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Showing posts from June, 2022

100th Hakone Ekiden to Be Opened Up to Universities Nationwide

At an online executive board meeting on June 30, the KGRR made the decision to open up the October, 2023 Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai qualifying race to universities from across the country in honor of the Hakone Ekiden's 100th running. The decision gives universities from outside the Tokyo-centric Kanto Region the chance to compete in the Hakone Ekiden centennial edition on January 2 and 3, 2024 if they make the cut at the Yosenkai. The Hakone Ekiden is traditionally only open to university men's teams from within Kanto. Teams from other parts of the country will have to meet the same criteria as Kanto Region schools in order to take part in the qualifying race, the minimum of which is currently having at least 10 athletes with 10,000 m bests under 34 minutes at certified competitions. There are precedents for universities from elsewhere in the country to take part. Kansai University competed three times in Hakone's early history, and at the 40th running in 1964 both Ritsumeika

'Marathon Mont Blanc Goes to Sara Alonso and Jonathan Albon'

Toyo University Wins 69th Ogi Ekiden, Saku Chosei and Sendai Ikuei Take H.S. Titles

After cancelations in 2020 and 2021, the Ogi Ekiden in Akita returned Saturday for its 69th edition. A traditional race with a tough and hilly course, it is a standard midsummer event on the calendar for most of the country's top schools. Toyo University won the 7-stage, 64.7 km university division in 3:16:54. Toyo in 3rd was 14 seconds behind leader Chuo University 's A-team after the 13.4 km First Stage, dropping to 4th and 43 seconds down on new leader Aoyama Gakuin University by the end of the Fourth Stage. But on the 8.2 km Fifth Stage, Toyo's Hiroki Sugano ran the fastest time on his stage, 23:12, to put Toyo into 2nd. Sixth runner Naoya Kanehara moved up to within 5 seconds of AGU on his 9.9 km stage, leaving it to anchor Shu Yoshida to run them down and open a 31-second lead for the win. Yoshida was all smiles as he broke the tape at the end of his 10.1 km stage. AGU ended up 2nd in 3:17:25. Chuo's B-team took 3rd in 3:17:50, beating Juntendo University

Gold Coast Marathon Returns With Solid Fields From Australia, U.S.A. and Japan

Australia's Village Road Show Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon is set to return next weekend for its first full-on in-person edition since 2019. The elite fields for its half marathon and marathon division are smaller than usual but full of top domestic talent with some international support from the U.S.A., Japan, and elsewhere. A familiar face in Japan, Eloise Wellings leads the women's half marathon, her PB of 1:09:29 set at the Marugame Half in 2016. Earlier this year she ran a marathon best of 2:25:10 in Nagoya and 1:10:42 for 4th at the Gifu Seiryu Half, setting up a good head-to-head race with Jessica Stenson , 2:25:15 in Perth last fall and with a 1:10:59 best in Marugame in 2018. Brett Robinson leads the men's half marathon with a 59:57 NR for the win in Marugame in 2020. Tim Vincent is his strongest competition on paper with a 1:01:43 on the aided Rome-Ostia Half course earlier this year, but Joel Tobin-White , 1:02:03 in Marugame 2019, Commonwealth Games-boun

An Update on Japan's Potential Team for Oregon '22

An update to last week's story on where Japan's potential team for next month's Oregon World Championships stands with 3 days left in the qualifying window. Men's 100 m (48) 33. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tumbleweed TC) - 10.04 (+0.8) withdrawn -  43. Yoshihide Kiryu (Nihon Seimei) Men's 200 m  (56) quota -  38. Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) quota  - 50. Koki Ueyama (Sumitomo Denko) Men's 400 m  (48) quota  - 36. Fuga Sato (Nasu Kankyo) quota - 42. Kaito Kawabata (Chukyo Univ. AC) quota - 47. Julian Walsh (Fujitsu) Men's 5000 m   (42) 36. Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko) - 13:10.69 Men's 10000 m  (27) standard, not top 3 -  22. Ren Tazawa (Komazawa Univ.) - 27:33.44 Men's 110 mH  (40) 13. Shunsuke Izumiya (Sumitomo Denko) - 13.21 (-1.2) 19. Rachid Muratake (Juntendo Univ.) - 13.27 (-0.5) in range of quota  - 41. Shuhei Ishikawa (Fujitsu) in range of quota  - 42. Shunya Takayama (Zenrin) in range of quota  - 42. Shusei Nomoto (Ehime T&F Assoc.) Men's

Justus Soget and Benard Koech Clear Worlds Standards at Hokuren Distance Challenge

The Hokuren Distance Challenge 20th Anniversary Meet , a last chance set up by the JAAF for Japanese athletes to hit 2022 World Championships standards ahead of Sunday's deadline, produced two new qualifier. Pacing the men's 5000 m, Justus Soget (Honda) kept going when the rest of the field dropped off and crossed the line in a new PB of 13:12.90, the 18th Kenyan to qualify for Worlds in the 5000 m. Men's 10000 m pacer Benard Koech (Kyudenko) did the same, getting under the standard in 27:20.66 and also becoming the 18th Kenyan to qualify. Half marathon great Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) almost joined Koech but came up just short in 27:29.85 for 2nd. Among Japanese men the performance of the day was former 1500 m NR holder Nanami Arai (Honda), who ran an all-time JPN #3 PB of 3:36.63 for the win, short of the Worlds standard but adding further to the incremental step up this season for Japanese middle distance as a whole. Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) gave the 8:22.00

Hokuren Last Chance Meet Streaming and Preview

The JAAF has set up one last chance for its middle and long distance athletes to hit the qualifying standards for next month's World Championships, adding an early meet to the Hokuren Distance Challenge series today ahead of Sunday's deadline to qualify. Streaming starts at 16:00 local time. A breakdown of the races: Men's 800 m - 16:15 - No Japanese man has ever broken the 1:45.20 Worlds standard, but national champion Mikuto Kaneko (Chuo Univ.) is close at 1:45.85. Given that he's currently 57th against the 800 m's 48-deep quota it'll take a NR for him to make it to Eugene. Women's 1000 m - 16:25 - Nationals 800 m top 2 Ayano Shiomi (Iwatani Sangyo) and Nozomi Tanaka (Jidoshokki) are both relatively close to making the quota, but instead of going for the standard or maxing points they're opting for a go at Tanaka's 2:37.72 NR for 1000 m. Only 3 athletes are entered. Women's 5000 m - 16:40 - Nobody in this race is in contention for the Or

Kanagawa Wins National University Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier

Home to Japan's best university men's distance running teams, the Tokyo area held its qualifier for November's National University Men's Ekiden Sunday at Sagamihara Gion Stadium in rural Kanagawa. 20 teams of 8 runners each competed for 7 spots available at Nationals, with 2 runners from each team running in 4 heats of 10000 m and teams scored on their 8 runners' total times. For the first time, 3 of the 4 heats had winning times under 29 minutes, making it the highest-level edition in event history. Tokai University , Toyo University and Soka University were the favorites to take the top 3 spots, with at least 9 teams in contention for the remaining 4. Tokai was strong out of the gate, 2nd-year Hibiki Yoshida running a PB 28:59.50 to win Heat 1 by over 45 seconds. Toyo's Ren Umezaki was 3rd in 29:49.77 and Soka's Kaiya Yokoyama 5th in 29:50.51, and interspersed between them in a sign of things to come were Kanagawa University 1st-year Haruto Miyamot

National University Men's Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier Streaming

The Tokyo-area Kanto Region dominates the National University Men's Ekiden Championships every year, almost always filling the top 10 and taking all 8 seeded spots for the next year's race. Kanto Region teams that don't make it run a qualifying race every year, 4 heats of 10000 m on the track with 2 runners per school in each heat. Team scoring is done based on the added time of all 8 runners, with the 7 fastest going on to Nationals in November. This year's qualifier takes place Sunday, with streaming starting at 17:15 local time. Complete entry lists are available here . Start lists and live results are here . Tokai University , Soka University and Toyo University are the clear favorites to make the cut with at least 6 people with sub-29 minute bests on their entry lists. Beyond that things get murky, with 9 schools having 3 or 4 sub-29 guys. Rising programs like Rikkyo University and Surugadai University are among them, so expect to see some of the traditionally

Yamauchi, Kazami and Fujisawa Lead Japanese Team for IAU 100 km World Championships

On June 17 the JAAF announced its team of four men and four women for the 31st IAU 100 km World Championships to be held Aug. 27 in Berlin, Germany. Held every two years, the last edition of the 100 m World Championships was scheduled for 2020 in  Winschoten, the Netherlands, but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 2018 gold medalist Hideaki Yamauchi  (Hamamatsu Hotniks RC) and world record holder Nao Kazami  (Aisan Kogyo) lead the Japanese men's team, with 2018 bronze medalist Mai Fujisawa  (Sapporo Excel AC) leading the women's team. The full team rosters: Men Nao Kazami (Aisan Kogyo) - 6:09:14 (Lake Saroma 2018) Haruki Okayama (Comodi Iida) - 6:16:47 (Shibamata 2022) Hideaki Yamauchi (Hamamatsu Hotniks RC) - 6:18:22 (Los Alcazares, 2016) Junpei Yamaguchi (Eldoreso) - 6:22:38 (Shibamata 2021) Women Mai Fujisawa (Sapporo Excel AC) - 7:37:56 (Lake Saroma 2018) Aiko Kanematsu (Team RxL) - 7:38:41 (Shibamata 2022) Miho Nakata (Chiba T&F Assoc.) - 7:40:06 (Shibamata

Tobe Leaves Hospital After Achilles Surgery, Ejima Breaks Ankle, Kiryu to Take Rest of Season Off

On June 16 men's high jump national record holder Naoto Tobe (JAL) announced on his social media that he had torn his Achilles tendon. Tobe posted on Twitter, "Last week I ruptured my Achilles tendon during an official practice session and as a result missed the National Championships. I'm sorry to have made everyone worried. I've had an operation and left the hospital today." Tobe had been scheduled to compete on the first day of the National Track and Field Championships on June 9 but withdrew at the last second. At last summer's Tokyo Olympics he became the first Japanese athlete in 49 years to make the high jump final. "I don't know how long it's going to take, but I'll definitely be back," he wrote. "I hope that you'll all still give me your support." The next day, former men's 100 m NR holder Yoshihide Kiryu (Nihon Seimei) announced on his Twitter account that he will take the rest of the season off and not ente

Hakone Ekiden World Athletics Heritage Plaque to be Displayed at Hakone Ekiden Museum

The KGRR , organizers of the Hakone Ekiden , have announced that the event's World Athletics Heritage Plaque awarded at a ceremony at May's 101st Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships will be on permanent display at the Hakone Ekiden Museum in Kanagawa along with a replica of the statue at the the Hakone Ekiden start and finish point in Otemachi, Tokyo. The items are to be delivered to the museum on June 27, after which they will be incorporated into its exhibits and opened for public viewing.  The Heritage Plaque program , the "World Heritage Site" of athletics, was established by World Athletics in December, 2018. The program recognizes important elements of the sport's heritage in five categories: City  - Awarded to locations that have hosted multiple important international competitions. Competitions  - Awarded to key global events with a long history. Legends  - Awarded to athletes, coaches and officials. Landmarks  - Awarded to stadiums and

Japan's Potential Team for Oregon World Championships

This week after the wrap of the 2022 National Track and Field Championships the JAAF had a press conference to announce additions to the already-announced road event members of its team for next month's Oregon World Championships team. 18 men and 9 women are on the team for sure with a combination of having the Worlds standard and meeting JAAF criteria for placing at the National Championships, and with just under two weeks until the deadline for qualifying those numbers could go as high as 36 men and 24 women based on where people sit right now in their event quotas. Below is a list of events with Japanese athletes either already qualified or within their event quota. Right now there's potential that Japan could send full squads in the men's 110 mH, men's 400 mH, men's 3000 mSC, men's high jump, men's marathon, both men's race walks and both men's relays, and in the women's 5000 m, women's 10000 m, women's 3000 mSC, women's javelin t

Nov. 3 Hiroshima International Peace Marathon Canceled Over Coronavirus Worries: "Safety First"

Scheduled to happen Nov. 3 with a field of over 10,000 runners, the Hiroshima International Peace Marathon  has been canceled for the third year in a row due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The event's organizing committee announced the news saying, "While there are signs that activities within society are beginning to return, there is still uncertainty about the future course of the pandemic, and in our determination it would be difficult to put on an event with over 10,000 participants in a way that could guarantee the safety of all those involved." The Hiroshima International Peace Marathon starts and finishes at Balcom BMW Stadium in western Hiroshima, running around the Commerce and Industry Center. Over 10,000 runners from across the country take part across the event's 10 km, 5 km, 1 km and wheelchair 5 km divisions, but since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 it has now been canceled for three straight years. Translator's note: The

Michishita Breaks Own 5000 m Asian Record at National Para Track and Field Championships

Tokyo Paralympics women's T12 marathon gold medalist and world record holder Misato Michishita (Mitsui Sumitomo) broke her own Asian area record to win the 5000 m on the first day of this weekend's National Para Track and Field Championships , just down the road in Kobe from the National Championships and U20 National Championships in Osaka. Running 18:31.72 with help from guide runner Megumi Kawaguchi , Michishita took over 17 seconds off her old record and over a minute off her own meet record to win by more than 2 minutes. T11 class Asian record holder Natsumi Inouchi (Mizuho FG) also took over a minute off the 5000 m meet record in her division, winning in 21:02.24. Wheelchair athlete Tsubasa Kina (Ryukyu Sports) won the T53/54 class in 12:22.22. The next day she was back in the 1500 m, where she was 2nd by 0.26 sec to NR holder Wakako Tsuchida (Willraise) 3:32.38 to 3:32.64. The meet record also went in the T12 men's 5000 m, with Asian record holder Tadashi Horiko

Three Meet Records at U20 National Championships

Held in parallel with this weekend's senior National Championships, the U20 National Track and Field Championships happened Thursday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. The timing meant most of the top U20 talent was in the senior championships, but even so there were three new meet records across disciplines. On Friday Raika Murakami (Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ.) bettered the 9-year-old MR in the U20 women's hammer throw by almost a meter and a half, winning with a 59.43 m opening throw even though she fouled every attempt after that. In Sunday's U20 men's long jump Nozomi Watanabe (Tsukuba Univ.) set a new MR, jumping 7.85 m (+1.6) on his fourth attempt. 2nd-placer Kosuke Tsuneizumi (Chuo Univ.) closed with a 7.66 (+2.1) jump but came short of overtaking Watanabe. Also Sunday, the top 6 all broke the old U20 men's 3000 m MR of 8:16.20 despite running at the peak of mid-afternoon heat and sunlight. Shintaro Kudo (Ichinoseki Gakuin H.S.) took the nat

Dean Wins First National Title Since 2012 as National Track and Field Championships Wrap Up

The National Track and Field Championships wrapped up Sunday in Osaka with a few more additions to the Oregon World Championships team and a few left to wait another two weeks til the qualification deadline. The most emotional performance of the day came in the men's javelin throw. Roderick Genki Dean (Mizuno) won the 2012 National Championships and then took 9th in the final at that year's London Olympics while still a student at Waseda University . Injury setbacks meant it took him until 2020 to break 80 m again, and in all those years he never won another national title. Today he threw 81.02 m on his third attempt, beating runner-up Kenji Ogura (Tochigi Sports Assoc.) by 77 cm for the win. 27th of 32 in the quota pre-Nationals, his mark and win all but guarantee that he'll be in Oregon next month. "It was a long time coming," he said in his victory interview. In the women's 400 mH, Ami Yamamoto (Ritsumeikan Univ.) broke 57 seconds for the first time to

National Track and Field Championships Day Four Streaming and Preview

Japan's National Track and Field Championships wrap up Sunday in Osaka. Streaming starts at 10:25 local time, switching over to NHK's live broadcast at 3:30 p.m. The daily schedule is here , start lists here , and live results here . The women's 5000 m looks like the race of the day, with five women under the 15:10.00 Oregon World Championships standard not including Kenyan pacer Agnes Mukari (Kyocera). NR holder Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post), Kaede Hagitani (Edion) and Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki) have all gone under 15 minutes, Tomoka Kimura (Shiseido) and Sayaka Sato (Sekisui Kagaku) just over. Any of them makes the top 3 will be Oregon-bound, and anyone who knocks at least three of them off will have a shot. Hironaka is the obvious favorite and Hagitani the most likely choice for 2nd, but beyond that it's wait and see. Tanaka's chances aren't helped by the fact that she's entered in the 800 m final just over an hour before, where she's ra

Yamanaka Leads Greatest Women's Steeple in Japanese History - National Track and Field Championships Day Three Highlights

Both 3000 mSC were great, but the women's race was the unexpected highlight of day 3 of the National Track and Field Championships Saturday in Osaka. Tokyo Olympian Yuno Yamanaka (Ehime Ginko) took it out on NR and World Championships qualifying standard pace with a 3:10 first 1000 m despite steady rain, and while it wasn't a surprise to see collegiate record holder Reimi Yoshimura (Daito Bunka Univ.) go with her, relative unknowns Yuzu Nishide (Daihatsu) and Manami Nishiyama (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo). The next 1000 m was only 3:18, but none of the three could stay with Yamanaka. But even though she closed in 3:10 to win in a meet record 9:38.19, all three closed back on over the last lap. Nishide overcame at least two flubbed jumps to take 2nd in 9:38.95, Nishiyama 3rd in 9:39.28, and Yoshimura 4th in 9:39.86. The entire group moved up to all-time Japanese 2nd-5th with the NR just 5 seconds away, and even though they were short of the standard at least Yamanaka and possibl

National Track and Field Championships Day Three Preview and Streaming

The National Track and Field Championships head into their back half Saturday in Osaka. Streaming starts at 10:15 a.m. local time and NHK's TV broadcast at 3:30 p.m., with the daily schedule here , start lists here , and live results here . On the track, the last race of the day is its biggest, the men's 3000 mSC featuring NR holder Ryuji Miura (Juntendo Univ.). A top 8 placer at the Olympics last year while still in his teens, Miura also fell in a race last year, got up, and still won in NR time. Without something spectacular happening there's almost no chance he won't win or at the very least make the Oregon team. His fellow Olympic team members Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) and Ryoma Aoki (Honda) are both in the 45-deep quota at this point, Yamaguchi at 38th and Aoki at 40th, but with things too close to be safe they'll be going for the standard here. Yasunari Kusu (Ami AC) is 42nd in the quota, and beating any of the three ahead of him would give him an ou

Sani Brown Back With 100 m National Title - National Track and Field Championships Day Two Highlights

After losing most of last year to a hernia, Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tumbleweed TC) was back, winning the 100 m national title for the third time in his career on Day 2 of the 2022 National Track and Field Championships Friday in Osaka. After running 10.11 in the heats and then clearing the 10.05 standard with a 10.04 in the semifinals, Sani Brown overcame a slow start to run down Ryuichiro Sakai (Osaka Gas) and Hiroki Yanagita (Toyo Univ.) for the win in 10.08 (+1.1). With a top 3 finish and the standard his place on the Oregon World Championships team is guaranteed, but in his post-race interview he said he was disappointed at the weakness of his performance in the final and promised he'd better it at Worlds. Sakai continued his rise through the ranks of Japanese sprinting with a PB 10.10 for 2nd, with 18-year-old Yanagita not quite matching his run in the semis but still impressive at 10.19 for 3rd. Olympic team members Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) and Yoshihide Kiryu (Niho