Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2021

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