Skip to main content

Matsumoto and Abe Win Sendai International Half Marathon


In a race that came down to an uphill battle near 20 km, Ryo Matsumoto (Toyota) emerged on top of a lead pack of five to win the men's race at the 28th Sendai International Half Marathon. Matsumoto outkicked Rio Olympics marathon team member Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei) on the track to take the win in 1:03:05, the fastest winning time by a Japanese man in Sendai history. Sasaki returned from the injury that kept him out of March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marahton to finish 2nd in 1:03:10, holding off collegiate runners Kengo Nakamura (Toyo Univ.) and Akihiro Gunji (Tokai Univ.).

Defending champion Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) suffered some sort of injury in the late going, shuffling down the home straight and almost walking across the finish line to take 5th in 1:03:39. Just behind him, 2017 Gold Coast Marathon winner Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta) nicked 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) at the line after sitting on Kawauchi the entire race, both clocking 1:03:41 but Noguchi taking 6th. Kawauchi's friend and rival Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) was 24th in 1:05:15, the first time he has ever lost to Kawauchi over the half marathon distance.


Like the men's race the women's race came down to the final uphill to the track. Fresh off a win in the 10000 m at last month's Hyogo Relay Carnival, Yukari Abe (Shimamura) had the gears to get away from a lead group of five, her winning time of 1:12:16 the slowest since 2010. Shiori Morita (Panasonic), twin sister of 2018 Marugame Half runner-up Kaori Morita (Pansonic), was next in 1:12:23. 2018 Osaka Half winner Maki Ashi (Kyudenko) recovered from a DNF at the Boston Marathon to take 3rd in 1:12:32 just ahead of talented marathoner Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) and 10000 m collegiate national record holder Hikari Yoshimoto (Daihatsu). Last year's winner Hanae Tanaka (Shiseido) finished 11th.

28th Sendai International Half Marathon

Sendai, Miyagi, 5/13/18
click here for complete results

Men
1. Ryo Matsumoto (Toyota) - 1:03:05
2. Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei) - 1:03:10
3. Kengo Nakamura (Toyo Univ.) - 1:03:17
4. Akihiro Gunji (Tokai Univ.) - 1:03:23
5. Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) - 1:03:39
6. Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta) - 1:03:41
7. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:03:41
8. Takumi Kiyotani (Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:03:43
9. Masao Kizu (DeNA) - 1:03:44
10. Natsuki Terada (JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:03:46

Women
1. Yukari Abe (Shimamura) - 1:12:16
2. Shiori Morita (Panasonic) - 1:12:23
3. Maki Ashi (Kyudenko) - 1:12:32
4. Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) - 1:12:42
5. Hikari Yoshimoto (Daihatsu) - 1:12:48
6. Reia Iwade (Under Armor) - 1:13:11
7. Yuko Watanabe (Edion) - 1:13:52
8. Chiharu Suzuki (Hitachi) - 1:14:22
9. Hiroko Miyauchi (Hokuren) - 1:14:23
10. Reno Okura (Hokuren)- 1:14:31

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kisaisa Wins Second-Straight Yosenkai Half Marathon in 1:00:44, Komazawa University Averages Ten Men Under 1:03

The Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai is the qualifying race for Japan's most prestigious road race, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. University men's teams in the Tokyo area that didn't make the top ten at Hakone the year before square off in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park with teams of up to twelve. The top ten score, their cumulative times determining the team's placing with the top eleven teams advancing and high-placing individuals from schools that don't make the cut rounded up to form a select team.

The Yosenkai has long been the world's #1 20 km road race by a wide margin, with winning times among the fastest in the world for the distance and the same kind of incredible depth seen at November's Ageo City Half Marathon and March's National University Men's Half Marathon. In light of changes in the IAAF's ranking system and the level of performance at the Yosenkai, this year organizers took the historic step of changing it from its traditional distance to …

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Osako Brings Japanese National Record Back to Chicago

Just over seven months since Yuta Shitara broke Toshinari Takaoka's longstanding 2:06:16 national record from the 2002 Chicago Marathon with a 2:06:11 in Tokyo in February, U.S.-based Suguru Osako brought the record back home to Chicago with a 3rd-place finish in 2:05:50.

Running the same pattern as in his first two marathons, Osako sat back in the lead men's pack, never exerting himself as it whittled down to the core members. Just past the turn into Chinatown near 35 km his Nike Oregon Project teammate and 2017 Chicago winner Galen Rupp fell off the front group to leave Osako in contention with former NOP member Mo Farah, 2:04 Ethiopian Mosinet Gemerew, former Asahi Kasei runner Kenneth Kipkemoi and 2017 world champion Geoffrey Kirui.

As in Boston and Fukuoka last year, when the real move came, this time in the form of a surge by Farah and Gemerew, Osako was left behind to battle it out for 3rd. While Farah kicked away for the win by 13 seconds in a European record 2:05:11,…