Skip to main content

Yoshida to Join Fukushi in Nagoya Showdown for Rio

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20160212-OHT1T50034.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Feb. 11 it was learned that Kaori Yoshida (34, Runners Pulse), the top Japanese woman at 2nd overall in the first Rio Olympics domestic selection race at last November's Saitama International Women's Marathon, has entered the final Rio selection race, the Mar. 13 Nagoya Women's Marathon.  Also entered is Kayoko Fukushi (33, Wacoal), who ran 2:22:17 to break the JAAF-mandated sub-2:22:30 Olympic standard and win the second Rio selection race, January's Osaka International Women's Marathon.  With both already in contention for the Rio team the pair's entries creates a highly unusual situation at the final selection race.

The final selection race for the Olympic women's marathon team looks set to become a one-shot battle.  Appearing as part of a radio event in Tokyo on the 11th, Yoshida said, "I've been planning all along to run either Tokyo or Nagoya, but when I saw Fukushi's time in Osaka I immediately decided to run Nagoya."  Along with Fukushi, Yoshida's entry throws down a challenge to tough competition like national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (37, Sysmex) and London Olympian Ryoko Kizaki (30, Daihatsu) who are focused solely on Nagoya.

Fukushi's entry into Nagoya, her second selection race in just over a month and a half, is controversial, but for Yoshida the challenge is tougher.  In Saitama her time of 2:28:43 was a PB, but with Mai Ito (31, Otsuka Seiyaku) having scored a place on the Rio team by finishing 7th at last summer's World Championships Yoshida is third in line behind Ito and Fukushi's Osaka run.  There is a chance she could still be chosen for the team without running Nagoya, but for the last four years the winning time in Nagoya has been in the 2:22-2:24 range.  Every time, the fastest Japanese woman in Nagoya has also been much faster than Yoshida's 2:28.  With the JAAF looking primarily at whether athletes hit their standard and at how they do in the first selection race they run, unless Yoshida's rivals run badly in Nagoya the only route open to her is to break 2:22:30.

There are only two places left on the Olympic team.  Not belonging to a corporate team, the 34-year-old Yoshida got where she did on her own.  Yoshida will take a big step toward her dream of making the Olympics when she runs the Feb. 21 Ome 30 km in preparation for Nagoya.

Kaori Yoshida - born Aug. 4, 1981 in Sakado, Saitama.  34 years old.  156 cm, 41 kg.  Began running her first year of junior high school and joined the Sekisui Kagaku corporate team after graduating from Kawagoe Joshi H.S. in 2000.  Passing through other teams including Shiseido and Amino Vital AC, last fall she joined the Runners Pulse amateur running club.  Her marathon achievements include wins at the 2006 Hokkaido Marathon and 2010 and 2012 Gold Coast Marathons.

Translator's note: The article and in particular the bio at the end fail to mention that Yoshida is the only Japanese athlete to have ever been publicly suspended for doping after testing positive for EPO at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon.

Comments

kevin huynh said…
Hey don't you have the full elite field. Ryoko Kizaki was absent from racing all 2015 she's back 2016?

Most-Read This Week

Kiprop and Hunde Win Nagano Marathon

Ugandan Jackson Kiprop and Ethiopian Meskerem Hunde won Sunday's 21st edition of the Nagano Marathon. Running a steady and well-paced race that went out near 2:10:30 pace and sped up slightly to a 1:04:58 halfway split, Kiprop wore down the competition until there were only four left at 30 km. Ethiopian Deresa Geleta stayed with him until the very end, but Kiprop had the finish in him to open 3 seconds on Geleta to become Nagano's first-ever Ugandan winner in 2:10:39.

Geleta's 2:10:42 was good for a PB, with Japan's Naoya Sakuda (JR Higashi Nihon) also dropping a big PB of 2:11:21 for 3rd over Kenyan Alfred Kering. #1-ranked Asuka Tanaka (Hiramatsu Byoin) was one of the first to drop off Kiprop's early pace but rallied late in the race to take 5th in 2:14:35, his best performance since a stress fracture following his breakthrough in Tokyo last year.

Hunde pulled off an equally evenly-paced run to win the women's race, projected to run 2:33:44 after 5 km and en…

Kibet Runs 10000 m World Lead in Kobe, a 3:44.86 High Schooler and More - Weekend Track Roundup

After giving World XC a miss, Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) got his outdoor season off to a good start with a 13:33.70 PB for 5th at California's Mt. SAC Relays. His teammate Yuki Nakamura ran only 14:34.97, while the U.S.-based Takeshi Okada (UC Berkeley) ran 9:02.75 for 12th in the 3000 mSC. Toyota Jidoshokki teammates Momoka Kawaguchi and Nao Yamamoto ran the women's 5000 m, Kawaguchi the faster of the two at 15:54.82.

Back home, Bernard Kibet (Kyudenko) ran an early season world-leading time of 27:36.24 to win the Hyogo Relay Carnival Grand Prix men's 10000 m, beating the 27:43.34 by Macharia Ndirangu (Aichi Seiko) a day earlier in Hyogo's Asics Challenge men's 10000 m, at the time also a world-leader. Kibet's teammate Shohei Otsuka was the fastest Japanese man of the weekend at 28:25.42 in the Asics Challenge race.

Women's Grand Prix 10000 m winner Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Starts) came up short of a world-leading time but was just a few seconds off t…

Asian Championships, Hyogo Relay Carnival, Nagano Marathon and More - Weekend Preview

The weekend's main action comes on the track, both at home and abroad. The main action comes at the Doha Asian Athletics Championships, a dry run for this fall's World Championships at the same new Khalifa Stadium where the athletics world will congregate in September. The Japanese national team is solid, with standouts including Jakarta gold medalists Yuki Koike in the men's 200 m, Seito Yamamoto in the men's pole vault and Keisuke Ushiro in the decathlon, men's 3000 m steeplechase bronze medalist Kazuya Shiojiri, 2018 World U20 Championships women's 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka in the 5000 m and the resurgent Hitomi Niiya in the women's 10000 m. JRN will be on-site throughout the Asian Championships to cover the action live and in support of Tanaka and Niiya. Entry lists are available here.

A few members of the Toyota Jidoshokki women's team and the U.S.-based Takeshi Okada (Berkeley) will be at California's Mt. SAC Relays, but most people …