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Showing posts from April, 2024

Weekend Track and Road Roundup

  The Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon aside, a quick roundup of results from this past weekend: At the Nittai University Time Trials , aka the Nittaidai Challenge Games, Shadrack Kipkemei (Nihon Univ.) led a great men's 10000 m A-heat in 27:20.05, with the top six men all going under 27:28. James Mutuku (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) was the only other collegiate runner among them at 3rd in 27:23.09, with 2:06 marathoner Hidekazu Hijikata (Asahi Kasei) the top Japanese finisher at 8th in 28:23.27. Mutuku's YGU teammate Brian Kipyegon won the 5000 m A-heat in 13:30.88, James Karuri (Aomori Yamada H.S.) next in 13:33.67 and Kaisei Okada (Chuo Univ.) 3rd in 13:48.44. Soya Katayama (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) had the fastest 1500 m with a 3:46.19 to win the A-heat. In the women's races at Nittai, Tabitha Njeri Kamau (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) was the only one to clear 16 minutes in the 5000 m A-heat, running 15:27.12 for the win. Lucy Nduta (Aomori Yamada H.S.) was likewise the only one u

Chesang and Kipkoech Win Hot Gifu Half

Hot conditions held back fast times at the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon Sunday, where Ugandan Stella Chesang and Kenya Hillary Kipkoech took the top spots over last year's winners Dolphine Nyaboke Omare and Amos Kurgat . In the women's race Chesang, Omare and Kenyan-born Bahraini Eunice Chebichii Chumba went out as a trio, Japan-based Hellen Ekarare with them initially but eventually dropping out. After a 15:39 opening 5 km Chumba started to slip off, and by 15 km Chesang was on her own. Chesang won in 1:07:59, solid given the conditions, with Omare 2nd in 1:08:31 and Chumba 3rd in 1:09:10. Rinka Hida was the first Japanese woman, 5th overall in 1:12:06 behind Australian Genevieve Gregson . A lead men's pack of 11 went through 5 km in 14:31, but by 10 km it was down to Kipkoech, Kurgat, , Timothy Kiplagat , Ugandan Stephen Kissa and Japan-based Kenyans Patrick Mathenge Wambui and Anthony Maina . At 15 km in 43:40 only Kurgat and Kipkoech were left, and over the last 5

Drury and Mashiko Lead Four Japanese Golds - U20 Asian Championships Day 4

The closing day of the Dubai U20 Asian Athletics Championships saw Japan go out big, with four gold medals led by dominant runs by Sherry Drury (Tsuyama H.S.) and Yota Mashiko (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.). Making her international debut, the 16-year-old Drury led start to finish in the women's 1500 m final, grinding down the rest of the field and putting over 4 seconds on runner-up Sandilea Vinod of India over the last 300 m to win in 4:21.41. Drury's splits: 1:11-2:24-(3:19)-3:35-4:21. There's still a long way for Drury to go, but in terms of form and confidence this was the best she has looked since her legendary breakthrough CR at last year's National Women's Ekiden, and you could see more than a glimmer of what everyone is hoping is really there. Mashiko was even more dominant in the men's 3000 m. Coming out on the front end of some pushing and shoving in the first 50 m, Mashiko led the entire way. By 300 m he had a measurable gap that never got smaller, and af

Nishida and Fuchigami Gold - U20 Asian Championships Day Three

Day three of the 21st U20 Asian Athletics Championships in Dubai Friday delivered Japan's best single-day medal count so far, with two gold medals, a silver and four bronze. Breaking it down: Yuri Nishida (Ritsumeikan Univ.) and Sari Kamei (Kyoto Kyoiku Univ.) brought A-game in the women's 800 m final. Nishida ran a PB 2:06.55 for gold over India's Sandilea Vinod by 0.55, with Kamei also running a PB of 2:07.56 for bronze. Shota Fuchigami (Waseda Univ.) dominated in the men's 400 mH, running a PB 49.97 to win gold by almost 2 seconds over China's Cai Yuchen and Korean Kim Jeonghyun . Rikuya Yoshida (Nittai Kashiwa H.S.) cleared 5.25 m for silver in the men's pole vault. Yuki Hojo (Yoga T&F) held off Korea's Hwang Uichan by 0.04 for bronze in the men's 110 mH final, running 13.74 (+1.2) to Hwang's 13.78. Kyosuke Yamanaka (Hosei Univ.) was just out of the medals at 13.80 for 5th. Miyabi Sono (Kokushikan Univ.) won bronze in the women'

Orita Wins 5000 m Gold - U20 Asian Championships Day Two

Day two of the 21st U20 Asian Athletics Championships in Dubai was capped with Japan's first gold medal of the games. Less than a month into his first year at 2024 Hakone Ekiden champ Aoyama Gakuin University , sub-13:30 high schooler Sota Orita fought off multiple surges from Indian duo Gaurav Bhaskar Bhosale and Vinod Singh to take 5000 m gold in 14:08.71 with 56-second last lap and big a move on the last curve. His new AGU teammate Kaito Iida also finished strong for bronze, coming up just short of silver in 14:09.63. Miku Yanagawa (Gunma T&F Assoc.) added another gold medal to the count in the women's pole vault, winning at 3.85 m on her first attempt, with silver and bronze medalists Anna Cherkashina of Kazakhstan and Melabessy Andriani of Indonesia only going as high as 3.60 m. Nono Tsuneishi (Fukuoka Univ.) won silver in the women's long jump, jumping 6.21 (+0.7) on her 3rd attempt. Gold medalist Nagaraj Pavana also dropped her biggest jump in the third

Okumoto and Kondo Score Silver and Bronze - U20 Asian Championships Day One

The U20 Asian Athletics Championships started Wednesday in Dubai, U.A.E. Narumi Okumoto (Hitachi) and Nozomi Kondo (Meijo Univ.) scored Japan's first two medals in the women's 3000 m, running behind leader Yaxuan Li of China over the first 1000 m. Kondo lost touch after the first 1000 m, while Okumoto lasted another 1000 m with Li. Li took gold in 9:12.79, Okumoto silver in 9:25.19 and Kondo bronze in 9:38.91. In qualifying rounds: Both Yuri Nishida (Ritsumeikan Univ.) and Sari Kameda (Kyoto Kyoiku Univ.) won their women's 800 m heats and advanced to the next round, Nishida in a PB 2:07.36 and Kamei in 2:10.87, also a PB. Shota Fuchigami (Waseda Univ.) won his 400 mH heat in a PB 50.19 to make the final. Hiroto Shogomori (Chuo Univ.) was 2nd in his 400 m heat in 47.37, yet another athlete to run a PB, moving on to the semifinals. The lone female sprinter on the Japanese team, Misaki Morimoto (Sonoda Joshi Gakuen Univ.) won her 100 m heat in 12.20 (-1.4) and advance

World Championships Medalist Racewalking Coach Mizuho Sakai Recognized With Highest Coaching Honor

The 2023 Mizuno Sports Mentor Awards recognizing excellence in coaching were held Apr. 23 in Tokyo. Toyo University assistant coach and race walking coach Mizuho Sakai was given a gold award, the program's highest honor, and expressed her thanks and joy in a speech at the award ceremony. The coach of 2023 Budapest World Championships men's 35 km race walk bronze medalist Masatora Kawano , Sakai said, "This is an incredible honor and I'm truly grateful. As a child I wanted to be in the sporting world and I've spent my life in that world. My end goal was always to play a supporting role for other athletes, so I'm honored to be recognized in this way." Sakai's husband Toshiyuki Sakai , head coach of Toyo's three-time Hakone Ekiden champion team, attended the awards gala with her and was also introduced to the audience. After bowing he took a seat in front of her and watched with warmth as she received recognition for her outstanding work. The Mizun

Hakizimana Doping Suspension Results in JMC Series Ranking Revision

After being provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Nov. 30 last year following a positive test for triamcinolone acetonide, Rwandan marathoner John Hakizimana has been handed a two-year suspension beginning Oct. 27, 2023. Additionally, Hakizimana loses all results from Aug. 27, 2023 on, meaning the cancelation of his 9th-place finish in the Budapest World Championships marathon. As a result, the places of all three Japanese men in the Budapest marathon will improve one position. Originally 12th, Ichitaka Yamashita (Mitsubishi Juko) moves up to 11th, Kenya Sonota (JR Higashi Nihon) from 35th to 34th, and Kazuya Nishiyama (Toyota) from 42nd to 41st. Due to the change in Yamashita's position, the results of the JMC Series III running from April, 2022 to March, 2024 have also changed. The improvement from 12th to 11th scores Yamashita an additional 10 points, enough to move him from his original 6th-place position to 4th. Original 4th-placer Yusuke Nis

Weekend Track Roundup

The two-day Hyogo Relay Carnival was the biggest meet of the weekend on the Japanese calendar. Sarah Wanjiru (Daito Bunka Univ.) kicked off her 2nd academic year with a 31:48.11 win in the GP women's 10000 m, beating Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels) by 4 seconds. Emmanuel Kiplagat (Mitsubishi Juko) had a tighter win in the GP men's 10000 m, 27:58.01 to 27:58.35 over Jonson Mugeni (Asia Univ.). Kenyans also dominated the men's B and C-heats, Nelson Mandela (Obirin Univ.) taking the B-heat by 0.06 over Stephen Muthini (Soka Univ.) in 28:05.37 and Patrick Wambui (NTT Nishi Nihon) the C-heat in 28:14.83. Top Japanese marks across the four races were 32:24.50 by Sora Shinozakura (Panasonic), 28:11.30 by Yuta Nakayama (JR Higashi Nihon), 28:41.68 by Masashi Nonaka (Toyota), and 28:42.38 by former Rikkyo University head coach Yuichiro Ueno (Hiramatsu Byoin). The GP women's 3000 mSC might have been the best race of the meet, both Miu Saito (Nittai Univ.) and Mana

Hirabayashi Runs PB at Shanghai Half, WR Holder Nakata Dominates Fuji Five Lakes - Weekend Road Roundup

Returning to the roads after his 2:06:18 win at February's Osaka Marathon, Kiyoto Hirabayashi (Koku Gakuin University) took 5th at Sunday's Shanghai Half Marathon in a PB 1:01:23, just under a minute behind winner Roncer Kipkorir Konga (Kenya) who clocked a CR 1:00:29. After inexplicably running the equivalent of a sub-59 half marathon to win the Hakone Ekiden's Third Stage, Aoi Ota (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) was back to running performances consistent with his other PBs with a 1:02:30 for 8th. His AGU teammate Kyosuke Hiramatsu was 10th in 1:04:00. Women's winner Magdalena Shauri (Tanzania) also set a new CR in 1:09:57. Aoyama Gakuin runners took the top four spots in the men's half marathon at the Aomori Sakura Marathon , with Hakone alternate Kosei Shiraishi getting the win in 1:04:32 and B-team members Shunto Hamakawa and Kei Kitamura 2nd and 3rd in 1:04:45 and 1:04:48. Club runners took the other division titles, Hina Shinozaki winning the women's half

The Ivy League at the Izumo Ekiden in Review

Last week I was contacted by Will Geiken , who I'd met years ago when he was a part of the Ivy League Select Team at the Izumo Ekiden . He was looking for historical results from Izumo and lists of past team members, and I was able to put together a pretty much complete history, only missing the alternates from 1998 to 2010 and a little shaky on the reverse transliterations of some of the names from katakana back into the Western alphabet for the same years. Feel free to send corrections or additions to alternate lists. It's interesting to go back and see some names that went on to be familiar, to see the people who made an impact like Princeton's Paul Morrison , Cornell's Max King , Stanford's Brendan Gregg in one of the years the team opened up beyond the Ivy League, Cornell's Ben de Haan , Princeton's Matt McDonald , and Harvard's Hugo Milner last year, and some of the people who struggled with the format. 1998 Team: 15th of 21 overall, 2:14:10 (43

Morii Surprises With Second-Ever Japanese Sub-2:10 at Boston

With three sub-2:09 Japanese men in the race and good weather conditions by Boston standards the chances were decent that somebody was going to follow 1981 winner Toshihiko Seko 's 2:09:26 and score a sub-2:10 at the Boston Marathon . But nobody thought it was going to be by a 2:14 amateur. Paris Olympic team member Suguru Osako had taken 3rd in Boston in 2:10:28 in his debut seven years ago, and both he and 2:08 runners Kento Otsu and Ryoma Takeuchi were aiming for spots in the top 10, Otsu after having run a 1:01:43 half marathon PB in February and Takeuchi of a 2:08:40 marathon PB at Hofu last December. A high-level amateur with a 2:14:15 PB who scored a trip to Boston after winning a local race in Japan, Yuma Morii told JRN minutes before the start of the race, "I'm not thinking about time at all. I'm going to make top 10, whatever time it takes." Running Boston for the first time Morii took off with a 4:32 on the downhill opening mile, but after that  Sis

Saturday at Kanaguri and Nittai

Two big meets happened Saturday, one in Kumamoto and the other in Yokohama. At Kumamoto's Kanaguri Memorial Meet , Benard Koech (Kyudenko) turned in the performance of the day with a 13:13.52 meet record to win the men's 5000 m A-heat by just 0.11 seconds over Emmanuel Kipchirchir (SGH). The top four were all under 13:20, with 10000 m national record holder Kazuya Shiojiri (Fujitsu) bouncing back from a DNF at last month's The TEN to take the top Japanese spot at 7th overall in 13:24.57. The B-heat was also decently quick, Shadrack Rono (Subaru) winning in 13:21.55 and Shoya Yonei (JR Higashi Nihon) running a 10-second PB to get under 13:30 for the first time in 13:29.29 for 6th. Paris Olympics marathoner Akira Akasaki (Kyudenko) was 9th in 13:30.62. South Sudan's Abraham Guem (Ami AC) also set a meet record in the men's 1500 m A-heat in 3:38.94. 3000 mSC national record holder Ryuji Miura made his debut with the Subaru corporate team, running 3:39.78 for 2n

93-Year-Old Masters Track and Field WR Holder Hiroo Tanaka: "Everyone has Unexplored Intrinsic Abilities"

  In the midst of a lot of talk about how to keep the aging population young, there are people with long lives who are showing extraordinary physical abilities. One of them is Hiroo Tanaka , 93, a multiple world champion in masters track and field. Tanaka began running when he was 60, before which he'd never competed in his adult life. "He's so fast he's world-class." "His running form is so beautiful. It's like he's flying." Tanaka trains at an indoor track in Aomori five days a week. Asked about him, that's the kind of thing the people there say. Tanaka holds multiple masters track and field world records, where age is divided into five-year groups. Last year at the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Poland he set a new world record of 38.79 for 200 m in the M90 class (men's 90-94 age group). People around the world were amazed at the time, which was almost unbelievable for a 92-year-old. After retiring from his job as an el

Fujitsu and Toyoda Issue Statement on Circumstances of His Two-Year Suspension for Trenbolone

  Following 400 m hurdler Masaki Toyoda 's suspension for a violation of anti-doping regulations , the Fujitsu corporate team published a statement on its website, including comments from Toyoda's legal team , explaining the ruling and the circumstances surrounding the case. Toyoda was a member of the 2019 Doha World Championships team and holds a best of 48.87. Early in the morning of May 19, 2022, the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) conducted a doping test of Toyoda. The prohibited substance trenbolone was detected in urine taken during the test, resulting in a two-year suspension that began May 21, 2022. He did not compete at the National Track and Field Championships the next month. The amount of trenbolone detected in Toyoda's urine sample was 1.4 ng/ml, well below the minimum analytical precision of 2.5 ng/ml required by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for analytical equipment. As a general rule, if a non-specified prohibited substance such as trenbolone is dete

40% of Road Races Report Participation Levels Under Capacity

NHK has reported finding that 40% of mass-participation races across the country sponsored or co-sponsored by local prefectural governments reported lower participation levels. Experts in the field suggested that events need to take creative approaches to increase their popularity. February's Kochi Ryoma Marathon had a maximum field size of 12,000, but only 9,300 people entered. It was the second year in a row for the event to come in under capacity, forcing co-organizer Kochi Prefecture to utilize supplementary budget resources to cover the deficit caused by the missing revenue from entry fees. NHK found that out of 25 full and half marathon races across the country sponsored or co-sponsored by prefectural governments last year, nine were in the same situation as the Kochi Ryoma Marathon with shortfalls in numbers of entries. In terms of the ratio of entries to maximum field size, the Tottori Marathon was at only 70% capacity, the Tohoku Miyagi Fukko Marathon at 77%, Kochi Ryoma a

Hurdler Toyoda Suspended Two Years for Trenbolone After JADA Appeal for Stricter Sentence Rejected

  On April 8 the Japan Sports Arbitration Agency upheld a two-year doping suspension against 2019 Doha World Championships team member Masaki Toyoda , 26, of the Fujitsu corporate team, rejecting an appeal from the Japan Anti-Doping Agency for a stricter sentence. Metabolites of the prohibited substance trenbolone were detected in a urine sample taken from Toyoda during a drug test in May, 2022. After a hearing, on Jan. 5 this year the Japan Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel determined that Toyoda would be given a two-year suspension back-dated to start on May 21, 2022.  JADA filed a complaint with the JSAA arguing that Toyoda's use of prohibited substance had been intentional and that a four-year suspension beginning on June 21, 2022 would be appropriate. In response, the JSAA ruled that since trenbolone would be of no benefit to a 400 m hurdler Toyoda's intake of the substance had been unintentional, and upheld the original two-year suspension. source article: https://www.jiji.

Etir and Hanyu Sub-28, and Fuwa Returns - Weekend Track Roundup

It was the first really busy weekend of outdoor season in Japan, with the first quality results coming at the season's first Setagaya Time Trials in Tokyo. Collegiate 10000 m record holder Amos Bett (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) ran 27:48.00 for the win in the men's 10000 m fast heat, with Takuya Hanyu (Toyota Boshoku) going under 28 minutes for the second time in his career with in 27:49.78 for 2nd. The winner of last month's National University Half Marathon,  Rui Aoki (Koku Gakuin Univ.) ran a PB 28:02.00 for 3rd, barely beating Richard Etir (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) by 0.26. In the men's 5000 m A-heat, photo finish specialist Edwin Kisalsak (Fujisan no Meisui) did it again, both he and Duncan Maina (Senshu Univ.) clocking 13:38.82 in the men's 5000 m fast heat but Kisalsak getting the win by 0.005 in 13:38.815 to Maina's 13:38.820. Five Koku Gakuin University runners went under 14 minutes led by Kosei Atomura in 13:47.46, with Aoi Ito making a partial comebac