Skip to main content

Kinukawa Beats Fukushi to Set New Junior 10000 m National Record

translated and edited by Brett Larner

19 year old Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno) staged a stunning comeback at the Oct. 13 Niigata Big Festa Track and Field Meet, running 31:23.21 in the 10000 m to break her own national record by over 12 seconds and beating former junior national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (26, Team Wacoal) in a one-on-one match race with male pacemakers. Fukushi finished just behind Kinukawa in 31:24.82. Kinukawa's mark easily breaks the A qualifying standard of 31:45.00 for next summer's Berlin World Championships.

Kinukawa was a national sensation in high school, her achievements as a student including competing in the 10000 m at the 2007 Osaka World Championships and setting her previous junior national record of 31:35.27, but late last year she contracted an unidentified virus which over the course of many months caused a series of illnesses and injuries and kept her from competing in the Beijing Olympics. She returned to competition in late September, and her new record less than a month later is a remarkable achievement. "This is the big step I wanted toward becoming world-class," smiled a joyful Kinukawa. "It gives me a lot of confidence."

Translator's note: Kinukawa's comeback is very significant news for Japanese women's distance running. She originally planned to aim for the marathon at the Berlin World Championships but evidently recognizes that this would be a difficult goal after more than nine months off. Nevertheless, her stated goal remains to move to a career on the roads sooner than later.


Brett Larner said…
The original articles say Kinukawa's performance was a junior national record.

Most-Read This Week

Takushoku Teammates Lemeteki and Akasaki Sub-62 For 1-2 at Ageo City Half Marathon

Takushoku University teammates Joseph Razini Lemeteki and Akira Akasaki dominated the 2019 Ageo City Half Marathon, alternating the lead throughout almost the entire race to go 1-2 in school record times.

With invitations to the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half up for grabs to the top two Japanese collegiate finishers in the unofficial intramural tryout for Japan's most prestigious race, the 2020 Hakone Ekiden, things went out very conservatively by Ageo standards at just 3:00/km for the first 2 km. Not content with that, Akasaki, 3rd on his stage at both the Izumo Ekiden in October and the National University Ekiden earlier this month, picked up the race and carried it until 15 km. From 3 km to 8 km Akasaki split 14:33, pace for 1:01:24, condensing the pack behind him down to eight.

After the 10 km turnaround Akasaki's teammate Lemeteki made a bold move to gain contact with the lead group, and when he did it shaved things down to seven serious contenders. The front group stayed …

Japanese Amateur Yamaguchi and Ugandan Kusuro Break Kobe Course Records

Amateur Japanese club runner Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) and Ugandan Geoffrey Kusuro had dominant wins at the 9th running of the Kobe Marathon Sunday, both running PBs and winning by almost 4 minutes in course record time.

Yamaguchi, who ran a PB 2:33:06 in Sydney in September and dropped a surprise 31:58 at last weekend's East Japan Women's Ekiden, slipped away early, never challenged by the pack of invited African elites or by friend and rival club runner Shiho Kaneshige (GRlab Kanto). Going through halfway faster than her half marathon PB in 1:13:08. She slowed slightly in the second half, especially on the large bridge out to the island finish line, but her win was never in doubt as she broke the tape in 2:27:39. Previously, the fastest pure amateur Japanese women's marathon performance was Chihiro Tanaka's 2:29:30 in Nagoya in 2002. Breaking that by almost two minutes, Yamaguchi staked her claim as Japan's best-ever amateur.

2nd through 5th were close together…

800 m High School National Record Holder Clay to Attend Texas A&M

2019 men's 800 m national champion and Soyo H.S. 3rd-year Aaron Tatsunami Clay will enroll in America's Texas A&M University next September, it was learned on Nov. 14. Until then he plans to remain based at Soyo in preparation to go for the win at next year's National Championships and to clear the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifying standard.

The prestigious Texas A&M is where Donovan Brazier (U.S.A.), winner of the gold medal in the men's 800 m at this fall's Doha World Championships, is enrolled. Soyo H.S. head coach Mitsuru Zeniya, 53, who accompanied Clay on a visit to see the university, was supportive of Clay's decision and goals, saying, "He just barely missed the World Championships qualifying standard. If he trains with athletes who are stronger than him he'll grow more."

Last year at the October Niigata Autumn Time Trials meet Clay set a national high school record of 1:47.51 for 800 m. At the National Championships in June this yea…