Skip to main content

Weekend Track Roundup

The first round of regional corporate track and field championship meets made up most of the weekend’s track action. Fresh back from going sub-32 at Payton Jordan, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) was the star of the Kansai Region meet as she repeated her 5000 / 10000 m double from last year with 15:45.58 and 33:00.26 wins. Men’s times were unremarkable, Shohei Morikawa (Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) taking the 5000 m in 14:06.58 and Aoyama Gakuin University grad Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) the 10000 m in 29:16.56 in his corporate league debut.

Split between two weekends, the Chugoku Region meet featured only 5000 m this week. Yudai Okamoto (JFE Steel) won the men’s race in 13:59.82, with Miharu Aoki (Tenmaya) claiming the women’s title in 16:19.79.

The Chubu Region meet produced some quality men’s 10000 m times, with two-time defending champ Rodgers Shumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) leading three Kenyan men under 28 minutes in 27:53.73, the fastest of his three wins to date. Daiji Kawai (Toenec) was the top Japanese man over a minute back in 28:57.32. Edward Waweru (NTN) won the 5000 m title in 13:28.53, with Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) the fastest Japanese man in 13:56.90 after winning the 3000 mSC in 8:42.74. A 4:14.68 meet record for 1500 m by Ann Karindi (Toyota Jidoshokki) and a 9:13.95 meet record for 3000 m by Nana Kuraoka (Denso) were the most noteworthy mark in the women’s events, with Akane Yabushita (Toyota Jidoshokki) taking the 5000 m in 16:20.64 and Misaki Hayashida (Toyota Jidoshokki) the 10000 m in 33:20.20.

Along with the corporate action, many university regions also staged their championship meets. In the Kansai Region, Honoka Tanaike (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) duplicated Ichiyama’s feat by repeating her 5000 m and 10000 m wins in 16:04.27 and 33:08.44. Third-year Yuki Ishii (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) dominated the men’s races, winning the 5000 m in 14:25.93 and the 10000 m in 30:01.09. In the Tokai Region Nodoka Aoki (Meijo Univ.) claimed the women’s 5000 m in 16:23.44 with younger teammates Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu and Rika Kaseda taking the 1500 m and 100000 m in 4:23.71 and 33:20.03 respectively. Men’s results were less competitive, with Aichi Kogyo University teammates Kanta Kodama and Takatora Suzuki winning the 5000 m in 14:56.89 and 31:05.23. The Chugoku-Shikoku Region produced better men’s times thanks to the Tsuyoshi Ogata-coached Kota Morishige (Hiroshima Keizai Univ.) who claimed the double in 14:39.41 and 30:25.01, but the winning times produced by one-time National University Women’s Ekiden champ Matsuyama University were weaker as first-year Manami Nishiyama won the 5000 m in 16:40.13 and second-year Masaki Tokunaga the 10000 m in 36:35.46.

A smaller than usual number of people opted to run the weekend’s other main meet, the Nittai University Time Trials in Yokohama. The highly promising Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) tuned up for the Prefontaine Classic with a 9:04.27 win in the 3000 m, beating 2nd place by almost 30 seconds. The fastest 5000 m time was only 16:12.71 by Yumi Yoshikawa (Shiseido). In the men’s races Rintaro Takata (Tokai Univ.) was the only man to break 14 minutes, just, winning the A-heat in 13:59.93. Muiru Muthoni (Soka Univ.) topped the 10000 m in 28:21.46.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

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…

Late-Bloomer Hiroko Yoshitomi Dropping One Course Record After Another

There’s a woman in her 30s who has been breaking marathon course records left and right. A native of Saga, her name is Hiroko Yoshitomi (34, Memolead). In the last year she has broken course records at three domestic marathons including a 2:33:57 at March’s Saga Sakura Marathon. “In terms of my age, I’ve still got years left to be breaking records,” Yoshitomi says. “If you approach your running in terms of that kind of thinking then it’s totally natural that the times are going to come.” At one point she had thought about retiring this season, but for now she’s determined to push on.

Tokyo-based running Industry conglomerate Rbies recently launched the Marathon Challenge Cup (MCC) series, a grouping of 33 domestic marathons across the country. In the 2017 season 19 of those member races saw a total of 23 new course records. The only person to set multiple new course records was Yoshitomi. Along with these records, at December’s Honolulu Marathon, February’s Tokyo Marathon and April’s…