Skip to main content

Nagano Marathon Proudly Welcomes Tejeda and Yoshida

by Brett Larner

With its long history of hosting Russians now interrupted by the IAAF's doping scandal suspension of all Russian athletes, Japan's Nagano Marathon proudly welcomes two other athletes with recent drug suspensions to lead the women's field at next weekend's 18th edition.  Gladys Tejeda (Peru) tops the list with the loss of her gold medal in last summer's Pan-Am Games marathon after testing positive for the masking agent furosemide.  Close behind is Kaori Yoshida (Runners Pulse), who holds the honor of being the only Japanese athlete to have been publicly suspended for EPO after testing positive at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon.

With both having run 2:28 bests last year they are almost 4 minutes ahead of the fastest athlete in the field never to have served a drug suspension, Kenya's Hellen Mugo.  Neither is currently under suspension, an indication that Nagano and its elite coordinator share the familiar focus here on details at the expense of the big picture or moral considerations.  A growing number of other races might not touch people like Tejeda and Yoshida, but with a win by one of them likely there's not much doubt that the Nagano Marathon will get what it's asking for.  Together with other events Nagano sends the clear message: remember, if you're serving a drug suspension don't lose heart.  You can always find Japanese races and elite coordinators ready to take you back.

The men's field looks drug suspension-free, Laban Mutai (Kenya) the favorite with a 2:08:03 at the 2014 Linz Marathon.  On paper Japan-based Mongolian national record holder Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Team NTN) is his toughest competition, but with wild swings in performance ranging from a 1:02:10 national record at February's Marugame Half to a blistering 2:27:30 at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon he's hard to read.  Other internationals include Jairus Chanchima (Kenya), 2005 World Half Marathon gold medalist Fabiano Joseph (Tanzania) and Harry Summers (Australia).

Last year's Nagano ran hot for the home crowd with three Japanese men breaking 2:12.  The fastest one not to do it, Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), 5th in 2:12:04, is back, along with the Japanese stars of the last two years' Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathons, Hiroki Kadota (Team Kanebo) and Kazuya Ishida (Team Nishitetsu).  Look also for surprise additions from the depths of the general division.

18th Nagano Marathon
Nagano, 4/16/16
click here for detailed elite field listing
times listed are 2013-2016 bests except where noted

Women
Gladys Tejeda (Peru) - 2:28:12 (Rotterdam 2015)
Kaori Yoshida (Japan/Runners Pulse) - 2:28:43 (Saitama Int'l 2015)
Hellen Mugo (Kenya) - 2:32:00 (Kosice 2013)
Winfridah Kebaso (Kenya/Nittori) - 2:32:08 (Saitama Int'l 2015)
Shasho Insermu (Ethiopia) - 2:32:42 (Marrakesh 2016)
Yumiko Kinoshita (Japan/Second Wind AC) - 2:35:49 (Tokyo 2015)

Men
Laban Mutai (Kenya) - 2:08:03 (Linz 2014)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 2:08:50 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Jairus Chanchima (Kenya) - 2:10:37 (Xiamen Int'l 2013)
Hiroki Kadota (Japan/Kanebo) - 2:10:46 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:11:15 (Tokyo 2013)
Kazuya Ishida (Japan/Nishitetsu) - 2:12:25 (Beppu-Oita 2016)
Fabiano Joseph (Tanzania) - 2:13:57 (Hofu 2015)
Hiro Tonegawa (Japan/Alps Tool) - 2:18:55 (Tokyo 2014)
Yuta Koyama (Japan/Kotohira Kogyo) - 2:20:43 (Nagano 2013)
Harry Summers (Australia) - 2:21:23 (Lake Biwa 2014)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…