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Sprinter Shoji Tomihisa Retires From Athletics at 105

A retirement ceremony for local masters track and field legend Shoji Tomihisa , 105, was held May 13 at his usual training ground at Miyoshi Sports Park Field in Miyoshi, Hiroshima. Tomihisa began competing in athletics at age 97, setting a Japanese national record 16.98 for 60 m in the men's 100~104 age group at the 2017 Chugoku Masters Track and Field meet. Last year Tomihisa was the oldest person in Hiroshima selected to run as a torchbearer in the Tokyo Olympics torch relay. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the relay on public roads was canceled, and while he did take part in related ceremonies his run was ultimately canceled. Tomihisa recently took up the shot put, but in light of his fading physical strength he made the decision to retire from competition. Around 30 members of the Shoji Tomihisa Booster Club attended the retirement ceremony. After receiving a bouquet of flowers from them Tomihisa in turn gave them a colored paper placard on which he had written the characters
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Towada Hachimantai Ekiden to Return Aug. 7 for 75th Anniversary Edition

Canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the organizing committee of the Towada Hachimantai Ekiden have announced that the race will return this year for its 75th anniversary. The ekiden will take place Aug. 7 with both women's and men's divisions and will be held with strict COVID countermeasures in place. Organizers hope that its return for the first time since 2019 will bring more popularity and exciting racing than ever before. The organizing committee made the decision to commit to going ahead with this year's race at a meeting at Kazuno City Hall on May 10. At the meeting they determined the terms under which the ekiden will take place and how to proceed with preparing to put it on. Team entries will be accepted until July 8. Known as the Jupachi Ekiden, an abbreviated reading of the kanji making up the event's full name, the race was founded in 1948. Each year, dozens of university, corporate league and local club teams compete. Its ca

Muthoni Runs 3rd-Fastest 3000 m in World, Kenyans Break 9 Meet Records - Corporate Regionals Weekend Roundup

Regional corporate track and field championships made up most of the weekend's major action, with Japan-based African athletes setting new meet records across the country. The Chugoku Region Corporate Meet in Miyoshi, Hiroshima was split between the last two weekends, with the 5000 m held last weekend and everything else this weekend. Teresiah Muthoni (Daiso) and teammate  Rebecca Mwangi crushed the 5000 m MR by over 20 seconds, Muthoni running 14:55.23 and Mwangi 14:57.79. A week later Muthoni was back in the 3000 m, where she took over 35 seconds off the MR with a solid 8:39.91 for the win, the 3rd-fastest time in the world this year. Mwangi opted to double in the 10000 m, taking over 35 seconds off that MR to win in 31:28.28. Following up on her comeback win at the Sendai International Half Marathon , Tokyo Olympics marathoner Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) had a good run for 2nd in 32:18.69. Hillary Mosop (Mazda) had a near miss on the men's 1500 m MR, winning 3:44.94 just

The Undeath of Historic Japanese Marathons: Lake Biwa Comeback Planned for 2023

After seeing its final edition in Shiga last year and then being absorbed into the Osaka Marathon  in March this year, the legacy of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon will continue with a successor race to be held on Mar. 12 next year. Since the previous event wrapped up, the Shiga prefectural government has been examining holding a mass-participation race celebrating the tradition of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon and has been looking at potential course and date options. In January they sought suggestions for a name for the event and selected "Lake Biwa Marathon" from among the submissions. The organizing committee came together in April to determine the new event's date and course. The race will begin at Ojiyama Field, historical starting point of the former race, and will cross Omi Bridge before heading north along Lake Biwa's eastern shore. Covering 42.195 km, it will feature a turnaround point in Moriyama before finishing at Lake Biwa Museum located on the Kara

Akashi Park's Track May Lose Certification Due to Lane Width Rule Change

The Kishiro Stadium athletics track in Akashi Park in the city of Akashi, Hyogo, is on the brink of losing its official certification by the JAAF. Official certification must be renewed every 5 years, but due to a change in regulations over lane width the longstanding facility no longer meets the criteria for official certification.  Official track facilities are divided into four categories based upon factors such as spectator capacity and warmup track availability. If a track is not certified, no performances at any competitions held there will be recognized as official marks. The Akashi Park track, a Class 3 facility, has a total of 8 lanes of 1.25 m width each. The JAAF rulebook originally specified lane widths of 1.22 m or 1.25 m, but in 2019 this was modified to meet international standards by recognizing only the 1.22 m lane width. As a result, Akashi will be forced to meet the new criteria by the time of its next certification in the spring of 2023. Opened in 1949, the Akashi

Guinness Officially Recognizes Suzuki and Ichiyama as Fastest Married Marathoners

2022 Oregon World Championships marathon team members Kengo Suzuki (Fujitsu) and Mao Ichiyama (Shiseido) have been officially recognized as holders of the world record for fastest combined time by a married couple in the same marathon. Guinness World Records tweeted a video of the couple receiving their world record certification on its official Twitter account on May 11. At the Mar. 6 Tokyo Marathon , Suzuki, the men's national record holder, ran the 2nd-fastest Japanese men's time ever, 2:05:28, to finish 4th overall. Ichiyama, the women-only national record holder and 8th-placer in the Tokyo Olympics marathon, ran 2:21:02 for 6th. Their combined time of 4:26:30 beat the previous Guinness World Record by over a minute, earning them the distinction of becoming the world's fastest married couple. お待たせしました🌟今年の東京マラソンでギネス世界記録「夫婦によるマラソン完走の最速合計タイム」を更新した一山麻緒選手と鈴木健吾選手に無事公式認定証をお届けすることができました!改めて、記録達成おめでとうございます😆🎉💕 pic.twitter.com/M2eo4OP4Nn — ギネス世界記録|書籍『ギネス世界記録2022』OUT NOW (@GW

Akiyama, Omi and Otagiri Win Ueda Vertical Race and Sky Race

Part of the 2022 Skyrunner Japan Series (SJS), the Ueda Vertical Race and Ueda Sky Race took place May 3 and 4 in Ueda, Nagano. Put on by the Japan Skyrunning Association, SJS is the peak of the domestic mountain running circuit. Founded in 2015 and now in its 8th season, the series has made a fresh start with the Swiss company Norqain as its official timekeeper. The first day of racing featured the Ueda Vertical Race, 5 km with 1000 m of climb. Honoka Akiyama won the women's race in 54:31, Karen Kobayashi taking 2nd and Suzuha Kusuda (Team Sky Kyoto) 3rd. In the men's race Ryunsoke Omi (Team Sky Kyoto) took the top spot in 43:47, with Tomofumi Miyagawa 2nd and Miki Ushida 3rd. The 2021 National Sky Champion, Akiyama joined last year's SJS during its 2nd half. Ueda was her 5th win, 3 of which came in Vertical Kilometer races. "I'd been targeting the course record of 49:54 (set in 2017 by Yuri Yoshizumi ), but I wasn't even close," she said post-race

Takahashi Tells Fuwa "No Need to Overdo It" After Nationals Withdrawal

Appearing on the news23 program on May 9, former women's marathon world record holder and Sydney Olympics marathon gold medalist Naoko Takahashi commented on 19-year-old Takushoku University 2nd-year Seira Fuwa 's withdrawal from the May 7 10000 m National Championships , the qualifying event for this summer's Oregon World Championships. "There's no need to overdue it," Takahashi said. "She's someone with the talent and ability to run 30:45.21, the 2nd-fastest time in Japanese history, in her first time running the 10000 m, an extremely high-potential athlete. The most important thing for her right now is to take it easy and fully recover from her injury. She's just 19 and has only just started on the road to realizing her dreams, and I'd like to ask everyone out there to support her in the longterm. Let's all take good care of her." Last month Takahashi interviewed Fuwa for the program, telling her, "If I had to say one thing