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Showing posts from May, 2021

Nov. 21 Kobe Marathon Canceled for Second Year in a Row

The organizing committee of the Kobe Marathon , in normal years a World Athletics silver label event, have announced that this year's 10th running on Nov. 21 has been canceled. It is the second year in a row that Kobe has been canceled. Organizers had planned to stage the race with a field 20,000 participants but have decided to postpone the 10th edition one year to November, 2022. Organizers cited the lack of a foreseeable end to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting difficulty of securing adequate medical staff and volunteers. source article: translated by Brett Larner

Arai Breaks 1500 m National Record in Portland

The weekend's main action took place overseas, most of it at the Portland Track Festival . Men's indoor 1500 m national record holder  Nanami Arai  (Honda) made the biggest news, breaking the 2004-era outdoor 1500 m national record by 0.37 with a 3:37.05 for 12th. Arai is still over two seconds off the Olympic qualifying standard, but progress is progress and a national record in one of Japanese athletics' weak spots was a welcome development. 5000 m national record holder Suguru Osako  (Nike), scheduled to run the marathon at the Olympics, turned some heads by doubling in two heats of 10,000 m, winning the first heat in 27:56.44 and taking 2nd in the second heat in 29:04.28. 2020 Fukuoka International Marathon winner Yuya Yoshida  (GMO) went under 28 minutes for the first time, taking 3rd in the first heat in 27:58.68, His teammate Yuki Kawasaki  was a DNF. Indoor 5000 m national record holder Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko) had a decent comeback from his most recent injury,

Battle of the Teams Marathon Streaming

Live streaming of Sunday's Battle of the Teams marathon in Prague will be here starting at 6:20 a.m. local time, 13:20 Japan time. Reia Iwade  (Adidas) is the lone Japanese athlete scheduled to run.

Japanese Men Break M90 4x400 m World Record by Almost Four Minutes

At Sunday's Aomori Masters Time Trials meet a Japanese men's team set a 4x400 m relay world record of 8:49.01 in the men's 90+ age category, taking nearly four minutes off the previous world record of 12:41.69 set in the United States in 2014.  Starting from a crouching start, leading runner Matashiro Suruga , 91, split roughly 2:07.5 before handing off to second runner Yuzo Kudo , 92. Kudo split 2:34.5, with third runner Kozo Mitsuya , 90, splitting 2:27.0 But anchor Hiro Tanaka , 90, delivered the biggest run of the day.  Out smooth and readily steadily, the stadium announcer predicted on the first curve that Tanaka would bring the team home under ten minutes. Hie was fast enough that less than 200 m later she revised that prediction to under nine minutes. Kicking in the last 100 m, Tanaka split an impressive 1:40 to bring the team home to the record. Without a doubt, it was the performance of the weekend worldwide. We have all the splits 200 by 200, @JRNHeadlines 2:07.

Ndirangu and Yegon Double, Fuwa Wins 5000 m in Debut - Kanto Regionals Day 3 and 4 Highlights

The 100th edition of the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships ran through its second half Saturday and Sunday at Kanagawa's Gion Stadium. Check out the results from Thursday and Friday here . In the D1 men's 5000 m , 10000 m winner Samson Ndirangu  (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) bettered 1500 m champ and 3000 mSC NR holder Ryuji Miura  (Juntendo Univ.) to pull off the distance double in 13:39.92. Miura was 2nd in 13:48.90. In his absence, Masanari Shintaku 's D1 8:35.2 D1 men's 3000 mSC meet record from 1977 lived another year as  Atsushi Shobu  (Waseda Univ.) took the steeple title in 8:45.95 PB. D2 men's 10000 m winner and 2021 Hakone Ekiden MVP  Vincent Yegon (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) also doubled, easily winning the D2 5000 m in 13:42.54. Kota Yoshida  (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) won the D2 men's 3000 mSC in a PB of 8:46.55. First-year Seira Fuwa  (Takushoku Univ.) made a great debut as she won the D1 women's 5000 m in 15:48.82, just over 5 seconds o

Izumiya Sets Collegiate NR, Yegon Just Misses Olympic Standard, Ishihara Runs U20 World Lead - Kanto Regionals Day 1 and 2 Highlights

The 100th edition of Japan's biggest collegiate meet, the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships kicked off Thursday at Kanagawa's Gion Stadium. Or more exactly it kicked off at the Yomiuriland amusement park closer to Tokyo, where the men's half marathon was held on a closed circuit course inside the park. D1 top three Vincent Raimoi  (Kokushikan Univ.), Charles Ndungu  (Nihon Univ.) and Paul Onyiego  (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) stayed together the entire way until Raimoi pulled away in the last sprint to win in 1:01:13. Ndungu clocked 1:01:14 and Onyiego 1:01:15. 4th-placer Shunsuke Shikama (Juntendo Univ.) just missed, running 1:02:26 for the top Japanese spot with the next four all under 1:03. The D2 race was just as exciting and almost as deep, Ryo Nishikubo  (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) and Kyosuke Hanao  (Komazawa Univ.) outkicking Luka Musembi (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.)) and both timed at 1:02:00 but Nishikubo earning the win. Musembi was 3rd in 1:02:01, with

Hakone Champ Komazawa University's Anchor Arrested on Suspicion of Sex With Underage Girl

On May 19 Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested Takuma Ishikawa , 21, a fourth-year student at Komazawa University , on charges of having had sex with a girl under the age of 18 in violation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance Regarding the Healthy Development of Youth. Ishikawa admitted he had had sex with the girl, stating, "I thought she was 18." Ishikawa ran the anchor stage at January's Hakone Ekiden, taking the lead to help Komazawa win. According to investigators, Ishikawa is believed to have had sex with the 17-year-old girl, a high school student from Kanagawa, at a hotel in Tokyo on Jan. 17 this year knowing that she was under age 18. Investigators say no money was given or received . Ishikawa is said to have met the girl through social media last October and to have had sex with her on multiple occasions. It is believed that the girl may not have initially known Ishikawa was a college ekiden athlete. Translator's note: Ishikawa was scheduled to run the 1000

Karasawa Breaks T11 5000 m World Record - Weekend Track Roundup

Four out of five corporate regional championship meets went off as schedule this weekend, with the 5 1st Hokuriku Region meet in Ishikawa the only one to cancel amid the latest COVID-19 wave hitting Japan.  The 63rd East Japan Region meet in Saitama was the biggest and fastest of those that did happen. The biggest news was in the T11-T13 men's 5000 m, where T11-class  Kenya Karasawa  (GSWC) won in 15:09.94, going a second and a half under the previous world record for his class.  Sitonki Kiprono  (Komori Corp.) turned in the only sub-28 men's 10000 m of the weekend, winning Saturday's A-heat in 27:47.69. Justus Soget  (Honda) was likewise the only one to go sub-3:40 for 1500 m, winning Saturday's A-heat in 3:39:12. Soget doubled to win Sunday's men's 5000 m A-heat in 13:29.43 going close to 55 seconds for the final lap and ending up the only man under 13:30 for the weekend. Pauline Kamulu  (Route Inn Hotels) won the East Japan women's 10000 m in 32:15.27

JAAF Announces Schedule for July's Hokuren Distance Challenge Series

On May 14 the JAAF announced the schedule and program for the five-meet Hokuren Distance Challenge series in Hokkaido. Scheduled after the end of the Olympic qualifying period, the series will still play a key role for middle and long distance athletes tuning up for the Tokyo Olympics and fall ekiden season. Sat. July 3 - Shibetsu Meet men:  1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m women:  1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m Wed. July 7 - Fukagawa Meet men:  5000 m, 10000 m women:  3000 m, 5000 m, 10000 m Sat. July 10 - Abashiri Meet men:  1500 m, 5000 m, T11-13 5000 m, 10000 m, 3000 mSC women:  1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m, T11-13 5000 m, 10000 m, 3000 mSC Wed. July 14 - Kitami Meet men:  800 m, 5000 m, T11-13 5000 m, 10000 m women:  1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m, T11-13 5000 m Sat. July 17 - Chitose Meet men:  800 m, 1500 m, 5000 m, 2000 mSC women:  800 m, 1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m, 10000 m, 2000 mSC Entires for all five meets are open June 7-18 for all athletes who have met the qualifying standards since Jan. 1, 2020. Interna

Updated JAAF Study Finds Two Cases of COVID-19 Out of Over 750,000 People at 1,100 Races During 2020-21 Year

On May 14 the JAAF released an expansion of a study it had previously released last fall researching the number of incidences of COVID-19 among participants and officials at track meets and road races. The full study covered the 2020-21 fiscal year from Apr. 1, 2020 to Mar. 31, 2021, and included 1,044 track meets and 74 road races that took place during this period. Out of 750,389 participants and officials at these 1,118 events, the JAAF study documented two cases of people being diagnosed with COVID-19 within two weeks following the event they had attended. The track meet component of the total included 568,271 participants and 147,942 officials, out of which one person tested positive for COVID-19. Presumably this was the same lone case reported in last fall's version of the study.  The road race component included 25,936 participants and 8.240 officials, with one case of COVID-19 reported. These numbers were in line with those reported by the Nagoya Women's Marathon , w

Corporate Regionals Dominate Weekend Track Schedule

Like the title says, regional corporate league track and field championships lead this weekend's main action, with every region except Kyushu set to go ahead with its meet despite the proliferation of a new round of states of emergency across the country. Two of the most competitive regions, East Japan and Chubu, will be streaming their meets live, with Kansai likely to join the list. East Japan, whose Day One stream above, runs 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday Japan time and again 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The meet schedule and entry lists can be had here . Featuring a lot of the best Japan-based Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes, the men's 5000 and 10000 m look like the best races of the meet, with the 5000 m A-heat also having like Olympic 5000 m team member Yuta Bando  (Fujitsu), newly-minted Olympic 10000 m team member Tatsuhiko Ito  (Honda), and Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) back in action, hopefully, after scratching from the Lake Biwa Marathon

JAAF Strips Moroccan Dazza of 2019 Fukuoka Title - Fujimoto Elevated to Winner

The JAAF has announced that Moroccan  El Mahjoub Dazza  has been stripped of his victory at the 73rd Fukuoka International Marathon on Dec. 1, 2019. A short time later Dazza was found to have violated anti-doping regulations , and the Athletics Integrity Unit suspended him for four years. Following a rejection of his appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last week, all of Dazza's results after May 4, 2019, including his Fukuoka win, were disqualified. For that reason, all athletes who finished 2nd and lower in the race will be elevated one position, making runner-up Taku Fujimoto  (Toyota) the winner and giving the Toyota corporate team and head coach Toshinobu Sato two-straight Fukuoka victories, following teammate  Yuma Hattori 's 2018 win. The Fukuoka International Marathon is known worldwide as one of the most prestigious traditional races and last year was selected as the recipient of World Athletics' Heritage Plaque. Nevertheless, in March this year the JAA

19-Year-Old Miura Breaks 3000mSC National Record to Qualify for Tokyo Olympics - Weekend Track Highlights

Another weekend, another busy couple of days on the track despite the growing number of prefectural states of emergency.  Regional corporate track and field championships kicked off Saturday with the Chugoku region's 5000 m component in Hiroshima. Dan Kiplangat  (JFE Steel) took the top spot in the men's A-heat in 13:44.87, with Ai Hosoda  (Edion) outkicking Rebecca Njeri Mwangi  (Daiso) for the women's win in 15:35.79. Further south in Fukuoka the same day, Benard Koech  (Kyudenko) won the Sayagatani Time Trials men's 5000 m A-heat in 13:35.95.  Up in Kanagawa, the Nittai University Time Trials were back for their 287th edition. Saturday in the men's 10000 m A-heat, Richard Kimunyan  (Hitachi Butsuryu) won in 27:45.64 just ahead of Rio Olympics 10000 m silver medalist Paul Tanui , who made his debut in the Sunbelx  supermarket uniform with a 27:45.96 for 2nd. Nobody else broke 28 minutes. Dolphine Omare  (U.S.E. RC) won the women's 5000 m A-heat in 15:33.9,

International Athletes at Olympic Test Event Praise COVID-19 Protocols

International athletes who competed in yesterday's Tokyo Olympics test event half marathon in Sapporo gave high marks to the event's coronavirus protocols.  Dutch athlete Bart Van Nunen  said, "The measures against COVID-19 were perfect. I didn't feel there were any problems." International athletes were not allowed to go out in public or use public transportation and were required to eat in their hotel rooms. "I felt that this just showed the kind of measures they were taking," said Van Nunen. Men's winner Hillary Kipkoech  of Kenya commented, "It was very tough with the strong wind, but the course itself was excellent." Translator's note:   In contrast to the athlete comments here, a story published on Saturday by Inside the Games  on COVID-19 countermeasures at Olympic test events this week, which for whatever reason didn't mention the marathon test event, selected only negative quotes from athletes, who were quoted as complai

Ichiyama and Kipkoech Win Sapporo Olympic Test Event Half Marathon

The test event for the Tokyo Olympics marathon went off as planned May 5 in Sapporo on a course more or less mirroring the first half of this summer's Olympic course. Strong winds from the south meant a slow start over the first 8 km, super fast splits from the turn to the north just before 10 km until after 15 km, and a technical finish into the wind over the narrow and winding last few km through the Hokkaido University campus. After a slow first km, Olympic marathon women's team members Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) and Mao Ichiyama  (Wacoal) plus alternate Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) took it out hard with pacing courtesy of one of Ichiyama's male coaches. They stayed together on 1:08 pace until almost 18 km before Suzuki slipped away, Ichiyama kicking to win in a 1:08:28 PB and Matsuda closing hard in 1:08:32 for 2nd, likewise a PB. Ichiyama's time moved her up to all-time Japanese #6, with Matsuda picking up the #7 spot and knocking her coach Miwako Yamanaka  out of t

Hironaka, Ando and Ito Score Olympic 10000 m Spots

20-year-old Ririka Hironaka  (Japan Post), marathoner Yuka Ando  (Wacoal) and last year's men's runner-up Tatsuhiko Ito  (Honda) joined the winners of December's 2020 National Championships 10000 m on the Tokyo Olympics team as they took the top spots at today's 2021 National Championships 10000 m in Shizuoka. Hironaka, who debuted over the distance three weeks ago with a 31:30.03, Ando and Kenyan pacer Tabitha Njeri Kamau  (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) were all about the 31:25.00 Olympic standard, going out on sub-31 pace and burning off all competition, including Kamau. Hironaka took 1st in 31:11.75 with Ando next in 31:18.18, each of them clearing the JAAF's two criteria for Olympic selection, finishing in the top three and hitting the standard, to join 2020 winner Hitomi Niiya  (Sekisui Kagaku) on the Olympic team. No other women broke 32 minutes, 2021 National University Half Marathon champion Narumi Kobayashi  (Meijo Univ.) running 32:08.45, the 8th-fastest Japanese

10000 m National Championships Start Lists

The 10000 m component of this year's National Track and Field Championships happens Monday night in Shizuoka, just 5 months after the rescheduled 2020 edition. One spot each on the men's and women's 10000 m squads for the Tokyo Olympics 10000 m are already occupied by the winners of those races, and to pick up one of the two remaining spots this time around people will need to have the Olympic standard and make top 3.  Tatsuhiko Ito  (Honda), runner-up in December in 27:25.73, is the only one of the 44 Japanese men entered to have already cleared the 27:28.00 standard, so all he needs to worry about is putting himself among the first three. His nearest competition, Daiji Kawai  (Toenec) and  Tetsuya Yoroizaka  (Asahi Kasei), will need to find another 7 or 8 seconds to have have a shot. None of the 23 Japanese women entered has cleared the 31:25.00 standard, but Ririka Hironaka  (Japan Post) came close in her debut last month in 31:30.03 and, along with sub-31:30 runner Ha

Olympic Marathon Trials Winner Nakamura Scratches from Wednesday's Test Event

On May 1 the organizers of the May 5 Sapporo Marathon Festival 2020 Olympic marathon test event announced that Tokyo Olympics men's marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura  (Fujitsu) has withdrawn from the half marathon. According to Fujitsu, Nakamura is experiencing some pain on the inside of his left foot. A statement on the team's official website stated, "He is currently recovering and expects to get back to training next week." Nakamura had been schedule to run February's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon but withdrew due to tendonitis issues in his left leg. His withdrawal from the Olympic test event marks his second-straight DNS. The Olympic test event half marathon covers a large section of the course for this summer's Olympic marathon. Olympic team members scheduled to compete include men's marathoner Yuma Hattori  (Toyota) and all three members of the women's marathon squad, Honami Maeda  (Tenmaya), Ayuko Suzuki  (Japan Post) and Mao Ichiyama  (Waco