Skip to main content

Matsuzaki and Ichiyama Clear London Standards - Payton Jordan and Golden Games in Nobeoka Results

by Brett Larner

Stanford University’s Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational has long been a mainstay for Japanese distance runners, the site of 10000 m national record runs by both Yoko Shibui and Toshinari Takaoka. But with the steady rise of the Golden Games in Nobeoka meet in Japan’s version of Eugene, Oregon, more and more have been passing Stanford by to run on home ground.

With the two meets happening almost simultaneously this year only one Japanese man, Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) made the trip over to the States. With a 27:48.56 best from last November Oishi was only 25th of 27 finishers in 29:17.60. Most of the other main contenders for the London World Championships team in the 10000 m ran in Nobeoka, where Rio Olympics silver medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) paced a field including proven sub-28 men Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei), Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin), Yuta Shitara (Team Honda), Ken Yokote (Team Fujitsu), Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei), Kenta Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei), Keita Shitara (Saitama T&F Assoc.), Shuho Dairokuno (Team Asahi Kasei) and more in the hunt for the 27:45.00 London standard.

Despite perfect splits in the first few km things began to come apart after 3000 m, Tanui slipping off the target 66-second laps and then surging to make it up. Only Yoroizaka, Sato and Yuta Shitara could stay on the roller coaster, all three alternating in taking charge of getting back in contact with Tanui. In the end Yoroizaka was the last man standing, short of the London standard but taking the top spot in 27:57.63 to become the first Japanese man under 28 this year.

Other top men lined up in the 5000 m hoping for the 13:22.00 London standard in that distance. The only Japanese man under 13:30 so far this year, Hiroki Matsueda (Team Fujitsu) opted for the C-heat to run against over 30 Japan-based Africans including the likes of Leonard Barsoton (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and William Malel (Team Honda). Staying with the leaders through the first half of a race in which every km got faster, Matsueda lost touch over the second half to take 10th in only 13:32.62. Macharia Ndirangu (Team Aichi Seiko) won in 13:19.42, kicking past longtime leader Wesley Ledama (Team Subaru) with 200 m to go. Ledama and 3rd-placer Evans Keitany (Team Toyota Boshoku) both also cleared the London standard.

While they were also split between the two meets, in contrast to the men more top-level Japanese women opted for Stanford over Nobeoka. Four women, Japan’s three Rio 10000 m Olympians Yuka Takashima (Team Shiseido), Ayuko Suzuki (Team Japan Post), Hanami Sekine (Team Japan Post) and newcomer Mao Ichiyama (Team Wacoal) cleared the 32:15.00 London standard, all but Sekine breaking 32 minutes. Takashima took the top spot among them at 5th overall, breaking into the all-time Japanese top 25 with a 31:33.33 PB. Defending national champion Suzuki returned from a long injury with a quality 31:41.74 for 8th, with Ichiyama PBing in 31:49.01 for 10th. Sekine looked off her best form but still succeeded in getting under the standard in 32:10.22.

In the 5000 m, Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) ran a strong 15:19.91 for 2nd overall, becoming the third Japanese woman to clear the 15:22.00 London standard. Having just missed the standard with a 15:23.48 PB at last month’s Mt. SAC Relays, Yui Fukuda (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) opted to try for it again in Nobeoka. Unable to stay with the fast pace of lead African trio Shuru Bulo (Team Toto), Marta Mokaya (Oita Tomei H.S.) and Pauline Kamulu (Team Route Inn Hotels), Fukuda instead ran in a second trio with teammate Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) and Mariam Waithera (Team Kyudenko) right on qualifying pace. It looked doable, but as the later laps ticked by the pace fell off just enough to put the standard out of reach, Fukuda ending up 5th in 15:26.62. Up front, Ethiopian Bulo won an intense sprint finish to win in 15:12.36.

With the addition of Ichiyama and Matsuzaki to the standings Japan now has three women with the London 5000 m standard and sixteen with the 10000 m standard, promising full teams in both. By contrast, no Japanese men have hit the 13:22.00 London 5000 m standard, a time only nine Japanese men have cleared in history. Only one man, national record holder Kota Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei), holds a time under the standard in the 10000 m, and with Murayama out of commission most of this season with injury including a DNS in Nobeoka this weekend, at this point the specter is rising of seeing no Japanese men on the track in London at anything longer than the sprints.

Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational
Stanford University, U.S.A., 5/5/17
click here for complete results

Men’s 10000 m
1. Patrick Tiernan (Australia) - 27:29.81
2. Mo Ahmed (Canada) - 27:30.00
3. Shadrack Kipchirchir (U.S.A.) - 27:32.18
4. Hassan Mead (U.S.A.) - 27:34.38
5. Abbabiya Simbassa (U.S.A.) - 27:45.78
-----
25. Minato Oishi (Toyota) - 29:17.60

Women’s 10000 m
1. Meraf Bahta (Sweden) - 31:13.06
2. Amy Cragg (U.S.A.) - 31:17.20
3. Goytom Gebreslase (Ethiopia) - 31:25.61
4. Emily Sisson (U.S.A.) - 31:32.53
5. Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) – 31:33.33 – PB
-----
8. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) – 31:41.74
10. Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) – 31:49.01 – PB
13. Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) – 32:10.22
26. Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 32:56.38

Women’s 5000 m Section 1
1. Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) - 15:13.15
2. Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) – 15:19.91
3. Lauren Paquette (U.S.A.) - 15:20.48
4. Andrea Seccafien (Canada) - 15:21.64
5. Eilish McColgan (U.K.) - 15:22.12
-----
11. Yukari Abe (Shimamura) - 15:27.62
12. Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 15:27.97
16. Kaori Morita (Panasonic) - 15:44.78


Golden Games in Nobeoka
Nobeoka, Miyazaki, 5/6/17
click here for complete results

Men’s 10000 m
1. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) – 27:57.63
2. Yuki Sato (Nissin Shokuhin) – 28:09.01
3. Yuta Shitara (Honda) – 28:13.42
4. Ken Yokote (Fujitsu) – 28:13.85
5. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) – 28:15.97
6. Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) – 28:16.87
7. Mitsunori Asaoka (Hitachi Butsuryu) – 29:00.91
8. Keita Shitara (Saitama T&F Assoc.) – 29:09.49
9. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) – 29:17.10
10. Yuma Hattori (Toyota) – 29:27.18

Men’s 5000 m Heat C
1. Macharia Ndirangu (Aichi Seiko) – 13:19.42
2. Wesley Ledama (Subaru) – 13:19.96
3. Evans Keitany (Toyota Boshoku) – 13:21.72
4. Teresa Nyakora (Mazda) – 13:22.65
5. Leonard Barsoton (Nissin Shokuhin) – 13:23.94
6. Alfred Ngeno (Nissin Shokuhin) – 13:28.00
7. Kassa Mekashaw (Yachiyo Kogyo) – 13:28.56
8. John Maina (Fujitsu) – 13:28.78
9. Bernard Kimani (Yakult) – 13:31.90
10. Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) – 13:32.62

Women’s 5000 m Heat A
1. Shuru Bulo (Toto) – 15:12.36
2. Marta Mokaya (Oita Tomei H.S.) – 15:13.81
3. Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels) – 15:14.89
4. Ann Karindi (Toyota Jidoshokki) – 15:24.81
5. Yui Fukuda (Toyota Jidoshokki) – 15:26.62
6. Mariam Waithera (Kyudenko) – 15:30.28
7. Ai Inoue (Noritz) – 15:50.59
8. Sakiho Tsutsui (Yamada Denki) – 15:51.75
9. Riho Takamizawa (Matsuyama Univ.) – 15:52.20
10. Miku Moribayashi (Isahaya H.S.) – 15:55.06

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …