Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2021

Izumiya 13.06 NR in 110 m Hurdles - Japanese Olympic Trials Day Four Results

Japan's Trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games wrapped Sunday in Osaka at the 105th National Track and Field Championships and National U20 Track and Field Championships. A day after his Juntendo University  teammate Ryuji Miura set a NR in the men's 3000 mSC, Shunsuke Izumiya  stunned with a 13.06 (+1.2) NR to win the men's 110 mH. After Shuhei Ishikawa  and another Juntendo runner, Rachid Muratake , false started Izumiya was left with empty lanes on either side, but already holding the standard all he had to do was make the top 3 alongside NR holder Taio Kanai  and #2-ranked Shunya Takayama and a spot on the Olympic team was his.  Instead of playing it safe, he cut 0.24 off his best and 0.10 off Kanai's record for the win. How good was that? It ranks him #5 worldwide among Olympic qualifiers. Kanai was 2nd in 13.22 and Takayama just making it in 13.37 by 0.01 over Shuhei Nomoto , giving Japan a full squad for the 110 mH. It's too soon to call Izumiya a medal conte

Miura Survives Water Jump Fall to Break Own 3000 mSC NR - Japanese Olympic Trials Day Three Results

Qualifiers for Japan's team for the Tokyo Olympic Games came on strong today on the third day of the 105th National Track and Field Championships and National U20 Track and Field Championships. The men's 3000 mSC final was expected to be one of the best events of the meet, and it more than lived up to it. 19-year-old NR holder Ryuji Miura  of Juntendo University  was the only Japanese man with the Olympic standard and only needed to make top 3 to guarantee his spot at the Olympics. He led most of the way, splitting 2:49 for the first 1000 m and 2:46 for the next, burning off all the competition except Japan's #2-ranked man Kosei Yamaguchi  and #5-ranked Ryoma Aoki  as the pace got hotter. Miura was leading on the second to last water jump when he slipped and fell. As Aoki and Yamaguchi went by Miura bounced back up, passing Yamaguchi and in sync with Aoki on the next jump. From there it was all his, tearing through a 66-second last lap to finish in 8:15.99 almost 2 second

Kitaguchi, Tada and Yamagata Make Tokyo 2020 Team - Japanese Olympic Trials Day Two Results

Three athletes picked up guaranteed spots on the Olympic team in off and on rain on the second day of the National Track and Field Championships and National U20 Track and Field Championships Friday in Osaka. Women's javelin throw national record holder Haruka Kitaguchi  scored her place with a 61.49 m final throw for the win, having already broken the Olympic qualifying standard and meeting the JAAF's criterium of a top 3 placing. That was a tougher job to pull off in the men's 100 m final, where five of the eight men on the starting line had the Olympic standard. The fast-starting Shuhei Tada  did his usual thing, out front early with national record holder Ryota Yamagata  to his left and the rest of the field just behind. But after years of getting run down in the last 30 m, this time Tada pulled it off. holding his position to win his first national title in 10.15 (+0.2). Yamagata faded and was overtaken by Tokai University 's Bruno Dede , who was 2nd in a PB of 10.

Matsueda and Tobe Improve Olympic Chances - Japanese Olympic Trials Day One Results

The last part of Japan's Olympic Trials for the Tokyo Olympics kicked off Thursday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai with the combined National Track and Field Championships and U20 National Track and Field Championships. In the men's 5000 m final, indoor 5000 m NR holder Hyuga Endo  took the national title in 13:28.67 behind Kenyan pacers Jackson Kavesa  and Amos Kurgat  but was far short of both the Olympic standard and scoring enough points to make it into the Olympic quota. "I've never been this unhappy to win in my life," he said post-race . Top-ranked Japanese man Hiroki Matsueda  was 2nd in 13:30.21, moving himself up to 36th in the quota and improving his chances of making the Olympic team. Yuta Bando  was 3rd in 13:31.46 to move into 40th in the quota, probably not enough to survive through next Tuesday's deadline for qualifying, with 10000 m NR holder Akira Aizawa  4th in 13:31.53, just shy of qualifying for the double at 43rd. Men's high jum

Japanese Olympic Trials Preview and Streaming Info

The last part of Japan's trials for the Tokyo Olympics happen Thursday through Sunday in Osaka at the  105th National Championships . The 10000 m and combined events are already set, but below is a breakdown on entries in all the events in Osaka and a guide to which ones might see more names join the Olympic team roster.  Live results will be available here throughout the meet. Except for the events that will be broadcast on TV, i.e. all the good parts, all four days of the Olympic Trials will be streamed live on Youtube with separate channels for field and track events. Schedule info and links to streaming here . The U20 National Championships will also be going on in parallel and we'll cover them separately. Times listed are the athlete's best time within the Nationals qualifying period. Olympic standards are listed in parentheses after the event name. Athletes in italics are currently inside the quota without having hit the Olympic qualifying standard in their event.  C

JAAF to Hold Another Single-Race Trial for Paris Olympic Marathon Team Selection

On June 21 the JAAF announced details on the marathon team selection process for the 2024 Paris Olympics. In broad strokes the plan is to use the same single-race trial format as used in selection for the Tokyo Olympics. The new Marathon Grand Championship race will be held in the fall of 2023, with the top two men and women earning places on the Olympic team. As with Tokyo, the final place will be decided based on performances in the MGC Final Challenge, a designated series of races. Some details will be determined at a later date and remain under consideration at this point. Translator's note: Since the original Marathon Grand Championship many of the races used for qualifying for it and as part of the winter 2019-20 MGC Final Challenge series have disappeared. The Saitama Women's Marathon is gone, the Fukuoka International Marathon will shut down after this year's 75th running, the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon is being replaced by the Osaka Marathon, and the Osaka Intern

Yegon Leads Tokyo Kokusai to Win at National University Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier

2021 Hakone Ekiden MVP Vincent Yegon  led Tokyo Kokusai University  to the win at the Kanto Region qualifier for November's National University Men's Ekiden Championships . Twenty schools competed Saturday at Kanagawa's Sagamihara Gion Stadium for the seven spots available at Nationals, every school fielding two runners in each of four heats of 10000 m and scored on the total time of its eight runners. TKU got off to a slow start, outside the top ten after the first race, up to 7th after the second heat with a 9-second margin over Surugadai University , and hanging on to 7th after the third race but seeing its margin drop to just over 2 seconds ahead of Nittai University . Nittai's  Tamaki Fujimoto  took the fourth heat out, but after just 800 m Yegon took over, leading almost the entire rest of the way on sub-28 pace. That burned off most of the competition up front, and with 1500 m to go it was down to Yegon, Hakone rival Philip Mulwa  (Soka Univ.) and Joseph Razini

2021 Tokyo Marathon Bans International Runners

Following the lead of other Japanese races like 2020 Fukuoka International Marathon, 2021 Osaka International Women's Marathon, 2021 Lake Biwa Marathon, 2021 Nagoya Women's Marathon and 2021 Kobe Marathon prior to its cancelation, the Tokyo Marathon has announced that this year's race will not accept international runners due to Japan's unending restrictions on immigration.  Mass-participation runners who could not run in 2020 due to the pandemic had the option to move their entries to 2021 or 2022. People who opted for 2021 will now be re-routed to 2023 according to the official announcement from race director Tad Hayano : <Decision on Overseas Runners for #TokyoMarathon2021 > Due to continued strict border restrictions in place for travelers entering Japan and the uncertainty of when they will be lifted, the decision that overseas runners will not participate in the Tokyo Marathon 2021 was made. — Tokyo Marathon Foundation (@TokyoMarat

Nov. 3 Gunma Marathon Plans to Go Ahead

The organizing committee of the 31st Gunma Marathon , canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, have made the decision to go ahead with this year's race, with both the 10 km and marathon divisions scheduled to be held on Nov. 3 in Maebashi and Takasaki, Gunma. The overall field size will be reduced from 15,000 to 9,000, and the Riverside Jogging fun run, where it is harder to employ countermeasures against the spread of the virus, will not be held. Online entries will begin at 10:00 a.m. on July 4. The marathon will feature a field of 5,000, with another 4,000 places available in the 10 km. Both divisions will start and finish at Shoda Shoyu Stadium in Maebashi and follow their traditional courses, and both races will start in waves of 1,000 people to reduce runner density on the course.  As additional measures to reduce risk, no celebrity guests will be invited and no stage shows or other supporting events will take place. Runners will be required to wear masks before a

L.A. Olympics Women's Marathoner Akemi Masuda Named Head of Tokyo Athletics Association

On June 16 the Tokyo Athletics Association announced that 1984 Los Angeles Olympics women's marathoner Akemi Masuda , 57, has been named its new director. Masuda, a frequent commentator on TV race broadcasts, already serves as director of the Japan Para-Athletics Federation and Japan Intellectual Disability Athletics Federation . source article: translated and edited by Brett Larner

Miura Breaks 3000 m U20 National Record

With two weeks to go until the pre-Olympic National Championships, Saturday was a big day for the 3000 m for Japanese men. In Tokyo's western suburbs, 10000 m national record holder Akira Aizawa  (Asahi Kasei) tuned up for the 5000 m at Nationals with a win in the 3000 m A-heat at the Setagaya Time Trial s meet, his 7:49.66 ranked him at all-time Japanese #5 for the distance. Right next to him and also in for the Nationals 5000 m, Kyosuke Teshima (Meiji Univ.) clocked 7:49.76 for 2nd, the second-fastest collegiate time ever in Japan and best-ever by a Japanese-born university runner. The top six all broke 8 minutes, all from the Asahi Kasei and Meiji teams. Minutes later,  Ryuji Miura  (Juntendo Univ.), U20 half marathon NR breaker at age 18 and 3000 mSC NR breaker earlier this season at age 19, bettered them both at the Juntendo University Time Trials in Chiba, the video above. Miura won the 3000 m there in 7:48.07, coming in at all-time JPN #4 and knocking both Aizawa and Tesh

National Championships Entry Lists (updated)

Updated to include DNS announced 6/15 Entry lists are out for the June 24-27 National Championships in Osaka. It's been a season that has seen the JAAF gaming the system with multiple high-scoring meets with little to no international competition, boosting multiple Japanese athletes into the quotas on points in events where Japan has historically had only one athlete every few Olympics. Coming in just under the deadline for Olympic qualification, Nationals are the last chance for two dozen of those athletes to score enough points to scrape by onto the home soil Olympic team.  Some events have already been held separately, but below are entry list highlights for the events that will happen in Osaka. Times listed are the athlete's best time within the Nationals qualifying period. Olympic standards are listed in parentheses after the event name. Athletes in italics are currently inside or within 5 points of the quote without having hit the Olympic qualifying standard in their eve

'The 2021 Olympic Marathon Course: Everything You Need to Know' An article I wrote for Podium Runner about the move of the Tokyo Olympics marathon course to Sapporo, its design process, and the layout of the new course. Features interviews with course designer and measurer David Katz , Olympic test event podium placers Hillary Kipkoech and Katharina Steinruck , and four-time Olympian Rob de Castella .

Yamagata 9.95 NR - Weekend Track Roundup

There was a lot of distance action this weekend, but the biggest performance in Japan came at the Fuse Sprint meet in Tottori. Lucking out with a maxed out legal tailwind of 2.0 m/s, Ryota Yamagata  (Seiko) took 0.02 off the national record in his first sub-10 clocking to win in 9.95. 2nd-place Shuhei Tada (Sumitomo Denko) also scored a PB of 10.01, with sub-10 man Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) 3rd in 10.13. Despite a scratch from former NR holder Yoshihide Kiryu  and a weak run from relay regular Aska Cambridge , the Japanese men's 4x100 m looks to be in a stronger position than ever. Fuse also produced a national record in the women's 100 m hurdles thanks in part to an ideal +1.8 m/s tailwind. Masumi Aoki  (77 Ginko) equalled the 12.87 NR held by Asuka Terada  (Japan Create) for the win, with Terada running 12.89 for 2nd. Both women are still short of the Olympic qualifying standard, but the solid runs will push them up further from their current positions of 32nd and 33rd

Weekend Track Preview

Things have been in a bit of a lull the last week or two with the Tokyo Olympics test event, university and corporate regional championship meets and more out of the way and everyone getting ready for the National Track and Field Championships in Osaka near the end of the month. But there is a lot going on this weekend, even if the leading edge of rainy season means conditions will not exactly be ideal. Friday through Sunday the National University Individual Track and Field Championships happen in Kanagawa, the lesser cousin of September's National University Track and Field Championships without the team scoring. National record holder Ryuji Miura  (Juntendo Univ.) is entered in the 3000 mSC, but with a place at the Olympics already guaranteed there doesn't look to be much reason for him to run except as a training run. 13:40 is the new sub-14, with the entire men's 5000 m A-heat field of 31 having bests under 14 minutes, 15 of them plus another 3 in the B-heat from Aoya

20 Teams Announced for June's National University Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier

On May 30 the KGRR announced the 20 teams that will compete June 19 at Kanagawa's Sagami Gion Stadium at the Kanto Region qualifier for November's 53rd National University Men's Ekiden Championships . Excluding schools already qualified based on their finishing position at last year's Nationals, eligible schools in the Kanto Region were ranked by the combined times of their eight fastest runners over 10000 m in official track races between July 1, 2020 and May 29, 2021. The 20 schools with the fastest combined times were chosen for the Nationals qualifier.  The qualifying event consists of four separate track 10000 m races, each race featuring two runners from each school. Schools will be ranked by the combined times of all eight of their runners at the qualifier, with the seven fastest teams going on to Nationals. Chuo University  occupies the top position in the pre-qualifier rankings. Koku Gakuin University  is 2nd, with Chuo Gakuin University  3rd. Kazuyoshi Tokumo