Skip to main content

Weekend Track Roundup

by Brett Larner

Corporate and university meets led the way in the first of three straight weekends of regional track action.  At the Chubu Region Corporate Track and Field Championships Kenyan Rodgers Chumo Kemoi (Team Aisan Kogyo) led the top three under 28 minutes, winning in 27:54.19. Returning to the track after a quality 2:10:39 debut at February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) was the fastest Japanese man in the race, running 28:31.28 for 4th.

Silas Laikong (Team Aichi Seiko) won the Chubu men's 5000 m in 13:45.59, but the fastest time of the weekend came at the season's first Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials meet, where Ethiopian teammates Abiyot Abinet and Yeneblo Biyazen (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) went 1-2 in 13:36.08 and 13:36.20. Downhill specialist Yuji Onoda led a large contingent from Hakone Ekiden champ Aoyama Gakuin University, 3rd overall in 13:58.05.

The women's 3000 m in Shizuoka also saw teammates sweep the front end, with newcomer Rina Nabeshima of the national champion Japan Post team leading Rio Olympians Ayuko Suzuki and Hanami Sekine under 9:05 to win in 9:03.17. Tuning up for next month's Stockholm Marathon, mother of three Yoshiko Sakamoto (Y.W.C.) celebrated Mothers' Day at 5th in 9:42.93.

Elsewhere, Kurashiki H.S. teammates Philemon Kiplagat and Charles Nijioka went 1-2 in the men's 5000 m at the Unnan Time Trials meet, Kiplagat running 13:49.44 and Nijioka 13:54.28. Their Japanese teammate Naruki Nago took a distant 3rd in 14:47.39. Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) broke the 26-year-old Toban Region H.S. Track Meet girls' 3000 m meet record, running 9:18.27 with a hard kick over the last 300 m.

In university action, Honoka Tanaike (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) won the 5000 m / 10000 m double at the Kansai Region University Track and Field Championships, running 33:27.32 in the 10000 and 15:55.80 in the 5000. Both were the weekend's top Japanese times, bettering the 16:14.31 win in the Chubu Corporate meet 5000 m by Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) and the 34:28.95 win in the Tokai Region University Track and Field Championships by Kanna Tamaki (Meijo Univ.).

In the U.S., Yusuke Uchikoshi (Boise State Univ.) continued to develop as a steepler, winning the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships men's 3000 m steeplechase with a kick over the last 100 m in 9:13.72, adding the title to his XC win last fall.

© 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 …