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Showing posts from August, 2011

2010 Nagoya Winner Yuri Kano Quits Second Wind AC translated by Brett Larner Thank you very much for your continued support of Second Wind AC.  It is extremely unfortunate that I must announce that club member Yuri Kano will be leaving Second Wind AC effective August 31. Kano had been planning to run the Yokohama International Women’s Marathon in November in a bid to make the London Olympics but has been taking time off since July due to a leg injury. A few days ago I received notice from her that she wished to leave the club; in meeting with her face-to-face she said that she wishes to be in a new environment as she pursues a place at the Olympics. Despite the great generosity of the Second Wind Supporters Club members, each of our sponsors, and the many people who have offered their support up until now, I offer my deepest apologies that the situation came to the point that I must give you this bad news. I ask that each of you continue to give her your sincere support as she pursues

Niiya Advances to Daegu 5000 m Final

by Brett Larner For the first time at this World Championships, a Japanese track runner ran an assertive race. Running the same way she did at June's National Championships 5000 m, 2007 Tokyo Marathon winner Hitomi Niiya  (Team Univ. Ent.) took Heat One of the women's 5000 m out at near-PB pace, 3:03.70 for the first km, and led for the first half of the heat before being overtaken.  Niiya was rewarded for her honest effort by qualifying for the final.  10000 m national champion Kayo Sugihara  (Team Denso) ran more passively in the same heat, hanging back and finishing too far down to qualify.  In Heat Two Russian Elizaveta Greshichnikova  ran in similar, if significantly slower, frontrunning fashion to Niiya and likewise went through to the final.   5000 m national champion Megumi Kinukawa  (Team Mizuno), who finished last in Saturday's 10000 m, stayed back in the pack, perhaps planning to rely on her characteristic long surge finish.  After a slow first half her time

Njoroge, Morimoto Take First Hokkaido Marathon Titles

by Brett Larner With a noon start time and temperatures peaking at 34 degrees the 2011 Hokkaido Marathon was a brutal race of attrition.  In the men's race Ibaraki-based Kenyan Harun Njoroge  (Team Komori Corp.) broke away from the large pack at 30 km with veteran Seiji Kobayashi  (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) and the young Chiharu Takada  (Team JR Higashi Nihon) in tow to form a trio which stuck together to maintain pace until 38 km.  Njoroge then surged again to pull away for the win in 2:14:10.  Defending champion Cyrus Njui  (Kenya/Team Hitachi Cable) could not stay with the lead trio late in the race and finished only 7th in 2:19:14. In the women's race 2006 winner Kaori Yoshida  (Amino Vital AC) frontran at PB pace against a field which included course record holder Kiyoko Shimahara  (Second Wind AC), former national record holder Yoko Shibui  (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) and, returning from injury, 2006 Vienna Marathon winner Tomo Morimoto  (Team Tenmaya).  Splitti

Team Honda's Ibrahim Jeilan Wins World Championships 10000 m (updated with coach's comments)

10000 m world champion Ibrahim Jeilan with Honda teammates. Photo by Takashi Horiguchi - click to enlarge. In a tense and turbulent World Championships 10000 m full of turnover at the head of the pack, Saitama-based 2006 World Jr. 10000 m and 2008 World Jr. XC champion Ibrahim Jeilan  (Ethiopia/Team Honda) pulled off a darkhorse win by running down world leader Mo Farah  (Great Britain) in the home stretch to take his first senior world title.  In so doing he achieved the historic feat of becoming the first man to beat world record holder Kenenisa Bekele  (Ethiopia) over the 10000 m distance.  Jeilan's coach at Honda,  Kiyoshi Akimoto , told JRN shortly after the race, "This result belongs to both Jeilan and the rest of the coaching staff.  He has taken the Japanese lifestyle and training methodology to heart deeply and is truly a superb athlete." Jeilan also beat Japan-based Kenyans Martin Mathathi  (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), the 2007 World Championships bronze medalist

World Championships Day One Women's Track Results

2011 World Championships  Women's 10000 m Final Daegu, Korea, 8/27/11 click here for complete results 1. Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 30:48.98 - PB 2. Sally Kipyego (Kenya) - 30:50.04 3. Linet Masai (Kenya) - 30:53.59 4. Priscah Cherono (Kenya) - 30:56.43 - PB 5. Meselech Melkamu (Ethiopia) - 30:56.55 ----- 14. Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 32:32.22 15. Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) - 32:53.89 17. Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno) - 34:08.37 Women's 3000 mSC Heat Two Daegu, Korea, 8/27/11 click here for complete results 1. Sofia Assefa (Ethiopia) - 9:32.48 - Q 2. Lydia Rotich (Kenya) - 9:36.70 - Q 3. Sara Moreira (Portugal) - 9:36.97 - Q 4. Emma Coburn (U.S.A.) - 9:38.42 - Q 5. Lyubov Kharlamova (Russia) - 9:40.04 - q ----- 8. Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) - 10:05.34

World Championships Women's Marathon - Results

by Brett Larner For only the third time in the last 20 years, the Japanese women's World Championships marathon team came up empty-handed, outdone by a superb team performance from Kenya who marked the first-ever sweep of a world-level marathon.  After a slow first half which saw Azusa Nojiri  (Team Daiichi Seimei) take the lead from 8 km to 15 km in a bid to get the pace on track, defending silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki  (Team Daiichi Seimei) faltered when the action began at 33 km, moving backwards from the front of the pack and ultimately finishing 18th as the third woman on the Japanese team. The other four Japanese women on the team finished in PB order ranging from 5th for Yukiko Akaba  (Team Hokuren) to  Mai Ito  (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) in 22rd.  Nojiri was the first to lose touch with the leaders after the forcing the field into action, but after staying within sight of the front pack she later overtook Ito and ended up just back from Ozaki in 19th.  Akaba and the young R

'Japanese Fans Gear Up to Cheer Tanui' The Japanese runners mentioned in the article are Megumi Kinukawa  (Team Mizuno), Yuki Sato  (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and Kazuya Watanabe  (Team Shikoku Denryoku).  At May's Golden Games in Nobeoka 5000 m Watanabe outkicked Sato, Ethiopian Alemu Desta  (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Kenyans Edward Waweru  (Team NTN), Gideon Ngatuny  (Team Nissin Shokuhin),  Paul Kuira  (Team Konica Minolta) and Patrick Mwaka  (Team Aisan Kogyo) to win in 13:23.15.   Click here for video .

World Championships Men's Marathon Preview

by Brett Larner Japanese men's marathoning bottomed out in 2009-2010, abruptly going from producing three 2:06 men, another eight 2:07 athletes, dozens of 2:08 runners and ten men a year sub-2:10 to only one 2:09 per year in 2009 and 2010, both in overseas races outside the domestic circuit.  It's a mark of how little respect they receive internationally nowadays that the IAAF's official Daegu World Championships marathon preview doesn't even mention them despite the top two members of Japan's five-man squad having superior season best times to the two Moroccans the preview cites as potential "intensive" challengers. Nevertheless, 2011 has seen things begin to turn around, with four relative newcomers going under 2:10 for the first time, the fastest of them, Yuki Kawauchi  (Saitama Pref.) recording the first Japanese men's 2:08 since before the Beijing Olympics.  There's a long way to go toward regaining some level of their former global compe

World Championships Long Distance Preview

by Brett Larner Japan's medal chances in the long distance events at the Daegu World Championships may be very slim at best, but the country is nevertheless sending a strong contingent including three national record holders and some of the best young talent to have emerged in recent years.  Chief among them are Yuki Sato  (Team Nissin Shokuhin), on the cusp of a national record in the last two years, and the resurgent Megumi Kinukawa  (Team Mizuno), the women's 10000 m junior national record holder coached by Samuel Wanjiru 's high school-era coach Takao Watanabe . 2011 World Championships Japanese Long Distance Team Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - Men's 10000 m 2011 national champion, 10000 m Born:  Nov. 26, 1986 (24 yrs.) PB:  27:38.25 (2009; all-time Japanese #3) 3000 m: 7:44.63 (2010; all-time Japanese #2) 5000 m: 13:23.57 (2006) In university Sato was described by his competitors as a monster, breaking Hakone Ekiden stage records his first three ye

World Championships Women's Marathon Preview

by Brett Larner A few months ago JRN had dinner with an executive member of an IAAF gold label overseas marathon.  "The World Championships marathon doesn't matter," this colleague told us.  "Nobody cares about it."  That may be true many places, but in Japan, where most athletes receive regular salaries and do not have agents pushing them into overseas big money races, patriotism still counts for more than the shot at a big payday and the country's best marathoners regularly line up for the chance to represent their country at the World Championships.  Even more so in years like this which precede an Olympics because if a Japanese athlete scores an individual marathon medal at Worlds their place on the Olympic team is secure.  The results speak for themselves.  In the last 20 years Japanese women have scored nine individual marathon medals at eight out of ten World Championships and the men at three along with team medals from both sides virtually every t

Double Half Marathon Bronze on Final Day of World University Games Athletics

by Brett Larner Click photo for video highlights of men's 5000 m. The final day of track and field competition at the 2011 World University Games brought the biggest round of distance racing, with the women's and men's half marathon and the men's 5000 m final all taking place Aug. 21.  Both half marathons were slow and tactical as the athletes dealt with the morning heat and humidity.  The women's half went out in 18:59 for the first 5 km, a pace which kept the entire field together.  A split of 18:39 for the next 5 km dropped a few of the weaker runners, but a 17:42 split from 10 to 15 km cut the field down to seven, including all four Japanese runners.  China's Xiaoli Jiang  and Japan's Shiho Takechi  were unable to keep this pace and fell away from the lead pack.  Of the remaining five, only North Korean Un Ok Ro  could maintain pace as she ran 17:43 from 15 to 20 km to open a narrow lead she carried all the way to gold in 1:16:38.  China's Lingli

Atsushi Sato Wins Hiroshima XC Meet

by Brett Larner Sato takes the lead. Click photo for complete photo sequence courtesy of the Rikubaka website. Half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato  (Team Chugoku Denryoku) made another step toward a comeback when he won the men's 8 km division at the 12th annual Hiroshima Cross-Country Meet on a hot and humid Aug. 20.  Sato outran 2010 winner Peter Kariuki  (Kenya/Team Mazda) and 2007 winner Joseph Gitau  (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) over the final two km to take the win in 24:03 by a margin of 15 seconds.  Gitau finished 2nd in 24:18, Kariuki taking 3rd in 24:21. At the nearby Central Japan Five-Prefecture Track and Field Championships Gitau's teammate Kota Otani  (Team JFE Steel) broke the 25-year-old meet record with a new mark of 8:53.13 in the men's 3000 mSC, while Otani's identical twin brother Kenta Otani  (Team JFE Steel) won the men's 5000 m in a modest 14:23.67.  Independent runner Kota Taniguchi  (Tottori Pref.) almost broke the meet record

10000 m Medalists Falter in World University Games Women's 5000 m

by Brett Larner Click photo for video highlights. The double proved difficult for the three women's 10000 m medalists in the 2011 World University Games women's 5000 m.  10000 m 4th-placer Triyaningsih  of Indonesia took the race out conservatively, running 3:14.58 and 3:17.11 for the first 2000 m.  Turkey's Binnaz Uslu  then took over, leading in 3:17.93 and 3:16.31 through 4000 m.  With much of the field still in the race it came down to the fastest closer.  Uslu impressed as she and Portugal's Sara Moreira  broke away from the field.  Uslu cracked Moreira over the bell lap, running 2:45.22 for the last 1000 m to win gold in a PB of 15:41.15.  Moreira split 2:49.90 to finish 2nd in 15:45.83 ahead of Russian Natalia Popkova , 3rd in 15:52.55.  10000 m gold medalist Fadime Suna  dropped out partway, leaving Japan's 10000 m silver medalist Hanae Tanaka  (Bukkyo Univ.) as the top placer in the 5000 m, 6th in 16:04.05 .   Her teammate Mai Ishibashi  (Bukkyo Univ.),

An Interview With World Championships Marathoner Kentaro Nakamoto translated and edited by Brett Larner What kind of training have you been doing this summer? I've been doing mileage in Kokonoemachi, Oita, for weeks.  The course is really difficult, so the focus has been on building up my legs and improving my stamina.  It's hard before a marathon, but I feel like things have come around pretty well. How did you feel about the Sapporo International Half Marathon? I did it coming right off training so I had some fatigue, but the goal was to go out hard and see how long I could hang on.  That's what I did, but partway through I started to gradually lose touch and drop back.  I think working on that part of the race has been the focus of my training since then.  Foreign athletes and top-class Japanese athletes ran it, including two other guys who will run the World Championships marathon, so there were really a lot strong people there and I was pretty nervous, but

World Championships Marathoner Oda Talks About Stagnation, Perseverance and the Payoff interview by Tatsuo Terada translated by Brett Larner Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) -  PBs: 5000 m: 13:42.67 (2007) 10000 m: 27:53.55 (2010) half: 1:01:47 (2009) marathon: 2:09:03 (2011) Daegu World Championships marathoner Yoshinori Oda  (Team Toyota) never attracted much attention as a contender.  In university he turned some heads for running in the 28:20`s for 10000 m, but he never won a Hakone Ekiden stage or a national title.  After heading to the corporate team ranks he couldn't quite manage to break 28 minutes, and the Japanese national team remained out of reach.  Once reaching his 30`s Oda made the jump to the marathon finishing February's Tokyo Marathon in 2:09:03, 4th overall and the 2nd Japanese finisher.  His time put him at all time #3 on the Japanese marathon debut lists and finally scored him a place on the Daegu team.  Coming in his eighth year as a corporate runner, what changes did Oda go

Osako Wins World University Games 10000 m

by Brett Larner Click photo for video highlights. 2011 Hakone Ekiden champion Waseda University's star sophomore Suguru Osako , the Asian junior area record holder for the half marathon, won his first world title on the second day of the 2011 World University Games as he ran a season-best 28:42.83 to take the men's 10000 m.  Russian Sergey Rybin  took the race out at a blistering speed, clocking 2:44.13 for the first 1000 m and going through halfway in 13:53.21.  The pace burned most of the competition before Rybin began to slow.  By 8000 m Rybin was running slower than 3:00 / km, and, staggering after being passed by Osako on the last lap, he dropped out with less than 200 m to go.  The 20-year-old Osako, who ran most of the race with 26-year-old South African  Stephen Mokoka , executed a long kick over the last 400 m to win by more than ten seconds.  Mokoka took silver, with 26-year-old Moroccan Ahmed Tamri  picking up bronze in 29:06.20.  Meiji University senior Tetsuya