Skip to main content

Hakone Stars Hattori and Isshiki to Head Outside the Mainstream

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20160705-OHT1T50100.html
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20160705-00000225-sph-spo

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Former teammates at 2012 National High School Ekiden champion Toyokawa H.S. and now two of the biggest stars on the Hakone Ekiden circuit, 2015 National University Half Marathon champion Tadashi Isshiki (Aoyama Gakuin University) and 2015 National University 5000 m champion Hazuma Hattori (Toyo University) are set to follow unconventional paths post-graduation.

At a press conference this week GMO Internet announced that Isshiki will join its new GMO Athletes team after his graduation next spring.  Isshiki finished as the third Japanese man overall and second university finisher in his marathon debut at February's Tokyo Marathon, running 2:11:45 to position himself as a hopeful for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  Having received recruitment offers from ten different corporate league teams, after careful consideration Isshiki opted to join GMO in order to follow a path to the top of the world under the respected leadership of brand-new head coach Katsuhiko Hanada, 45.

Isshiki commented, "I will pursue my goal of making the Tokyo Olympics marathon as a member of this team.  I am very pleased to be able to receive first-class support from GMO chairman, president and CEO Masatoshi Kumagai and to receive the guidance from coach Hanada, both as an athlete and as a person, that I will need to make that goal a reality."

Isshiki has run the Hakone Ekiden's most competitive stage, the Second Stage, twice, finishing 3rd both times.  His Tokyo Marathon debut this February demonstrated his potential at longer distances, and his 4th-place finish as the top university man in last month's National Championships 5000 m showed he has speed as well.  Coach Hanada commented, "To begin with the goal will be to run 2:08.  Next after that will be the 2:06:16 Japanese national record or even Japan's first 2:05.  He has the talent to compete at the world level."

GMO Internet launched the GMO Athletes team this spring.  To pursue the goal of becoming #1, chairman Kumagai, 52, has promised to provide team member with first-class facilities and treatment.  Aoyama Gakuin University head coach Susumu Hara, 49, serves as advisor to the team.

This week 5000 m collegiate champ Hattori also announced that he will join the second-tier Toenec corporate team, just 35th at this year's New Year Ekiden national corporate championships, after graduating next spring.  Following the appointment of Tadaaki Matsuura, 48, to its head coach position last year, the Toenec team is in the midst of rapid growth, regularly doing altitude training at roughly 1800 m elevation at the Hida Ontake Plateau in Gifu Prefecture three hours from its home base in Nagoya, Aichi.

Hattori received offers from many of the strongest corporate league teams, but putting the training environment as a top priority he opted for Toenec.  His older brother Yuma Hattori, 22, joined the Aichi-based Toyota corporate team after graduating this spring.  Hazuma will compete with Yuma, Isshiki and others for a place on the Tokyo Olympic team.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kariuki Cracks Course Record at 30th Anniversary Ageo City Half Marathon

2017 Kanto Regionals 10000 m and half marathon D2 champion Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.)  overcame windy conditions at the 30th edition of the Ageo City Half Marathon to shave one second off the course record, winning in a PB 1:01:25.

Kariuki and 2017 Kanto Regionals D1 5000 m and 10000 m champ Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) took it out in the first km, setting up a fascinating duel between Kanto's top two collegiate men on the track.


Led by Hayato Seki, star runner of this year's Izumo Ekiden champ Tokai University in his half marathon debut, the main body of the Japanese pack gradually relinquished the lead to the Kenyan pair, down 50 seconds by 10 km and continuing to drift back from then. Ageo has typically seen its lead Japanese collegiate men running between high-61 and mid-62, but nobody in the field seemed willing to go ahead of Seki and the runner on his shoulder, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.).


Near …

Kosimbei, Kwemoi and Shitara Lead Hachioji 10000 m Field

Nestled deep in the misty foothills of the western Tokyo mountains, Hosei University's late November Hachioji Long Distance meet has quietly turned into one of the world's premier track 10000 m, its A-heat never quite dipping under 27 minutes yet but still producing record-setting depth and the two fastest Japanese men's 10000 m in history.
This year's entry list is another monster, with 27:02.59 man Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) leading 17 men with recent times under 28 minutes, twelve of them Kenyan, three Japanese and two Ethiopian. Fresh off a 27:22.73 win at last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) is slated to pace what is scheduled to be a sub-28 race, but with Kosimbei, sub-27:30 men John Maina (Fujitsu) and Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and five others under 27:45 including last year's winnerRonald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 
Rig…

Krifchin and Lemciyeh Win Kobe Marathon

The Kobe Marathon held its 7th running on Nov. 19.  19,709 runners took part in this year's race, with 600,000 people cheering them on along the course between the start at Kobe City Hall and the finish in the Kobe Harbor area which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. American Maegan Krifchin, 29, won the women's race in a course record time of 2:33:14. Khalil Lemciyeh of Morocco also broke the men's course record, winning in 2:12:49.

The Kobe Marathon is organized by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and the City of Kobe. 7,500 volunteers helped runners over the course of the three days of race weekend. This year the turnaround point moved 1.25 km to the west, taking runners under Akashi Kaikyo Bridge for the first time. The final section of the course on Port Island was shortened to make up the distance. At noon at the finish area temperatures were 12 degrees with 65% humidity. 18,949 people finished the race.

At the starting ceremony in front of City Hall, a mom…