokai Prep H.S.) - 1:00.23

Boys' 3000 mSC - heats: Aug. 1 / final: Aug. 2
Joel Mwaura (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) - 8:55.97
Kazuki Noda (Saikyo H.S.) - 8:59.18
Taisei Ogino (Kato Gakuen H.S.) - 8:59.67
Soshi Nishida (Kyushu Gakuin H.S) - 9:02.84
Reitoshi Nakajima (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) - 9:03.36

Race Walks
Boys' 5000 m RW - final: July 31
Kaito Kaji (Okayama Shoga Prep H.S.) - 20:41.75
Taiga Takizawa (Kasukabe Higashi H.S.) - 20:52.11
Kohei Toyama (Suisho H.S.) - 20:52.32
Masatora Kawano (Gotemba Minami H.S.) - 20:53.21
Minoru Onogawa (Tokyo Jitsugyo H.S.) - 20:58.48

Girls' 5000 m RW - heats: July 29 / final: July 30
Chisa Todokoro (Niijima Gakuen H.S.) - 23:38.91
Saori Nishimura (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 23:42.90
Maika Yagi (Nishinomiya H.S.) - 23:46.47
Masayo Asano (Horikawa H.S.) - 23:48.24
Yumi Oe (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 23:48.84

Relays
Boys' 4x100 m Relay - heats: July 29 / semifinals: July 30 / final: July 31
Tokyo H.S. - 40.33
Nagoya H.S. - 40.60
Yokkaichi Kogyo H.S. - 40.71
Josai Prep H.S. - 40.78
Osaka H.S. - 40.79

Girls' 4x100 m Relay - heats: July 29 / semifinals: July 30 / final: July 31
Tokyo H.S. - 45.67
Kurashiki Chuo H.S. - 46.13
Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S. - 46.25
Shigakukan H.S. - 46.35
Aichi H.S. - 46.49

Boys' 4x400 m Relay - heats: Aug. 1 / semifinals/final: Aug. 2
Narita H.S. - 3:11.61
Soyo H.S. - 3:12.16
Hokuyo Kansai Prep H.S. - 3:12.26
Tokyo H.S. - 3:12.51
Daini Hosei Prep H.S. - 3:12.61

Girls' 4x400 m Relay - heats: Aug. 1 / semifinals/final: Aug. 2
Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S. - 3:38.69
Shigakukan H.S. - 3:42.40
Soyo H.S. - 3:43.89
Tokyo H.S. - 3:43.94
Narita H.S. - 3:44.41

Jumps
Boys' High Jump - qualifying/final: Aug. 1
Taro Fujita (Hokuyo Kansai Prep H.S.) - 2.14 m
Aoi Ota (Hamamatsu Ichiritsu H.S.) - 2.10 m
Riku Hashimoto (Kawasaki Tachibana H.S.) - 2.10 m
Sho Koyanagi (Yusei H.S.) - 2.09 m
Toshinori Kimura (Taira Kogyo H.S.) - 2.08 m

Girls' High Jump - qualifying/final: July 30
Yuzuki Ishioka (Sendai Tohoku H.S.) - 1.78 m
Misaki Nakanishi (Okazaki Joshi H.S.) - 1:76 m
Sakura Asai (Okazaki Joshi H.S.) - 1.73 m
Shiho Araki (Akashi Shogyo H.S.) - 1.73 m
Rena Kokorozashi (Taisha H.S.) - 1.72 m

Boys' Pole Vault - qualifying: July 29 / final: July 30
Masaki Ejima (Eda H.S.) - 5.32 m
Takuma Arai (Kashiwa Nittai Prep H.S.) - 5.21 m
Takaaki Yoshida (Kanonji Chuo H.S.) - 5.11 m
Hibiki Uehara (Maebashi Municipal H.S.) - 5.00 m
Koki Takekawa (Fujinomiya Kita H.S.) - 5.00 m

Boys' Long Jump - qualifying/final: July 31
Kazuma Adachi (Toin H.S.) - 7.61 m
Hibiki Tsuha (Naha Nishi H.S.) - 7.55 m
Shota Inagawa (Niigata H.S.) - 7.53 m
Takahito Komori (Ryukoku Prep H.S.) - 7.51 m
Masashi Miyauchi (Sakata Nishi H.S.) - 7.50 m

Girls' Long Jump - qualifying/final: Aug. 1
Maya Takeuchi (Setsu H.S.) - 6.08 m
Yuka Yamashita (Taisei Gakuin H.S.) - 6.05 m
Miki Mihara (Hideaki H.S.) - 6.02 m
Kaori Takahashi (Kunori Gakuen H.S.) - 5.98 m
Misaki Imahama (Tamano Konan H.S.) - 5.94 m

Boys' Triple Jump - qualifying/final: Aug. 2
Chihiro Nozaki (Rakunan H.S.) - 15.77 m
Shinya Kobayashi (Suge H.S.) - 15.32 m
Tsuru Fukushima (Seibo Gakuen H.S.) - 15.16 m
Shota Inagawa (Niigata H.S.) - 15.09 m
Go Murakami (Kikugawa Nanryo H.S.) - 15.00 m

Throws
Boys' Shot Put - qualifying/final: July 31
Shinichi Yukinaga (Seiko Gakuen H.S.) - 18.00 m
Kotaro Kazahari (Mizusawa Daiichi H.S.) - 15.99 m
Kei Shimosaka (Omura H.S.) - 15.85 m
Takumi Amemiya (Koma H.S.) - 15.83 m
Norito Iyo (Ise Kogyo H.S.) - 15.75 m

Girls' Shot Put - qualifying/final: Aug. 2
Nanaka Kori (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 15.44 m
Yuka Ebihara (Tsuchiura Kohoku H.S.) - 14.05 m
Miku Tamura (Hanazono H.S.) - 14.00 m
Yuri Saito (Kochi Otemae H.S.) - 13.80 m
Kurumi Ishimaru (Jiyugaoku H.S.) - 13.71 m

Boys' Discus Throw - qualifying/final: Aug. 2
Shinichi Yukinaga (Seiko Gakuen H.S.) - 56.42 m
Hiroshi Nakamoto (Wakayama Kogyo H.S.) - 47.26 m
Taisei Fukutome (Tokyo H.S.) - 46.82 m
Kota Akiba (Seibudai H.S.) - 46.66 m
Ayumu Hirota (Himeji Shogyo H.S.) - 45.88 m

Girls' Discus Throw - qualifying/final: July 31
Nanaka Kori (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 49.14 m
Mizuki Handa (Ota Joshi H.S.) - 43.42 m
Sana Atagi (St. Catalina Joshi H.S.) - 42.29 m
Misaki Sugita (Seibudai H.S.) - 41.66 m
Chiho Kanda (Hanazono H.S.) - 41.47 m

Boys' Hammer Throw - qualifying/final: July 29
Ryota Muraki (Hisai H.S.) - 62.49 m
Tsubasa Ono (Kisarazu Sogo H.S.) - 61.69 m
Taisei Yamanaka (Uji Yamada H.S.) - 60.23 m
Keiji Miyazaki (Wakayama Kogyo H.S.) - 59.95 m
Yuya Sato (Shibata Minami H.S.) - 59.81 m

Boys' Javelin Throw - qualifying/final: Aug. 1
Gen Naganuma (Takada H.S.) - 67.97 m
Atsushi Tsukamoto (Tsuchiura Kohoku H.S.) - 65.95 m
Matake Kasai (Goshogawara Norin H.S.) - 65.71 m
Masataka Miura (Riseisha H.S.) - 65.28 m
Ikoi Tani (Yao H.S.) - 64.49 m

Girls' Javelin Throw - qualifying/final: July 30
Haruka Kitaguchi (Hokkaido Asahikawa Higashi H.S.) - 60.35 m
Asuka Goto (Tsuchiura Kohoku H.S.) - 51.96 m
Mikako Yamashita (Kyoei Gakuen H.S.) - 50.75 m
Tsugumi Okabayashi (Osaka H.S.) - 50.74 m
Haruna Nagao (Sapporo Keihoku Shogyo H.S.) - 49.34 m

Combined Events
Boys' Octathlon - July 29 - 30
Hayao Tagami (Rakunan H.S.) - 6093
Toshiki Kuge (Toba H.S.) - 5784
Shoji Shinohara (Iga Hakuho H.S.) - 5759
Ryuji Fukushima (Takaoka Shogyo H.S.) - 5639
Shota Hirono (Rakunan H.S.) -  5545

Girls' Heptathlon - July 31 - Aug. 1
Maya Shreshta (Keiai Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 5327
Maya Kawaguchi (Otsuka H.S.) - 5024
Miki Toyama (Chukyo Prep H.S.) - 4946
Yui Ono (Shiraume H.S.) - 4889
Natsuki Yasuda (Aki H.S.) - 4858

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kebaso and Matsumoto Win Shibetsu Half Marathon

by Brett Larner

With the demise of the Sapporo International Half Marathon, Hokkaido's Shibetsu Half Marathon has taken on a bigger role as a major domestic summer half marathon, especially for members of Japanese national teams for international championships.  Despite generally hot conditions and the apparent cutting of the elite women's 10 km this year, both the women's and men's races featured solid fields.

Kenyan Winfredah Kebaso, the main support of the fledgling Nitori corporate women's team, easily took the win in 1:12:36 over Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku), one of the three Japanese women in the marathon at next month's Beijing World Championships.  Ito was a distant 2nd behind Kebaso in 1:14:47 but had little trouble holding off teammate Yui Okada, 3rd in 1:15:13.  Runners from the Noritz corporate team featured prominently, taking 4 of the top 10 places, while Nitori's Remi Nakazato continued her comeback from a cancer diagnosis last November, taking 7th in 1:16:53.  Mei Matsuyama (Meijo Univ.) was the top collegiate at 9th in 1:18:13.

The Toyota men's corporate team dominated the men's race with 3 of the top 4 places and 4 inside the top 10.  Toyota's Kenta Matsumoto took the win in 1:03:56, a rare sub-1:04 in Shibetsu, with teammate Tsubasa Hayakawa outrunning Masaki Ito (Team Konica Minolta) by 5 seconds for 2nd in 1:04:20.  2014 Asian Games marathon silver medalist Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi HPS) took 5th in 1:04:41, with Rei Omori (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) taking top collegiate honors with a 1:05:23 for 9th.

29th Shibetsu Half Marathon
Shibetsu, Hokkaido, 7/26/15
click here for complete results

Women
1. Winfredah Kebaso (Kenya/Nitori) - 1:12:36
2. Mai Ito (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:14:47
3. Yui Okada (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:15:13
4. Ai Inoue (Noritz) - 1:15:34
5. Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Noritz) - 1:16:14
6. Mari Ozaki (Noritz) - 1:16:39
7. Remi Nakazato (Nitori) - 1:16:53
8. Yuko Mizuguchi (Denso) - 1:17:38
9. Mei Matsuyama (Meijo Univ.) - 1:18:13
10. Madoka Nakano (Noritz) - 1:18:32

Men
1. Kenta Matsumoto (Toyota) - 1:03:56
2. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) - 1:04:20
3. Masaki Ito (Konica Minolta) - 1:04:25
4. Ryo Matsumoto (Toyota) - 1:04:39
5. Kohei Matsumura (Mitsubishi HPS) - 1:04:41
6. Yoshihiro Wakamatsu (Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:05:12
7. Natsuki Terada (JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:05:12
8. Minato Oishi (Toyota) - 1:05:17
9. Rei Omori (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:23
10. Tomoyuki Morita (Kanebo) - 1:05:38

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Monday, July 27, 2015

Get Paced By Your 5000 m National Champion, Only At Time Trials for Grown-Ups

by Brett Larner
photos by Ekiden News, Reiko.K and STITCHrunner
click here for more photos by Ekiden News

For the third year in a row, the staff of the Ekiden News website brought the experience of the elite time trial meet to the average runner, putting on the Otona no Time Trial meet, Time Trials for Grown-Ups, at Kinuta Park Field in Tokyo's western-central suburb of Setagaya on July 26.  Despite extreme heat over 500 amateur runners from back-of-the-packers to sub-15 seekers, kids to adults, took part in 1000 m, 1500 m and finely-graded 5000 m races, mirroring the experience of elite time trial meets like the Nittai University Time Trials and Golden Games in Nobeoka. 

London Paralympics 5000 m bronze medalist Shinya Wada

Each heat featured pacing from top-tier Japanese elite athletes, including sub-62 half marathoners Takuya Fukatsu, Tomoya Onishi and Yuki Yagi from the Asahi Kasei corporate team, London Paralympics men's 5000 m bronze medalist Shinya Wada and Yuki Kawauchi's middle brother Yoshiki Kawauchi, giving amateurs not only the experience of running in an elite-style race but the chance to actually run with and talk to some of their favorite athletes, as well giving many of the pros, isolated inside the system since high school, their first real interactions with ordinary runners.

Yuki Yagi and Ekiden News founder Takeshi Nishimoto

After a great popular response to last year's Time Trials where Sydney Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and former world record holder Naoko Takahashi featured on pacing duty, other elites simply turned up to check out the fresh atmosphere at the meet, another step forward in Ekiden News' mission to bridge the gap between elite and amateur and help popularize and share their love of another side of Japan's incredible elite racing world with the booming domestic amateur market, and vice versa.

Prominent among the people to just turn up was this year's 5000 m national champion Kota Murayama, a 13:19 runner and member of the Beijing World Championships team.  Murayama was so into the meet's format that he asked if he could pace a heat, jumping in unplanned to pace the I-Heat to break 20 minutes with one of the OTT's customized bib numbers.  I-Heat runner Yu Mito got the treat of a lifetime as Murayama took him out front alone ahead of the rest of the field, and Murayama got the entire track including Mito laughing with a self-parody of his much-criticized showboating win over then-future 5000 m national record holder Suguru Osako last month at the National Championships, sprinting away from Mito in the last 50 m, pumping his fists and shouting, "Oh yeah!"


Murayama stayed at the finish line to cheer on incoming runners, even helping out one struggling with the effects of the heat the way he would one of his own teammates.  You know Mito, the other runners, and all the fans crowding into lane 5 were loving every minute of it.  Murayama and the other pros were loving it just as much, all of them there without appearance fees and just because they liked the vibe of a group of outsiders doing it themselves, doing what they think needs to be done to both share and benefit what they love and doing it with total professionalism.  You have all the right ideals and an idea about what needs to happen to make things better, you find a way to put it into action, and people respond.  If only there were more grown-ups like that.

text (c) 2015 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
photos (c) 2015 their respective photographers, all rights reserved

Kawauchi Wins Fifth-Straight Kushiro Shitsugen 30 km

http://www.news-kushiro.jp/news/20150727/201507271.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 43rd running of the Kushiro Shitsugen Road Race took place July 26 in Kushiro, Hokkaido in rainy conditions.  3870 people started the race, aiming for the finish line as they ran through the region's beautiful natural areas.  Likewise aiming for the Olympics as an amateur athlete, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was on-hand as an invited runner, receiving a bouquet of flowers.

4220 people entered the race this year, a new record.  The 30 km walk division began at 6:00 a.m., with the 30 km race starting at 9:30 accompanied by people in the 15 km walk, 10 km and 3 km run divisions.  Locals crowded the course to cheer passing runners on.  Kawauchi won for the fifth-straight year, crossing the finish line in 1:35:08.  Post-race he said, "I feel great when the conditions are perfectly cool like this.  If it's late July that means I'm running in Kushiro.  That's a commitment I've made.  This was another great race here."  Kawauchi's youngest brother Koki Kawauchi (22, Team Monteroza) also ran, finishing 3rd in 1:45:57.

Wharf to Wharf 6 Miler - Japanese Results

Santa Cruz, U.S.A., 7/26/15
click here for complete results

Men
1. Sam Chelanga (Kenya) - 27:25
2. Shadrack Kosgei (Kenya) - 27:27
3. John Muritu Watiku (Kenya) - 27:28
4. Nelson Oyugi (Kenya) - 27:29
5. Brett Gotcher (U.S.A.) - 27:32
-----
8. Yuichiro Ueno (Japan/DeNA) - 27:58
12. Kensuke Gotoda (Japan/DeNA) - 29:01
13. Yuki Kawasaki (Japan/DeNA) - 29:08
14. Hiroki Sugawa (Japan/DeNA) - 29:09
15. Yukiho Aihara (Japan/DeNA) - 29:26

Saturday, July 25, 2015

'Tokyo Unveils 2020 Olympics Logo By Kenjiro Sano'

http://www.dezeen.com/2015/07/24/tokyo-2020-olympics-paralympics-logo-kenjiro-sano/

Sainsbury's Anniversary Games - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner
video by MYXGAMES2013



Less than a week after setting a new 5000 m national record in Belgium, Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) came up short of breaking his own 3000 m national record of 7:40.09, running 7:46.14 for 10th in the men's 3000 m at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games Diamond League meet in London.  London Olympics double gold medalist Mo Farah (Great Britain) put on another show for the hometown crowds, outrunning Othmane El Goumri (Morocco) to win in a world-leading 7:34.66.

Sainsbury's Anniversary Games
London, U.K., 7/24/15
click here for complete results

Men's 3000 m
1. Mo Farah (Great Britain) - 7:34.66 - WL
2. Othmane El Goumri (Morocco) - 7:36.71 - PB
3. Emmanuel Kipsang (Kenya) - 7:37.05
4. Yenew Alamirew (Ethiopia) - 7:38.47
5. Collis Birmingham (Australia) - 7:39.85
-----
10. Suguru Osako (Japan/Oregon Project) - 7:46.14

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, July 24, 2015

'Governor Masuzoe’s Olympic Offensive'

Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe looks to assign blame for failure of Olympic Stadium plans, saying current leadership shares "the same system of irresponsibility like that which once characterized the Japanese Imperial Army.”:

http://shingetsunewsagency.com/tokyo/?p=1522

2020 Tokyo Olympics Race Walk Course to Change After IAAF Criticism

http://www.sankei.com/sports/news/150724/spo1507240001-n1.html

translated by Brett Larner

Multiple people involved with the situation confirmed on July 23 that the race walk course for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that has been in place since Tokyo's initial bid is to undergo changes.  The original plan involved a start and finish at the Olympic Stadium with a circuit course on Aoyama Street, but IAAF officials deemed that the 1.3 km segment on Gaien Nishi Street connecting the stadium and circuit course makes it "difficult to position referees," forcing a revision of the plans.

In race walking it is illegal for both feet to be in the air at the same time, and the leading leg must remain straight from the time the heel contacts the ground until the leg is in the vertical position.  In the Olympics nine referees are properly placed to determine by visual inspection whether athletes' form constitutes a violation of either rule.

According to an involved party, the new course remains undetermined at this point.  While there is a possibility that the event may be moved completely away from the Olympic Stadium in order to stage it in one of Tokyo's well-known and popular districts, in terms of operational logistics such as athlete warm-up and transportation as well as security issues, a stadium start and finish remains the first choice.  Given these circumstances, the Olympic Games organizing committee and JAAF are examining the options.

No Japanese athlete has won an Olympic race walking gold medal in the event's history, but in March Yusuke Suzuki (Team Fujitsu) broke the 20 km world record, an indication that the sport is progressing.  It is bound to receive a great deal of domestic attention at the Tokyo Olympics, but the question remains where exactly that will happen.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

'Japan to Hold New International Design Competition to Choose Stadium for Tokyo 2020'

http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1028851/japan-to-hold-new-international-design-competition-to-choose-stadium-for-tokyo-2020

All-Time Top 25 Japanese Rankings

updated 8/31/15

All-time top 25 Japanese men's and women's rankings over 5000 m, 10000 m, half marathon and marathon.  Click any image to enlarge.  Green indicates a time run in the current year.  Yellow indicates the most recent time for distances with no top 25 performances this year.  Additions and corrections welcome.  

Click here for all sub-2:10 Japanese men's marathon performances.  Click here for all sub-2:27 Japanese women's marathon performances.


(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The New Olympic Stadium Plans Must Include a Permanent Sub-Track

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2015/07/21/kiji/K20150721010773500.html

an editorial by Kenji Fujiyama
translated by Brett Larner

With a crack of the whip from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the controversial plans for the 2020 Olympic Stadium that have generated a storm of criticism have gone back to the drawing board.  Underlying Abe's decision, the news that the project's wasteful $2 billion+ USD price tag has disappeared is glad tidings indeed.  But the price was not the only problem with the plans.

Official JAAF-certified athletics facilities are classified into four categories, with the World Championships and other major international events requiring the highest level facilities within that categorization.  Absolutely essential for a facility to receive the highest level of certification is the presence of an auxiliary track, known as a sub-track.  With no sub-track included in the plans for the 2020 Olympic Stadium, after the Olympics the JAAF would be unable to use it to stage major events like the World Championships let alone national-level events like the National Sports Festival or National High School Championships.

This problem has been pointed out by numerous members of the Japanese athletics industry from the early stages.  But with decision makers showing a reluctance to allocate land and budget, plans instead opted for the construction of a temporary sub-track nearby with the rationalization being that the previous National Stadium did not have a permanent sub-track, temporary sub-tracks having been built for the 1964 Olympics and 1991 World Championships. 

The requirement for a sub-track is not a luxury but a necessity.  Because there are a large number of events in athletics, track events, field events and throws all go on at the same time.  Add in athletes warming up for their upcoming events and you have an overflow situation.  A sub-track is necessary to prevent accidents.  In all the Olympics and World Championships I have covered around the world, I have never seen a stadium without permanent sub-track facilities.

The Olympics may have the budget to build a temporary sub-track, but there is no way that other events like the National Sports Festival or National High School Championships could afford to do the same.  The main causes of the colossal cost of the Olympic Stadium plan are its bow-like structure (keel arch) and the enormous amount budgeted toward features other than its function as a stadium, including VIP rooms, meeting rooms, exhibition halls and restaurants.  With heavy duty cost reduction a major theme, it is absolutely essential that the new plans include a permanent sub-track.

'Army Reservist Lea Poole is Getting Ready to Race Up an Active Volcano in Japan'

http://www.gloucestercitizen.co.uk/Army-reservist-Lea-Poole-race-active-volcano/story-26872562-detail/story.html

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sani Brown Breaks Bolt's World Youth Championships Record

by Brett Larner
video by Sport in HD



After winning the 100 m in World Youth Championships record time earlier in the week, Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) fully arrived on the international scene on the Championships' final day, breaking Usain Bolt's 200 m meet record to win gold in 20.34.  Running into a moderate headwind, Sani Brown had pressure from South Africa's Kyle Appel on the curve, but hitting the straight he pulled away steadily to take the win by a margin of over 0.2 seconds.  Sani Brown's time bettered his PB by 0.22 seconds, cleared Bolt's 20.40 record from the 2003 World Youth Championships and moved him up to all-time youth #2 behind only Bolt.  It also cleared the Beijing World Championships qualifying standard of 20.50, and with a 2nd-place finish in the 200 m at last month's National Championships behind him it means Sani Brown is a lock for the Beijing team at age 16.  Give him 5 more years and Tokyo 2020 should be interesting indeed.

Sani Brown's gold was the only Japanese medal of the day as boys' pole vault contender Masaki Ejima (Eda H.S.) came up short, clearing only 5.00 m for 6th as gold and silver medalists Armand Duplantis (Sweden) and Vladyslav Malykhin (Ukraine) both cleared 5.30 m to break the World Youth Championships record.  Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) was the top Japanese finisher in the boys' 3000 m, 5th in 8:26.96 with teammate Yuta Kambayashi (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) 7th in 8:29.75.  Maya Takeuchi (Setsu H.S.) missed out on a top 10 placing in the girls' long jump, jumping 5.89 m for 11th.  In the meet-closing mixed 4x400 m Japan took 6th, leaving its medal total at three golds, one silver and one bronze for 3rd overall behind the U.S.A. and Kenya.

9th World Youth Championships Day Five Japanese Results
Cali, Colombia, 7/19/15
click here for complete results

Boys' 3000 m Final
1. Richard Yator Kimunyan (Kenya) - 7:54.45
2. Davis Kiplangat (Kenya) - 7:54.52
3. Tefera Mosisa (Ethiopia) - 7:55.04 - PB
4. Abayneh Degu (Ethiopia) - 8:00.79 - PB
5. Hyuga Endo (Japan) - 8:26.96
-----
7. Yuta Kambayashi (Japan) - 8:29.75

Boys' 200 m Final -0.4 m/s
1. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Japan) - 20.34 - MR
2. Kyle Appel (South Africa) - 20.57 - PB
3. Josephus Lyles (U.S.A.) - 20.74 - PB

Mixed 4x400 m Relay Final
1. U.S.A. - 3:19.54
2. South Africa - 3:23.60
3. Canada - 3:23.60
-----
6. Japan - 3:25.01

Girls' Long Jump Final
1. Tara Davis (U.S.A.) - 6.41 m +0.3 m/s - PB
2. Kaiza Karlen (Sweden) - 6.24 m -0.2 m/s - PB
3. Maja Bedrac (Slovenia) - 6.22 m +0.3 m/s
-----
11. Maya Takeuchi (Japan) - 5.89 m -0.3 m/s

Boys' Pole Vault Final
1. Armand Duplantis (Sweden) - 5.30 m - MR
2. Vladyslav Malykhin (Ukraine) - 5.30 m (MR)
3. Emmanouil Karalis (Greece) - 5.20 m
-----
6. Masaki Ejima (Japan) - 5.00 m

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Osako and Yoroizaka Break 5000 m National Record at KBC Nacht

by Brett Larner

Eight years after it was set at on the same track, Suguru Osako (Oregon Project) and Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) made history at the KBC Nacht in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, both breaking Takayuki Matsumiya's 13:13.20 Japanese men's 5000 m national record.  For Osako it was do or die, his last chance to clear the Beijing World Championships qualifying standard of 13:23.00 after his official debut season with the Oregon Project was repeatedly hit by setbacks, not least of all the series of doping allegations against his coach Alberto Salazar.  Osako came through in a big way, running 13:08.40 for 6th, easily breaking both the NR and the Beijing standard.  10000 m national champion Yoroizaka, already on the Beijing team in the 10000 m, unexpectedly hung on to the pace and likewise cleared the record and standard in 13:12.63.

After countless all-time top performances over 5000 m, 10000 m, half marathon and marathon have sent things bubbling in the right direction in the last few years, it was the first new Japanese men's national record at one of the major distances since Matsumiya set foot in Heusden.  With the gates now open more are bound to come.  At the very least Heusden remains a magical track for Japanese men, with 7 of the 10 fastest Japanese 5000 m times now having been run there.

Kota Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei), who outkicked Osako to win last month's National Championships 5000 m after running 13:19.62 in May, had an off day, running just 13:58.56 for 19th.  Another raft of Japanese corporate runners ran in the B-heat, Yoroizaka and Murayama's teammate Shuho Dairokuno (Team Asahi Kasei) leading the way with a PB 13:28.61 for 2nd.  In the women's 5000 m, 10000 m national champion Kasumi Nishihara (Team Yamada Denki) likewise turned in a PB performance but came up painfully shy of clearing the 15:20.00 Beijing standard, running 15:20.20 for 6th.  Teammates Yuika Mori and Shiho Takechi were 10th and 14th in 15:34.13 and 15:37.41.

KBC Nacht
Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, 7/18/15
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m
1. Dejen Gebremeskel (Ethiopia) - 13:05.38
2. Bashir Abdi (Belgium) - 13:06.10
3. Ben True (U.S.A.) - 13:06.15
4. Albert Rop (Kenya) - 13:06.74
5. Eric Jenkins (U.S.A.) - 13:07.33
6. Suguru Osako (Japan/Nike Oregon Project) - 13:08.40 - NR
7. Thomas Farrell (Great Britain) - 13:10.48
8. Philip Kipyego (Kenya) - 13:10.69
9. Bernard Kimani (Kenya) - 13:10.83
10. Richard Ringer (Germany) - 13:10.94
11. Sindre Buraas (Norway) - 13:11.96
12. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 13:12.63 (NR)
-----
19. Kota Murayama (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 13:58.56
20. Naohiro Domoto (Japan/JR Higashi Nihon) - 14:17.23

Women's 5000 m
1. Mimi Belete (Ethiopia) - 14:54.71
2. Goytom Gebrselase (Ethiopia) - 14:57.33
3. Abbey D'Agostino (U.S.A.) - 15:03.85
4. Stephanie Twell (Great Britain) - 15:14.39
5. Jennifer Wenth (Austria) - 15:16.12
6. Kasumi Nishihara (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 15:20.20
7. Laura Whittle (Great Britain) - 15:22.00
8. Louise Carton (Belgium) - 15:23.82
9. Lidia Rodriguez (Spain) - 15:24.25
10. Yuika Mori (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 15:34.13
-----
14. Shiho Takechi (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 15:37.41

Men's 5000 m B-Heat
1. Frederick KIpkosgei (Kenya) - 13:28.32
2. Shuho Dairokuno (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 13:28.61
3. Ross Proudfoot (Canada) - 13:29.32
4. Brian Shrader (U.S.A.) - 13:30.09
5. Roy Hoornweg (Netherlands) - 13:31.41
-----
11. Yuta Shitara (Japan/Honda) - 13:37.76
14. Kaido Kita (Japan/Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:43.91
15. Hiroto Inoue (Japan/Mitsubishi HPS) - 13:45.92
16. Masato Kikuchi (Japan/Konica Minolta) - 13:48.07

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Fujii and Toyoda's Double 400 m Hurdles Medals Lead World Youth Championships Day Four Japanese Results

by Brett Larner
videos by Akiko Sani Brown



After setting boys' 400 m hurdles world youth leads in the heats and semifinals at the World Youth Championships, Japan's Ryusei Fujii (Kokura Kogyo H.S.) and Masaki Toyoda (Rakunan H.S.) added to the country's medal total in the final to cap the fourth day of competition.  Both delivering PB performances, Fujii and Toyoda were unable to match a brilliant world youth leading 49.11 from Norman Grimes (U.S.A.) but took silver and bronze, Fujii in 50.33 and Toyoda in 50.53.  4th placer Rivaldo Leacock (Barbados) likewise turned in a PB of 51.13, an indication of how good the competition up front was.



The other Japanese performance of the day came in the boys' 200 m semifinals.  Despite a 1.7 m/s headwind, 100 m gold medalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) ran 20.62 to win his semifinal, just 0.06 seconds off his best and 0.12 seconds off the Beijing World Championships qualifying standard.  His nearest competition in the semis, Kyle Appel (South Africa) ran 20.79 to win Heat 3 but with a headwind of only 1.0 m/s.  Sani Brown looks set for double gold in the final, the only question being how fast.  His teammate Kazuki Tamura (Shimonoseki Shogyo H.S.) ran 21.35 in Appel's heat, finishing 4th and shut out of the final.

In the girls' 1500 m final, Chika Mukai (Shigakukan H.S.) ran 4:21.59 for 6th, with her counterpart in the boys' 800 m final Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) running 1:52.58 for 8th.  Japan's race walkers also made the top 10, Toshiki Ueda (Uwajima Higashi H.S.) clocking a PB 43:34.83 for 5th in the boys' 10000 m and Maika Yagi (Nishinomiya H.S.) likewise delivering a PB 23:46.47 for 10th in the girls' 5000 m.  Advancing alongside Sani Brown to the finals on the last day of competition, Maya Takeuchi (Setsu H.S.) jumped 6.07 m in the girls' long jump to qualify. Japan's mixed 4x400 m relay team won its heat with the second-fastest time between all three heats, 3:24.76. 

9th World Youth Championships Day Four Japanese Results
Cali, Colombia, 7/18/15
click here for complete results

Girls' 1500 m Final
1. Bedatu Hirpa (Ethiopia) - 4:12.92 - WYL
2. Dalila Abdulkadir Gosa (Bahrain) - 4:13.35 - PB
3. Joyline Cherotich (Kenya) - 4:15.20 - PB
-----
6. Chika Mukai (Japan) - 4:21.59
12. Wakana Kabasawa (Japan) - 4:32.50

Boys' 800 m Final
1. Willy Kiplimo Tarbei (Kenya) - 1:45.58
2. Kipyego Bett (Kenya) - 1:45.86
3. Luis Fernando Pires (Brazil) - 1:48.61 - PB
-----
7. Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Japan) - 1:52.58

Boys' 200 m Semifinal 1 -1.7 m/s
1. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Japan) - 20.62 - Q
2. Edel Rogelio Amores (Cuba) - 21.07 - Q - PB
3. Tlotliso Gift Leotlela (South Africa) - 21.13 - q

Boys' 200 m Semifinal 3 -1.0 m/s
1. Kyle Appel (South Africa) - 20.79 - Q
2. Derick Silva (Brazil) - 20.92 - Q - PB
3. Cameron Tindle (Great Britain) - 20.99 - q
4. Kazuki Tamura (Japan) - 21.35

Girls' 200 m Semifinal 2 +0.1 m/s
1. Candace Hill (U.S.A.) - 23.21 - Q
2. Nicola De Bruyn (South Africa) - 23.54 - Q - PB
3. Ashlan Best (Canada) - 24.22 - PB
-----
6. Ami Saito (Japan) - 24.38

Boys' 400 mH Final
1. Norman Grimes (U.S.A.) - 49.11 - WYL
2. Ryusei Fujii (Japan) - 50.33 - PB
3. Masaki Toyoda (Japan) - 50.53 - PB

Mixed 4x400 m Relay Heat 3
1. Japan - 3:24.76 - Q
2. Canada - 3:25.44 - Q
3. South Africa - 3:26.90 - q

Boys' 10000 m Race Walk Final
1. Sergey Shirobokov (Russia) - 42:24.41
2. Jun Zhang (China) - 42:33.68 - PB
3. Federico Gonzalez (Mexico) - 42:54.55
-----
5. Toshiki Ueda (Japan) - 43:34.83 - PB
18. Yasushi Morita (Japan) - 46:31.43 - PB

Girls' 5000 m Race Walk Final
1. Zhenxia Ma (China) - 22:41.08
2. Olga Eliseeva (Russia) - 22:45.09
3. Ayalnesh Dejene (Ethiopia) - 22:48.25 - PB
-----
10. Maika Yagi (Japan) - 23:46.47 - PB
26. Yukako Hayashi (Japan) - 25:22.47 - PB

Girls' Long Jump Qualification Group A
1. Tara Davis (U.S.A.) - 6.24 m +0.0 m/s - Q
2. Milica Gardasevic (Serbia) - 6.16 m -0.1 m/s - Q
3. Maja Bedrac (Slovakia) - 6.16 m +1.2 m/s - Q
-----
6. Kanae Sugimura (Japan) - 5.88 m +0.4 m/s

Girls' Long Jump Qualification Group B
1. Viyaleta Skvartsova (Belarus) - 6.26 m +1.3 m/s - Q - PB
2. Susana Hernandez (Mexico) - 6.11 m -0.4 m/s - Q
3. Maya Takeuchi (Japan) - 6.07 m +0.8 m/s - q

Boys' Javelin Throw Qualification Group B
1. Hercules Van Vuuren (South Africa) - 79.04 m - Q - PB
2. Manu Quijera (Spain) - 77.26 m - Q - PB
3. Conor Warren (Australia) - 77.03 m - Q
-----
11. Gen Naganuma (Japan)  65.96 m - PB

Girls' Heptathlon Final Scores
1. Geraldine Ruckstuhl (Switzerland) - 6037 - MR
2. Sarah Lagger (Austria) - 5992
3. Alina Shukh (Ukraine) - 5896
-----
15. Maya Shreshta (Japan) - 5327 - PB

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, July 18, 2015

World Youth Championships Day Three Japanese Results

by Brett Larner
video by Akiko Sani Brown

Day Three of the World Youth Championships was relatively quiet for the Japanese contingent.  Of the two finals featuring Japanese athletes, Yuki Shibata (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) had better luck, placing 7th in the girls' 2000 mSC in 6:48.41, seconds out of the top 5 but 30 seconds behind winner Celliphine Chepteek Chespol (Kenya).  After running a 46.85 PB in the boys' 400 m semifinals, Minato Sasaki (Morioka Minami H.S.) struggled in the final, finishing last in 47.54.



Two of Japan's gold medal contenders moved on through the opening rounds without problems.  100 m gold medalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Josai Prep H.S.) won his 200 m heat in 21.19, jogging down the home straight with ease, while boys' pole vault favorite Masaki Ejima (Eda H.S.) likewise advanced after clearing 4.95 m.  Kazuki Tamura (Shimonoseki Shogyo H.S.) also advanced in the boys' 200 m, with Takaaki Yoshida (Kanonji Chuo H.S.) joining Ejima in the pole vault final.  Ami Saito (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) completed a good day for the Japanese 200 m crew, advancing to the girls' semifinal after running 24.44 for 3rd in her heat.

9th World Youth Championships Day Three Japanese Results
Cali, Colombia, 7/17/15
click here for complete results

Boys' 400 m Final
1. Christopher Taylor (Jamaica) - 45.27 - WYL
2. Josephus Lyles (U.S.A.) - 45.46 - PB
3. Keshun Reed (U.S.A.) - 45.96
-----
8. Minato Sasaki (Japan) - 47.54

Boys' 200 m Heat 5 -1.0 m/s
1. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Japan) - 21.19 - Q
2. Edel Rogelio Amores (Cuba) - 21.46 - Q
3. Aobakwe Malau (Botswana) - 22.02 - PB

Boys' 200 m Heat 6 +0.5 m/s
1. Jack Hale (Australia) - 21.31 - Q
2. Kazuki Tamura (Japan) - 21.60 - Q
3. Gediminas Truskauskas (Lithuania) - 21.75 - PB

Girls' 200 m Heat 7 -0.9 m/s
1. Shaneil English (Jamaica) - 24.23 - Q
2. Ina Huemer (Austria) - 24.37 - Q - PB
3. Ami Saito (Japan) - 24.44 - Q

Girls' 2000 m Steeplechase Final
1. Celliphine Chepteek Chespol (Kenya) - 6:17.15 - PB
2. Sandrafelis Chebet Tuei (Kenya) - 6:19.61
3. Agrie Belachew (Ethiopia) - 6:34.68
4. Alondra Negron (Puerto Rico) - 6:39.51
5. Beletu Hailu (Ethiopia) - 6:41.46
-----
7. Yuki Shibata (Japan) - 6:48.41

Boys' 2000 m Steeplechase Heat 1
1. Vincent Kipyegon Ruto (Kenya) - 5.34:52 - Q
2. Tegenu Mengistu (Ethiopia) - 5.42:01 - Q - PB
3. Boniface Abel Sikowo (Uganda) - 5:46.56 - Q - PB
-----
9. Takeshi Nishida (Japan) - 5:59.06

Boys' Pole Vault Qualification Group A
1. Emmanouil Karalis (Greece) - 4.95 m - Q
1. Armand Duplantis (Sweden) - 4.95 m - Q
3. Joel Leon Benitez (Great Britain) - 4.95 m - Q
-----
6. Takaaki Yoshida (Japan) - 4.95 m - Q

Boys' Pole Vault Qualification Group B
1. Muntadher Faleh Abdulwahid (Iraq) - 4.95 m - Q
1. Denis Akinshin (Russia) - 4.95 m - Q
3. Masaki Ejima (Japan) - 4.95 m - Q

Girls' Heptathlon Day One Point Total
1. Adriana Rodriguez (Cuba) - 3678
2. Lisa Maihofer (Germany) - 3590
3. Marisa Vaz Carvalho (Portugal) - 3580
-----
21. Maya Shreshta (Japan) - 3234

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, July 17, 2015

Prime Minister Abe Announces Revision of Olympic Stadium Plans A Day After Pushing Through Military Expansion Bill

Late last week and earlier this week there was a sudden swell in popular opposition to the Zaha Hadid-designed 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium design after it was revealed that the design would cost over $2 billion USD, far above the original estimate in Tokyo's Olympic bid.  Polls estimated from 71% to 95% opposition.  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated that there was little choice as "there wouldn't be enough time" to redo plans for the stadium.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-10/too-late-to-change-design-of-tokyo-s-olympic-stadium-abe-says

With the stadium's price tag dominating the headlines, virtually simultaneously on Thursday the main house of the Japanese parliament approved bills fronted by Abe aimed at expanding the role of the Japanese military despite large-scale public opposition and legal challenges over the move's constitutionality.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/abe-pushes-security-bills-through-japans-lower-house-1437023839

The next day Abe backtracked on his longstanding support for the Olympic Stadium plans, calling for a complete restart of the design process but giving assurances that the stadium would "definitely" be completed in time for the Olympics.

http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1028765/japanese-prime-minister-orders-plans-for-tokyo-2020-olympic-stadium-be-revised

The timing was no doubt entirely coincidental.

Suzuki Sets Another National Record, Ohara Qualifies for Beijing, Sub-28 Collegiates and More as Hokuren Distance Challenge Series Wraps Up in Abashiri

by Brett Larner

Japan's major midsummer track series, the Hokuren Distance Challenge in four locations across Hokkaido, wrapped up July 16 with the Abashiri Meet.  For the second time in a week, 20 km race walk world record holder Yusuke Suzuki (Team Fujitsu) broke a national record held by teammate Eiki Takahashi, both times outgunning Takahashi to do it.  This time it was Takahashi's 10000 mRW national record, from which Suzuki lopped 8 seconds with a new record of 38:10.23.  12 more seconds to another world record.

Other new came in the women's 10000 m, where National Championships 3rd-placer Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) finally succeeded in breaking the Beijing World Championships qualification standard of 32:00.00, taking 3rd in a new PB of 31:48.31 for which she is all but certain to be rewarded with a place on the Beijing team.  Riko Matsuzaki (Sekisui Kagaku) won in a solid PB of 31:44.86, with the top 4 breaking 32 minutes and the top 7 all clearing the 32:15.00 standard for next year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.  All told 7 Japanese women have broken 32 minutes so far this year, the most since 2007 and, in a rarity, surpassing the U.S.A. which has produced 6 women sub-32 in 2015.

Times were also good in the men's 10000 m, where university runners Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) and Ken Yokote (Meiji Univ.) went under 28 minutes for the first time.  Wambui, a first-year, took down all comers including #1-ranked collegiate Kenyan Enock Omwamba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) with a 27:54.98 PB for the win.  Hiroyuki Ono (Nissin Shokuhin), famed for collapsing in the final kilometer on the Hakone Ekiden's mountainous Fifth Stage his junior year at Juntendo University, surprised by dueling with top-level collegiate Yokote, both tailing Wambui all the way in to their first sub-28 clockings.  Ono took 2nd in 27:57.85 with Yokote right behind in 27:58.40, the first Japanese university runner under 28 this year.  Omwamba was 4th just 0.08 off his PB, frustratingly missing sub-27 again in 28:00.41.  Just 4 days after a 5000 m PB of 13:36.76, 30 km national university record holder Yuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) took his 10000 m best up a level as well, missing the Rio de Janeiro Olympics qualifying standard of 28:00.00 but coming in at 28:09.02 for 7th.

Hattori lost his short-lived status as the fastest current Japanese university student over 5000 m as Masaki Toda (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) ran 13:36.42 for 3rd in the men's 5000 m.  Newcomer Daniel Kipkemoi (Team Toyota Boshoku) won in 13:33.92, outkicking Joseph Onsarigo (Team ND Software).  Hattori's younger brother Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.), who won the Hokuren 1500 m 4 days earlier in a PB 3:42.06, took more than 10 seconds off his 5000 m best with a 13:44.22 for 10th.

Times were also decent in the women's 5000 m, where Felista Wanjugu (Team Universal Entertainment) ran 15:31.69 to beat Risa Yokoe (Team Toyota Jidoshokki), who ran a nearly 25-second PB of 15:33.77 for 2nd.  2014 Yokohama International Women's Marathon winner Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei), screwed over by the corrupt politics of the Japanese World Championships marathon team selection process this spring, ran a PB 15:37.59 for 5th.

For most Japanese distance athletes, the end of the Hokuren Distance Challenge series marks the end of track season and the beginning of the base-building period for the fall and winter ekiden and marathon season.  For the lucky few there is still the European circuit, and for the luckiest, likely including Ohara, track season continues on another month to the Beijing World Championships.

Hokuren Distance Challenge Abashiri Meet
Abashiri, Hokkaido, 7/16/15
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 mRW
1. Yusuke Suzuki (Fujitsu) - 38:10.23 - NR
2. Eiki Takahashi (Fujitsu) - 38:55.49
3. Kai Kobayashi (Bic Camera) - 39:28.68

Women's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Riko Matsuzaki (Sekisui Kagaku) - 31:44.86 - PB
2. Ayumi Hagiwara (Uniqlo) - 31:46.58
3. Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) - 31:48.31 - PB
4. Yuki Mitsunobu (Denso) - 31:56.92 - PB
5. Michi Numata (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:03.95 - PB
6. Yuki Hidaka (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 32:10.76 - PB
7. Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 32:12.25 - PB
8. Hanami Sekine (Japan Post Group) - 32:22.88 - PB
9. Yuko Mizuguchi (Denso) - 32:26.20
10. Rina Yamazaki (Panasonic) - 32:31.24

Men's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 27:54.98 - PB
2. Hiroyuki Ono (Nissin Shokuhin) - 27:57.85 - PB
3. Ken Yokote (Meiji Univ.) - 27:58.40 - PB
4. Enock Omwamba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:00.41
5. Minato Oishi (Toyota) - 28:04.65 - PB
6. Keita Shitara (Konica Minolta) - 28:05.28
7. Yuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 28:09.02 - PB
8. Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) - 28:09.86
9. Charles Ndungu (Kenya/Komori Corp.) - 28:10.05 - PB
10. Dominic Nyairo (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:11.49 - PB

Women's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Univ. Ent.) - 15:31.69
2. Risa Yokoe (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:33.77 - PB
3. Rika Toguchi (Route Inn Hotels) - 15:36.04 - PB
4. Akane Yabushita (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:36.84 - PB
5. Tomomi Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 15:37.59 - PB
6. Saori Noda (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 15:37.64 - PB
7. Yui Fukuda (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:37.83 - PB
8. Yukari Abe (Shimamura) - 15:39.05
9. Moeno Nakamura (Univ. Ent.) - 15:41.10 - PB
10. Kaho Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 15:41.68 - PB

Men's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Daniel Kipkemoi (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:33.92
2. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:34.85
3. Masaki Toda (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 13:36.42 - PB
4. Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:39.15
5. Akihiko Tsumurai (Mazda) - 13:39.71 - PB
6. Yuta Matsuda (SGH Group) - 13:40.68 - PB
7. Teressa Nyakora (Ethiopia/Mazda) - 13:42.48
8. Aritaka Kajiwara (Press Kogyo) - 13:42.48
9. Amos Kirui (Toyota Boshoku) - 13:43.66 - PB
10. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 13:44.22 - PB

Men's 10000 m B-Heat
1. Kenta Matsumoto (Toyota) - 28:25.86
2. Hiroshi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 28:34.66 - PB
3. Tomoya Onishi (Asahi Kasei) - 28:41.13
4. Ryu Takaku (Yakult) - 28:48.92
5. Soji Ikeda (Yakult) - 28:49.06

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Kitaguchi Throws Javelin Gold - World Youth Championships Day Two Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Haruka Kitaguchi (Hokkaido Asahikawa Higashi H.S.) unexpectedly became the second Japanese gold medalist of the World Youth Championships, the only athlete in the girls' javelin throw to go over 60 m with a PB of 60.35 m for the win.  Virtually unknown going into the competition, Kitaguchi opened with a PB 56.42 m throw to immediately go into 1st ahead of #3-ranked Laine Donane (Latvia) and #4-ranked Stella Weinberg (Norway).  On her third throw Weinberg delivered a PB of her own, 57.11 m, to move into 1st, but Kitaguchi was quick to respond with a 60.35 m best on her fifth throw to seal gold.  Weinberg stayed in silver, while Donane took bronze with her opening throw of 56.15 m.

Kitaguchi was the only Japanese medalist of the day, but from 400 m through 3000 m Japanese athletes performed well, moving on into the finals almost across the board.  Both Masaki Toyoda (Rakunan H.S.) and Ryusei Fujii (Kokura Kogyo H.S.) won their boys' 400 mH semifinals, Toyoda breaking the world youth leading 50.87 Fujii ran in the opening heats with a 50.72 to win his semi.  In the boys' 400 m semifinals, Minato Sasaki (Morioka Minami H.S.) ran a PB 46.85 to advance on time.  Likewise in the boys' 800 m, where Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) ran a PB of 1:50.31 to move on to the final ranked #3 in the field.

In the girls' 1500 m, Chika Mukai (Shigakukan H.S.) ran a PB of 4:20.59 for 4th in the fast second heat to make the final.  By comparison, Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) finished 3rd in the slower first heat in 4:32.13, likewise making the final.  Both Japanese entrants in the boys' 3000 m also made the final, Yuta Kambayashi (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) running 8:25.58 for 3rd in Heat 1 and Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) keeping his head as Richard Yator Kimunyan (Kenya) and Tefera Mosisa (Ethiopia) dueled pointlessly up front, qualifying for the final in 3rd in 8:26.59 over 20 seconds behind but at least heading into the final on fresh legs.

9th World Youth Championships Day Two Japanese Results
Cali, Colombia, 7/16/15
click here for complete results

Boys' 3000 m Heat 1
1. Davis Kiplagat (Kenya) - 8:19.27 - Q
2. Abayneh Degu (Ethiopia) - 8:20.08 - Q
3. Yuta Kambayashi (Japan) - 8:25.58 - Q
4. Kisan Narshi Tadvi (India) - 8:25.98 - Q
5. Alexander Yee (Great Britain) - 8:28.18 - Q

Boys' 3000 m Heat 2
1. Richard Yator Kimunyan (Kenya) - 8:04.75 - Q
2. Tefera Mosisa (Ethiopia) - 8:07.53 - Q - PB
3. Hyuga Endo (Japan) - 8:26.59 - Q
4. Abderrazak Abed (Algeria) - 8:29.07 - Q - PB
5. Dorin Andrei Rusu (Romania) - 8:29.36 - Q

Girls' 1500 m Heat 1
1. Adanech Anbesa (Ethiopia) - 4:28.70 - Q
2. Janeth Chepngetich (Kenya) - 4:32.03 - Q
3. Wakana Kabasawa (Japan) - 4:32.13 - Q
4. Sabrina Sinha (Great Britain) - 4:32.14 - Q
5. Semra Karaslan (Turkey) - 4:32.15

Girls' 1500 m Heat 2
1. Dalila Abdulkadir Gosa (Bahrain) - 4:18.61 - Q
2. Bedatu Hirpa (Ethiopia) - 4:19.34 - Q - PB
3. Joyline Cherotich (Kenya) - 4:19.96 - Q - PB
4. Chika Mukai (Japan) - 4:20.59 - Q - PB
5. Olivia Burdon (New Zealand) - 4:21.36 - q - PB

Boys' 800 m Semifinal 1
1. Kipyegon Bett (Kenya) - 1:47.11 - Q
2. Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Japan) - 1:50.31 - Q - PB
3. Lee Clarke (Jamaica) - 1:50.70 - q - PB

Boys' 800 m Semifinal 2
1. Willy Kiplimo Tarbei (Kenya) - 1:48.68 - Q
2. Luis Fernando Pires (Brazil) - 1:50.67 - Q - PB
3. Achraf El Maliky (Morocco) - 1:52.23
-----
7. Takuto Hanamura (Japan) - 1:57.69

Girls' 800 m Heat 2
1. Marta Zenoni (Italy) - 2:09.67 - Q
2. Honorine Iribagiza (Rwanda) - 2:10.04 - Q - PB
3. Elise Vanderelst (Belgium) - 2:10.20 - Q
-----
5. Shoko Fukuda (Japan) - 2:10.79

Boys' 400 m Semifinal 1
1. Christopher Taylor (Jamaica) - 45.30 - Q - WYL
2. Josephus Lyles (U.S.A.) - 45.93 - Q
3. Karabo Sibanda (Botswana) - 46.53 - q
4. Minato Sasaki (Japan) - 46.85 - q - PB

Boys' 400 m Semifinal 2
1. Keshun Reed (U.S.A.) - 46.77 - Q
2. Louis Stenmark (Australia) - 46.78 - Q - PB
3. Chandan Bauri (India) - 47.41
4. Ryota Kitahara (Japan) - 47.85

Girls' 400 m Semifinal 1
1. Kyra Constantine (Canada) - 52.88 - Q - PB
2. Catherine Reid (Great Britain) - 53.20 - Q - PB
3. Symone Mason (U.S.A.) - 53.48 - q
-----
7. Rin Aoki (Japan) - 55.69

Girls' 100 m Heat 6 -0.9 m/s
1. Nicola de Bruyn (South Africa) - 11.74 - Q
2. Brianne Bethel (Bahamas) - 11.88 - Q
3. Helene Ronningen (Norway) - 11.96 - q
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6. Miku Yamada (Japan) - 12.32

Boys' 400 mH Semifinal 1
1. Masaki Toyoda (Japan) - 50.72 - Q - WYL
2. Emmanuel Kipyegon Langat (Kenya) - 51.13 - Q - PB
3. Rivaldo Leacock (Barbados) - 51.20 - q - PB

Boys' 400 mH Semifinal 2
1. Ryusei Fujii (Japan) - 51.21 - Q
2. Jauavney James (Jamaica) - 51.96 - Q - PB
3. Hrvoje Cukman (Croatia) - 52.33

Girls' 400 mH Semifinal 1
1. Sydney McLaughlin (U.S.A.) - 56.79 - Q
2. Anne Sofie Kirkegaard (Denmark) - 58.56 - Q
3. Lee Ahrens (Germany) - 58.90 - Q - PB
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6. Mizuki Murakami (Japan) - 59.35

Girls' 400 mH Semifinal 2
1. Brandee Johnson (U.S.A.) - 58.51 - Q
2. Ilaria Verderio (Italy) - 58.56 - Q
3. Junelle Bromfield (Jamaica) - 58.67 - Q
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8. Chisa Kitazawa (Japan) - 1:11.08

Girls' 100 mH Semifinal 2 -0.6 m/s
1. Ilionis Guillaume (France) - 13.23 - Q - PB
2. Alicia Barrett (Great Britain) - 13.40 - Q - PB
3. Klaudia Siciarz (Poland) - 13.50 - q - PB
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5. Yumi Tanaka (Japan) - 13.64 - PB

Boys' High Jump Qualification Group A
1. Dmytro Nikitin (Ukraine) - 2.08 m - q
1. Jaron Brooks (U.S.A.) - 2.08 m - q
1. Remo Cagliesi (Germany) - 2.08 m - q
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12. Go Miura (Japan) - 2.00 m

Boys' Long Jump Final
1. Maykel Demetrio Masso (Cuba) - 8.05 m +0.5 m/s - MR
2. Darcy Roper (Australia) - 8.01 m +0.5 m/s - PB
3. Eberson Silva (Brazil) - 7.76 m +0.1 m/s - PB
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12. Masashi Miyauchi (Japan) - 6.85 m -0.3 m/s

Girls' Javelin Throw Final
1. Haruka Kitaguchi (Japan) - 60.35 m - PB
2. Stella Weinberg (Norway) - 57.11 m - PB
3. Laine Donane (Latvia) - 56.15 m

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved