Skip to main content

Matsueda, Tanaka and Yoshimatsu Lead Weekend European Japanese Results


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.


Benard Kimeli (Kenya) took the men’s course record down to 27:10 in a three-win sprint finish that led eight men under 28 minutes, another history-making mark. Missing out on making it nine, 10000 m U18 national record holder Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) came up well short of his goal of bettering the 28:05 road 10 km national record, finishing just 19th 29:09 and losing a familiar-looking sprint finish against teammate Tetsuya Yoroizaka who clocked the same time for 18th. Taking the top Japanese spot in a tuneup for the Berlin Marathon later this month, Yuta Shitara (Honda) executed a gradual buildup to negative split his was to a 28:55 for 16th. Shitara will stay in the Czech Republic until Berlin, running next weekend’s Usti nad Labem half marathon as his final shakeout before going for a 2:07.


Having spent the last couple of weeks in Europe with Yoroizaka, Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) helped lead the Japanese team at France’s Decanation to a 4th-place overall finish, taking 2nd in the men’s 2000 m in 5:23.15. Having cracked 9 minutes for 3000 m at this summer’s National High School Championships, Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.), daughter of sub-2:30 amateur marathoner Chihiro Tanaka, took 3rd in the women’s 2000 m in an U20 national record 5:53.47.

Equalling Tanaka’s position to mark the top Japanese placing in an international road race this weekend, Hofu Yomiuri Marathon course record holder Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) paced her European debut perfectly, moving up from 8th place at 10 km to finish 3rd in 2:36:02 at the Volksbank Muenster Marathon. In a race that saw the lead quartet of Africans go through halfway on course record pace in 1:14:00 and last year’s runner-up Yoshiko Sakamoto (Y.W.C.) in 1:17:08, Yoshimatsu’s first and second halves were almost dead even, 1:17:58 for the first half and 1:18:04 for the second.

With the fastest second half in the field Yoshimatsu overtook her competition, including Sakamoto, one by one the finish less than 3 minutes off Kenyan winner Rose Jepchogei’s 2:33:05. At 2:38:29 Sakamoto was 16 seconds faster than last year but took only 4th. Last fall Sakamoto became the first Japanese runner to win the Osaka Marathon, Yoshimatsu taking 3rd in that race. In Muenster Yoshimatsu exactly tied Sakamoto’s Osaka time. The pair will line up again in Osaka this year, promising a great duel.

At the U.K.’s Great North Run half marathon, Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Konica Minolta) had the best Japanese men’s placing since Arata Fujiwara took 4th in 2013, finishing 5th in 1:02:03. Despite having run 1:01:04 in Marugame earlier this year, Yamamoto’s teammate and former Hakone Ekiden star Daichi Kamino was a non-factor, finishing 12th in only 1:04:47. Yamamoto will return to the New York City Marathon in November after finishing 4th there last year, New York’s best-ever Japanese men’s placing.

Yoshimatsu photo © 2017 Dr. Helmut Winter, all rights reserved
text, other photos and video © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Shitara a Day After 2:07:50 Gold Coast Win: "Even If We Ran the Trials Right Now I'd Win"

Former marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (27, Honda) returned to Narita Airport on July 8 a day after scoring his first-ever marathon win at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon. Shitara won in an excellent course record time of 2:07:50, lending momentum to his buildup for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials just over two months away.

During the race Shitara suffered a mishap, bleeding from both nipples early on. "It rained right before the start," he said, "and once I started running it started chafing. I was a little worried about it, but if you want to compete at the top of the game then there are no excuses." Shrugging it off, even as his uniform soaked up the blood Shitara kept up his fast pace. "My training paid off in this result," he said with obvious satisfaction. "Winning gives me confidence, and I want to make good use of that after this."

Up to now Shitara has followed his own training program, never running longer t…

Japan Sweeps Half Marathon and Men's 20 km Race Walk Medals at Napoli Universiade

Japan pulled off three medal sweeps in the last two days of track and field competition at the 2019 Napoli Universiade, taking all three individual medals and the team gold medals in the men's 20 km race walk and both the women's and men's half marathons.

Koki Ikeda kicked off the medal rush Friday with a 1:22:49 win in the men's 20 km race walk, opening more than 30 seconds on teammates Masatora Kawano and Yuta Koga. The next morning the Japanese women followed the walkers' lead, waiting until the third time around the three-lap course to drop the competition. Just 19, 2019 National University Half Marathon champion Yuka Suzuki (Daito Bunka Univ.) was really impressive over the last two kilometers, seeming to be going at an all-out sprint and opening more than 20 seconds on Rika Kaseda (Meijo Univ.) and Yuki Tagawa (Matsuyama Univ.) for the win in 1:14:10.

#ユニバーシアード2019
男子ハーフマラソン

スタジアムで表彰待ちをしていたら伊藤くんが繰り上げで3位になった情報が入ってビックリ😳
中国人選手が指定の場所以外で給水を取ったので失格になったのですが、そのシーンを観てて給水…

Hokuren Distance Challenge First Half Roundup

Most Japanese distance teams head north to Hokkaido for the summer to escape the heat and get ready for ekiden season. Part of that summer is the Hokuren Distance Challenge, a series of track meets in different towns across the island geared toward producing fast times, a domestic alternative to the European circuit. It's been a cooler and wetter summer than usual this year, but with the Doha World Championships coming later in the calendar that in normal years this time around the HDC has expanded from four to five meets. The first three meets in the series have come and gone, and with the two biggest still to come here's a summary of some of the better results so far.
Hokuren Distance Challenge Chitose MeetChitose, Hokkaido, 7/6/19
complete results

Women's 3000 m A
1. Hellen Ekalale (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 8:48.73
2. Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki TC) - 9:01.54
3. Momoka Kawaguchi (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 9:16.01
4. Nao Yamamoto (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 9:17.31
5. Sara Miyake (…