Skip to main content

18-Year-Old Waithaka Runs 10000 m World Leading Time at Nittai - Weekend Roundup

photo by @tsutsugo55225

For the second time in the last three weeks, a Japan-based Kenyan ran the fastest time in the world this year for 10000 m at Yokohama's Nittai University Time Trials series. On October 20th it was 2015 World U18 Championships 3000 m gold medalist Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu), 20, with a 27:14.70  that surpassed Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei's world-leading mark by almost five seconds. This time it was 2018 World U20 Championships 5000 m silver medalist Stanley Waithaka (Yakult), 18, taking almost two minutes off his PB to break Kimunyan's mark with a 27:13.01 win.

Both winners received support from 2014 Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medalist Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), who ran season bests for 2nd place each time, 27:50.38 three weeks ago and 27:28.27 on Saturday. 2013 World U18 Championships 3000 m bronze medalist Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) was also under 28 minutes, running just off his PB at 27:42.16 for 3rd. Kazuma Taira (Kanebo) was the top Japanese finisher, 7th in a PB of 28:16.22.

Taira's teammate Samuel Masai (Kanebo) won the Nittai 5000 m A-heat in 13:30.22, while just behind him Kensuke Horio (Chuo Univ.) followed up on his 1:01:57 PB at last month's Hakone Ekiden Qualifier half marathon with a 13:33.51 PB for 2nd, the second-fastest time so far this year by a Japanese man. First-year Yuhi Nakaya (Waseda University) followed up a great run at last weekend's National University Men's Ekiden with a 13:45.49 PB for 9th.

Grace Kimanzi (Starts) easily won the women's 5000 m A-heat in 15:33.70, Shiori Yano (Canon AC Kyushu) 2nd in 15:46.74. Kimanzi's teammate Rosemary Wanjiru (Starts) took the 3000 m A-heat in 8:44.24, a PB by four seconds, beating 2018 World U20 Championships 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka (ND28 AC) who ran 8:57.33 for 2nd, the only other woman to clear 9 minutes.

Alongside Masai's win in the men's 5000 m, another Kanebo runner had success on the roads. Masao Kizu outran members of 2018 National University Men's Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University and other top-level university programs to win Tokyo's Setagaya 246 Half Marathon in 1:03:00, beating AGU's Shuya Iwami by 13 seconds. Ayumi Uemoto (Nihon Joshi Taiiku Univ.) won the women's race in 1:20:59.

Hitomi Niiya's brilliant comeback run at the East Japan Women's Ekiden was the biggest news of the weekend on the ekiden circuit, but two corporate men's regions also held their qualifiers for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden national championships. At the 61st Kansai Region Corporate Men's Ekiden, NTT Nishi Nihon, SGH Group and Sumitomo Denko staged a three-way battle of constant turnover throughout the race that came down to a long surge over the final 4 km by anchor Yusei Shirokoshi that gave NTT Nishi Nihon its first-ever win. NTT covered the seven-stage, 80.55 km course in 3:59:24, 11 seconds up on SGH. Missing star runner Hyuga Endo, Sumitomo Denko finished 3rd in 4:00:37 after having been within two seconds of the lead mid-race. Watch a complete replay of the race above.

At the 58th Chugoku Region Corporate Men's Ekiden, the Mazda men led start-to-finish to win the seven-stage, 80.8 km race in 4:04:10. But it was a more exciting race than it might look. Despite having been over a minute and a half behind halfway through, Chugoku Denryoku closed to within 8 seconds of Mazda thanks to a pair of stage wins by its final two runners Naoki Okamoto and Kaido Kita. On a roll since his DNF at April's Boston Marathon, Okamoto broke the course record on the 19.0 km Sixth Stage, running 56:25 to bring Chugoku Denryoku within 38 seconds of Mazda. Kita ran 37:40 for the 12.5 km anchor stage but couldn't quite close the gap to Mazda's Kohei Mukai. In the mix for 2nd through much of the race, Chudenko was 3rd in 4:06:35.

Nittai photo © 2018 tsutsugo55225, all rights reserved
text © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee


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 Shibestu 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…