It's a busy weekend on the track across the country. In long distance action the main event is Sunday's 10000 m national championships, held this year a month and a half before the rest of the National Track and Field Championships in an effort to help people produce better performances to maximize their world rankings points. The 10000 m will be held in Osaka's Nagai Stadium just after the Golden Grand Prix Osaka meet, which maxes out this time around with the 3000 m steeplechase.
22 women are entered in the 10000 m including 6 of the 7 who have cleared the 31:50.00 Doha World Championships standard and the only one who has cleared the 31:25.00 Tokyo Olympics standard. That would be the currently world-ranked #3 Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC), who lapped 2nd place the last time she ran Nationals back in 2013 en route to a still-standing championships record 31:06.67. #16-ranked Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post), jointly #22-ranked Kaori Morita (Panasonic) and Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu), #25-ranked Yuka Hori (Panasonic) and 2018's fastest Japanese woman over the distance, Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera), are on the list, making for what should be a stellar race. A dark horse is National XC champ Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki TC), making her debut at 19.
Who will win Sunday's women's 10000m JPN National Championships?— Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) May 17, 2019
The men's 10000 m has 26 Japanese men and 4 Kenyan pacers. Nobody has hit the 27:40.00 Doha standard within the window. In fact, only 7 Japanese men have every cleared it. 3 of them, New Year Ekiden national champion Asahi Kasei teammates Tetsuya Yoroizaka, Kota Murayama and Kenta Murayama, are in the race, but as it's been 4 years since any of them ran that kind of time the chances are pretty slim we'll see it broken Sunday. Forget about the 27:28.00 Tokyo Olympics standard. If anyone has a breakthrough run it'll probably be either Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) or top collegiate man Akira Aizawa (Toyo Univ.).
Who will the top JPN man be in Sunday's 10000m JPN National Championships?— Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) May 17, 2019
All the best talent will be in Osaka, but plenty of the rest will still be in action. In Tokyo, that would be at Saturday's Setagaya Time Trials meet, which focuses on the 3000 m and 5000 m. Corporate leaguers will be wrapping up their regional track championships in Hiroshima at the second half of the Chugoku Region Corporate Championships, in Saitama at the East Japan Region Corporate Championships, and in Fukuoka at the Kyushu Region Corporate Championships. JRN will be at the Golden Grand Prix and 10000 m national championships but will keep you up to date on all the action.
© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved