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Corporate Regionals Dominate Weekend Track Schedule

Like the title says, regional corporate league track and field championships lead this weekend's main action, with every region except Kyushu set to go ahead with its meet despite the proliferation of a new round of states of emergency across the country. Two of the most competitive regions, East Japan and Chubu, will be streaming their meets live, with Kansai likely to join the list.

East Japan, whose Day One stream above, runs 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday Japan time and again 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The meet schedule and entry lists can be had here. Featuring a lot of the best Japan-based Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes, the men's 5000 and 10000 m look like the best races of the meet, with the 5000 m A-heat also having like Olympic 5000 m team member Yuta Bando (Fujitsu), newly-minted Olympic 10000 m team member Tatsuhiko Ito (Honda), and Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) back in action, hopefully, after scratching from the Lake Biwa Marathon and Olympic test event half marathon with injuries. 

Having cleared both the 5000 m and 10000 m Olympic standards, 20-year-old Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post) leads the field in the women's 3000 m.  The 5000 m is short on top-level domestic talent but includes six Japan-based Kenyans including Cynthia Mbaire (Hitachi), Judy Jepngetich (Shiseido) and Tabitha Njeri Kamau (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), all under 15:10 last year. 

The Chubu region also has live streaming lined up, 12:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, above, and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Full meet schedule here. Saturday's men's 10000 m fast heat includes newly-elevated 2019 Fukuoka International Marathon winner Taku Fujimoto and his Toyota teammate Bedan Karoki, with top Japan-based Kenyan steepler Philemon Kiplagat set to pace Aisan Kogyo teammate and 2020 national champion Kosei Yamaguchi, who missed the Olympic standard in the steeplechase by 0.39 last weekend. Full men's entry lists here

The women's races are small. Between 1500 m, steeplechase, 3000 m, 5000 m and 10000 m only the 5000 m has more than seven entrants, Ayumi Hagiwara (Toyota Jidoshokki) leading a field of just 14. Complete women's entry lists here.

The Kansai, Chugoku and Hokuriku regions will also have their regional meets on this weekend, live streaming details forthcoming. The southernmost Kyushu region lags a week behind, set to hold its meet next weekend.

© 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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