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Osako Rejoins Corporate Leagues After 6-Month Retirement: "When I Run, Everyone Pays Attention"

On Oct. 4, Tokyo Olympics marathon 6th-placer Suguru Osako , 31, announced that he has signed with the GMO corporate team. Osako will continue his relationship with sponsor Nike but will run January's New Year Ekiden as part of the GMO team. It is an unusual move for an independently-sponsored runner to join the corporate leagues. GMO held a press conference in Tokyo to announce the news. Taking part remotely from his training base in the U.S., Osako looked excited. He talked about the move in broad strokes. "When I run, everyone will pay attention to the New Year Ekiden," he said. "Winning is a given, but I want to a game-changer in the running world. I want to create some kind of new added value on top of just going for the win." After quitting the Nissin Shokuhin corporate team in March, 2015, Osako moved to the U.S. to join the now-defunct Nike Oregon Project team led by the now-suspended coach Alberto Salazar . Since then he has trained in the U.S. and
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Kimunyan Runs Fastest-Ever 10000 m in Japan, Iizawa Up to 1500 m All-Time #2 - Weekend Track Update

Three big pre-ekiden season meets happened this weekend and produced some big results. Saturday at the Nittai University Time Trials in Yokohama, Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu) and Benard Koech (Kyudenko) pushed each other under Josphat Ndambiri 's longstanding 10000 m Japan all-comers record of 26:57.36, Kimunyan setting the new record at 26:54.76 and Koech next in 26:55.04. Those times made them the only Kenyans under 27 minutes this year worldwide, with the Hachioji Long Distance meet still to come next month. Three others were under 27:30 led by Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) in 27:12.84, with Kazuya Shiojiri (Fujitsu) the top Japanese man at 6th in 27:53.00. Justus Soget (Honda) took the 5000 m A-heat in 13:24.01, the top five all under 13:30 and another Fujitsu runner, Olympian Hiroki Matsueda , filling the top Japanese spot at 8th in 13:34.62. Harumi Okamoto (Yamada Holdings) won the women's 5000 m A-heat in 15:49.72, and Kenyan Hellen Ekarare (Toyota Ji

Hosoda Runs Fastest-Ever Japanese Women's London Marathon Time

Five elite Japanese athletes were at Sunday's London Marathon. In the women's race, Ai Hosoda (Edion) followed up on her 2:24:26 from Nagoya this spring with a 2:21:42 for 9th, over a minute faster than the previous best-ever by a Japanese woman in Great Britian run 20 years ago in London by the great Reiko Tosa . In Nagoya Hosoda went with the leaders at sub-2:21 pace and faded after 20 km. Here she ran steadily at 2:21 pace and survived to come home with the fastest Japanese time overseas so far this year. Reia Iwade (Adidas) dropped out after 25 km, tweeting later that she had had leg pain that forced her to stop. In the men's race, 2019 Doha World Championships team member Kohei Futaoka (Chudenko) was the top finisher at 11th in 2:14:18, just ahead of veteran Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku). Futaoka's teammate Naoki Aiba (Chudenko) went out fastest and died hardest, finishing 27th in 2:22:45, one second slower than Tosa's previous Japanese women's GBR

Hakone Ekiden Qualifier Returns to Road Course But Family and Fans Still Banned From Start/Finish Area

On Sept. 29 the KGRR released guidelines for cheering at the 99th Hakone Ekiden Qualifying Half Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 15. The race will be put on in compliance with the JAAF's road race guidelines. For the last two years it was held on a closed course around the runway of the SDF Tachikawa Air Base runway in order to keep spectators out and reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. This year it will return to its traditional course starting on the runway, heading out onto the Tachikawa city streets, and finishing in Showa Kinen Park next to the SDF base. But the KGRR guidelines call for spectators to stay away, saying, "Athletes can feel your support even if you're not along the course. We ask all ekidens to watch this year's race on TV." All athletes and team staff, race organizers and other official personnel must file information on their physical condition for the 10 days before the race. Only those categories of people and university cheerleader tea

Kiryu Reveals He Has Ulcerative Colitis, Plans to Make Comeback Next Season

The first Japanese man to break 10 seconds for 100 m, sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu (26, Nihon Seimei), announced on Sept. 29 that he plans to make a comeback after having taken time off since June's National Championships. In a video on Youtube, Kiryu revealed that for a long time he has been suffering from ulcerative colitis, a longterm disease that causes internal pain and bloody defecation. He indicated that he plans to return to racing next season, saying, "I want to enjoy it again." Kiryu ran 9.98 for 100 m in 2017, the first time a Japanese had ever broken the 10 second barrier. He said that the pressure and weight of expectations of him making it to the 9-second level had been a burden he had struggled to deal with. The stress began to affect him in during his second year at Toyo University in 2015. At times the bleeding was so bad that he was taking ten different pills a day in treatment. "At one point I thought my life as an athlete was over," he said. K

Osaka International Women's Marathon Changes to Hillier New Course

Part of the course for the 42nd Osaka International Women's Marathon to be held on Jan. 29 next year will changed, doubling its maximum elevation difference to 18 m with a hilly new section. 2004 Athens Olympics marathon gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi was optimistic about the course change helping to produce fast times, saying, "When there are moderate undulations it's easier to get into a rhythm." Noguchi had success at the Olympics and elsewhere by attacking on hills. The new section of the Osaka International course on Nagahori-dori after 20 km features a series of uphills and downhills. Noguchi expects the section to play an important part in the race. "People might be thinking of changing the dynamic there, of shaking up the lead group. It's going to be a good thing." Another key change on the course is the elimination of the turnaround point at Midosuji just before 30 km. "If there's a 180˚ turn you have to slow