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High School National Record Holders Fujihara and Ishida to Enter Toyo University in Spring

Two high school national record holders are set to join Toyo University  at the start of the new academic year in April, Koki Fujihara  (Rakunan H.S.), holder of the 8.12 m long jump record, and Kosuke Ishida  (Tokyo Nogyo Daini H.S.), holder of the 13:34.74 record for 5000 m. Fujihara was the first high school boy to go over 8 m in the long jump, setting his record of 8.12 m (+1.7 m/s) at the August, 2019 National High School Championships as a second-year. It was the first time the high school long jump record had been broken in 30 years and bettered the old mark by 16 cm, enough to rank him all-time #9 among all Japanese athletes. Fujihara is currently 190 cm tall and is still growing, both physically and as an athlete. He follows in the footsteps of prominent Toyo alumni outside the distance events, including Japan's first sub-10 man in the 100 m and fellow Rakunan H.S. grad Yoshihide Kiryu  and 8.23 m long jumper Hibiki Tsuha .  But with a 3rd-place finish at this year's

Osaka Looks to Go Ahead Despite Pending State of Emergency

Despite the pending declaration of a state of emergency in the greater Osaka area as the coronavirus continues its rapid spread, the organizers of the Jan. 31 Osaka International Women's Marathon intend to go ahead with this year's race, in which Tokyo Olympic marathon team members Mao Ichiyama (23, Wacoal) and Honami Maeda (24, Tenmaya) are entered to run. Last year the JAAF published strict guidelines for the staging of road races amid the coronavirus pandemic. One of the requirements for holding a race is that no declaration of a state of emergency be in place. On Jan. 7 the government issued such a declaration for Tokyo and is surrounding three prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa. Osaka and neighboring Kyoto and Hyogo have asked to be added to that list. If the terms of the state of emergency are the same as the earlier one for the Tokyo area, it would last until at least Feb. 7. This would put the Osaka International Women's Marathon inside the emergency peri

Osaka Women's Marathon to be Run on 2.8 km Loop Inside Nagai Park

On Jan. 17 it was learned that the Jan. 31 Osaka International Women's Marathon will be run on a multi-lap loop course inside Nagai Park. Some of the athletes scheduled to run were notified last week of the likelihood of the change from Osaka's traditional road course, a change made as a result of the continued spread of the coronavirus. It is the first time the race will be run on a circuit course in the years since its first running in 1982.  Tokyo Olympics women's marathon team members Mao Ichiyama  (23, Wacoal) and Honami Maeda  (24, Tenmaya) had planned to try to break the 2:19:12 national record in Osaka, but the impact of the change on times run there remains unclear at this point. Osaka organizers have recruited male pacers, a first for a domestic women's marathon, to help chase the record, but with the government's declaration of a state of emergency last week they had no choice but to make the last-minute course change.  Most road races over the last yea