Skip to main content

Funatsu 3:38.65 at Bryan Clay - Weekend Track Roundup

Weekend Japanese track action kicked off at the Bryan Clay Invitational at California's Azusa Pacific University. Passing on a spring marathon in favor of a shot at the 10000 m national record this season, 5000 m national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) ran 13:29.11 for 3rd in the 5000 m, the best time so far this year by a Japanese man.

Bigger news came in the men's 1500 m, where Shoma Funatsu (Chuo Univ.) capped a residency in Oregon with a 3:38.65 to move up to all-time Japanese #5 and collegiate #2. Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) also ran 3:41.51, with U.S.-based Yusuke Uchikoshi (Boise State Univ.) going 3:44.50, Funatsu's Chuo teammate Kazuyoshi Tamogami 3:45.84, another U.S. transplant Yasunari Kusu (AMAC) 3:46.98 and Hirotaka Nakatani (Uchida Chiryoin AC) 3:49.28.

At the nearby Mt. SAC Relays Yui Fukuda (Toyota Jidoshokki) won the women's 1500 m in 4:16.64. Mai Shoji (Denso) was slightly off her season best in the 5000 m in 15:56.99, while her teammate Nana Kuraoka went under 16 minutes for the first time this year in 15:58.24. Akane Yabushita (Toyota Jidoshokki) ran only 16:12.89 for 17th.



Back home the biggest action came at Kobe's Hyogo Relay Carnival. Fukuda's Toyota Jidoshokki teammate Helen Ekarare outran 1500 m meet record holder Ann Karindi to set a new record of 4:09.02 for the win, with newly-graduated indy club runner Nozomi Tanaka (ND28 AC) running 4:18.05 for 3rd. Ayano Ikemitsu (Kagoshima Ginko) topped the 5000 m in 15:54.88. Yukari Abe (Shimamura) had a good start to her outdoor season in the 10000 m, leading the top 7 under 32:30 in 32:13.79.

In the men's Grand Prix 10000 m, Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) ran 27:32.45 to lead four men under 28 minutes. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) ran 28:21.75 to take the top Japanese spot at 5th. 2017 Ageo City Half Marathon winner Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) won the Asics Challenge 10000 m in 27:56.04 by 6 seconds over perpetual rival Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.). Akira Aizawa (Toyo Univ.) and Daiji Kawai (Toenec) bettered Dairokuno's time from the Grand Prix race, running 28:17.81 and 28:19.35 for 5th and 6th in the Asics Challenge race.

At the Nittai University Time Trials meet in suburban Yokohama, Takushoku University captain Workneh Derese won the 10000 m A-heat in 28:14.49. Ken Nakayama (Chuo Univ.) ran a quality 28:22.59 for 3rd. Evans Yego (Sunbelx) won the 5000 m A-heat in 13:26.24, Rio Olympian Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) taking the top Japanese spot at 7th in a decent 13:39.72 season opener. In the women's races, Esther Muthoni (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) won the 3000 m A-heat by 15 seconds in 9:09.67, while Mary Shipuko (Hitachi) took the 5000 m in 15:51.76.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kusu Runs Steeplechase World-Leading Time, Yabuta and Yoshimura Break National Records, Tanaka Just Misses Fukushi's NR - Kitami and Liege Highlights

Wednesday afternoon and evening saw the fourth meet in this year's five-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series, this time in the town of Kitami. The program included the little-raced 2000 m steeplechase as a tuneup for Monday's series-closing Abashiri meet, and in both the women's and men's races the national records went down. A top collegiate steepler while at Kyoto Sangyo University, Yui Yabuta (Otsuka Seiyaku) ran 6:27.74 to break the women's record. In the men's race 1500 m specialist Yasunari Kusu (Ami AC) surprised many by breaking the Japanese national record with a world-leading 5:31.82 despite little experience in the steeple.

The women's 3000 m in Kitami was more explicitly set up as a national record attempt, with four of the ten fastest Japanese women ever over the distance lined up to gun for the great Kayoko Fukushi's 8:44.40 record dating back to 2002. From the gun it was out at NR pace, with pacers Hellen Ekalale (Toyota Jidoshokki) an…

Lemeteki and Aoki Win Shibetsu Half

Kenyan Razini Lemeteki (Takushoku Univ.) and relative unknown Nanami Aoki (Iwatani Sangyo) took the top spots in hot and sunny conditions at the Shibetsu Half Marathon in Hokkaido. With Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) doing early frontrunning in the men's race only to fade to a 20th-place finish in 1:06:40 Lemeteki had little competition for the win in 1:03:25. 2017 Shibetsu winner Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) was the top Japanese man at 2nd in 1:03:42, beating MGC Race Olympic marathon trials qualifiers Daichi Kamino (New Balance) and Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) - by 4 seconds and 11 seconds. Other MGC Race qualifiers Masato Imai (Toyota Jidoshokki), Yuji Iwata (MHPS) and Ryo Kiname (MHPS) all struggled, none of them breaking 66 minutes.

Aoki won the women's race easily in 1:15:12 by almost a minute over Mai Nagaoka (Sysmex). MGC Race qualifiers Reia Iwade (Under Armour) and Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) were listed to start but apparently did not run.
33rd Suffolkland Shibets…

Koike Runs Japan's Third Sub-10, Niiya Clears Doha 5000 m Standard - Weekend Track Highlights

Japanese athletes were busy on the track overseas this weekend. At Friday's Stumptown Twilight meet in Portland, indoor mile Asian record holder Nanami Arai (Honda) took 2nd in the men's 1500 m in 3:39.58, his second time this season breaking 3:40. It used to be a rarity to see a Japanese man clear 3:40, something that happened once every couple of years, but so far this season four Japanese men have done it a total of six times. If the distance had even a fraction of the prestige of the Hakone Ekiden, or of that it has in the U.S., there's no doubt there'd be more.

Speaking of distances with prestige, on the first day of London's Muller Anniversary Games Diamond League spectacular Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) became the third Japanese man to join the sub-10 club, running 9.98 (+0.5 m/s) for 4th in the men's 100 m final. Koike also ran 2nd on the Japanese men's 4x100 m relay team, which clocked a season best 37.78 for 2nd despite featuring only two regulars…