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Showing posts from May, 2023

29 Women and 67 Men - Final List of Qualifiers for Oct. 15 MGC Race Olympic Marathon Trials

With Sunday's Tartan Ottawa International Marathon the qualifying window for the Oct. 15 MGC Race , Japan's marathon trials for the 2024 Paris Olympics, came to a close. When the JAAF introduced this format for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a total of 15 women and 34 men made the tough standards. This time, with identical standards for women and even tougher ones for men , 29 women and 67 men made it, double the numbers on both sides. At the MGC Race, the top two finishers will earn guaranteed places on the Paris team. The 3rd placer will have a provisional spot, with the 4th and 5th placers named provisional alternates. If anyone runs under TBA time standards at one of the winter 2023-24 domestic marathons they'll have the chance to steal the 3rd spot on the team from the 3rd placer at the MGC Race, keeping those races relevant and the whole lead-up to the Olympics exciting. Among women, all three members of the Tokyo Olympics marathon team, Mao Ichiyama (Shiseido), Ayuko Su

Olympic Trials Hopefuls Come Up Empty Handed at Ottawa Marathon

With the deadline for qualification for the Oct. 15 MGC Race Olympic marathon trials coming right up, at Sunday's Tartan Ottawa International Marathon eleven Japanese men took a last shot at joining the 67 men and 29 women to have already qualified. Depending on how fast they had already run inside the qualifying window each of the eleven had an individual qualifying standard to run, ranging from 2:08:00 to 2:11:30. But with the difficulties of doubling after having already raced in February or March, long international travel, and hot conditions in the last half hour of the race, none succeeded in hitting their qualifying mark. Ryoma Takeuchi (ND Soft) and Ryo Osaki (Komori Corp.), who both ran 2:08 earlier this year and needed to run in the 2:11 range to make it, and 2:10 runner Chihiro Ono (GMO) lasted the longest, Takeuchi still on track at 35 km and Osaki and Ono right on the cusp at 30 km. But like winner Yihunilign Adane (Ethiopia), who dropped from 2:06 pace at 30 km t

Tartan Ottawa International Marathon Streaming and Preview

11 Japanese men are running Sunday's Tartan Ottawa International Marathon , the last race worldwide where Japanese athletes can qualify for October's MGC Race Olympic marathon trials before the May 31 deadline. Streaming starts at 6:30 a.m. local time on May 28, with the race kicking off at 7:00. Leaderboard and tracking are here , with the race app here . Four pacing groups are currently planned in Ottawa, the lead group going after last year's 2:06:04 CR, one group at 2:08:00 pace, one at 2:09:30, and one at 2:15:00. The Japanese men, who need to either run 2:08:00 or faster or have two races averaging 2:10:00 or better inside the qualifying window, will be split between the 2nd and 3rd groups. 67 men have already qualified, and if all goes well in Ottawa that number could end up over 70. A guide to the 11 runners and their target times is here . The complete elite men's field is here , and the women's field here . © 2023 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Okayama and Maruichi Win Shibamata 100 km

2022 100 km World Championships gold medalist Haruki Okayama (Comodi Iida) and club runner Akiko Maruichi (GRlab) took the top spots in the Shibamata 100 km ultramarathon in Tokyo, Saitama and Ibaraki. The men's race was set up as an aggressive shot at the first-ever sub-6-hour time, with three pacers leading a group including Okayama, '22 silver medalist Jumpei Yamaguchi (Eldoreso), 5th-placer Guillaume Ruel (France), sub-2:10 marathoner Jo Fukuda (Hoka) and others out at a pace of around 3:34/km. Yamaguchi survived the longest at that pace, holding it until almost 70 km before starting to slow. Okayama, who had fallen off pace after 50 km, passed him not long past 80 km and pushed on to win in 6:23:16. Yamaguchi, Ruel and Fukuda all DNFd, Fukuda after only 50 km, Ruel after 60 km, and Yamaguchi not making it to 90 km. Having ignored the early fast pace and stuck to a steady 4:00/km, Masato Takahashi (Track Tokyo) was 2nd in 6:43:01. Veteran Hideo Nojo (Mitsui Fudosan)

Benard Koech Clears Budapest 10000 m Standard Again - Weekend Track Roundup

The Night of the 10000 m PBs meet in the U.K. got most of the hype for good reason, but winner Paul Chelimo 's 27:12.73 wasn't the fastest time run worldwide this weekend. That belonged to fastest-ever 10-mile man Benard Koech (Kyudenko). who won the Kyushu Region Corporate Championships 10000 m in 27:07.71. Koech had already cleared the Budapest World Championships qualifying standard with a 26:55.04 PB last October at Nittai University, but his season best run in Kyushu was enough to rank him 4th globally this season. Between Kyushu, the Chugoku Region Corporate Championships and East Japan Region Corporate Championships , a total of six Japan-based Kenyans went sub-28. Ren Tazawa (Toyota) was the only Japanese man to do it, running a 27:40.40 for 5th at the Night of the 10000 m PBs that would have beaten everyone back home but Koech by 10 seconds or more. Corporate Half champ Dolphine Nyaboke Omare (U.S.E.) had the fastest women's 10000 m between the three meets at

11 Japanese Men Taking Last Shot at Olympic Trials Qualification at Tartan Ottawa International Marathon

The deadline for Japanese athletes to qualify for the MGC Race , Japan's Olympic marathon trials happening Oct. 15 in Tokyo, is May 31. Up to this point 67 men and 29 women have hit the tough qualifying standards that make the MGC Race the hardest marathon in the world to get into. That looks set to be the final number of women, but 11 men will be taking their last shot at making the cut at the May 28 Tartan Ottawa International Marathon . To get in they'll have to either walk away from Ottawa with an average of 2:10:00 or better between what they run there and one other race since the qualifying window opened on Nov. 1, 2021, or run 2:08:00 or faster in Ottawa. The 11 runners break down into four groups. At the top end, Ryo Osaki , Ryoma Takeuchi and Junnosuke Matsuo can all afford to run slower than what they already have in order to hit the 2:10:00 average. Osaki and Takeuchi both have a 2:08 race to their names inside the qualifying window and only need to run 2:11, but t

Sanyo Tokushu Seiko Corporate Team Hires New Runners for First Time in Four Years

  For the first time in four years, the Sanyo Tokushu Seiko corporate team based in Himeji, Hyogo has hired new athletes. Joining its roster are Kaihei Kitano , 22, a Himeji native who ran the Hakone Ekiden twice as a student at Tokyo's Teikyo University , and Naoto Katayama , 22, of Hiroshima who was 9th in the 1500 m at the National Championships last year during his 4th year at Okayama's Kantaiheiyo University . The duo's experience in college brings new blood to the team. After graduating from Shikama Nishi J.H.S. , Kitano went to the national-level ekiden program Suma Gakuen H.S. in Kobe. He didn't make progress in high school, but at Teikyo he developed quickly as he was given freedom to work independently and develop his own training program. With a half marathon PB of 1:02:40 he plans to run his first marathon this fall. "My strength is that I never give up," he said. "I want to run the kind of marathon that'll make everyone back home proud.

Five New Meet Records at 102nd Kanto Regionals

  Rain and wind through most of the weekend meant conditions weren't great for the 102nd Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships at Kanagawa's Sagamihara Gion Stadium, but five athletes still managed to deliver new meet records, three in long distance events. In Thursday's D1 women's pole vault , 1st-year Mitsuki Kobayashi (Nittai Univ.) had a solid debut with a meet record 4.06 m. Kobayashi was the only athlete to make it over 4.00 m, clearing it on her second attempt. She then passed on 4.05 m, the meet record set two years ago by Nittai's Jun Maekawa , to give 4.06 m a shot. Kobayashi cleared that on her second attempt too, walking away the new MR holder. Also Thursday, 1st-year Sarah Wanjiru (Daito Bunka Univ.) won the D1 women's 10000 m by over 30 seconds, lapping everyone in the race except runner-up Risa Yamazaki (Nittai Univ.). In her debut at the distance Wanjiru ran 32:17.19, almost four seconds under the previous record of 32:20.76

Regional Corporate Track Championships Highlights

Regional corporate league track and field championship meets are split between two weekends, with this weekend seeing meets in the Kansai, Chubu and Chugoku regions. At the 67th Kansai Region Corporate Track and Field Championships in Naruto, Tokushima, Yuki Ishii (NTT Nishi Nihon) and Sodai Shimizu (Otsuka Seiyaku) both went under the men's 5000 m meet record from 2007, Ishii getting the win in a new MR of 13:36.94 and Shimizu 2nd in 13:38.96. Takuya Kitasaki (NTT Nishi Nihon) took the men's 10000 m in 28:42.99 and Tomohiro Chimori (Otsuka Seiyaku) the men's 1500 m in 3:46.43. Yuta Koga (Otsuka Seiyaku) broke his own MR in the men's 5000 m RW, going over 19 seconds under his record from last year to win in 18:55.71. Marathoner Yuka Ando (Wacoal) and steepler Yuno Yamanaka (Ehime Ginko) went 1-2 in both the women's 10000 m and 5000 m, Ando running 32:53.12 to win the 10000 m on Friday and 15:44.99 to take the 5000 m on Sunday, and Yamanaka 32:56.28 and 15:48

Kanto Regionals Day Four Streaming and Preview

  Sunday is the main event at the 102nd Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships , with finals for the half marathon, 3000 m steeplechase, 800 m and 5000 m. Complete meet schedule and entry lists here . The D2/D3 men's half marathon kicks off at 9:00 a.m., with the D1 race starting 6 minutes later. Runners do four laps of the track, then head out onto the roads for 12 laps of a 1.58 km circuit before returning to finish on the track. 2023 Hakone Ekiden champ Komazawa University 's Takuma Yamakawa is the fastest man in the D2/D3 field at 1:01:36, with Goki Takayama (Koku Gakuin Univ.) and Komazawa teammate Yuto Akahoshi just behind at 1:01:42 and 1:02:00. Four men in the D1 race have run under 1:03, led by Kazuki Ishii (Juntendo Univ.) at 1:02:20. But there's a lot of potential in newcomer Brian Kipyegon (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.), already 27:51.65 for 10000 m in his first year on the collegiate circuit. The D2 men's, D1 men's and D1 women's 3000

Kanto Regionals Day Three Streaming and Preview

  Saturday is a light day for long distance at the 102nd Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships , with the D1 and D2/D3 men's 3000 m steeplechase heats the only event on the program. That means Sunday is going to be packed, but for today everything will happen between 13:55 and 15:00. D2/D3 has three heats starting at 13:55. At the top tier, three men are in range of the 8:42.57 D2 meet record. In Heat One, Kento Uchida (4th yr., Rikkyo Univ.) has run 8:37.24. In Heat Two, Asahi Kuroda (2nd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) has run 8:38.55. In Heat Three, Hibiki Obara (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) has a best of 8:41.93. Also in Heat Three, Yuki Morita (2nd yr., Tokyo Univ. Grad School) has a shot at the 8:56.84 D3 MR. New records probably won't happen today, but Uchida, Kuroda and Obara all making the final will set up a great race tomorrow. The D1 heats start at 14:40. National record holder Ryuji Miura (4th yr., Juntendo Univ.) is giving the steeple a miss to ru

Kanto Regionals Day Two Streaming and Preview

The 102nd Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships continue Friday at Kanagawa's Sagamihara Gion Stadium. Streaming starts at 9:00 a.m. local time on the main feed above, with different camera angles on the secondary feed below. The first middle and long distance event on the day's schedule is the D2 men's 1500 m final at 13:00. #2-ranked Nao Kurihara (3rd yr., Josai Univ.) made it through with a 3:52.14 for 2nd in Heat 1. In the final his main competition will be Heat 2 winner Shunya Udagawa (2nd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) with a 3:44.03 best, and Udagawa's 3rd-year YGU teammate Soya Katayama and 4th-year teammate Kento Yamauchi . Ranked #4 in the final, Haruto Matsuo (1st yr., Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) could make the podium in his debut. All five women with 1500 m bests under 4:20 made the final at 13:15. Saki Katagihara (4th yr., Tsukuba Univ.) won Heat 1 in 4:26.10, Haruko Hosaka (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) took Heat 2 in 4:26.28, Yuzuha Sawai (4th yr.,

Kanto Regionals Day One Streaming and Preview

Japan's biggest and best college meet happens over the next four days at the 102nd Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships . After returning to its traditional home at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium last year, this year it's been banished back out to the woodlands of rural Kanagawa at Sagami Gion Stadium. All four days of the meet will be streamed live. Day one streaming is above and below, with the links to the rest on the KGRR channel on Youtube. Meet schedule and live results are here . From a long distance perspectives there's more racing then ever before, with the D2 men's 10000 m split into two heats and the D2 men's 5000 m having a qualification round. The D1/D2/D3 divisions work a bit differently, D1 being made up of the top-scoring schools overall each year, i.e. those with complete all-around track and field programs, with everyone else like Hakone Ekiden-focused programs Komazawa University and Aoyama Gakuin University in D2, and D3 being t

Prague Adds Two Men To List of Olympic Trials Qualifiers

Five Japanese men including the top two placers at the 2020 Olympic marathon trials ran Sunday's Prague Marathon in a last shot at qualifying for the 2024 trials to be held on Oct. 15. Takayuki Iida (Fujitsu), Yuichi Yasui (Toyota) and '20 trials runner-up Yuma Hattori (Toyota) ran most of the way together on mid-2:08 pace, while Kyoya Tsujino (NTN) and '20 trials winner Shogo Nakamura (Toyota) fell off early. Yasui and Hattori began to slow after 25 km, but Iida held on for 5th in a PB of 2:09:34, the first time a Japanese man has gone sub-2:10 in the Czech Republic, and under the 2:10:03 he need to run to become the 66th man to qualify for the trials. After 25 km Yasui and Hattori's projected finish time slowed 30 seconds ever 5 km, meaning Yasui would stay under the 2:11:12 he needed for qualification but that Hattori was right on the edge of his 2:10:13 qualifying time. Both kicked in the home straight, Yasui taking 6th in 2:10:33 and Hattori a step behind in

Plan Revealed to Further Restrict Non-Japanese Athletes Running National High School Ekiden

It has been learned that a plan has been put forth to further restrict the length of the stages that non-Japanese runners can run at the National High School Ekiden and its regional qualifying races starting next year. In the 7-stage, 42.195 km boys' race the plan calls for them to be restricted to the two 5 km stages and the two 3 km stages, or to only the two 3 km stages. In the 5-stage, 21.0975 km girls' race they would be restricted to the 4.0975 km Second Stage and the two 3 km stages, or to only the two 3 km stages. The National High School Ekiden boys' race began in 1950, with a girls' race added in 1989. No restrictions on non-Japanese athletes were in place up to 2007, and teams that had them typically ran them on the longest stage of the race, the 10 km First Stage for boys and the 6 km First Stage for girls. But as the number of highly talented international students increased, the race's overall outcome started to become predetermined by the end of the

Kaede Hagitani Retires at Age 22

A member of Japan's women's 5000 m teams at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Oregon World Championships, Kaede Hagitani , 22, has announced on her Twitter feed that she is quitting the Edion corporate team and the sport of running. "I've decided to leave both the Edion team and track and field as of the end of April," she wrote. "I'll treasure everything I've learned in athletics and the experience I got there for the rest of my life. I'll keep doing things the best way I can no matter what comes next. Thanks to everyone who cheered me on and supported me along the way." Hagitani was one of the most talented runners of her generation, her 3000 m best of 8:48.12 from 2020 ranking her at all-time Japanese #3, and her 5000 m best of 14:59.36 putting her at all-time Japanese #5. A graduate of last year's National High School Girls Ekiden champ Nagano Higashi H.S. , she won her stage at the National Corporate Women's Ekiden twice after j

Richard Etir Over Benard Koech in 13:00.17 at Golden Games in Nobeoka

Fresh off a near-miss on the world-leading men's 10000 m time with a 27:06.88 Japanese collegiate record at Nittai University on Apr. 22 , Tokyo Kokusai University 1st-year Richard Etir had the run of the day at Thursday's Golden Games in Nobeoka with the fastest outdoor 5000 m in the world so far this year, outkicking 10 mile world best holder Benard Koech (Kyudenko) and other top-level Japan-based Kenyans to win the B-heat in a new collegiate record of 13:00.17. With attendance reported by the JAAF at 22,000, fans lined the track beating on metal sponsor boards with batons to push Etir and the rest of the five-strong lead pack on to meet record times. All of them were well under the 13:10.69 MR set by Hyuga Endo last year, Koech just catching Emmanuel Kiplagat (Mitsubishi Juko) for 2nd in 13:00.38, Kiplagat 3rd in 13:00.90, Michael Temoi (GMO) 4th in 13:01.48 and Benson Kiplangat (Subaru) 5th in 13:02.74. Etir's predecessor at TKU, Vincent Yegon (Honda) was 6th i

Golden Games in Nobeoka Preview and Streaming

Eugene, Oregon is the United States' Nobeoka, a small, isolated city with a local powerhouse of running, but in the case of Athlete Town Nobeoka it's not a university but old school corporate team Asahi Kasei that makes the town's name. Thursday's Golden Games in Nobeoka is its big home meet, and it always produces some of the fastest domestic times of the year. The atmosphere at the GGN is like nothing else, with local fans lining the track pounding on metal sponsor boards with batons and local marathon legend Shigeru Soh on the infield calling out support to each athlete by name over a mic like an MC. Streaming starts at 14:15 local time Thursday, with the main event races starting at 19:05. Meet schedule, start lists and live results are here . JRN will be on-site in Nobeoka. The program is pretty simple: kids' 800 m, 1000 m and 3000 m races in the afternoon, then 10 heats of men's 5000 m, 3 heats of women's 5000 m, and one heat each of 10000 m for w