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Showing posts from September, 2022

Kiryu Reveals He Has Ulcerative Colitis, Plans to Make Comeback Next Season

The first Japanese man to break 10 seconds for 100 m, sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu (26, Nihon Seimei), announced on Sept. 29 that he plans to make a comeback after having taken time off since June's National Championships. In a video on Youtube, Kiryu revealed that for a long time he has been suffering from ulcerative colitis, a longterm disease that causes internal pain and bloody defecation. He indicated that he plans to return to racing next season, saying, "I want to enjoy it again." Kiryu ran 9.98 for 100 m in 2017, the first time a Japanese had ever broken the 10 second barrier. He said that the pressure and weight of expectations of him making it to the 9-second level had been a burden he had struggled to deal with. The stress began to affect him in during his second year at Toyo University in 2015. At times the bleeding was so bad that he was taking ten different pills a day in treatment. "At one point I thought my life as an athlete was over," he said. K

Osaka International Women's Marathon Changes to Hillier New Course

Part of the course for the 42nd Osaka International Women's Marathon to be held on Jan. 29 next year will changed, doubling its maximum elevation difference to 18 m with a hilly new section. 2004 Athens Olympics marathon gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi was optimistic about the course change helping to produce fast times, saying, "When there are moderate undulations it's easier to get into a rhythm." Noguchi had success at the Olympics and elsewhere by attacking on hills. The new section of the Osaka International course on Nagahori-dori after 20 km features a series of uphills and downhills. Noguchi expects the section to play an important part in the race. "People might be thinking of changing the dynamic there, of shaking up the lead group. It's going to be a good thing." Another key change on the course is the elimination of the turnaround point at Midosuji just before 30 km. "If there's a 180˚ turn you have to slow

Oct. 16 Shimantogawa Ultra Canceled Due to Pandemic's Effects on Aging Local Population

Scheduled to happen Oct. 16 for the first time in three years, the 28th Shimantogawa Ultramarathon has been abruptly canceled. Shimanto mayor Masahiro Nakahira , chairperson of the event's organizing committee, announced the decision at a press conference. The mayor cited the difficulty in locating volunteers due to the ongoing pandemic situation in the city and area, and concerns that the local medical system could be overwhelmed. Whether the race will go ahead next year remains undetermined. Applications for the race were open until July 29. 1506 people paid to sign up for the 1800 slots available in the 100 km division, with the 60 km division attracting 524 paid entrants out of a maximum field size of 600. Mayor Nakahira commented, "In the past we've always had more applicants than available slots, and there were even years where the number of applicants was triple the field maximum field size. This is one impact of the coronavirus pandemic." The number of volun

Takushoku Women Qualify for National University Women's Ekiden Without Fuwa

The Kanto Region qualifier for October's National University Women's Ekiden took place Sunday in Inzai, Chiba on a 6-stage, 34.4 km course, its first time in 3 years back on the roads. 5th at Nationals last year, Nittai University won in 1:55:03, its first time to win the qualifier in 8 years. 2021 Nationals 3rd-placer Takushoku University was 2nd in 1:55:33. Takushoku ran without collegiate 10000 m NR holder Seira Fuwa , who won the Sept. 10 National University Track and Field Championships 10000 m in a comeback from an injury in January. Planning for "a race that wouldn't rely on one runner," head coach Toshiharu Igarashi was very positive about finishing only 30 seconds behind Nittai, saying, "Our goal was 5th. Having exceeded that by a long shot is going to pay off later." Igarashi spoke well of senior Kae Gyu , who handled the longest stage, 8.6 km. "The results of everything she's done up to now are starting to come out now," he sa

Saku Chosei H.S. Wins First Okukuma Ekiden

A new event bringing together top high school, college, corporate league and club men's teams, the Okukuma Ekiden was held for the first time Sunday in Kumamoto. 42.195 km split into 7 stages for the high school boys' division and 4 stages for the others, the race saw Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. become the first team across its finish line in 2:07:16. The Toyota Kyushu corporate team was 2nd overall in 2:07:32, with local Kyushu Gakuin H.S. 3rd in 2:07:52. The new ekiden, which mirrors the format of the Kitakyushu Women's Invitational Ekiden, was originally scheduled to have taken place in 2020. But after two years of pandemic-era cancelations, the inaugural running didn't take place until this year. It was an impressive success. The high school boys' stage lengths were almost the same as those at December's National High School Ekiden, 10 km, 3 km, 8.25 km, 7.9 km, 3 km, 5 km, and 5.045 km. Other divisions ran stages 10 km, 11.25 km, 10.9 km, and 10.045

Fukube Breaks 100 mH NR - National Corporate Track and Field Championships Highlights

The 70th National Corporate Track and Field Championships took place Friday through Sunday at Gifu Memorial Center Nagaragawa Field in Gifu. The performance of the meet happened Sunday, when Mako Fukube (NKK) broke her own women's 100 mH NR. Opening with a 13.00 (-1.5) meet record to win her qualifying heat, Fukube was back 3 hours later to run 12.73 (+1.1) in the final. That took 0.09 off the NR she set in the semifinals at July's Oregon World Championships, and put her under the qualifying standard for next summer's Budapest World Championships. Runner-up Masumi Aoki (77 Ginko) ran 13.03 in the final, 0.07 under the old MR, with Chisato Kiyoyama (Ichigo) just off the old MR at 13.12. A near-miss on another NR came in the women's 100 m. Mei Kodama (Mizuno) won her qualifying heat in 11.24 (+1.3), 0.18 under the 2001-era MR and just 0.03 from Chisato Fukushima 's 2010 NR of 11.21. Hopes were high that Kodama would get the NR in the final, but while her 11.39 (

Berlin Marathon Japanese Results Photo: Behind the scenes of a world record: The timing system design and operation team behind Eliud Kipchoge 's world record in Berlin, Sean Hartnett  and Helmut Winter , post-race. Rika Kaseda (Daihatsu), Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) and Hikari Onishi (Japan Post) qualified for next year's MGC Race women's Olympic marathon trials at Sunday's Berlin Marathon . Kaseda's 2:21:55 PB for 7th was the fastest by a Japanese woman in Berlin since Mizuki Noguchi 's 2:19:12 NR there in 2005. On the men's side, Tatsuya Maruyama (Toyota) and Rintaro Takeda (Yakult) hit MGC qualification. Already qualified, top Japanese man Kenya Sonota (JR Higashi Nihon) ran 2:07:14 for 7th, the fastest Japanese time in Berlin since Takayuki Inubushi 's then-NR 2:06:57 in 1999. photo © 2022 Dr. Helmut Winter, all rights reserved text © 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

National Corporate Track and Field Championships Day 3 Streaming

Streaming of day 3 of the National Corporate Track and Field Championships in Gifu starts with the women's 400 m hurdles at 10:00 a.m. Sunday local time and runs through the men's 5000 m fast heat at 17:40. Meet schedule and live results here . © 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

National Corporate Track and Field Championships Day 2 Streaming

Streaming of day 2 of the National Corporate Track and Field Championships in Gifu starts with the women's 10000 m race walk at 9:30 a.m. Saturday local time and runs through the men's 10000 m fast heat at 19:20. Meet schedule and live results here . © 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

National Corporate Track and Field Championships Day 1 Streaming and Preview

Like the National University Track and Field Championships two weeks ago, this long weekend's National Corporate Track and Field Championships come at a funny point in the season, after two months of road season base training in Hokkaido and right at the start of ekiden and overseas marathon season. Half the country is in Berlin this weekend and another chunk is at the new Okukuma Ekiden , a raced backed by Hakone Ekiden champ Aoyama Gakuin University head coach Susumu Hara that brings together top high school, university and corporate league men's teams. But a lot of corporate leaguers will be lining up in Gifu for Corporate Nationals. Day 1 is being streamed live above starting at 15:25 Friday local time. The main events start at 15:30 with the first-round heats of the men's 100 m, featuring past 4x100 m national relay team members Shuhei Tada (Sumitomo Denko), Ryuichiro Sakai (Osaka Gas) and Shota Iizuka (Mizuno). The junior women's 3000 m at 16:30 has a pret

Marathoner Mizuki Matsuda Marries Ordinary Guy - "I'm Grateful He'll Let Me Keep Competing"

2022 Oregon World Championships marathoner Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) announced on her social media on Sept. 18 that she had gotten married earlier that day to an ordinary, non-athlete man. "I'm grateful to him for accepting my wish not to retire and to keep competing," she wrote. Along with the text she posted a picture of herself with her new husband, a graduate of Aoyama Gakuin University. One of Japan's top domestic athletes, the 29-year-old Matsuda won her marathon debut at the 2018 Osaka International Women's Marathon. She was named alternate to the Tokyo Olympics team after finishing 4th at the MGC Olympic marathon trials. She was 9th at July's World Championships in Oregon. Having announced that she won't retire now that she is married, fans can look forward to more from her. photo © 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved source article: translated by Brett Larner

Aomori Masters Break M90 4x100 m and 4x400 m World Records Again

At the Aomori Masters Track and Field Meet on the Sept. 19 public holiday in Hirosaki, Aomori, a group of local men in their 90s set new men's 90-94 pending world records of 1:33.52 for 4x100 m relay and 9:23.29 for the 4x400 m. Both marks bettered the world records the same group set last year and are expected to be ratified as official world records by World Masters Athletics. The meet took place in excellent conditions on a perfect day with partly sunny skies and no wind. The 4x100 m featured rookie  Nobuo Miura , 90, a professional Noh performer, on the third leg. With the fresh blood he brought to the team they sliced over 10 seconds off last year's world record . The crowd at the track included former students from Miura's days as a high school teacher, there to cheer him on in his debut with the team. "I was a bit nervous," he said, "but I just went out there and ran my own race." The 4x400 m featured the same lineup as last year, Matashiro Surug

Ichiyama, Maeda and Yamanouchi Return - Weekend Track Roundup

Track season in Japan goes almost year-round, with the fall time trial meets acting mostly as tune-ups for ekiden season. Both of the big meets this weekend played that role. At the Chugoku Corporate Time Trials meet Saturday in Hiroshima, the top five men, all Kenyan, broke the old 5000 m meet record of 13:36.36 thanks in part to the presence of a large number of teams from the Kyushu region. Emmanuel Kiplagat (Mitsubishi Juko) got the win in 13:19.05. Africans took the top seven spots, Shunya Kikuchi (Chugoku Denryoku) the first Japanese man at 8th in 13:53.33. Kenyans went 1-3 in the women's 3000 m, Teresiah Muthoni (Daiso) taking 1st in 9:03.11 over teammate Rebecca Mwangi , 2nd in 9:03.47, and Rose Wangui (Sera H.S.), 3rd in 9:04.40. Honoka Tanaike (Otsuka Seiyaku) was the top Japanese woman at 4th in 9:30.52. The 298th Nittai University Time Trials meet in Yokohama was smaller than usual, with only twelve heats of men's 5000 m on Sunday. Saturday saw newcomer Nelso

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Three major road races around the world had Japanese athletes in their fields this weekend. Kensuke Horio (Kyudenko) was first up at the 20th anniversary Sydney Marathon in Australia. With a 2:08:25 in Tokyo this spring still wearing the Toyota  uniform Horio needed to run 2:11:35 or better to qualify for next September's MGC Race Olympic marathon trials, a tougher task than it sounds on Sydney's technical course. After starting off at 2:06:10 pace Horio ran every 5 km slower than the one before except for the section from 25 to 30 km. He ultimately ended up 9th in 2:20:07, missing both the time and his pre-race goal of a top 6 finish. Moses Kibet won in 2:07:03, he and the next three runners all breaking Yuta Shitara 's 2:07:50 Australian all-comers record. Tigist Girma Getachew won the women's race in 2:25:10. At the Copenhagen Half Marathon in Denmark, 1:00:38 man Yusuke Tamura (Kurosaki Harima) lasted through 10 km on NR pace before slowing, splitting 28:12/3

Online Sexualization an Increasing Problem For Female Student Athletes From Junior High to University

The problems of voyeurism and sexual harassment of female athletes reached the mainstream via Kyodo News' reporting in the fall of 2020. KN's Risa Kamata reports, "Just doing track and field is enough to make you a target of sexualization. The live comments on the broadcast site of a national competition were full of obscene comments. When young women see that it can be enough to keep them away from the sport." Kyodo News' reporting on the damage caused by voyeuristic filming of female athletes and the spread of sexually explicit comments and images of them on social media had a major impact. When the initial reporting on sexualized imagery of female athletes hit the mainstream, a wave of retrospective verification of the reality of the problem hit, and opinions started to fly in the media. "They streamed the National University Track and Field Championships live, right?" said one athlete who had competed in the meet. "There was a lot of obscene s

Prefecture Gives Approval for Akashi Park Track to be Renovated to Maintain Official Certification

On Sept. 13 Hyogo Prefecture announced its approval for Akashi Park's Kishiro Stadium track and Tocal Baseball Stadium's aging facilities to be renovated and updated beginning next fiscal year. The plans were also submitted the same day at a subcommittee meeting of the Prefectural City Park Study Group in Akashi. A Class 3 certified track and field facility, Kishiro Stadium is used to host a range of competitions. According to a prefectural government spokesperson, over a six-month period beginning in October, 2023 the track will be renovated to change its lane width from 1.25 m to the modern regulation 1.22 m width, and will have its photofinish equipment updated so that the facility can continue to meet current certification requirements . Officials are also examining replacing spectator stands too old to be repaired, updating toilets, showers, and other facilities, as well as making the entire venue barrier-free. In Tocal Baseball Stadium about 40% of the seating is currentl

Three More Meet Records, and Maybe Japan's Next Big Thing in the Women's Javelin - National University Track and Field Championships Day 2 & 3

The 91st National University Track and Field Championships wrapped up Sunday in Kyoto. Along with the pair of meet records set on the opening day on Friday, three more records fell over the remaining two days. Shuri Aono (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) was the biggest news, breaking the 2010-era meet record in the women's 200 m in 23.44 -0.2 after winning the 100 m in 11.64 +0.4 the previous day. Maki Saito (Tokyo Joshi Taiiku Univ.) broke the women's discus throw MR with a 54.72 on her fifth attempt, 0.50 m better than the old record from 2012. Hitoshi Okumura (Kokushikan Univ.) was the only man to set a new MR this year, throwing 18.06 m in the men's shot put to better the 2004-era record by 3 cm. In distance action, collegiate record holder Reimi Yoshimura (Daito Bunka Univ.) was a DNS in the women's 3000 mSC, leaving the field wide open. Miu Saito (Nittai Univ.) took the chance to pick up the national title, winning in 10:14.26 by 6 seconds. Yuma Yamamoto (Meijo U

National University Track and Field Championships Day 2 Streaming

Streaming of Day 2 of the 91st University Track and Field Championships in Kyoto will be on all day Saturday. Highlights include the men's and women's 100 m and 4x100 m relay finals, with three Toyo University  runners in the men's 100 m final, and the women's 3000 mSC where collegiate and meet record holder Reimi Yoshimura  (Daito Bunka Univ.) makes her final appearance before graduating next spring. © 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kora and Murakami Break Meet Records, Fuwa Returns - National University Track and Field Championships Day 1

The 91st National University Track and Field Championships got underway in Kyoto Friday. Shion Ono  (Juntendo Univ.) was the first athlete to take a national title on the track, beating Yuiri Ogata (Nittai Univ.) by 0.20 to win the women's 1500 m final in 4:22.75. The men's 1500 m looked like it would go the same way, with favorites Keita Sato (Komazawa Univ.) and Kazuto Iizawa (Tokai Univ.) side by side with 400 m to go. But on the back straight Chuo University duo Tomohiro Chimori and Tomoki Nakano made contact, and when Iizawa responded Sato was left behind. Iizawa hung on to the win in 3:45.33 with both Chuo runners within 0.90. Sato fell to 7th in 3:47.61. The women's 10000 m was one of the most anticipated races of the weekend, with collegiate NR holder Seira Fuwa (Takushoku Univ.) entered after an Achilles injury in January that kept her out of the spring season and the Oregon World Championships. Saying that she was at about 40% fitness, Fuwa took the lead af

O'Keeffe and Mutiso Lead Tokyo Legacy Half Elite Field

Japan's newest top-level half marathon happens Oct. 16 in Tokyo with the Tokyo Legacy Half bringing together 70 elite men, 23 elite women and 15,000 mass-participation runners to cover a course unused for the Tokyo Olympics but which did see action, including three home team medals, at the Tokyo Paralympics. The women's race has American Fiona O'Keeffe in a duel with this year's National Corporate Half winner Dolphine Omare , both of them having cleared 68 minutes this year. American Betsy Saina went sub-68 at Marugame in 2019 but hasn't finished a race since the 2019 Honolulu Marathon, her only starts since then being a DNF in Nagoya 2020 and a DNF at last year's Olympic test half in Sendai. Fresh off a win at the Hokkaido Marathon at the end of August, Haruka Yamaguchi is next in line with a 1:09:50 PB in Gifu this spring. Ikumi Fukura is the only other Japanese woman to have gone sub-70 in the field with a 1:09:58 PB from the 2020 National Corporate Half.

National University Track and Field Championships Day 1 Streaming and Preview

Streaming of the first day of the 2022 National University Track and Field Championships in Kyoto will be on all day Friday. Distance highlights include the men's 1500 m, 3000 m SC and 10000 m, and the women's 1500 m and 10000 m. The women's 3000 m SC final is scheduled for Saturday, with both 5000 m happening Sunday. Men's 1500 m U20 NR holder Keita Sato (Komazawa Univ.) is running, with a great duel with Kazuto Iizawa (Tokai Univ.) in the cards. Men's 3000 mSC NR holder Ryuji Miura (Juntendo Univ.) is entered but skipping the meet, having instead run the Diamond League final in Zurich, Switzerland. Women's 10000 m collegiate record holder Seira Fuwa (Takushoku Univ.) is entered in both the 5000 m and 10000 m, but after missing almost the entire year after an Achilles tendon injury at January's National Women's Ekiden you have to hope she's not actually going to try to double and that they'll be making a last-minute decision about which rac

Kitaguchi and Miura Make Top 4 at Diamond League Final in Zurich

Japan had never had an athlete make the finals of the Diamond League before, but this year two of its biggest talents under 25 were at the Weltklasse Zurich meet, women's javelin throw national record holder Haruka Kitaguchi , 24, and men's 3000 m SC NR holder Ryuji Miura , 20. Kitaguchi, a graduate of Nihon University now sponsored by JAL , was riding the momentum of a season that saw her become Japan's first-ever winner at a Diamond League when she won in Paris, then take bronze at the Oregon World Championships, then take another Diamond League victory in Chorzow with her biggest throw of the year, 65.10 m. In Zurich she moved into 3rd with a second throw of 60.51 m, bettering that with a 63.35 m on her next throw, and closing with a 63.56 m that came just 0.16 m of 2nd-place Kelsey-Lee Barber of Australia. American Kara Winger won with a fifth throw of 64.98 m. Miura, still a student at Juntendo University , was the only runner in the steeplechase final not from Eth

Mar. 12 Koga Hanamomo Marathon Canceled Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

On Sept. 1 the Koga Hanamomo Marathon in Koga, Ibaraki announced that its 10th running, scheduled for Mar. 12, 2023, has been postponed one year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In its last running in 2019, Koga Hanamomo had 8,766 finishers in its marathon, with additional numbers in its accompanying shorter races bringing its finisher total to more than 10,000. In a Facebook post race organizers wrote, "With the arrival of the novel coronavirus pandemic's 7th wave we have made the determination that it would not be possible to guarantee the kind of medical support system necessary for the race to go ahead. We thank you for your understanding. Details on an alternative event and other new information will be posted on the race website." A longer official announcement of the race's "one-year postponement" in Japanese can be found here. This news comes shortly after the organizers of the similar-sized Shizuoka Marathon announced their event was being discont

2:06:26 Marathoner Hijikata Leaves National Champ Honda for Asahi Kasei

On Sept. 1, New Year Ekiden national champion Honda announced that Hidekazu Hijikata , the 5th-fastest Japanese marathoner ever with a best of 2:06:26, has left its team. Following his departure, Hijikata will transfer to the Asahi Kasei team, 3rd at the New Year Ekiden. Hijikata was a successful ekiden runner at Koku Gakuin University , running a 2:09:50 marathon debut at the 2020 Tokyo Marathon while still a student there. After joining Honda, he ran a massive 2:06:26 PB at the 2021 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. At the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden this year he anchored Honda to its first-ever national title. Following up with a 2:08:02 at the Tokyo Marathon in March, he secured his place at the September, 2023 MGC Race Olympic marathon trials. In a statement Hijikata said, "Thanks to everyone who has shown me support the last two and a half years. I'll always be proud of having run for Honda, for having trained with their fantastic coaching staff, and for having gotten to run nex