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2:07 Marathoner Aburaya to Take Over as Chugoku Denryoku Head Coach

translated by Brett Larner

On Dec. 15 the Chugoku Newspaper reported that 2:07:52 marathoner Shigeru Aburaya has been promoted from his position as assistant coach at the Chugoku Denryoku men's corporate team to head coach.  Aburaya will assume his new duties next year on Feb. 1.  After 25 years working in that role current head coach Yasushi Sakaguchi will become general manager.  In November Sakaguchi became coach of the JAAF's men's marathon development program for the buildup to the Tokyo Olympics.

Translator's note: Along with his 2:07:52 best from the 2001 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Aburaya's achievements as an athlete included 5th-place finishes in the 2003 Paris World Championships and 2004 Athens Olympics marathons.  Besides Aburaya, Sakaguchi also coached 2:07:13 all-time Japanese #4 marathoner and half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato and 2:08:37 marathoner Tsuyoshi Ogata, the last Japanese man to win a medal in a major international championships with a bronze in the 2005 Helsinki World Championships marathon.  In more recent years Sakaguchi recruited and coached two of the best university runners of their generations, Hideaki Date and Takehiro Deki, but both retired from the Chugoku Denryoku team after a short time without having achieved anything of note.


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18-Year-Old Waithaka Runs 10000 m World Leading Time at Nittai - Weekend Roundup

photo by @tsutsugo55225

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2018 Japanese Distance Rankings - Updated 11/11/18

JRN's 2018 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. Click any image to enlarge.

Past years:
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Go Ahead and Call It a Comeback - Niiya Breaks Shibui's Course Record in Return to Road Racing

Ladies and gentlemen, Hitomi Niiya is back.

You might remember Hitomi Niiya from the 2013 Moscow World Championships 10000 m, where she led the entire way only to get destroyed over the last lap and finish 5th in 30:56.70. That made her the third-fastest Japanese woman ever over that distance, but not long after that race she quit the sport entirely, getting an office job as far away from athletics as she could and not running for almost five years.

But the pull of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is strong, and, now 30, early this year she made the decision to try to make a comeback. Under the eye of former men's 800 m national record holder Masato Yokota she ran a 3000 m and two 5000 m time trials on the track between April and October before choosing the East Japan Women's Ekiden for her return to the roads and the longer distances.

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