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Showing posts from 2019

Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifiers to Tune Up at Gold Coast and Hakodate

Just over 2 months out from Japan's 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon trials, the Sept. 15 MGC Race, 13 of the 34 men and 9 of the 15 women to have qualified for the trials will be tuning up the first weekend of July.

In Australia, 7 male qualifiers will run the Gold Coast Marathon and Asics Half Marathon. Half marathon national record holder and former marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda) leads the way in the marathon, a surprising step in what has so far been a solid recovery season from the injuries that held him back for most of last year following his 2:06:11 marathon national record. Yuma Hattori (Toyota), 2:07:27 for the win in Fukuoka last December, and Taku Fujimoto (Toyota), 2:07:57 two months earlier in Chicago, head the list in the half, where 3 of their Toyota teammates with sub-62 bests including Minato Oishi, the fastest Japanese man so far this year in the half marathon, are likewise entered.

3rd in the marathon last year on the Gold Coast, Jo Fukuda (Ni…

First-Years Dominate 1500 m Finals - Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships Day Two Highlights

Day Two of Kanto Regionals dawned windy, bringing loads of performances that exceeded the meet records but missed the books thanks to a tailwind over the limit. The D1 men's 1500 m wasn't one of them.

A slow 72 second first lap led to a 2:22 split at 800 m, a full 5 seconds slower than what the women's final went through it in. Yudai Noguchi (Juntendo Univ.) made a break for it from around 700 m out, but it wasn't until just into the last lap that former indoor mile national record holder and captain of 2019 Hakone Ekiden champion Tokai University's Ryoji Tatezawa went after him with rookie first-year teammate Kazuto Iizawa in tow. In the home straight Tatezawa reeled Noguchi in and looked to have a senior year title sealed up, but at the last second Iizawa pulled even with him.

Both throwing their arms straight forward at the line and Tatezawa going into full dive mode, when the results came up on the screen Iizawa had taken his team captain down by the tiniest o…

Suzuki, Bunuka and Kisaisa Win 10000 m Titles - Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships Day One Highlights

Japan's best university meet got started Thursday at rural Kanagawa's Sagamihara Gion Stadium with Day One of the 98th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships. The main finals of the day were the 10000 m, where windy and hotter than usual conditions kept times on the slower side.

In the women's 10000 m defending champ Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka Univ.) gave it a miss after having run Sunday's 10000 m National Championships, leaving the door open for her 2nd-year teammate Yuka Suzuki (Daito Bunka Univ.) to take the win in 33:02.93 over last year's 2nd and 3rd-placers Rino Goshima (Chuo Univ.) and Yukina Ueda (Tsukuba Univ.).

The graduation of Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.), Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) and Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.), top 3 in the D1 10000 m in that order for the last 3 years, gave others the chance to step up onto the podium this year. James Bunuka (Surugadai Univ.) took the opportunity to win his first Kanto t…

JAAF to Establish Hearing Panel Following Introduction of Blood Testing at National High School Ekiden

With regard to the ongoing problem of the improper use of iron injections to improve performance in long distance athletes, on May 22 JAAF director Mitsugi Ogata said that the federation is consider a plan in which following the introduction of blood testing at this year's National High School Ekiden Championships, the coaches of any athletes whose testing results indicated possible iron injection abuse would be called before a hearing to give an explanation. No penalty would be imposed.

The JAAF intends to build up a database of the collected blood test results and monitor the trends in the situation. "It is important that we first get a handle on what the current situation actually is," commented Ogata. "We can then track changes and assess the effectiveness of our efforts to combat the problem." The JAAF's new guidelines prohibiting misuse of iron injections are scheduled to be released by the end of the month. When utilized as intended, the injections …

'Provisional Suspension Against Bahraini Long-Distance Runner Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa'

The AIU announced today that Kenyan-born Bahraini Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa has been provisionally suspended for a positive test for EPO. Prior to disappearing at the end of 2017 after winning the Macao International Marathon Kirwa was a familiar face in Japan, winning all seven of her races there between 2015 and 2017, taking 2nd in another in 2013, and medaling at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, 2015 Beijing World Championships and 2016 Rio Olympics.
It was notable that despite her string of international medals Kirwa never ran the big European and American races after hitting that level, her only appearance in the World Marathon Majors a DNF at the 2014 Boston Marathon and her only times running the biggest European marathons coming in 2012 and 2013 in Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt, all in the 2:21-2:23 range and making the top three twice.
Details of Kirwa's case are still forthcoming, but belo…

Nabeshima and Tamura Win 10000 m National Titles, Ndiku Runs 10000 m World-Leader, Okada Breaks 5000 m RW NR - Weekend Track Review

Four hours after a collective sigh of relief 17,000-strong as Yuki Koike's successful handoff to Yoshihide Kiryu brought the Golden Grand Prix Osaka meet to a close with a world-leading 38.00 win for the Japanese men's 4x100 m relay team, the acton continued at Osaka's Nagai Stadium with the women's and men's 10000 m National Championships.

Held six weeks out from the rest of the National Championships this year to try to maximize performances and world rankings points in both the 5 and 10, the 10000 m Nationals started at 7:30 p.m. with the women's race. Championships record holder Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC) started unusually slowly, sitting mid-to-rear pack as 2016 national champion Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) and-two defending national champ Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) led the way, but after a 3:15 for the third 1000 m she lost patience and went to the front.

From there it was a familiar race, Niiya holding the pace relentlessly as the competition dwindled to…

'WTS Yokohama: 10 Things We Learnt'

JAAF Announces Last-Chance Olympic Marathon Standards: 2:05:49 and 2:22:22

We hereby announce the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon Team qualifying standards for the MGC Final Challenge.
men: 2:05:49
women: 2:22:22 These times are one second faster than the fastest times run by Japanese men and women within the MGC Race qualifying period. The fastest athlete under these standards at one of the MGC Final Challenge series races will earn the third and final spot on the Tokyo 2020 team following the two to be decided at September's MGC Race. MGC Final Challenge series races:
Men:73rd Fukuoka International MarathonTokyo Marathon 202075th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Women:5th Saitama International Marathon39th Osaka International Women's MarathonNagoya Women's Marathon 2020 For more information on the overall Tokyo 2020 Olympic team qualification process please click here.
The official MGC site:
source press release:
translated and edited by Brett Larner

10000 m National Championships Lead Weekend Action

It's a busy weekend on the track across the country. In long distance action the main event is Sunday's 10000 m national championships, held this year a month and a half before the rest of the National Track and Field Championships in an effort to help people produce better performances to maximize their world rankings points. The 10000 m will be held in Osaka's Nagai Stadium just after the Golden Grand Prix Osaka meet, which maxes out this time around with the 3000 m steeplechase.

22 women are entered in the 10000 m including 6 of the 7 who have cleared the 31:50.00 Doha World Championships standard and the only one who has cleared the 31:25.00 Tokyo Olympics standard. That would be the currently world-ranked #3 Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC), who lapped 2nd place the last time she ran Nationals back in 2013 en route to a still-standing championships record 31:06.67. #16-ranked Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post), jointly #22-ranked Kaori Morita (Panasonic) and Mizuki Matsuda (Daiha…

61:45 Half Marathoner Akito Terui Targeting 2024 Paris Olympics Marathon

At the May 12 Sendai International Half Marathon, Akito Terui (25, ND Software) finished 6th overall in 1:03:01. As a member of the Kanto Student Alliance team Terui ran the fastest time on the anchor stage at the 2017 Hakone Ekiden. Running for the Nanyo, Yamagata-based ND Software team, Terui embraces the slogan 'From the Northeast to the World.' In Sendai he beat a number of athletes who have qualified for September's MGC Race, the new trials event that will determine the marathon team for the Tokyo Olympics, marking him as a potential contender for future Olympic teams.

In one of the nation's leading half marathons Terui made his presence felt among the elite competitors. Starting off in the third group, mid-race he began to move up through the field to finish as the 4th Japanese man. Three runners he beat in the final stages, 7th-place Daichi Kamino (New Balance), 8th-place Yoshiki Takenouchi (NTT Nishi Nihon) and 10th-place Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu), were MGC …

YGU's Boniface Murua to Double in 5000 m and 10000 m in Kanto Regionals Debut

Entry lists for the 98th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, Japan's most competitive collegiate meet, were released May 14. The meet begins May 23rd at Kanagawa's Sagamihara Gion Stadium.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary as a D1 program, Yamanashi Gakuin University will field its new Kenyan first-year Boniface Murua in the 10000 m on the 23rd and in the final day's 5000 m on the 26th. At 181 cm Murua has a long and dynamic stride that was in full evidence when he ran 14:06.27 at the Setagaya Time Trials meet immediately after his arrival in Japan in April, and in his 28:17.36 follow-up at the Nittai University Time Trials later that month. Asked about his Kanto Regionals debut, the Japanese Murua has learned was just enough for him to answer, "I'll do my best!"

3rd in the 800 m last year, third-year Daichi Setoguchi is also entered for the third year in a row. "I've been 5th and 3rd, so this year I want to deliver the win," …

Weekend Track Highlights

The IAAF World Relays in Yokohama were the weekend's main track action, but the first round of regional corporate championships and a few other meets brought distance action across the country.

The women's 10000 m was the highlight at the Kansai Region Corporate Championships, with Wacoal teammates Yuka Ando and Mao Ichiyama recovering from decent runs at the London Marathon last month to go 1st and 5th, Ando the fastest in 32:43.18. Their fellow MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials qualifier Madoka Nakano (Noritz) was 2nd in 32:50.18, doubling the next day in the 5000 m where she was 5th in 16:07.24. Former Hakone Ekiden rivals and now teammates at NTT Nishi Nihon, Kenyans Patrick Wambui and Dominic Nyairo went 1-2 in the men's 10000 m in 28:41.84 and 28:43.86. Ryota Motegi (Sumitomo Denko) just missed the meet record in the men's 1500 m, winning in 3:44.12.

At the Chubu Region Corporate Championships Kenyans Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and Macharia Ndirangu

Nogami and Mutiso Run Fastest Winning Times in a Decade at Sendai International Half

2018 Jakarta Asian Games marathon silver medalist Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) turned in one of the best performances of her career Sunday, taking almost two minutes off her half marathon best to win the Sendai International Half Marathon in 1:09:27. One of just fifteen women to have qualified for Japan's MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials, Nogami quickly dropped the more accomplished Rei Ohara (Tenmaya), also an MGC qualifier, to run the last 3/4 of the race alone en route to the fastest winning time in Sendai since 2009. Ohara was next in 1:10:25, with 10000 m collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto (Daihatsu) 3rd in a PB of 1:12:39.

Locally-based Kenyan Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) won the men's race with the same kind of margin as Nogami, running 1:01:10 for the win, Sendai's fastest time since 2010. Back on the roads for the first time since his crash-and-burn shot at a 2:04 at March's Tokyo Marathon, Yuki Sato (Nissin Shokuhin) was 2nd in 1:02:30 ahead of…

'Five Nations Emerge With Victories as IAAF World Relays Yokohama Conclude'

'On Night of Dramatic Event Debuts, US Dominates'

National Championships 10000 m Entry Lists

The National Championships 10000 m will be held six weeks earlier than the rest of the meet this year in a bid to help people produce better performances to increase their positions in the world rankings ahead of next year's Tokyo Olympics. The 10000 m will take place May 19 in Osaka as part of the Golden Grand Prix meet.

The women's race includes six of the seven Japanese women who have cleared the 2019 Doha World Championships standard of 31:50.00, the only absence being Harumi Okamoto (Mitsui Sumitomo Denko), 31:28.20 at December's Corporate Women's Time Trials meet. Of them, only #2-ranked Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC) has cleared the more demanding 31:25.00 Tokyo Olympic standard with a 31:22.63 in her silver medal-winning run at last month's Asian Athletics Championships.

With no Japanese men under either the 27:40.00 Doha standard or the 27:28.00 Olympic standard the men's race includes four Japan-based Kenyans to try to pull them along to at least the D…

"One-Shot" Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifiers Attend Briefing Session

On May 7 an information session took place in Tokyo for athletes who have qualified for September's new "one-shot" selection race that will determine at least two members of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics men's and women's marathon teams. Two of the top men and women at the Sept. 15 MGC Race will be named to the three-member marathon team rosters for the Tokyo Olympics.

34 men and 15 women qualified for the more-or-less "one-shot" race, which will be a first in Japanese Olympic selection. 40 of the qualifiers and their coaches attended the May 7 briefing session in Tokyo. One notable absence was U.S.-based men's marathon national record holder Suguru Osako. JAAF marathon development project team leader Toshihiko Seko began by reiterating the significance of the new-format selection race.

Seko told them, "This race will be challenging and will place tremendous pressure upon you. The athletes who can deal with that will be the ones who become our true O…

Yokoyama Named Head Coach of Nittai University Following Abuse Scandal

On May 7 Nihon Taiiku University announced the new lineup of its ekiden team coaching staff. Junichiro Yokoyama, 55, was named to the head coach's position, with recent graduate Shun Onoki, 24, named assistant coach.

Last September Nittai head coach Masaaki Watanabe was fired over violence and abuse of authority toward students. He was temporarily replaced as head coach by Koji Watanabe, 81, with former pole vault national record holder Fumiaki Kobayashi, 44, overseeing the ekiden program until a permanent replacement could be found.

Watanabe retired from his temporary position at the end of March, with Kobayashi continuing on as head coach of the overall track and field program.

source article:
translated and edited by Brett Larner

'BMO Vancouver Marathon Breaks Attendance Record Buoyed by Star Power'

Two-Time World Champ Yamauchi Wins Project Carbon X

When frontrunning American Jim Walmsley packed it in after going a few seconds under the longstanding 50-mile world record at Hoka One One's Project Carbon X 100 km, two-time world champion Hideaki Yamauchi was quick to take over. Well under world record pace at halfway despite being 3 minutes behind Warmsley at that stage, Yamauchi slowed as temperatures rose in the second half but had no real competition after taking the lead and sailed on to win in 6:19:54, almost 14 minutes ahead of runner-up Patrick Reagan. Yoshiki Takada was just over 18 minutes behind Reagan in 3rd in 6:52:03. The lone finisher in the women's race, American Sabrina Little took the women's title in 7:49:28.
Project Carbon X 100 kmFulsom, CA, 5/4/19
complete results

1. Sabrina Little (U.S.A.) - 7:49:28

1. Hideaki Yamauchi (Japan) - 6:19:54
2. Patrick Reagan (U.S.A.) - 6:33:50
3. Yoshiki Takada (Japan) - 6:52:03
4. Jim Walmsley (U.S.A.) - 7:05:24
5. Mike Wardian (U.S.A.) - 7:29:12

© 2019 Brett L…

Keitany Breaks Golden Games in Nobeoka 5000 m Meet Record, Kimura Under 15:20 and Shitara Sub-28

One of Japan's main spring meets, the Golden Games in Nobeoka saw some strong performances in its 30th edition. Evans Keitany (Toyota Boshoku) ran the performance of the day, breaking the 5000 m meet record with a 13:12.65 to win the almost all-African D-Heat. 2019 national cross-country champion Yuta Bando (Fujitsu) came in at all-time Japanese #24 in the same heat with a 13:26.70 for 12th, the first runner to crack the Japanese top 25 in four years. By comparison, all-time #2 Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) won the 5000 m A-heat in 13:36.77.

Half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda) continued his forward momentum this season after a long slump following his 2:06:11 at last year's Tokyo Marathon, winning the 10000 m in 27:53.67 to become the first Japanese man under 28 this year. Shitara surprised everyone by announcing post-race that he plans to run July's Gold Coast Marathon before doing the Sept. 15 MGC Race Olympic marathon trials. His fellow trials q…

Checking Out Khalifa International Stadium

Last week's Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar were held at Khalifa International Stadium, the same place where this fall's World Championships will be held. These days I'm working with three members of the Japanese team at the Asian Championships and went along to help them out and to check out the stadium and surrounding area. The below was my personal experience throughout the four days of the AAC.
Day One One of the athletes' dad / coach was there to watch her run, so I spent the first day with him. He'd bought a ticket online, near the 250 m point on the back corner, Row 2, Seat 35. I couldn't get the online ticket site to work, so I went to the ticket office at the stadium to buy Seat 36. The two friendly young women working at the ticket window seemed pleasantly surprised that someone had come to buy a ticket, although when I asked they said I wasn't the first one.

Our tickets said Gate 20, but when we went there we found that although it h…