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Osaka Women's Marathon and Osaka Half Preview and Streaming

Fresh off the announcement of the Tokyo Marathon elite field yesterday, Japan's first major marathon of the year takes place Sunday with the Osaka International Women's Marathon . Fuji TV will broadcast it live starting at noon local time, with streaming on TVer . With a reworked course that's hillier but which organizers hope will somehow still be faster, Osaka Women's is positioned for a 2:20 race with three women, Kenya's Maurine Chepkemoi and Ethiopians Haven Haile Desse and Sisay Meseret Gola at that level. The top tier of Japanese women, Sayaka Sato , Yuka Ando and Mao Uesugi , all ran 2:22 last year, so it'll be a jump up for them to stay with the front group. There's also a high-potential debut from 1:09:14 half marathoner Sakiho Tsutsui , who so far has looked to be stronger as the distance increases. Sato, Ando and Uesugi have all already qualified for October's Olympic marathon trials, so their being in the race raises the bar for anyon

Tokyo Marathon Elite Field

The Tokyo Marathon is back to holding its race in the same year as its name, and it's got pretty good fields on both the women's and men's sides. The women's race draws pretty heavily on last fall's Berlin Marathon, with Japan-based Rosemary Wanjiru leading 3 of Berlin's top 4 alongside 2021 Tokyo runner-up Ashete Bekere , 2022 Seoul winner Joan Chelimo Melly , and 2022 Amsterdam 3rd-placer Tsehay Gemechu .  That group of 6 is all in the 2:17:58~2:18:59 range, exactly where the JAAF would like to see the top Japanese woman. Even with super shoes nobody has touched Mizuki Noguchi 's 2:19:12 NR in the almost 18 years since it was set, not that women-only NR holder Mao Ichiyama and last year's Osaka International Women's Marathon winner Mizuki Matsuda haven't tried. Maybe this'll be the year. Maybe not. Tokyo race director Tad Hayano generally hasn't cared at all about having internationals beyond that top tier, but this year there'

Hiroshi Inoue Named New Head Coach At Takushoku University After Two-Straight Hakone Misses

On Jan. 25 Takushoku University announced that Hiroshi Inoue , 60, will take over as head coach of its track and field program at the start of the new academic year on Apr. 1. Previous head coach Takuro Yamashita will step down at the end of March. A graduate of Komazawa University , Inoue ran the Hakone Ekiden all four years of his college career before going on to the Yasukawa Denki corporate team. Following his retirement as an athlete he became head coach at Oita Tomei H.S. , where he led the boys' and girls' teams to National High School Ekiden prominence for 34 years. Former Raffine corporate team head coach Kenichi Jiromaru , also a Komazawa graduate, will join Inoue as assistant coach at Takushoku. Takushoku failed to qualify for the Hakone Ekiden for the last two editions, but hopes are high that Inoue can return the team to its former strength. source article: translated and edited by Bre

37-Year-Old Rikkyo University Head Coach Ueno Anchors Nagano to National Men's Ekiden CR

There's a first time for everything. In the last major ekiden of the season, 37-year-old Yuichiro Ueno , head coach of the Rikkyo University team that ran the Hakone Ekiden three weeks ago, anchored the Nagano prefecture team to a second-straight course record win at the 28th National Men's Ekiden in Hiroshima. Nagano's Soma Nagahara got things off to a solid start, going one-on-one with favorite Sonata Nagashima of Hyogo on the 7.0 km 1st leg, both going under the old stage CR with Nagashima 1st in 19:39 and Nagahara only 2 seconds back. Over the next two stages Nagano dropped to 4th 20 seconds off the lead, but a pair of new CR from 4th and 5th runners and Saku Chosei H.S. teammates Shunpei Yamaguchi and Hiroto Yoshioka put the team 37 seconds ahead. 6th runner Riku Kobayashi extended that to 49 seconds, giving Ueno a margin of error of just over 3 sec/km on the 13.0 km anchor stage. Ueno first ran the National Men's Ekiden 20 years ago, passing 17 people on

Panasonic and Kamimura Gakuen H.S. Win Kitakyushu Women's Invitational Ekiden

The last major women's ekiden of the season happened north of Fukuoka Sunday at the 34th Kitakyushu Women's Invitational Ekiden . Top high school, university and corporate league teams run head-to-head at Kitakyushu, with the longest stage split into two for the high school division. 7th at November's National Corporate Women's Ekiden , Panasonic was first across the finish line after running down 2019 and 2020 high school division winner Kamimura Gakuen H.S. mid-race. After a good start from Panasonic's Nanami Watanabe , Kamimura Gakuen's Brenda Jepchirchir ran down Panasonic's Sakiko Naito on the 3.8 km 2nd stage. But Kaori Morita was quick to turn it back around for the Panasonic on the stage, turning a 2-second deficit into a 33-second lead in just 3.9 km. Morita handed off to her twin sister Shiori Morita , and from there the corporate leaguers ran unchallenged, winning for first time in 1:28:14. Kamimura Gakuen, 3rd at December's National Hig

Tokyo Kokusai University Head Coach Yuji Oshida Resigns After Team Misses Hakone Podium

After finishing 11th at the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden's 99th edition to end its 3-year streak of making the 10-deep podium, Tokyo Kokusai University announced on Jan. 18 that head coach Yuji Oshida , 60, will resign. After also finishing 8th at October's Izumo Ekiden and 11th at November's National University Ekiden Oshida's resignation came as a way of taking personal responsibility for the program's drop in competitive level. He will be replaced by veteran coach Saburo Yokomizo , 83. A graduate of Chuo University , where he won Hakone's 8th leg during his senior year, Oshida was the gold medalist in the 1500 m at the 1986 Asian Games. After working as assistant coach at Honda and Chuo, including for Chuo's 1996 Hakone Ekiden win, he has been head coach at Tokyo Kokusai since the program's inception in 2011, building it up from zero in consultation with fellow Chuo alumnus Yokomizo. Tokyo Kokusai first qualified for the Hakone Ekiden in 2016. In 2020 i

Matsuda Anchors Osaka to National Women's Ekiden Title, Junior High Schooler Drury 9:02 For 3 km

The top Japanese woman in the marathon at last summer's Oregon World Championships, Mizuki Matsuda went from 3rd to 1st on the anchor stage to give the Osaka team its fourth national title Sunday at the National Women's Ekiden in Kyoto. Osaka was 4th after the 6.0 km 1st leg and was never worse that than. 2nd runner Saya Nakajima put them in the lead, where they stayed for the next five of the 42.195 km race's nine stages except for a brief drop back to 4th when its fourth runner Chihiro Sato struggled. Fifth runner Yua Tsukamoto turned it back around, but with only a 1-second lead at the start of her stage junior high schooler Rio Kawamura couldn't hold off Fukuoka 's Shiina Sugahara and Tokyo 's Yuna Oki and dropped to 3rd. Matsuda started only 5 seconds out of 1st and had no trouble overtaking Tokyo anchor Yuri Karasawa and Fukuoka's Wakana Itsuki to go back out front. Matsuda turned in the fastest run on the 10.0 km anchor stage, 31:22, to br