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Predict Shitara's Result at Berlin Marathon

Newly-crowned half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda) is one of three elite Japanese men entered in Sunday's Berlin Marathon. How will he do?

Yuta Shitara ran 60:17 JPN 1/2 mar NR last wknd. Debuted this spring in 2:09:27 off 61:55 1st half. How fast will he run in #berlinmarathon? — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) September 21, 2017

New Half Marathon NR Holder Yuta Shitara's Twin Brother Keita Joins Hitachi Butsuryu Corporate Team

Having left the Konica Minolta men's corporate team at the end of March this year, Keita Shitara, 25, announced on Sept. 19 that he will join the Hitachi Butsuryu team. The official announcement is scheduled for Sept. 20.

As a member of Toyo University Shitara was part of two Hakone Ekiden-winning teams before joining Konica Minolta following his graduation in 2014. His first year at Konica Minolta Shitara ran New Year Ekiden national championships' toughest stage, but since his second year he has experienced a slump. Saying, "I need to change my environment in order to get my head straight and back on track," Shitara chose to leave the team at the end of March, returning to Toyo as his training base.

The Hitachi Butsuryu team came into being in April, 2012 as the successor to the Hitachi Cable Marathon Team. It is based in Matsudo, Chiba. Under the leadership of head coach Manabu Kitaguchi, 45, it has grown steadily, placing 10th at this year's New Year Ekiden.…

Nozomi Tanaka 8:58.81 at Shizuoka Time Trials

Fresh off a third-place finish in the women's 2000 m at France's Decanation last week just days after her 18th birthday, Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) took her month-old 3000 m PB and position in Japan's all-time rankings even further. Having hovered close to 9-flat for the last year Tanaka, the daughter of 2:29:30 amateur marathoner Chihiro Tanaka,  finally broke through with an 8:59.83 to take the top Japanese spot in the 3000 m at August's National High School Track and Field Championships.

Oo Monday she took over a second off that time to win the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials women's 3000 m A-heat in 8:58.81 over rivals including 5000 m all-time high school #2 Shuri Ogasawara (Yaanashi Gakuin Prep H.S) and 3000 m all-time junior #4 Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.). Tanaka's new PB moved her up to all-time #4 among Japanese juniors and #3 among high school students for 3000 m, still 6 1/2 seconds off the records held by K…

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …

Onsarigo and Shimoyama Win Ichinoseki International Half Marathon

The 36th Ichinoseki International Half Marathon took place Sept. 17 in Ichinoseki, Iwate. 25-year-old Joseph Onsarigo (Nasu Kensetsu) won the men's race in 1:04:34, with Kanae Shimoyama (Noritz) winning the women's race in 1:16:10, both of them taking the top position for the first time. A total of 2824 people started in the half marathon, 10 km and 5 km divisions, with 2652 finishing.

The men's race developed into a battle between two natives of Kenya, with Onsarigo having what it took to prevail as the overall winner. Invited athlete Cyrus Njui (Cebu Sports) took the early lead. Surging at the 6 km turnaround point at Hiraizumi, he turned the race into a one-on-one duel. Around 12 km near Ruinohashi Onsarigo thought to himself, "Let's break away all at once," and surged, but Njui was able to answer and stayed in contact. The pair continued to test each other, looking for an opportunity.

The key to the win came on the uphills late in the race. Last year'…

'Galen Rupp Runs 1:02:18 To Win Rock 'N' Roll Philadelphia; Hasay Third'

http://www.flotrack.org/article/61851-galen-rupp-runs-1-02-18-to-win-rock-n-roll-philadelphia-hasay-third#.WcCMTq09y8U

Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Japanese results:

Men
4. Yuki Sato (Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:04:34 - PB
8. Muryo Takase (Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:06:34

Women
5. Reia Iwade (Dome) - 1:14:01
7. Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 1:15:30 - debut

A small group of Japanese corporate leaguers also ran at Portugal's Porto Half Marathon the same day:

Men
11. Naoya Takahashi (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:04:21
13. Keita Baba (Honda) - 1:06:22

Women
5. Ayano Ikemitsu (Kagoshima Ginko) - 1:13:18
12. Rui Aoyama (Universal Entertainment) - 1:17:24

In the Netherlands, Risa Takenaka (Shiseido) returned to the Dam tot Damloop 10-Miler for the first time in two years.

Women
3. Risa Takenaka (Shiseido) - 53:15

Hattori Becomes Third-Straight Japanese Men's Sydney Marathon Winner

Following within 24 hours of Yuki Kawauchi's win at the BMW Oslo Marathon and Yuta Shitara's national record at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, Shota Hattori (Honda) made it an overseas hat trick for men from Japan's Saitama prefecture when he won the Sydney Marathon in 2:15:16. Having debuted at February's Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon with a 2:14:19 for 2nd, Hattori outlasted Ethiopian Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, Kenyan Sammy Kigen Korir (Kenya) and compatriot Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) to become the third-straight Japanese men's Sydney champ, winning by a margin of 20 seconds over Aboye.

Congratulations to Shota Hattori, male winner of the Blackmores Marathon – with a time of 02:15:16. #SydneyRunningFestivalpic.twitter.com/R47w8TCG2X — SydneyRunFestival (@officialbsrf) September 17, 2017
No Japanese women made the podium in the marathon, but in the accompanying half marathon both the men's and women's races saw Japanese runners-up. In the men's …

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Kawauchi Wins BMW Oslo Marathon in Fastest Time Since 1986

Running his first race of any distance since finishing 9th at last month's London World Championships, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) won Saturday's BMW Oslo Marathon in the fastest time in Oslo since before he was born.

Pre-race Kawauchi's goal was to take a shot at the 2:12:58 Norwegian all-comers record, the fastest time ever run on Norwegian soil. With a new two-loop course featuring a pair of tough hills interspersed by a flat seaside section on each loop his game plan was to try to run 3:10/km until midway through the second lap, then try to push it on the climb and descent of the last hill to make up whatever seconds he needed.

15 km into the first lap he was 10 seconds ahead of schedule in 47:20 and 90 seconds clear of 2nd place, but the steep hill starting a kilometer later took its toll and by 20 km he was 24 seconds behind.  Over the second lap the strong sunlight and warmer than usual temperatures and the two weeks he took off after London also began …

Kawauchi Leaves for Oslo After Trying 100 m Time Trial

The civil servant runner admits to being shocked. 2017 London World Championships marathoner and men's captain Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) left from Tokyo's Narita Airport for Norway the evening of Sept. 13 to run the Sept. 16 BMW Oslo Marathon.

On Sept. 9 at the National University Track and Field Championships, Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) became the first Japanese man to break 10 seconds in the 100 m when he set a new national record of 9.98. The news has been the talk of the nation ever since. Kawauchi said, "It's pretty amazing. It took up the front page of every newspaper." What can he run for 100 m? "My PB is 13.1, but right now, 13.9," he admitted.

Kawauchi ran that time, "in the morning the day before yesterday," he said. "I did two time trials. I even wore spikes. I ran them for real and only did 13.9. To be honest, it was pretty shocking." Although short sprints are well outside his area of expertise it seemed…

Kiryu and Kitamura the Stars of 86th National University Track and Field Championships

Front-page news and the top story in just about every mainstream Japanese media outlet, the 2017 National University Track and Field Championships in Fukui will always be remembered for the first-ever Japanese men's legal sub-10 clocking in the 100 m from Toyo University 4th-year Yoshihide Kiryu. After his historic 9.98 (+1.8 m/s) national record, Kiryu wrapped his university career by anchoring Toyo's 4x100 m team to a 2nd-place finish and making a major contribution to Toyo's solid 3rd-place in final overall university scoring.



His London World Championships 4x100 m teammate Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin University) was also in good form, breaking Kiryu's old meet record in the 100 m in 10.07 and anchoring Kwansei Gakuin to 3rd in the 4x100 m. But there was no shortage of other record-breaking performances at this year's Nationals.



Biggest among those came in the women's 800 m where Nittai University 4th-year Yume Kitamura set a meet and national university rec…

Matsueda, Tanaka and Yoshimatsu Lead Weekend European Japanese Results

Joyciline Jepkosgei 29:43 WR to win Birell Prague Grand Prix 10k pic.twitter.com/dlem1WFKvQ — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) September 9, 2017
Japanese runners were busy overseas this weekend with top-level athletes racing in at least four countries. Four Japanese athletes ran in Saturday’s Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km. In a race that saw the women’s road 5 and 10 km world records fall to half marathon world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya), Asian area record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) was almost five minutes out of the action, finishing 10th in 34:43. Fukushi told JRN post-race that she had stomach problems midway, but with a halfway split just under 17 minutes she was never really in the action. Four women cleared 31 minutes, the most in history.

Yoroizaka and Murayama 18th and 19th at Birell Prague Grand Prix, both in 29:09. pic.twitter.com/0nyGT8wdoy — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) September 9, 2017
Benard Kimeli (Kenya) took the men’s course record down to…

Kiryu Delivers Japan's First-Ever Sub-10 for 100 m With 9.98 Win at National University Championships

The day Japan has been waiting for has finally arrived.

Riding a wave of success in Japanese men's sprinting that in the last year has seen 4x100 m medals at the Rio Olympics and London World Championships and six men clear 10.10, Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo University) outran his London teammate Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin University) to become the first Japanese man ever to legally clear the 10-second barrier as he won the National University Championships 100 m final in 9.98 (+1.8 m/s) Saturday in Fukui.

After struggling with a sluggish start at the Taipei World University Games late last month Tada was back to his usual form, quick out of the blocks to open an early lead over Kiryu and the rest of the field. But over the second half Kiryu continued to build, passing Tada and dipping across the line to stop the clock at 9.99. The crowd erupted, but with the memory of Koji Ito's 10.00 national record, initially a 9.99 that was adjusted to 10.00 in the official results, the noise …

Record Attempts on Deck at Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km

Saturday night's Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km looks set to be the biggest race of the weekend.

Returning to Prague after both going under Paula Radcliffe's 10 km world record of 30:21 en route to more world records at April's Prague Half Marathon, Joyciline Jepkosgei (Kenya) and Violah Jepchumba (Bahrain) will face off again in a race that organizers hope will produce the first-ever women's sub-30 clocking on the roads. In April Jepkosgei clocked 30:04 and Jepchumba 30:05 at the Prague Half, and with decent temperatures around 20˚C and moderate winds forecast for the evening race the chances look good.

Fancy Chemutai (Kenya), Netsanet Gudeta (Ethiopia) and Kayoko Fukushi (Japan/Wacoal) have all cleared 31 minutes on the track or roads and could factor into the second pack with solid performances, but whether any is up for being paced by three men to go under 30 minutes is a question mark. Fukushi in particular has taken it relatively easy since the Rio Olympic marath…

'Jefferey Eggleston And Japan’s Mao Ichiyama Win Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon'

Fukushi, Murayama, Shitara and Yoroizaka Take On Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km (updated)

Six Japanese athletes will line up at Saturday's Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km road race in the Czech Republic. Rio Olympian, 2013 World Championships marathon bronze medalist and 5000 m and half marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) is the lone Japanese woman in the race. Now 35, Fukushi has mostly taken it easy since Rio, her season bests just 33:09.26 for 10000 m on the track and 33:48 for 10 km on the road. Standoffish with Japanese media about her future plans, it remains to be seen how hard Fukushi will run in Prague.

Teammates at the 2017 national champion Asahi Kasei corporate team, Kenta Murayama and Tetsuya Yoroizaka lead the five Japanese men on the list. Murayama, the U18 national record holder for 10000 m on the track and twin brother of adult national record holder Kota Murayama, ran well in the spring with a 1:00:57 for 5th at March's United Airlines NYC Half but underperformed at May's Ottawa 10 km. Yoroizaka, who has the unlucky distinc…

An Olympic Selection Race, With an Emphasis on Time

an editorial by Tetsuhiko Kin

Kin is a television commentator, coach, and former Waseda University ekiden runner.

The battle to determine the Japanese national representatives in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics three years from now has begun. The Marathon Grand Challenge (MGC) selection race features an unprecedented two-tier arrangement and will automatically select the Olympic team members when it is held in or after September, 2019. Athletes must first qualify in order to the run MGC race.

The first race in the MGC Series of races in which athletes can earn their spots in the MGC race took place Aug. 27 at the Hokkaido Marathon, with high school and university ekiden star Akinobu Murasawa (Nissin Shokuhin) taking the men's race and the young Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) the women's to pick up their places in the Olympic qualifier.

Both races were hesitant and passive. The men's race in particular went out slowly from the start, and with the winner needing to break 2:15 to q…

Yu Mitsuya Named Head Coach of Alma Mater Jinsei Gakuen H.S.

On Sept. 1 Jinsei Gakuen H.S. announced that it has named alumnus and two-time World Championships runner Yu Mitsuya, 32, as the new head coach of its track and field team. According to school officials, Mitsuya will transfer from his current position at the Toyota Kyushu corporation to assume his duties at the school by the end of the year.

Longtime Jinsei Gakuen H.S. head coach Chikara Onishi passed away suddenly in mid-April at age 56. While searching for a replacement who could coach the team with expertise the school consulted with alum Mitsuya, famed in athletics circles for his record of success as an athlete. Mitsuya expressed his interest. Yu Shimoyama, 42, who has served as interim head coach and general manager since Onishi's passing, will continue as team manager.

Mitsuya entered Jinsei Gakuen H.S. in April, 2000, leading the team to the National High School Ekiden all three years. After graduating he joined the Toyota Kyushu corporate team coached by Barcelona Olympi…

Growing Trees Along Olympic Marathon Course to Provide Cool Shade for Runners

In a Summer Marathon, Even World-Class Athletes' Lives Are at Risk from Heat Stroke In order to prevent incidences of heat stroke among athletes and spectators alike at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, work is progressing at a fevered pitch to develop countermeasures against the heat in the stadium environs and along the marathon course. Local municipal governments are focusing their efforts on increasing the number of large trees along the course to improve shade, and on implementing road surface materials with heat shielding properties. In past Olympics and World Championships there have been cases of athletes suffering from dehydration and heat stroke, and the issue represents a major challenge for the Tokyo Games.

Late July on Sotobori Avenue in Tokyo's Kanda neighborhood. Under the peak strength of the summer sun helmeted workers hoisted by cranes cut back the branches and leaves of trees lining the street by hand. It looks like ordinary pruning work, but it …

Double Relay Medals to Wrap Taipei Universiade Athletics - Day Six Japanese Results

In front of an almost sellout crowd packing the stadium to see the breakthrough Taiwanese men's sprinters in action, Japan wrapped the final day of athletics competition at the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade with a pair of 4x100 m relay medals that assured it the top spot on the overall medal table.

The women's 4x100 m team, comprised of Ichiko Iki, Miyu Maeyama, Mizuki Nakamura and Sayaka Takeuchi, were well off lead pair Kazakhstan and Switzerland through the race, lagging a relatively short distance behind bronze medal position Poland. Japan crossed the finish line in 4th in 44.56, breaking a collegiate national record that had stood for almost 11 years but short of the medals. That changed on review, though, when winners and defending gold medalists Kazakhstan were disqualified for a lane violation. The DQ bumped Japan up to an unexpected bronze medal.

The atmosphere in the stadium was raucous for the men's 4x100 m featuring Taiwan's very own 100 m gold medalist a…

Double Half Marathon Gold - Taipei Universiade Athletics Day Five Japanese Results

For the second Universiade in a row Japan pulled off a near-sweep of the half marathon medals, taking all three men's individual medals, women's gold and bronze and both team golds. Komazawa University's Kei Katanishi and Naoki Kudo went 1-2, leaving national university half marathon champion Kengo Suzuki over 30 seconds behind to hold off Uganda's John Kateregga for bronze. Wataru Tochigi took 6th to make it 4 Japanese men in the top 6, the only misstep coming from Takato Suzuki of national champion Aoyama Gakuin University who finished only 12th after scratching in the 10000 m.

Not so for women's gold medalist Yuki Munehisa. Munehisa had led most of the women's 10000 m only to get dropped in the last kilometer and wind up outside the medals in 4th. In the half marathon she was bound and determined not to end up the same way again, doing all the heavy lifting to drop Turkey's Esma Aydemir with teammate Saki Fukui in a supporting role. Munehisa finally pul…

With Hokkaido Marathon Wins Murasawa and Maeda Become First to Qualify for 2020 Olympic Trials Race

Akinobu Murasawa (Nissin Shokuhin) and Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) became the first athletes to qualify for the new MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials event, clearing the JAAF's hoops with PB runs in heat to win the 2017 Hokkaido Marathon.

One of the most popular runners to come out of the current boom in university men's ekiden running, Murasawa had an unsuccessful marathon debut at Lake Biwa in March, up front until late but fading to 28th in 2:17:51. This time he stayed in the front pack through the slow opening going, ignoring a move by Shingo Igarahi (Josai Univ. Coaching Staff) and Kenichi Jiromaru (Raffine Coaching Staff) around the halfway point that put them over 30 seconds ahead.

Part of a group of five who set off in pursuit at 30 km, Murasawa moved into the top spot just before 40 km and held it all the way to the finish to win in 2:14:48. As the first race at which Japanese men could qualify for the JAAF's new single-trial 2020 Olympic selection event Hokkaido's winn…

Yamanishi Brings Home Race Walk Gold - Taipei Universiade Athletics Day Four Japanese Results

Toshikazu Yamanishi delivered Japan its first gold medal of the Taipei 2017 Summer  Universiade, covering the men's 20 km race walk in 1:27:30 to win by 50 seconds over Mexico's Julio Salazar Enriquez. Fumitaka Oikawa took bronze in 1:30:11 to follow up on Japan's silver and bronze pair at the London World Championships and further establish Japan's position among the leaders of the sport. Third Japanese man Tomohiro Noda was 7th, bettering Mexico on team scoring.

Japan's other finalists of the day couldn't match the walkers' performances, Jun Yamashita taking 8th in the men's 200 m final and Kenji Ogura 9th in the men's javelin throw final. Both men in the 110 m hurdles made it to the semifinals, however, Taio Kanai winning Heat Three and Shusei Nomoto 2nd in Heat Two.
Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade Day Four Japanese ResultsTaipei, Taiwan, 8/26/17
click here for complete results

Men's 200 m Final(-3.8 m/s)
1. Jeffrey John (France) - 20.93
2. Jame…

Saito Breaks Javelin Collegiate Record for Silver - Taipei Universiade Athletics Day Three Japanese Results

Runner-up at June's National Championships, Marina Saito broke through with a women's javelin collegiate national record 62.37 m throw on her last attempt to take silver at the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade. On her second throw Saito marked 61.06 m, the only woman to clear 61 m under Poland's Marcelina Witek threw a PB of 63.31 m on her fifth attempt. Needing a massive throw to retake the top spot, Saito cleared the Japanese university national record by a meter with a PB of 62.37 m and moved up to all-time Japanese #2 but had to settle for silver. The woman whose record she broke, Haruka Kitaguchi, struggled on her first three throws and failed to advance to the top eight, her best throw only 56.30 m.

Another medal came in the men's triple jump. Ranked #1 in the qualifying rounds, Ryoma Yamamoto led off with a jump of 16.80 m (+1.7 m/s) that put him into 2nd behind Azerbaijan's Nazim Babeyev. Unable to improve on that, Yamamoto looked set for silver until Hugues…