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Japan's Olympic Long Distance History

by Brett Larner

Outside of the marathon, Japanese distance runners have rarely made an impact at the Olympics.  Post-war, in the 10000 m only three men and two women have ever made the top eight, and the men's 5000 m, the women's 5000 m and the men's 3000 m steeplechase have seen just one Japanese athlete each make the finals.  Of those, only Michiko Shimizu made a mark with a 4th-place in the women's 5000 m at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Below are the top ten post-war Japanese men's and women's performances at the Olympics for the 3000 mSC, 5000 m, 10000 m and marathon, ranked both by placing and by time.  Click any list to enlarge.  With a talented distance squad including men's 10000 m national record holder Kota Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei), men's 5000 m national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project), women's 3000 mSC junior and collegiate national record holder Anju Takamizawa (Matsuyama University) and more the lists should need updating before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics closing ceremonies are finished.

Women's Marathon - Aug. 14
Men's Marathon - Aug. 21

Women's 10000 m - Aug. 12
Men's 10000 m - Aug. 13

Women's 5000 m - Heats: Aug. 16 / Final: Aug. 19
Men's 5000 m - Heats: Aug. 17 / Final: Aug. 20

Women's 3000 mSC - Heats: Aug. 13 / Final: Aug. 15
Men's 3000 mSC - Heats: Aug. 15 / Final: Aug. 17

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


TokyoRacer said…
Thanks, very interesting.
Anonymous said…
Kohei Murakoso was 4th in both 5000m and 10000m in 1936
Brett Larner said…
1936 would be considered pre-war. As noted, the results listed are for the post-war period.

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