A typhoon passing to the south brought rain and wind to most of the country throughout the weekend, but with what's left of ekiden season getting off the ground next weekend there were a million high-level meets across the country.
None higher-level than Friday's Chubu Corporate Track and Field Championships, where Bedan Karoki (Toyota) turned in his second sub-27:10 clocking in the last three weeks, winning the men's 10000 m A-heat in 27:08.91. 19-year-old Philemon Kiplagat (Aisan Kogyo) was 2nd in 27:46.67, the first sub-28 by a junior this year. Five other men were under 28 in the same heat, including first-timers Yusuke Nishiyama (Toyota) and Daiji Kawai (Toenec). A total of 44 men were under 29 minutes between all three heats.
Victor Korir Kipkirui (GMO) took the top spot in the men's 10000 m A-heat at Saturday's Track Games in Tokorozawa, a quad meet between Waseda University, Meiji University, Toyo University and Soka University with some GMO corporate interlopers. Kipkirui ran 28:09.07 to beat teammate Yuya Yoshida by exactly 10 seconds, with Waseda's Yuhi Nakaya 3rd in 28:19.27. Hideto Konde (Meiji Univ.) led the men's 5000 m A-heat in a PB 13:46.56.
Out in the wildlands of Chiba Sunday, Keita Shitara (Hitachi Butsuryu), twin brother of iconoclastic former half marathon and marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara had a solid win in the Juntendo University Time Trials men's 10000 m, taking the top spot by over 10 seconds in 28:28.04.
Sunday's Nagasaki Nighter Time Trials meet saw some fast times in the women's 10000 m, with Rika Kaseda (Meijo Univ.) running 32:04.99 for the win over Ethiopian Husan Zeyituna (Denso) and teammate Mikuni Yada (Denso), who clocked 32:07.79 and 32:09.12. Sad to say, every runner in the race except last-place finisher Yuri Nozoe (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) was wearing non-regulation shoes. The call of the shoes was strong in the women's 5000 m A-heat too, with Kenyans Cynthia Baire (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) and Tabitha Njeri Kamau (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) in an extra-cushioned photo finish, 15:11.29 to 15:11.30 for Bairu. 3rd placer Yuna Wada (Meijo Univ.) was the top runner in legal shoes at 15:40.93. Baire's teammate Miyu Kubo was legit in the 3000 m with a 9:06.22 for the win over Kenyan Marta Mokaya (Canon), 2nd in 9:07.44, and teammate Runa Nakasu, 3rd in 9:08.61 and all in clean shoes.
Nagasaki men's 10000 m A-heat winner Benard Koech (Kyudenko) dropped a solid 27:31.13 to beat Cleophas Kandie (Mitsubishi Juko) by over 35 seconds. 2:06 marathoner Hiroto Inoue (Mitsubishi Juko) was the top Japanese man at 4th in 28:28.41. Silas Kingori (Hiramatsu Byoin) took the 5000 m A-heat in 13:43.43, where the biggest news was a 13:48.59 for 3rd by Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S. senior Kanta Tokumaru.
Against the backdrop of all this distance action happening across the country, the sprints, hurdles, middle distances, jumps and throws component of the Kanto Region University Championships also happened Friday through Sunday at Kanagawa's Sagamihara Gion Stadium. Rescheduled from the spring, coming right after the rescheduled National Championships and hit by the edge of the typhoon, performances suffered a bit. There wasn't a single meet record across D1 and D2 men's and women's events, or even anything close. Well, the women's sprints were close, but only with massive tailwinds of +3.7 in the 100 m and +4.8 in the 200 m.
Hibiki Obara (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) did pull on a mini-coup in the D2 3000 mSC when he was almost 10 seconds faster than D1 winner Shunya Morishita (Juntendo Univ.) in 8:56.48. The highlight of the meet, at least from an entertainment standpoint, though, was the D2 men's high jump. With the tough conditions hitting a peak only one competitor, Shobi Gakuen Univ. 1st-year Yasunobu Shimomura, made it over any height. Shimomura cleared the opening height of 1.95 m on his third attempt, with all ten of his competitors failing to get over. Post-race Shimomura tweeted, "I've never seen results like these before!"
Long distance events for the Kanto Regionals meet happen later this month in Tokyo.© 2020 Brett Larner, all rights reserved