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Japanese U20 Women Win Team Bronze at World Cross Country Championships

The almost always reliable junior women scored Japan's only medal of the 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, beating Uganda by one point to make the podium. Uganda's Sarah Chelangat was part of the mad sprint finish for the individual medals, coming up just short at 4th but giving Uganda an edge for bronze behind Ethiopia and Kenya.

It took solid pair runs from Japan's Ayuka Kazama and Ririka Hironaka, 14th and 15th ahead of Uganda's second runner Esther Chekwemoi, and Chika Kosakai and Hazuki Doi, 21st and 22nd just seconds ahead of Uganda's last two scorers, to make it happen. The bronze medal placing was the junior women's 16th in World Cross Country Championships history.



Kazama's 14th-place finish as the first runner not from Ethiopia, Kenya or Uganda was also the best individual placing of the day by a Japanese athlete, as it turned out. But Issei Sato's 20th-place finish in the U20 men's 8 km was also quality, advancin…

Stanford Invitational Japanese Results

Stanford Invitational - Japanese ResultsStanford University, Palo Alto, California, U.S.A., 3/29/19
complete results

Women's 10000 m Invite
1. Emily Sisson (New Balance) - 30:49.57
2. Molly Huddle (Saucony) - 30:58.46
3. Allie Ostrander (Boise State Univ.) - 32:06.71
-----
6. Ayumi Hagiwara (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:09.87
8. Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 32:15.47
23. Misaki Hayashida (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 33:04.12

Men's 10000 m Invite
1. Conner Mantz (Brigham Young Univ.) - 28:18.18
2. Clayton Young (Brigham Young Univ.) - 28:18.50
3. Gilbert Kigen (Univ. of Alabama) - 28:20.28
-----
10. Jun Nobuto (Mazda) - 28:35.55
11. Kiseki Shiozawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:37.15
16. Junnosuke Matsuo (Tokai Univ.) - 29:07.79

Women's 5000 m Invite
1. Jessice Hull (Univ. of Oregon) - 15:34.93
2. Shuang Shuang Xiu (CAA) - 15:36.48
3. Carrie Dimoff (Bowerman TC) - 15:36.32
-----
10. Yuna Wada (Meijo Univ.) - 15:47.04

Men's 5000 m Invite
1. Kyle Mau (Univ. of Indiana) - 13:44.43
2. Jeff Thies (Tinma…

Komatsu, Nakaya, Hironaka and Tanaka Lead Japan's Team for World XC

Japan has sent a roster of 22 athletes to this weekend's World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, full squads for both junior races and the senior men's race, a team of only four for the senior women's race, and giving the mixed relay a miss.

The Senior Men's team is young but one of the better in recent years, led by towering national champion Yuta Bando (Hosei Univ.). Yohei Komatsu played a key role in Tokai University's first-ever Hakone Ekiden win in January, breaking the decades-old Eighth Stage course record to put Tokai into the lead. Yuhi Nakaya (Waseda University) was the star 1st-year on the Hakone circuit this year, Waseda head coach Yutaka Sagara saying that he think Nakaya has the potential to be better than multi-national record holder and Waseda alumnus Suguru Osako. Following Hakone Nakaya spent time training for World XC in Kenya.

The Senior Women's lineup is thin. Six of the top eight placers at Nationals were already on the Japa…

Atlanta Olympian Michiko Shimizu to Lead New Tokyo Metro Women's Ekiden Team in 2020

The Tokyo Metro Corporation is pleased to announce plans to found a new women's ekiden team beginning in April, 2020. Under the leadership of Michiko Shimizu the team will seek to become champions of the National Corporate Women's Ekiden.
As a long-distance relay the ekiden is in close conceptual affinity with the railway industry, which functions to connect separate stations. In addition, the fact that a team's success rests on the regular, daily work of each member and their individual contributions toward making a better whole is fully aligned with our corporate mission of each of our employees making valuable contributions through their daily work to the safety and comfort of our customers.
Tokyo Metro seeks to make a positive contribution to the community and to society at large through its women's ekiden team. The team will be based in Nakano, Tokyo. It is our hope that having a team based and training along our routes will help to unite and revitalize those are…

Fukuoka Winner Hattori Returns From New Zealand Training Camp: "Good Base Training"

2018 Fukuoka International Marathon winner Yuma Hattori (25, Toyota) landed at Narita Airport on Mar. 26 on a flight back from New Zealand. Hattori had spent the last 10 days training on a tough and hilly course in New Zealand. The course of the new MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials scheduled for Sept. 15 features a series of short uphills starting at 37 km. It is expected to be the point where the race-making move will happen.

Rather than focusing on high pace training Hattori put more emphasis on covering long distances in this training camp. "I've been training thoroughly for uphills in anticipation of the MGC Race," said Hattori. "I think it was good base training." Hattori plans to start the season at the Apr. 14 Kanaguri Memorial Meet's 5000 m, then to run the Apr. 28 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon. "Spring is where you lay the foundation, a season of patience," he said. "I want to run about 1:02:30 in Gifu."

Looking toward the MGC…

Head Coach Morozumi Praises Graduating Seniors Who Led Tokai University to First-Ever Hakone Win

Team captain Haruki Minatoya, Second Stage runner Shun Yuzawa and other 4th--years who helped lead Tokai University to its first-ever win at the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden graduated from Tokai at a ceremony at the university's Shonan Campus in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa on Mar. 25. "My greatest memory of these four years was, of course, winning the Hakone Ekiden this year," said Minatoya as Yuzawa smiled widely in agreement.
Tokai beat four-time defending champion Aoyama Gakuin University by a margin of 3:41to take Japan's biggest win for the first time. The pair capped their four years pursuing Hakone dreams with the grandest of finales, but for both Minatoya and Yuzawa there were tough times along the way. "After I was named captain I couldn't run at all," said Minatoya. "It was really hard, and I was very sorry for what it meant for everyone else." At November's National University Ekiden Championships Minatoya started the Seventh Stage in the le…

Yoshitomi Survives Four Marathons in Four Weeks to Win Saga Sakura Marathon

Arguably the highest-volume elite-level marathoner in the world, Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) survived four straight weekends of marathons to win her hometown Saga Sakura Marathon yesterday.

Starting the month off at the Mar. 3 Tokyo Marathon Yoshitomi ran 2:32:30 for 13th. A week later at the Mar. 10 Nagoya Women's Marathon it was 2:34:49 for 31st. Last weekend she headed overseas in a bid to win the Mar. 17 New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon in Taiwan, but in a rare off day she finished 6th in only 2:48:45. Heading back home she rallied to win the Mar. 24 Saga Sakura Marathon in 2:42:02.

At an expo talk show appearance the Wan Jin Shi organizers billed Yoshitomi as "the female Kawauchi," but not even he has come close to the kind of volume of racing Yoshitomi has been turning out over the years while working at her parents' botanical farm. Expect to see more, and more, and more from her in the months to come.



photos courtesy of Wan Jin Shi Marathon organizers
text …

Toyo University Coach Sato Celebrates Retirement As Japan's #1 Scout

Around 200 athletes who had been recruited by Toyo University's famed scout Hisashi Sato, 65, gathered at a hotel in Kawagoe, Saitama on Mar. 23 to celebrate Sato's retirement from his position as assistant coach at Toyo at the end of this month. Of the 30 men to have qualified for the Sept. 15 MGC Race 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, 4 are Toyo alumni, more than any other university.   Hiroyuki Yamamoto (32, Konica Minolta), who qualified for the MGC race at the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Marathon, and former marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (27, Honda), were among the attendees.

Since it first won the Hakone Ekiden in 2009 to this year's 3rd-place finish Toyo has shown extraordinary consistency, finishing in the top 3 at Hakone all 11 years. Sato worked alongside head coach Toshiyuki Sakai, 42, to help develop that kind of stability. Where he showed exceptional ability in his 25 years with the team was in scouting. Sato famously discovered future Hakone uphill F…

Daiso, Discount Shop Chain With 85% Female Employees, Launches Women's Ekiden Team

At a press conference in Hiroshima on Mar. 20 national 100 yen shop chain Daiso Sangyo announced its sponsorship of the new Daiso women's ekiden team beginning Apr. 1 this year. The new team's inaugural head coach will be local Sera H.S. coaching legend Shinya Iwamoto, 53. The team's initial roster will include five 18-year-old athletes who graduated from high school this month, three of them from Sera including the team's star runner Koto Hiramura.
Iwamoto was born in Higashi Hiroshima. As a senior at Sera H.S. he won the Fourth Stage at the National High School Ekiden, going on to attend Fukuoka University. After graduating he became a junior high school teacher before becoming head coach of the Sera boys in 2004. In 2006 Sera won the National High School Ekiden for the first time in 32 years. In 2010 Iwamoto became the Sera girls' head coach as well, and in 2015 the school became only the second in history to win both the boys' and girls' national title…

Japan's Oldest-Ever Olympic Marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa Retires at 39

At a press conference in Sayama, Saitama on Mar. 20, 2016 Rio Olympics marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa, 39, announced that he will retire from competition at the end of the month. At the time of the Rio Olympics Ishikawa was 36 years and 11 months old, surpassing 1996 Atlanta Olympics marathoner Hiromi Taniguchi's record of 36 years and 3 months to become Japan's oldest-ever Olympic marathoner. He finished 36th.

"Since I started running high school it's been 24 years," said Ishikawa at the press conference. "I've been with Honda for 17 years, and I made it all the way to the top, the Olympics. I'm glad that I've kept going this long. I thank you all."

Ishikawa ran the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon but dropped out after only 10 km. It was to be the last race of his career. "It was the first time in my career that I'd ever DNFd, and I thought, 'OK, this is where it ends,'" said Ishikawa. Shortly after the race he made …

Beijing Olympian Kensuke Takezawa Becomes Head Coach of Osaka Keizai University

On Mar. 19 it was learned that 2008 Beijing Olympian Kensuke Takezawa, 32, has been named head coach of the Osaka Keizai University track and field team. Previous head coach Kunihiro Tsurutani had led Hotoku Gakuen H.S. to six National High School Ekiden titles before taking over at Osaka Keizai. He passed away last year.

Takezawa was coached by Tsurutani at Hotoku Gakuen H.S. A native of Hyogo prefecture, Takezawa went on to Waseda University where he ran the Hakone Ekiden all four years. As a student athlete he ran the 10000 m at the 2007 Osaka World Championships. A year later he ran the 5000 m and 10000 m at the Beijing Olympics. He retired from competition in 2017.

source article:
https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20190320-00050148-yom-spo
translated by Brett Larner

'Kenyan Marathoner Set to Represent Seoul at Tokyo 2020' (updated)

Emi Ikeda Named First Female Head Coach of Ritsumeikan Uji High School Ekiden Team

Three-time National High School Ekiden champion Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. released an announcement on Mar. 19 revealing that alumna Emi Ikeda, 35, will take over as the team's head coach effective Apr. 1. Previous head coach Yoshinobu Ogino will remain on in an advisory position. Speaking enthusiastically at the announcement press conference, Ikeda told the media, "I want to learn from Ogino's wealth of knowhow concerning leadership and aim to be #1 in Japan."

Last year marked 30 straight years of Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. making the National High School Ekiden. Ogino commented, "As I approached age 70 I started to think that I would regret it if I didn't help to develop the team's next leader. The color that has been wrought over a long history will run even deeper, and the Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. name will live on forever."

Ikeda is a native of Kyotanabe, Kyoto. Her runner-up placing on the First Stage of the 2000 National High School Ekiden was key to Ritsum…

60-Year-Old Hiromi Nakata Wins Tottori Marathon Overall Women's Race

The Tottori Marathon held its 12th running on March 10. In light rain and 11˚C temperatures 3717 people ran Tottori's one-way course that passes local historic sites such as the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Tottori Castle ruins. Running 3:12:44 for the overall women's win was 60-year-old Hiromi Nakata.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," said Tanaka. "I had to stop at the toilets early on and lost some time, but I tried using the double inhale, double exhale breathing method that the actor Kankuro Nakamura uses on the Idaten TV show and got into a good rhythm. Thanks to that I could just keep going and going. I had no idea I was in 1st, and when they put up the finish tape as I was coming in I thought, 'No way!'""
Nakata is a resident of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In 2017 she ran the fastest time of the year in Japan by a 58-year-old, 3:05:02. In the mornings she does housework and works in her garden for an hour, fitting in 30 to 60-minute run…

Weekend Overseas Race Results

Two weeks after running 2:32:30 at the Tokyo Marathon and a week after a 2:34:49 in Nagoya, Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon. Hoping to break the 2:34:53 course record, Yoshitomi led the lead pack of six women through most of the first half. But nearing the turnaround point she faded, leaving eventual winner Naomi Jepkosgei Maiyo (Kenya) to claim the win in a new course record time of 2:34:08. Runner-up Meseret Gola Sisay (Ethiopia) was also under the old course record, just, in 2:34:51. Yoshitomi fell off pace to take 6th in 2:48:45. The course record also fell in the men's race, with winner Matthew Kipsaat (Kenya) negative splitting a 2:11:17 for the win. Kipsaat was the only runner to go under the old course record of 2:13:05.

Eriko Kushima (Noritz) was faster than Yoshitomi at the Seoul Marathon, running 2:40:55 for 10th. Kazuki Takeshita (SDF) ran 2:14:14 for 12th in the men's race, the best time by a Japanese man outside Japan so far this…

Suzuki Wins National University Women's Half Marathon, Otsubo and Ando Take Niigata

Yuka Suzuki (Daito Bunka Univ.) won a close pack race to take the 2019 National University Women's Half Marathon title, outkicking Rika Kaseda (Meijo Univ.) by 2 seconds for the win in 1:11:27. With a relatively slow start the lead pack of nearly 20 gradually picked up its pace, splitting faster for every successive 5 km until only Suzuki, Kaseda, Yuka Tagawa (Matsuyama Univ.) and Yukina Ueda (Tsukuba Univ.)were left together at 20 km.

With three spots at stake on the Japanese national team for this summer's World University Games one of them had to lose, and as Suzuki and Kaseda pulled away over the last km the third spot came down to another duel. Tagami proved to have the better finish, taking 3rd in 1:11:35 to Ueda's 1:11:38. Defending World University Games half marathon gold medalist Yuki Munehisa (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) was a DNF, dropping out after 10 km as the pace increased.

Run as part of the Matsue Ladies Half Marathon, the race also included corporate league runne…

'Race Record Assault on Tap in New Taipei City'

https://www.iaaf.org/news/preview/previews-lisbon-gdynia-half-marathon-seoul-ne

The New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon live stream starts at 6:00 a.m. local time Sunday.


photo: Japan's Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead), center, at the Wan Jin Shi Marathon expo with locals. Photo c/o race organizers.

Meet Ken Nakayama

Chuo University fourth-year Ken Nakayama is running Sunday's United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, the eighth year that the New York Road Runners have invited top Japanese university men from November's Ageo City Half Marathon to run their half. You might have seen his training partner Kensuke Horio finish 5th in the Tokyo Marathon in his debut a couple of weeks ago. Nakayama is one of the very top graduating seniors in Japan this year, but his route to that level has been one of the most unconventional.

Japanese distance running is highly systematically organized, with top high schools feeding into top universities where the best runners will run the Hakone Ekiden and get recruited to top corporate teams and then go on to become the country's top marathoners. Scouting at the university level is intense, and for the most part it's pretty clear early on in high school who the cream of the crop are going to be.

Nakayama was nobody in high school. He played soccer in junior…

JAAF Introduces Rule Changes to Facilitate Doctors and Race Staff Stopping Athletes in Distress

At its executive board meeting on Mar. 14 the JAAF introduced new competition rules for domestic races that allow doctors and referees to stop athletes from continuing regardless of the athlete's own wishes. At last October's National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships Qualifier there were complaints of inadequate handling of athletes who were in trouble after one athlete who sustained an injury was shown crawling on her hands and knees to hand off her team's tasuki and another became delirious and disoriented and began running the wrong direction and in circles. Medical staff and race officials will now have greater latitude to speak to and even touch athletes in order to confirm their physical condition. The aim of the rule change is to remove concerns about what constitutes "aid" to athletes and to better ensure the health and safety of the competitors.


source article:
https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20190314-00000168-kyodonews-spo
translated and edit…

The 2020 Olympic Trials Qualifiers and the New Olympic Standards

Sunday's Nagoya Women's Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon pretty much wrapped up qualification for the Sept. 15 MGC Race, Japan's new 2020 Olympic trials in the marathon. There's still a chance for people who haven't qualified yet to get in if they can clear the wildcard standards, 2:24:00 or a two-race 2:28:00 average for women and 2:08:30 or a 2:11:00 average for men, by the end of April. At least two men with good chances of making it, Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) and Asuka Tanaka (Hiramatsu Byoin), are planning to race again in April to try to go that route, and there will probably be others. But realistically the numbers of qualifiers probably won't change too much from what they are now.

As of the end of Sunday's races, 14 women and 30 men have qualified. On the women's side, the Tenmaya corporate team, the most successful at putting women on national teams in the marathon, has produced the most qualifiers with three, Honami Maeda, Mizuki …

Fast Times in Tachikawa, National Records in Nagoya, Bounasr on Top at Lake Biwa - Weekend Road Racing Highlights

All three of Sunday's main road races saw quality times thanks to a combination of deep fields, good conditions and the promise of national team spots.

First up at the National University Men's Half Marathon Championships in western Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park, Hakone Ekiden Fourth Stage course record breaker Akira Aizawa (Toyo Univ.) led the top three under 62 minutes in a skillfully controlled 1:01:45. With places on the team for this summer's Napoli World University Games team at stake Aizawa waited until near the end to take advantage of the final hills to break free of the pack.



Runner-up Taisei Nakamura (Komazawa Univ.) and 3rd-placer Tatsuhiko Ito (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) both cleared 62 minutes for the first time, Nakamura in 1:01:51 and Ito in 1:01:52, Ito's mark especially newsworthy from the still fresh new Tokyo Kokusai program. Teammates Hidekazu Hijikata and Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) were both just over the 62-minute mark to round out the probable li…

Nagoya, Lake Biwa and Tachikawa - Weekend Preview

What do you know, it's another big weekend. The last chance for Japan's marathoners to go the easy route for qualifying for September's MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials by placing among the top six Japanese finishers at the Nagoya Women's Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. Traditionally they're a week apart with Nagoya marking the end of the season, but with the Tokyo Marathon moving the Lake Biwa's usual date the first Sunday in March due to the impending Imperial succession the JAAF has opted to stage Nagoya and Lake Biwa back-to-back the same day.

In the morning comes Nagoya. The upper end of the domestic field took a hit with the expansion of Tokyo's women's field this year, but there's no shortage of talent from 2:24 on down. Only nine women have qualified for the MGC Race to date, but given the depth of the field it'll be a true shock if nobody hits the standards. #1-ranked Japanese woman Reia Iwade (Under Armour) already has …

Hagiwara Overcoming History of Injuries on Road to Comeback

2014 Incheon Asian Games women's 10000 m bronze medalist Ayumi Hagiwara (Toyota Jidoshokki) has finally emerged from a long, dark tunnel. Running her first half marathon in five years this February she broke her PB by one second. "I feel as though I've managed to get the hands moving a little on a watch that had stopped," she said, measuring her words thoughtfully.

Hagiwara graduated from Shizuoka's Tokoha Kikugawa H.S., joining the Uniqlo corporate team where she was coached by Hideo Suzuki who had previously led World Championships medalist Reiko Tosa to success in the marathon. With her Asian Games bronze and a run that helped the Japanese national team win the 2014 International Chiba Ekiden she quickly gained attention.

But when injury struck she was forced to cancel her planned marathon debut, and things started to fall apart. She had a disastrous run in the 10000 m at the 2016 National Championships and failed to make the Rio Olympic team. When her coach …

Sawai Pharmaceuticals Voluntarily Recalls Stomach Medicine Found to Contain Prohibited Substance

A Japanese pharmaceutical company has voluntarily withdrawn a stomach medicine after it was found to be contaminated with a prohibited substance. Sawai Pharmaceuticals has announced that it is voluntarily recalling its Ecabet Sodium Karyu 66.7% Sawai product, a medicine used to treat gastritis and stomach ulcers, after it was found to contain the ingredient acetazolamide, a drug prohibited under anti-doping regulations.

On Mar. 1 the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare conclusively determined that a wrestler had tested positive as a direct result of using the Sawai product in question. Sawai Pharmaceuticals said that although there is no health danger in using the product, it is voluntarily withdrawing it because it is unclear at what stage the prohibited substance was included. The company said that it is highly likely the contamination was committed by another company to which it outsources some manufacturing and that it is investigating the situation.

source article:
https://www.f…

Inoue Runs Second-Fastest Time Ever at Tamana Half in Tuneup for Boston

While many of the other main contenders for September’s MGC Race, Japan’s new 2020 Olympic trials marathon, were focused on trying to run super fast times at the Tokyo Marathon, 2018 Asian Games gold medalist Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) did his last major tuneup for next month’s Boston Marathon at the 70th edition of Kumamoto’s Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon.

Throughout the race Inoue went head-to-head with 2018 winner Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Aisan Kogyo) before finally dropping him in the final kilometers. At 1:02:21 Mwaka was more than 30 seconds up on his winning time from last year, but Inoue surged away from him to win in 1:02:12, his best half marathon time in four years and the second-fastest winning time in Tamana’s 70-year history. Only five people had ever broken 63 minutes at Tamana previously, but this year the top eight all did it, 8th-placer Shunsuke Kanbe (Komazawa Univ.) running a PB 1:02:56. Boston-bound Shizuoka Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) was over …

Legese and Aga On Top, El Abbassi and Osako on the Sidelines at 2019 Tokyo Marathon

Headwinds in the last 6.5 km and cold rain throughout kept the really fast times from happening as scheduled, but the 2019 Tokyo Marathon still brought plenty of surprises.

#1-ranked Birhanu Legese (Ethiopia) winning the men's race wasn't one of them. The lead pack blasted most of the first half sub-2:04 pace, only breaking up after rounding the 20 km turnaround. Early casualties included last year's 4th-place Gideon Kipketer (Kenya) and Asian record holder El Hassan El Abbassi (Bahrain), but just after the turnaround national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) and 2018 Berlin Marathon 4th-placer Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) dropped back, Osako stopping shortly thereafter.

The remaining six split into two trios. In the front group, defending champ Dickson Chumba (Kenya) fell back from Legese and Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA) approaching 30 km before Legese took off after the final pacer said goodbye. On the way down to the 35.8 km turnaround Legese's pace approa…