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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 the designation for graduate school programs. For women D2 is the grad school designation, with everyone else in D1.

The 1500 m qualification round is first up, D2 and D3 men starting at 13:35, D1 and D2 women at 14:00, and D1 men at 14:25. With bests of 3:43.05 and 3:43.22 Yusuke Inouchi (2nd yr., Tsukuba Univ. Grad School) and Nao Kurihara (3rd yr., Josai Univ.) are the top seeds in the D2/D3 men's field. Mikuto Kaneko (4th yr., Chuo Univ.) is fastest in the D1 field at 3:41.15, with both Yuichiro Baba (4th yr., Meiji Univ.) and Hiroto Takamura (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) under 3:43 too.

All three D1 women's heats have women under 4:20. In Heat 1 that's Saki Katagihara (4th yr., Tsukuba Univ.) at 4:16.41, in Heat 2 Mizuki Michishita (4th yr., Rikkyo Univ.) at 4:14.88 and Haruko Hosaka (4th yr., Nittai Univ.), and in Heat 3 Mao Kogure (3rd yr., Juntendo Univ.) at 4:16.87 and Yuzuha Sawai (4th yr., Tsukuba Univ.) at 4:19.06. Katagihara's 4:16.41 was a new meet record last year, so with a field like this there's hope that the record will go even lower this year.

The D1 women's 10000 m starts at 16:45. Collegiate record holder Seira Fuwa (3rd yr., Takushoku Univ.) is a non-starter again, leaving Risa Yamazaki (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) as the most accomplished woman in the field at 32:40.40. But she's got some serious competition from newcomer Sarah Wanjiru (1st yr., Daito Bunka Univ.), running 10000 m for the first time but coming in with a 15:33.29 best for 5000 m at last month's National University Individual Championships.

The D1 men's 10000 m is at 17:25. James Mutok (2nd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) and Haruto Ishizuka (3rd yr., Waseda Univ.) are the only ones in the race who've gone sub-28, but if it goes a bit slower they'll have company from people like Shamrock Kipkemoi (1st yr., Nihon Univ.) and Tasuku Yamazaki (2nd yr., Nittai Univ.).

D2/D3 men are split into two races this year, with the first one at 18:30. Race 1 is the slower heat, the top seed being Toshimune Niiyama (4th yr., Surugadai Univ.). Race 2 has a killer field with seven men sub-28:
  • 27:29.92 - Nelson Mandela (2nd yr., Obirin Univ.)
  • 27:33.46 - Charles Kamau (4th yr., Musashino Univ.)
  • 27:46.08 - David Shun'queya (2nd yr., Retake Univ.)
  • 27:50.45 - Dennis Kipruto (1st yr., Nihon Yakka Univ.)
  • 27:50.66 - Kamina Leakey (3rd yr., Soka Univ.)
  • 27:57.52 - Takumi Karasawa (4th yr., Komazawa Univ.)
  • 27:58.60 - Reishi Yoshida (3rd yr., Chuo Gakuin Univ.)
As in the D1 race, anything slower and the next tier, five guys under 28:20, will come into play too.

© 2023 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Unknown said…
It's incredible to have such high standards just to reach an Olympic Trial but I feel most athletes leave their best possible performance just trying to reach the trials let alone qualify for the national team hence the ones selected are not necessarily the best potential medal winners. Maybe best pick a team based on 1 qualifying time and/or ability to race in expected conditions that in Paris may occur such as excessive heat

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