Skip to main content

Athletics New Zealand to Hold National Team Training Camp in Saga

http://www.saga-s.co.jp/news/saga/10105/379587

translated by Brett Larner

On Nov. 22 Athletics New Zealand signed an agreement with the Saga prefectural government to hold its national team training camp in Saga ahead of August's 29th World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan.  New Zealand has held pre-games camps in Saga since August last year.  Athletics New Zealand representatives were positive about the possibility of holding its pre-2020 Tokyo Olympics camp in Saga as well.

Athletics New Zealand athlete performance support manager Michelle Wood met with Saga governor Yoshinori Yamaguchi.  Before last year's Beijing World Championships the New Zealand national team trained in Saga, and Wood had previously visited Saga two years ago.  "I felt that Saga was not too big, quiet and with wonderful hospitality that made it feel like home," she told Governor Yamaguchi of the deciding factor in Athletics New Zealand's decision.

Looking toward the future she was positive about the relationship, saying, "I hope to see us return in four years before the Tokyo Olympics."  Governor Yamaguchi welcomed the decision, saying, "I hope that our children will have the opportunity to experience athletics firsthand.  It will be a priority to maintain our tracks and other facilities."

The World University Games will take place in Taiwan August 19-30 next year. 30 athletes and support staff from New Zealand plan to train at Saga Prefectural Sports Park Field and other facilities from August 5 to 20.  Of the potential participation of Rio de Janeiro women's pole vault bronze medalist Eliza McCartney, 19, and other medalists, Wood commented, "The chances are definitely not zero."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Ichiyama and Kirui Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

Last year's winners Betsy Saina and Edward Waweru, both of Kenya, return to the Feb. 3 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, but in both cases they have tough competition. Ranked #1 in the women's race is Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) with a 1:09:14, 3 seconds better than Saina's winning time last year. 3 seconds slower is Sinead Diver (Australia) with a 1:09:20 on home ground last year. Sara Hall (U.S.A.) isn't far behind, and with track star Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) making her debut off a brilliant run at last weekend's National Women's Ekiden it should be a solid pack up front.

In the men's race, 2017 marathon world champion Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) leads the way, his best recent time a 1:00:04 in New Delhi two years ago. Only 2 seconds behind is Shadrack Kiplagat (Kenya), with Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya) and the Japan-based Waweru just over 20 seconds back. Waweru's condition is a question mark after an injury at the New Year Ekiden. Kenta Murayama (Asah…

2019 Japanese Distance Rankings

JRN's 2019 Japanese track and road distance running rankings. Overall rankings are calculated using runners' times and placings in races over 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and marathon and the strength of these performances relative to others in the top ten in each category. Distances will be added as the season progresses. Click any image to enlarge.


Past years:
2018 ・ 2017 ・ 2016・ 2015 ・ 2014 ・ 2013 ・ 2012 ・ 2011

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Mokgobu and Sonoda Return to Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon

After an exciting head-to-head last year that saw them race each other to sub-2:10 PBs, Desmond Mokgobu (South Africa) and Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) return to the Feb. 3 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. The pair face not only each other but recent sub-2:10 men Hicham Laqouahi (Morocco), Abdela Godana (Ethiopia), Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Konica Minolta), Daisuke Uekado (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku), Justus Kiprotich (Kenya), Takuya Fukatsu (Asahi Kasei) Kohei Ogino (Japan/Fujitsu) and Yihunilign Adane (Ethiopia) and sub-62 half marathoners Keijiro Mogi (Asahi Kasei), Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) and Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei), setting up a better-than-average pack by Beppu-Oita standards.

For the Japanese men Beppu-Oita counts toward qualification for the MGC Race, Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials. Sonoda and Uekado have already made it along with fellow entrants Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) and Tomohiro Tanigawa (Konica Minolta), but for Ogino and others it will be just about their last …