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Showing posts from September, 2018

Another Amateur Goes Sub-14 - Pre-Typhoon Saturday Night Track Action

A wet and windy Saturday night featured high-level track time trial action all across the country. With the approach of the powerful Typhoon #24 the Saga Long Distance Time Trials meet was canceled, leaving Kyushu's runners home to wait the storm out. To the northeast, Hiroshima's Chugoku Jitsugyodan Long Distance Time Trials meet was far enough away to still be ahead of the worst of the wind and rain. Takuya Fujikawa (Chugoku Denryoku) ran the fastest 5000 m time their in 13:55.73, with up-and-coming marathoner  Kohei Futaoka (Kyudenko) leading the 10000 m results in 29:12.00. Further to the northwest, Yuma Hattori (Toyota) returned from a solid 1:01:40 PB at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon two weeks ago to win the Tokamachi Distance Carnival 's 10000 m. Hattori outkicked Kenyan teammate David Muhuhu (Toyota) to win in 28:39.57, the fastest time by a Japanese runner in Tokamachi's 30-year history. His alma mater Toyo University was a ma

Seko-Led DeNA Corporate Team Gives Up on Ekidens After Just Five Seasons

Coached by JAAF Long Distance and Marathon Development Project team leader Toshihiko Seko , 62, the DeNA men's corporate team announced on Sept. 28 that it will no longer run ekidens. Last year it placed 3rd at the East Japan Corporate Ekiden, qualifying for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden national championships where it placed a competitive 6th. However, this year it did not submit an entry for the Nov. 3 East Japan race, meaning it will not run the New Year Ekiden either. An official statement is expected to be released early next week. The DeNA team was founded in 2013. Including Seko, the majority of its staff and athletes came from the historic S&B corporate team following its dissolution. Prior to its termination S&B also stopped running ekidens. Led by 2012 London Olympics 10000 m 5th-placer Bedan Karoki of Kenya, the current team members will focus on their individual pursuits on the track and in the marathon in the coming seasons. The DeNA news followed shortly

JAAF Publishes 2019 Doha World Championships Medal Bonuses, "Looking Positively" at Hosting 2019 World Relays

The  JAAF Board of Directors met Sept 27 to set the bonus structure for medals at the 2019 Doha World Championships. Athletes who place on the podium will be well-rewarded, with a gold medal earning 10,000,000 yen [~$88,000 USD] , a silver medal 5,000,000 yen [~$44,000}  and a bronze 4,000,000 yen [~$35,000]. Top eight finishes will also be recognized. 4th place will be worth 1,500,000 yen [~$13,000] , 5th and 6th place 1,000,000 yen [~$9,000] , and 7th and 8th place 800,000 yen [~$7,000] . For relay events the payout will be half the amount for individual events, will all team members who competed in the qualifying rounds and finals eligible for remuneration. At the 2013 Moscow World Championships the gold medal bonus was 4,000,000 yen. It was increased to the current amount for the 2015 Beijing World Championships and remained at that level for last year's London World Championships. Following the Board meeting, chairperson Hiroshi Yokokawa  also talked to the media about

Universal Entertainment Increases Anti-Doping Measures as Step to Lifting of Suspension

At a meeting in Osaka the National Corporate Federation's board of directors put on hold the Universal Entertainment women's team's suspension from competing in ekidens organized by the Federation. Universal Entertainment won last November's National Corporate Women's Ekiden, but when one team member was later found to have committed a doping violation the Federation voted in July to strip the team of its title and suspend it from competition. As one of the conditions for its suspension to be lifted, on Sept. 15 Universal Entertainment submitted to the Federation plans for the steps it would take to prevent a recurrence of the incident. The Federation will investigate the measures and situation at the team next week, and if the anti-doping measures can be confirmed it will fully lift the suspension. If the suspension is lifted the Universal Entertainment team is expected to compete in the Oct. 21 National Corporate Women's Ekiden Qualifier in Fukuoka. If i

Two City Council Members Asked to Resign Over Misappropriation of Subsidies for Local Road Race

An annual autumn fixture in the town of Gosen, Niigata, the Gosen Koyo Marathon came under investigation for allegations that its organizing committee had misused subsidies from the city government. On Sept. 21 the Gosen City Council's Special Investigative Committee delivered a summary of its final report in which it confirmed that organizers had used city money on expenses not covered under subsidy guidelines. The problem came to light last year after city council members made a request for disclosure of information to the race organizers. In December the city council established the investigative committee made up of seven council members. The committee interviewed a total of 46 people including race organizing committee executive members and city government staff. On the 21st the investigative committee reported to the city council that in these interviews it had determined that the organizing committee had applied for the city grant to subsidize its operating expenses b

Tokyo Marathon to Jack Up Entry Fee 50% in Name of Fight Against Terrorism

The Tokyo Marathon Foundation , independent organizer of the Tokyo Marathon , is considering a plan to increase the entry fees for the race by 50% for its 14th running in March, 2020. Its primary reason is a decrease in the event's profitability due to increased safety and security costs. The plan could be approved by the Board of Directors as early as December. In the five years since the April, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the Tokyo Marathon's safety and security costs have increased by a factor of 2.7. This year's costs reached a record high of 482,000,000 yen [~$4,275,000 USD] . With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games looming in the near future the Foundation expects the threat of terrorism to grow. In preparation it plans to be beef up security measures at the Tokyo Marathon, with more security guards, metal detectors and surveillance cameras. Last year the Tokyo Metropolitan Government increased its subsidization of the Tokyo Marathon from 100,000,00

Cheboitibin and Waku Win Ichinoseki International Half Marathon

The 37th Ichinoseki International Half Marathon took place Sept. 23, starting and finishing outside Ichonoseki Municipal Sports Gymnasium. Ezekiel Cheboitibin (Sunbelx) won the men's division in 1:03:53, while Mirai Waku (Universal Entertainment) took the women's race in 1:15:41. For both athletes it was the first time to win in Ichinoseki. 2:09:21 marathoner Koji Gokaya (JR Higashi Nihon) was the top Japanese man at 2nd in 1:05:54, and Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) finished 7th in 1:07:31. A record total of 3079 people from within the country and without entered the half, 10 km, 5 km and 3 km divisions, with 2916 finishing. Under brilliant blue skies temperatures reached an unseasonably hot 27.2˚C, leaving participants dripping with sweat. Men's half marathon entrant Soya Saito , 28, a resident of Morioka, commented, "It was a lot hotter than most years, but it was really nice to run through the beautiful golden rice fields.&qu

Yamagata Oh So Close Again - National Corporate Track and Field Championships Day Three Highlights

Agonizingly short of joining the sub-10 club last year when he ran a 10.00 (+0.2 m/s) PB and meet record to win the National Corporate Track and Field Championships men's 100 m, Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) returned to Osaka's Nagai Stadium Sunday to do it again. Facing national record holder and relay teammate Yoshihide Kiryu (Asics) at the National Corporate meet for the first time Yamagata came up just short again, winning in 10.01 (+0.0 m/s) . Kiryu, off his best form this season, was 2nd in 10.22. After running 10.00 (+0.8 m/s) at last month's Jakarta Asian Games Yamagata had been dead set on joining Kiryu sub-10 at this meet. Seeming to be stable at the level he's now at, one of these times it's going to come together. In distance action, Rosemary Wanjiru (Starts) took the women's 5000 m title in 15:15.03 by a second over teammate Grace Kimanzi . Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) was the top Japanese woman with her fastest time of the year, 15:

Fujii Breaks 10000 m RW Jr. National Record - National Track and Field Championships Day Two Highlights

The 2018 National Corporate Track and Field Championships continued Saturday at Osaka's Nagai Stadium with a pair of records to mark the day. On the women's side, Nanako Fujii (Edion) set a junior national record of 44:13.37 to finish 2nd in the 10000 m racewalk behind winner Kumiko Okada (Bic Camera). On the men's side, Takumi Murashima (Fukui Pref. Sports Assoc.)  took half a second off the previous 800 m meet record set by former national record holder Masato Yokota , winning in 1:47.97. 2nd and 3rd-placers Taichi Ichino (Roble) and Naoto Arayasu (Fujitsu) were also under Yokota's record, making the 800 m the race of the day. In other noteworthy results, men's 20 km race walk world record Yusuke Suzuki (Fujitsu) returned from a six-month suspension for fudging expense claims to win the 10000 m race walk in 39:05.19.  Joel Mwaura (Kurosaki Harima) won the regular 10000 m in 27:45.31, leading the top five under 28 minutes. 2017 national XC champ Takas

Kamulu Breaks Fukushi's 10000 m Meet Record - National Corporate Track and Field Championships Day One Highlights

The fastest woman in the world over 10000 m this year with her 30:41.85 Japanese all-comers record at July's Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa meet, Pauline Kamulu Kaveke (Route Inn Hotels) added another sub-31 clocking to her name with a 30:56.94 meet record win on the first day of the 8 6th National Corporate Track and Field Championships in Osaka's Nagai Stadium. Starting off with company from fellow Japan-based Kenyan Grace Kimanzi (Starts) and the Japanese duo of Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) and Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera), Kamulu was alone by 2000 m dead on track to equal her July mark. Fading slightly over the second half of the race she still managed to shave nearly a second off Kayoko Fukushi 's 2006-era meet record, nearly lapping the entire field. Kimanzi held on to 2nd in 32:02.39, with first Yamanouchi and then Ichiyama dropping back through the field. Seemingly close to her A-game again after a long period off with injury and a change in corporate team and

Former Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. Head Coach Koji Watanabe to Take Over at Nittai University

On Sept. 19 it was learned that former Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. head coach Koji Watanabe , 80, will take over as head coach of the Nittai University ekiden team. Previous head coach Masaaki Watanabe , 55, was fired on Sept. 11 after revelations of his violence toward and mental abuse of students surfaced. New coach Watanabe commented, "I want to create an environment where team members can be in the competition." His posting is planned to last from Oct. 1 to the end of March next year. A Nittai graduate, new coach Watanabe led the Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. boys to eight National High School Ekiden Championships titles. He previously served at Nittai as chairperson of the Special Development Committee from 2012 to 2014. National powerhouse Nittai has competed in 70-straight Hakone Ekidens, winning Japan's most prestigious title ten times. It is scheduled to compete at both the Oct. 8 Izumo Ekiden and Nov. 4 National University Men's Ekiden, and will be going for a fourth

Kawauchi Gives Talk on Appeal of Ageo City Half Marathon

The unique "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi , 31, an employee of the Saitama Prefectural Government, gave a talk at the Ageo Cultural Center on Sept. 17 about the special appeal of the Ageo City Half Marathon held in Ageo every November. About 400 people attended the talk, part of an event commemorating the 60th anniversary of the city's sports association. Kawauchi runs the half marathon every year as an invited elite athlete. Kawauchi first encountered the Ageo race while in 5th grade in elementary school, moving up to the half marathon division as a university student. Having run as fast as 1:03:22 in Ageo while still in university, Kawauchi said, "My results in Ageo were always good. It has a flat and easy to run course, and I always thought it was a good event." He also emphasized that, as a JAAF-certified race, every year it features enormous numbers of runners from the top Hakone Ekiden universities. He presented data showing that students who

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge 's world record and Gladys Cherono 's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi 's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005. A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average

Nittai University Head Coach Masaaki Watanabe Fired Over Abuse Scandal

On Sept. 12 Nittai University announced that it will fire ekiden team head coach Masaaki Watanabe , 55, over the current power harassment scandal surrounding him. According to the university's public relations office, interviews by the alumni association with five current and one former team member reported multiple acts of violence by Watanabe including kicking athletes' legs and grabbing them by the chest. The interviews also reported that Watanabe verbally abused and threatened student athletes and attacked their character. When runners fell off pace during workouts he was reported to have shouted, "Get the hell out of this university!" and, following the runners in a car, "I am going to f*cking run you over and kill you." Injured team members were also reported to have been subject to verbal humiliation by Watanabe, including, "Look at this f*cking cripple," and "You f*cking deserve it." Watanabe admitted the accusations but said

Tokyo Olympics Marathon Start Time May Move Earlier if Daylight Saving Time Not Introduced

In an interview with reporters on Sept. 10, Tokyo Olympic Games organizing committee chairperson Toshiaki Endo indicated that the introduction of daylight saving time and other measures to combat the expected heat at the Games are still under discussion, and that the LDP study group tasked with examining the idea will hold a session to hear dissenting opinions on Sept. 27. He indicated that in the event it proves impossible to introduce daylight saving time, it would likely be necessary to move the start times of the marathon and other events even earlier than the currently planned 7:00 a.m. Endo also announced that a bipartisan project team will meet for the first time next week to discuss ways to deal with the recent wave of power abuse scandals  that have emerged across a wide range of Japanese sports authority associations. source article: translated by Brett Larner

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Following the Japanese success early Saturday at the IAU 100 km World Championships , Japanese athletes lined up in races across Europe over the weekend. At Saturday's Prague Grand Prix 10 km , Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) followed up her 2:26:13 marathon debut in Paris with a 9th-place finish in 32:26. 2:08:48 at February's Tokyo Marathon, Kenji Yamamoto (Mazda) was ineffectual in the men's race, nearly a kilometer behind winner Rhonex Kipruto at 17th in 29:21. Keita Shitara (Hitachi Butsuryu), twin brother of half marathon and marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara , was 23rd in 30:17 with Yuta's teammate Masaya Taguchi (Honda) overtaken by the top three women to finish 24th in 30:25. On the track, Jakarta Asian Games men's 200 m gold medalist Yuki Koike had the best Japanese placing on the first day of the Continental Cup in the Czech Republic, finishing 4th in the 200 m in 20.57 (-1.6 m/s). Kosei Yamaguchi was next-best in the men's 3000 m

Shiojiri Breaks Steeplechase Meet Record - National University Track and Field Championships Day Four Highlights

Jakarta Asian Games men's 3000 m steeplechase bronze medalist, national champion and Rio Olympian Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) ended his university track career with one of the better of his many great performances, breaking the National University Track and Field Championships meet record set by Moroccan Aziz Driouch in 1999 by 2 seconds to win in 8:31.98. As at the Asian Games he frontran the entire race, but where he was outkicked in Jakarta over the last lap this time he opened a lead of 13 seconds over runner-up Taisei Ogino (Kanagawa Univ.). The home to Shiojiri's teammate in Rio and women's meet record holder Anju Takamizawa , Matsuyama University extended its domination of Japanese collegiate women's steeplechase, taking the top three spots in the final. 3rd-year Kako Okado took the national title in 10:02.04 just over 5 seconds off Takamizawa's record, with 1st year duo Manami Nishiyama and Moka Ouchi going 2-3. Apart from the steeple, the

Japan Dominates IAU 100 km World Championships

The Japanese men and women dominated the 2018 IAU 100 km World Championships in Sveti Martin na Muri, Crotia on Saturday, winning both team gold medals and the individual men's gold and silver and women's bronze medals. Finishing in the inverse order they did at June's historic Lake Saroma 100 km , the men went 1-2-4-6, Lake Saroma 4th placer and defending world champion  Hideaki Yamauchi winning the race outright in 6:28:05 and Lake Saroma 3rd-placer Takehiro Gyoba taking silver in 6:32:51. Two-time Comrades Marathon champ Bongmusa Mthembu of South Africa, 2nd to Yamauchi last time out, was the only non-Japanese athlete to make the men's podium, beating Lake Saroma runner-up Koji Hayasaka by just over two minutes to take bronze in 6:33:47 to Hayasaka's 6:36:05. All three scoring Japanese men broke 4:00/km to give the men's an incredible score of 19:37:01, nearly an hour faster than the silver-earning South Africa team. Germany had the distinction of ta

Walsh Ties 400 m Meet Record - National University Track and Field Championships Day Three Highlights

After a disappointing 5th-place finish in this year's Jakarta Asian Games 400 m, Julian Walsh (Toyo Univ.) brought the highlight of the third day of the 87th National University Track and Field Championships as he tied the meet record 45.75 to win the 400 m national title. It was a very close race with newcomer   Rikuya Ito (Waseda Univ.) pushing Walsh to the record and finishing 2nd in 45.79. Just a 2nd-year, Ito looks set to take over as Japan's top collegiate 400 m runner following Walsh's graduating next spring. 3rd-year Mitsuki Kawauchi (Kinki Univ.) may give him a challenge for the title next year, close behind this time in 3rd in 45.96. In the women's 5000 m 1st-year Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Meijo Univ.) outkicked her older competition in a slow race to complete a 1500 m / 5000 m national title double in 16:06.83. Her male counterpart Josphat Ledama Kisaisa (Obirin) also pulled off a double, dropping Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon) as he did in the

University Coach Who Lost High School Position After Abusing Students Accused of Abuse

Following revelations of  power harassment  in scandals involving the Nihon University football team coaching staff, the amateur boxing and gymnastics association and other bodies of authority across the Japanese sports world, on Sept. 7 the tabloid magazine Friday reported accusations of power harassment abuse by Masaaki Watanabe , 55, head coach of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Nittai University . "I never want to see that guy's face again," the magazine quoted one former team member as saying. "As long as he's the head coach I can't run for this team. I really wanted to run Hakone one more time. If anyone would hire me I wanted to keep running for a corporate team. But instead I've come to hate running itself." On Sept. 7 Nittai University responded to the abuse allegations against Watanabe, 55. According to the university's Public Relations department, the school is currently in the process of verifying the facts of the situation and plans to

Nittai Women Break 4x100 m Collegiate National Record - National University Track and Field Championships Day Two Highlights

Following up the Ritsumeikan University women's 4x100 m meet record in the qualifying heats on the first day of the 87th National University Track and Field Championships , Nittai University did Ritsumeikan one better in day two's final. Nittai came on strong on the third leg with a solid run from third year Mae Hirosawa , but it was first-year anchor Miku Yamada who really impressed, pulling away to open almost half a second on Ritsumeikan in the best first-year relay anchor performance since future Olympic silver medalist  Shota Iizuka 's 2010 Kanto Regionals run. Yamada crossed the line in 44.59 to take 0.23 off Ritsumeikan's day-old meet record and 0.21 off the 12-year-old national university record. Just a week after missing out on a medal at the Jakarta Asian Games, Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.) rounded out her collegiate heptathlon career by tying the meet record of 5550 set last year by Jakarta bronze medalist Yuki Yamasaki . Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Mei

National University Track and Field Championships Day One Highlights

Thursday saw the first day of the 87th National University Track and Field Championships get underway at Kanagawa's Todoroki Stadium. The most surprising result of the day came in the first heat of the women's 4x100 m relay qualifying round, where both Ritsumeikan University and Aoyama Gakuin University broke the meet record. Ritsumeikan was just 0.02 off the national collegiate record in 44.82 with AGU right behind in 44.89. No other team broke 45 seconds, promising a head-to-head race for the collegiate record and national title in tomorrow's final. In the men's 4x100 m qualifying round national collegiate record holder Chuo University was the only team to break 39 seconds, marking itself as the heavy favorite in the final with a time of 38.90. In early finals action, Rika Kaseda (Meijo Univ.) and Josphat Ledama Kisaisa (Obirin Univ.) won the women's and men's 10000 m, Kaseda in 33:29.20 and Kisaisa in 28:28.48. Mayu Nasu (Sonoda Gakuen Joshi U