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Showing posts from April, 2008

Shibui, Nakamura and Akaba Score 10000 m Olympic A-Standard in Hyogo Relay Carnival

by Brett Larner click here for video highlights of all events Kenyan jitsugyodan runners based in Japan dominated the distance events at the 56th annual Hyogo Relay Carnival, the first major meet in Japan`s outdoor track season. Team Komori`s Josephat Ndambiri outkicked Team Nissin`s Gideon Ngatuny to take the men`s 10000 m in 27:15.82, while Team Hokuren`s Philes Ongori won a photo finish against Japanese national record holder Yoko Shibui of Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo, both runners clocking 31:19.73. Ndambiri and Ongori`s marks easily met the Olympic A-standards, and both Kenyans had the added laurel of recording the fastest times so far this year. Shibui`s time, along with those of 3rd and 4th place women Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) and Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), also comfortably broke the Olympic A-standard. After failing to qualify for the Olympic marathon team in last November`s Tokyo International Women`s Marathon, Shibui and her coach Hideo Suzuki had indicated there was

Tosa, Ogata and Sato to Run Apr. 20 Pre-Olympic Marathon on Beijing Course; Noguchi, Nakamura and Osaki Also Beginning Olympic Preparations

translated and edited by Brett Larner; source article links below The six members of Japan's Beijing Olympic marathon team gathered at the National Training Center on Mar. 26 for a press conference to discuss their preparation for the main event. First and foremost, women's team member Reiko Tosa (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and men's team members Tsuyoshi Ogata and Atsushi Sato (both Team Chugoku Denryoku) will be running in the "Good Luck Beijing" Pre-Olympic Marathon over the official Olympic course on April 20. The runners' coaches Yasushi Sakaguchi and Hideo Suzuki stressed that this run will only be for the purpose of testing out the Beijing course and will not be at race effort, likely at 3:30 per km pace for the men. The course has a gross elevation difference of only 8 m and is thus quite flat, but the concrete used in Beijing's roads is reputed to be very hard. This combined with the high humidity likely in late summer suggests a high probabilit

30 Hospitalized After Honeybee Attack at Saga Sakura Half Marathon translated by Brett Larner At around 11 a.m. on April 6 in Yamato, Saga, a swarm of honeybees attacked participants in the Saga Sakura Half Marathon. 30 runners were sent to the hospital after receiving severe stings, while an additional 2 runners sustained only minor stings not requiring hospitalization. Prefectural police are investigating whether the bees came from a local beekeeping farm and, if so, whether race officials took the presence of beekeepers into account when designing the course. Beekeepers within Saga Prefecture are required to register their operations, but the beekeper believed to be involved in the attack was not licensed by the prefecture. 6200 runners took part in the race, a half marathon along the Kase River. The attack took place near the 11 km point in the race. After the lead pack of competitors passed, the swarm of bees appeared and began to attack the trailing runners. Police were able to deter

Takaoka 16th in Paris Marathon (updated)

by Brett Larner update: Quotes translated from . Running in less than ideal conditions of wind and rain, Japanese national marathon record holder Toshinari Takaoka finished 16th in the Paris Marathon on Apr. 6. His time of 2:11:21 was far from his national record of 2:06:16 set at the 2003 Chicago Marathon but marked an improvement over his other recent marathons. Takaoka was injured during 2006 and spent much of 2007 in recovery. "I thought I could break 2:10," said Takaoka, "but it was still a good race. The headwinds after 35 km were just too much. I'm glad I did it, and this isn't the end for me. I still have other things I want to do. Next year there are the World Championships." The Paris Marathon was won by Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede in an excellent time of 2:06:40, only 7 seconds off the course record. Kenyan Moses Arusei also broke 2:07, running 2:06:50 for 2nd place. Two more runners broke 2:08, a

Senior Japanese Teams Have Weak Showing at World XC (updated)

by Brett Larner update: Reader Rich T. sent these photos he took at the World XC Championships last weekend. Thank you. Rich's complete set of photos can be found here . The Japanese junior women's team trails the Kenyan and Ethiopian teams. The senior Japanese men's and women's teams had poor showings at Sunday's World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland, while the two junior teams fared more respectably. The senior men's team finished 13th of 15 teams, beating only the teams from Canada and Botswana. Team aces Makoto Tobimatsu and Satoru Kitamura both had bad runs, finishing 4th and 6th on the team of 8 in 106th and 121st place respectively. The most experienced XC runner on the team, Yoshitaka Iwamizu, showed that experience matters as he led the team with his 89th place finish. The talented university runner Yuki Sato made up for his lackluster performances in the Chiba and Fukuoka qualification races by finishing 2nd on the team in 94th p

Akemi Ozaki to Run Rotterdam Marathon Akemi Ozaki runs for Tokyo-based Second Wind AC. She ran her marathon debut at the 2006 Tokyo International Women's Marathon where she finished 2nd and beat defending champion Naoko Takahashi. She was 4th at the 2007 Tokyo International but recorded her PB of 2:28:39 in that race. Three weeks later she ran the Honolulu Marathon as a pacemaker for teammate Kaori Yoshida. Yoshida faltered, but Ozaki continued on to finish 2nd. Her complete profile is available here .

Nagano Marathon Announces Elite Field

by Brett Larner The organizing committee of the 11th Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon to be held April 20 has announced the elite fields for the men's and women's competitions. Headlining the list of invited overseas male runners are 2007 Beijing Marathon and 2006 Nagano Marathon winner Nephat Kinyanjui of Kenya (2:08:09 PB), 2005 Helsinki World Championships marathon silver medalist Christopher Isegwe of Tanzania (2:10:21 PB) and two-time Olympic marathon medalist Eric Wainaina of Kenya (2:08:43 PB). The domestic field is somewhat weak in this Olympic year, but includes veterans Tomohiro Seto (Team Kanebo) and Kazutaka Enoki (Team Toyota Boshoku) along with the marathon debut of half marathon ace Takashi Maeda (Team Toyota Boshoku). Japan-resident Kenyans Willy Kimutai and Willy Kirui Kiptoo will also be debuting and could be factors. The women's field features former world record holder Tegla Loroupe of Kenya (2:20:43 PB), defending champion Alevtina Ivanova of Rus

'Takaoka and Tola Lead 2008 Paris Marathon Fields' Marathon national record holder Toshinari Takaoka will run Paris this weekend. Takaoka was injured for most of 2006 and spent 2007 in recovery, capping the year with a disappointing run at December's Fukuoka International Marathon. He said later that failing to qualify for the Beijing Olympics has freed him from any pressure and that he feels he can now try some different approaches to the marathon. He was scheduled to run the Ome 30k in February but was thwarted when the race was cancelled due to heavy snow. Takaoka instead ran the Himejijo 10 Miler, winning against many top younger runners. He was scheduled to run the Jitsugyodan Half Marathon in March but had a DNS without comment. Paris will be his first overseas marathon since the 2005 Helsinki World Championships marathon, where he finished 4th.