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Mariko Yugeta Returns, Tamana Half at 75, and More - Weekend Update

The Tokyo Marathon dominated the landscape this weekend, from the fastest-ever runs on Japanese soil by winners Sutume Asefa Kebede and Benson Kipruto to Yusuke Nishiyama's heartbreaking reaction to missing the Paris Olympics team despite an excellent 2:06:31 after falling to Khishigsaikhan Galbadrakh's 2:26:32 Mongolian NR that qualified for the Paris Olympics. There were dozens of other stories in the race, like Joan Benoit Samuelson completing her World Marathon Majors six star, and her longtime fan Mariko Yugeta running 3:01:28 at age 65. Including the 19 seconds it took her to get to the start line Yugeta went through halfway in 1:29:05 and was still on track for sub-3 at 35 km, but over the last 7.195 km it slipped away. Still, though, it was a single-age world record, that age graded to a 2:10:54 marathon.

At the Kagoshima Marathon, locally-based Eritrean Dejen Tesfalem Weldu who graduated from Seisa University last year won his debut in 2:14:50, almost two minutes ahead of local hero Yusuke Tobimatsu. Rio Olympics 5000 m finalist Miyuki Uehara took the women's race by 5 minutes in a low-key 2:39:17. In a tempo run effort for April's Boston Marathon, Ryoma Takeuchi (ND Soft) set a new course record at the Tamba Sasayama ABC Marathon, with a 2:14:37 for the win. Club runner Ayumi Yokota won the women's race in 2:41:15.

In Kumamoto, the Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon celebrated its 75th edition with a close race in the men's race that saw Ryoma Inoue (Chudenko) win a four-way sprint finish in 1:03:11 a second ahead of Kaito Suetsugu (Teikyo Univ.), Ryuto Uehara (Koku Gakuin Univ.) and Masanori Sumida (Aichi Seiko). Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (ADHS) continued a downward spiral since getting injured in January, running 1:13:35 after starting on track to break 1:10. Miyaka Sugata (Japan Post) ran a very decent 32:51 to win the women's 10 km, with Koshiro Tanimoto (Omuta H.S.) taking the high school boys' 10 km in 29:35.

Overseas, indoor 3000 m Asian record holder Nozomi Tanaka Bubkaed her way to another AR with an 8:36.03 for 8th at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Shuhei Tada ran a 6.52 NR in the heats of the men's 60 m, then 6.56 in the semifinals. But in the final he felt a twinge in one leg and limped in 2nd-to-last in 6.70. Post-race he reported no serious damage. Teammate Akihiro Higashida made the semifinals with a first-round 6.62 but didn't make the next cut after running 6.67. Ryoichi Akamatsu was 9th of 12 in the men's high jump after clearing only 2.15 m. Sumire Hata equalled that with a 9th in the women's long jump at 6.43 m. Masumi Aoki didn't make it out of her 60 m heat, running 8.13 for 5th in Heat 1. Mariko Morimoto had no mark in the women's triple jump.

A large number of Japanese athletes were also at Australia's Canberra Track Classic. Top performers there included Ryohei Arai taking the men's javelin throw at 77.22 m, Yuki Yamashita winning the men's triple jump in 15.88 m -2.2 m/s, Maoko Takashima taking 2nd in the women's triple jump at 13.67 m +1.6 m/s, Tetsuro Nishi 2nd in the men's 110 mH in 13.84 -0.7 m/s, Yutaro Niinae 4th in the men's 3000 mSC in 8:42.49, Tomoka Kimura with a 4:16.69 for 4th in the women's 1500 m, and Yusuke Takahashi running 3:43.40 for 6th in the men's 1500 m.

text © 2024 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
photo © 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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CK said…
"...Bubkaed her way to another AR ..."
Stefan said…
I had a chuckle when reading "...Bubkaed her way to another AR ..." too.
It is so true. Seems like Nozomi Tanaka is breaking records at every meet these days.

Mariko Yugeta's run at her age is something special. Incredible stuff.

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