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

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge's world record and Gladys Cherono's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005.

A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average wildcard opt…

Nittai University Head Coach Masaaki Watanabe Fired Over Abuse Scandal

On Sept. 12 Nittai University announced that it will fire ekiden team head coach Masaaki Watanabe, 55, over the current power harassment scandal surrounding him. According to the university's public relations office, interviews by the alumni association with five current and one former team member reported multiple acts of violence by Watanabe including kicking athletes' legs and grabbing them by the chest.

The interviews also reported that Watanabe verbally abused and threatened student athletes and attacked their character. When runners fell off pace during workouts he was reported to have shouted, "Get the hell out of this university!" and, following the runners in a car, "I am going to f*cking run you over and kill you." Injured team members were also reported to have been subject to verbal humiliation by Watanabe, including, "Look at this f*cking cripple," and "You f*cking deserve it." Watanabe admitted the accusations but said tha…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…