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Official Statement From Corporate Federation Director Nishikawa on Anti-Doping Violation and Sanction

A statement by Koichiro Nishikawa, chairperson of the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association

At the 37th National Corporate Women's Ekiden organized by the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association (JITA), a prohibited substance was detected in a sample taken from Moeno Nakamura, at the time a member of the Universal Entertainment team, in an in-competition drug test. After receiving notification of this result, in accordance with the recommendations of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency disciplinary panel, Nakamura was suspended for one year and three months beginning Nov. 26, 2017.

As the JITA not only do we hold anti-doping education sessions for athletes and coaches in partnership with the Japan Association of Athletics Federations and clearly specify that our events must be carried out in strict accordance with anti-doping regulations, but as the JITA chairperson I have personally given strong emphasis to the importance of "Clean Sport." In spite of these effort…

Nakamura on Positive Drug Test: "I Had Gynecological Issues I Didn't Want Anyone to Know About"

On July 19 the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) announced that distance runner Moeno Nakamura, 28, a former member of the Universal Entertainment women's ekiden team, had tested positive for the muscle tone-improving steroid metenolone during in-competition testing at last November's National Corporate Women's Ekiden, which Universal Entertainment won. As a result of the positive test Nakamura, who has already left the team, will be suspended for one year and three months and have her result at the ekiden annulled.

According to the JADA announcement, two months before the ekiden Nakamura underwent surgical treatment for a gynecological condition. Subsequent injections she received included the prohibited substance. JADA accepted her explanation that these were for post-operative therapeutic purposes but ruled her negligent in not having told her doctor that she was an athlete and in not confirming the contents of the injections.

In a statement released through Universal En…

National Corporate Women's Ekiden Champion Team to be Stripped of Title After Member Tests Positive

On July 18 it was learned from several sources connected with the situation that a member of the 2017 National Corporate Women's Ekiden champion team Universal Entertainment who left the team at the end of last season tested positive for a banned substance in a doping test carried out at the ekiden. Universal Entertainment won the national championship race, its second-ever title and first in five years. But because the athlete's result will be annulled the team will also be stripped of its title, an unprecedented situation in the ekiden's history.

According to an involved source, before the race the athlete took her own personal medicine which included the prohibited substance. The athlete denied having taking the medicine in order to enhance her performance. Team management claimed the athlete had not informed then that she was taking it, and that the situation was the result of her personal carelessness.

The Universal Entertainment team was founded under the name Aruze…

Six Olympic Hopefuls to Attend Women's Marathon Training Camp in Chitose

In preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the JAAF will hold a 10-day women's marathon training camp in Chitose, Hokkaido from July 27 to August 5. It is the first time for the city of Chitose to host a JAAF training camp since it was selected as the site for the Japanese national team's pre-Tokyo Olympics base. Six athletes including 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympian Mai Ito will take part, with the program scheduled to include running classes with local amateur runners.

The six athletes identified as high-level in the marathon and long distance and invited to participate in the program are Ito, Yuka Ando, Hanami Sekine, Yukari Abe, Mao Ichiyama and Miyuki Uehara. Along with them, a staff of sixteen support personnel will also take part. Conceived of as a simulation of the Tokyo Olympics, the camp takes place at the same time and for the same number of days as it will two years from now before the main event. The athletes will train at Aoba Field, on the 3.6 km Aoba Park loop, …

Six University Meet Cancels 5000 m Because It Was Just Too Damned Hot

The 31st annual Six University Track and Field Meet, a competition between Tokai University, Nittai University, Juntendo University, Nihon University, Tsukuba University and Chukyo University, took place this holiday weekend at Chiba Sports Park Field in Chiba. Facing afternoon temperatures climbing over 35 degrees, organizers made the decision to cancel the men's 5000 m scheduled for 3:25 p.m.

 In its place, an unofficial time trial was held later at 5:30 p.m. Despite the two-hour difference the temperature at the start was still 31 degrees. Tsukuba University second-year Kento Nishi finished first in the time trial in 14:48 after taking the lead with two laps to go. Wiping sweat from his face post-race Nishi said, "I don't think 14:48 was too bad in this kind of heat."

source article:
https://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20180714-OHT1T50165.html
translated and edited by Brett Larner

Weekend Track Highlights

Distance action at the senior level was split between three main meets this weekend. One contingent of Japanese women and men headed to Europe for a mini tour of the circuit, starting things off Saturday at Belgium's Kortrijkse Guildensporenmeeting. One of Japan's top current half marathoners, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) ran a season best 15:36.11 for 4th in the women's 5000 m to lead the five Japanese women in the race. National XC runner-up Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) led the Japanese men in the 3000 m SC in 8:37.81. The popular Hazuma Hattori (Toenec) was the fastest Japanese man in the 1500 m at 3:45.17, with Nokoka Hosaka (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) delivering the fastest Japanese women's time at 4:25.40.

Also Saturday back home in Hokkaido, the Hokuren Distance Challenge series wrapped up with the Shibetsu meet. Women's 5000 m A-heat winner Yuka Hori (Panasonic) was just off Ichiyama's Belgian time in 15:37.51 just ahead of Honami Maeda (Tenmaya), who continued a gr…

World U20 Championships Day Six Japanese Results

Only two Japanese athletes were in action on the final day of the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

In the men's 3000 m steeplechase, Waseda University's Takumi Yoshida ran a PB of 8:50.99 for 5th, well out of medals but outkicking Italy's Giovanni Gatto to finish as the first runner born outside east Africa. "This was a race that showed me where there are still problems, and I will work on improving them," he wrote on Twitter afterwards. "Thank you to everyone who has helped me come this far."

In the women's 1500 m final, Asian Junior 1500 m gold medalist Ririka Hironaka, a senior at Nagasaki Shogyo H.S., finished 11th out of the twelve starters in 4:21.31. With two gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes and eleven top 8 placings at the end of the Championships Japan ranked 8th in the final medal count, its second-best showing ever and a mark of encouragement with just two years to go until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
World U20 Champions…

Ejima Bronze - World U20 Championships Day Five Japanese Results

6th in the men's pole vault two years ago, Masaki Ejima kept Japan's medal streak at the Tampere World U20 Championships alive with a bronze medal on the fifth day of competition. Both Ejima and silver medalist Zachery Bradford of the U.S.A. cleared 5.55 m on their third attempts and failed to clear 5.60, but as Ejima had struggled at 5.40 m the silver went to Bradford, who had cleared it with ease. Gold went to Armand Duplantis, who set a new championships record of 5.82 m.

A highly-anticipated medal failed to materialize in the men's 4x100 m, where the Japanese squad finished out of the medals by an agonizing 0.01 behind Germany, running in the top three throughout the race but outleaned at the line. Both the U.S.A. and Jamaica went under 39 seconds for gold and silver.  Another near-miss came in the women's 10000 m racewalk, where Nanako Fujii set a PB of 45:08.68 but came only 4th. In both the men's 10000 m racewalk and men's high jump Japan scored top eig…

Kora Lands Silver - World U20 Championships Day Four Japanese Results

Two-time national high school champion Ayaka Kora kept Japan's medal count moving on Day Three of the Tampere World U20 Championships with a silver in the women's long jump. A 6.37 m (+1.2  m/s) on her second attempt was good enough to move her into the silver position behind only Germany's Lea-Jasmin Riecke, whose PB of 6.51 m (+0.4 m/s) on her own second attempt gave her the top spot. There the two remained through the rest of the final, American Tara Davis giving Kora a bit of a scare on her final attempt with a jump of 6.36 (+0.0 m/s) that earned Davis bronze.



The women's 3000 m steeplechase final was the only other final to feature a Japanese athlete. Already having moved in the all-time #4 Japanese U20 position in the heats, Manami Nishiyama improved on that with a 10:00.49 for 9th, well out of the medals but just missing a JAAF-coveted top eight position. After her performance Matsuyama University, where Nishiyama is a student, now owns five of the ten fastest …

Izumiya Takes Hurdles Bronze - World U20 Championships Day Three Japanese Results

After yesterday's solid haul of gold and silver medals, Shunsuke Izumiya added a bronze medal to the mix in the men's 110 m hurdles at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. Quick out of the blocks, Izumiya led the first few hurdles before being caught by Jamaican duo Damion Thomas and Orlando Bennett. But a PB run of 13.38 was enough to keep Izumiya in the medals, the only one of the day for Japan.

In the two other finals with Japanese athletes, Ayaka Kawata took 6th in the women's 800 m in 2:03.57 well back from the championships record 1:59.74 by gold medalist Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia. Maki Saito took 8th in the women's discus throw with a mark of 50.10 m, both she and Kawata factoring into the JAAF's target number of top eight placers.

No Japanese athletes made it through the day's semifinals, both Keigo Yasuda and Koji Ueyama stopped there in the men's 200 m and Moeka Sekimoto likewise not advancing out of the women's 400 m hurdles sem…

Inside Running Podcast - Brett Larner

An interview with Australia's Inside Running Podcast.


Tanaka and Hashioka Win Gold - World U20 Championships Day Two Japanese Results

Working together to execute an aggressive frontrunning team strategy born from failure two years ago in Bydgoszcz, 2018 Asian U20 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka and 2018 Asian Junior Cross Country gold medalist Yuna Wada opened a massive lead over the African Junior Cross Country medalist Ethiopian duo of Meselu Berhe and Tsige Gebreselama in the early going of the Tampere World U20 Championships women's 3000 m. Tanaka took the lead from the gun before Wada went out front at 200 m to set a fast pace. Through splits of 3:00 and 3:03 for the first 2000 m, Tanaka kicked hard from 300 m out to close with a 2:51 for Japan's first-ever gold medal in the event, winning in a PB of 8:54.01.

Berhe and Gebreselama caught Wada on the back corner but weren't even close to matching Tanaka, taking 2nd and 3rd in PBs just under the 9-minute mark. Wada just held off Kenyan Jenali Jemutai Yego for 4th in 9:00.50, seeming happy in post-race interviews to have helped a teammate score gol…

Kamulu Runs 10000 m World Lead, Ahn Breaks Korean National Record, Tamura Clears 28 Minutes, Niiya Back on Track in Fukagawa

National records fell for the third meet in a row in the four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series Wednesday in Fukagawa, Hokkaido. Longtime Japan resident Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels) had a shockingly good run in the women's 10000 m A-heat, following up her 1:06:56 bronze medal run at the Valencia World Half Marathon Championships by lopping over a minute off her 10000 m best with a 2018 world-leading time of 30:41.85.

Kamulu lapped the entire field, her nearest competitor Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) returning from a 2:23:46 marathon PB in Osaka in January to take 30 seconds off her own best in 32:13.87. Further back, Seul Ki Ahn broke the South Korean national record set 13 years ago in Fukagawa with a new mark of 32:33.61. Ahn's NR followed the 2:25:41 NR set by Do Yeon Kim at the Seoul International Marathon in March, a miniature renaissance in South Korea women's distance running.

The men's 10000 m A-heat was also decently fast, Andrew Lorot (Subaru) leading fo…

World U20 Championships - Day One Japanese Results

On the first day of competition at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, Japanese runners were the first non-East African runners across the line in both of the day's distance finals. In the boys' 10000 m Takuro Miura was 9th in 30:12.25 almost three laps behind championships record-setting Rhonex Kipruto (Kenya). In the women's 5000 m, Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu was 7th in 15:55.74, just over 21 seconds out of the medals. The talented Miku Moribayashi was last in 17:08.55.

In qualifying rounds, nine of the eleven Japanese athletes in action advanced. Ayaka Kawata and Ayano Shiomi led the way in the women's 800 m, both winning their heats and clocking the two fastest times among all qualifiers. Yuki Hashioka also recorded the best mark in the men's long jump qualifying rounds, jumping 7.92 m (+1.1 m/s) to head into the final ranked #1. Yugo Sakai jumped a PB of 7.69 m (+2.0 m/s) to join Hashioka in the final with the #3 ranking.
World U20 Championships Da…

End of an Era - Hakone Ekiden Qualifier to Switch from 20 km to Half Marathon

October's Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai, the official qualifying race for Japan's biggest race, has for decades been by a massive margin the world's #1 20 km road race. Beginning this year organizers have announced changes to its format including a shift from 20 km to the half marathon distance, positioning the Yosenkai to join November's Ageo City Half Marathon and March's National University Half Marathon Championships as one of the world's deepest and most competitive half marathons.

The Inter-University Athletic Union of Kanto [KGRR], organizers of the Jan.. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, have announced that the length of the Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai qualifying race will be extended from the traditional 20 km to a half marathon beginning with this year's 95th edition on Oct. 13. The start and finish at Showa Kinen Park and the neighboring Air Defense Force base in Tachikawa, Tokyo will remain the same. Organizers are still considering various plans for making up the extra d…

Tokyo Olympic Marathon Tentatively Scheduled for 7:00 a.m. Start to Beat the Heat

An outline of  the schedule for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics calling for the men's and women's marathons to begin at 7:00 a.m. has been released. Taking into account the brutally hot conditions expected at the Games which are set to kick off July 24, 2020, many outdoor events will feature earlier start times than proposed during previous stages of the planning process. The men's 50 km racewalk will start at 6:00 a.m. and both the men's and women's 20 km racewalk at 7:00 a.m.

The Tokyo Olympics organizing committee will submit the schedule proposal to the IOC on July 18 for final approval. The marathon was originally planned to have a 7:30 a.m. start time. To ensure the health of athletes, officials and spectators alike the possibility of holding it before was 7:00 a.m. was examined, but the decision to move it only 30 minutes earlier was made.

Translator's note: As a longtime resident runner in central Tokyo, the difference between a 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. start wi…

Matsunaga Just Misses 10000 m Racewalk World Record in Kitami

In his second pro season, junior and collegiate men's 10000 m racewalk national record holder Daisuke Matsunaga (Fujitsu) stepped up with his biggest performance yet, becoming the first Japanese man to break 38 minutes and coming in with a near miss on the world record to win the 10000 m racewalk in a national record 37:58.08 at Saturday's Hokuren Distance Challenge Kitami meet. A 2017 graduate of Toyo University, throughout the race Matsunaga had support from younger Toyo athletes Koki Ikeda and Masatori Kawano who ended up 2nd and 3rd 40 to 50 seconds back. Currently ranked 4th in the world over 20 km, Matsunaga may be just what Japan needs for Tokyo 2020: a legit gold medal contender in athletics.

Speaking of Tokyo 2020, the JAAF is desperate to get some women under 15 minutes for 5000 m before, something only national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) has ever done. As a step toward that objective, for the second year in a row the Hokuren Distance Challenge featured a…

Breaking Down Marathon Season

The worldwide elite-level marathon season wrapped up for the first half of 2018 with last Sunday's Gold Coast Marathon in Australia and Hakodate Marathon in Japan. Yes, they were technically on July 1, but it was still June 30 in much of the world so we're going to count them anyway. Which countries led the way in performance and which races were the world's best in the first six months of the year? JRN breaks down the numbers to find the answers. Click any of the tables below to enlarge them. Corrections and additions are always welcome.

In terms of time, Ethiopia led the way this season with the fastest overall men's time and the fastest averages of its ten best men's and women's times. Vivian Cheruiyot's 2:18:31 win in London was the only Kenyan performance to make a dent in the Ethiopian domination of the time lists. For both men and women it's already Ethiopia's best year on record. Ethiopian women are knocking on a top ten average under 2:20 …

Yabuta and Yamaguchi Break Steeplechase National Records in Abashiri

Most of Japan's distance runners retreat north to Hokkaido for the summer to escape the heat and put in mileage for ekiden season. The four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series gives them the chance to add some quality into the mix, whether for chasing standards, padding their resumes, or general development.

The main focus of the first part of the 2018 series, held in the town of Abashiri, was on 10000 m for women and 5000 m for men. In cold and rain times weren't especially fast, Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera) continuing a solid first season in the corporate leagues with a win in the women's 10000 m A-heat in 32:35.74 and Sayaka Sato (Sekisui Kagaku) taking the B-heat in 32:55.13. Women also had the option for 3000 m, with Marta Mokaya (Oita Tomei H.S.) beating Ann Karindi (Toyota Jidoshokki) 8:56.40 to 8:59.12.

Kenyan Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) fronted the men's 5000 m A-heat in 13:33.97, with Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) taking the top Japanese spot at 8th in 13:…

Kuira and Yamashita Lead 6767 Finishers at Rainy Hakodate Marathon

The 2018 Hakodate Marathon and Half Marathon took place July 1 in Hakodate, Hokkaido. Despite heavy rain on and off throughout the race, 6767 people out of 7139 starters finished. The third year Hakodate has had a full marathon division, 3147 people started in the full and 3992 in the half.

Both races began and finished at Chiyogadai Field, the half starting at 9:00 a.m. and the full going off at 10:00. As rain fell the runners were cheered on by local supporters lining the streets of the western parts of the city and the coastal areas popular with tourists. Volunteers at aid stations handed out local delicacies like mini sashimi bowls and cold salty ramen to enthusiastic participants.

Yuya Yamashita (26, Sunbelx) took four minutes off the course record to win the men's full marathon in 2:18:27. "The hills in the second half were tough, but I'm really happy to have won it," he said post-race, his face full of smiles. Kenyan Paul Kuira (Konica Minolta) won a close rac…

Hosei University Leads National University Men's Ekiden Qualifiers

The Kanto Region Qualifier for this fall's 50th National University Men's Ekiden happened Saturday at Saitama's Urawa Komaba Stadium. The meet is made up of four heats of 10000 m with two runners from each competing school in each heat, the aggregate times of its eight runners determining a school's total time. The eight fastest programs go on to join other regional qualifiers and the six seeded teams already on the bill for November's Nationals. Considering that it's been since 2009 since a school from outside Kanto made the top ten at Nationals and 1999 since one made the seeded top six, what happens at the Kanto Region Qualifier has a lot of weight on what happens come ekiden season.

10th at Nationals last year, Hosei University's fortunes continued to climb as it took the top spot in 4:06:08.63 by less than 12 seconds over last year's 11-th placer Koku Gakuin University. Hosei 4th-year Yuta Bando led the way with a win in Heat Three in 30:40.75, si…