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10000 m National Championships Preview


Less than five months since the 2023 10000 m National Championships went down at the 2021 Olympic stadium in Tokyo, the 2024 edition happens Friday at Shizuoka's Ecopa Stadium, with NHK broadcasting it live starting at 19:25 local time. Doubling up on Nationals like this lets Japanese athletes double dip on placing points to try to get into the Paris Olympics on rankings. But between the number of people who've hit the 30:40.00 women's standard and 27:00.00 men's standard and the lopsided eight spots given away to top placers at World XC, there are only four women's spots and three men's available via rankings. Of those, three of the four women's spots and two of the three men's spots are currently occupied by top placers at December's 2023 Nationals, Ririka Hironaka, Haruka Kokai and Rino Goshima for women and Ren Tazawa and Tomoki Ota for men.

The 2023 Nationals did get close to the standards, with Hironaka leading the top four women under 31:00 and Kazuya Shiojiri running a national record 27:09.80 to win the men's title. The top woman globally in the Paris rankings with the standard or XC backdoor, Hironaka has scratched this time around, but both Kokai and Goshima are back along with December's runner-up Yuka Takashima. Given the few slots left they kind of have to go for the Olympic standard. Like last time, that's made easier thanks to the Wavelight and Kenyan pacers.

It wouldn't take much for Kokai to improve her score, but to pass either GBR's Jessica Warner-Judd or Hironaka on points she'd have to run sub-30. Goshima and Takashima both have a chance of passing Kokai on points, but with the risk of spots getting eliminated by someone else hitting the standard somewhere, best to try to go one step beyond what they did together in December. Barring that, it's a race not to be the fourth Japanese woman between the three lining up in Shizuoka and Hironaka.

At 27:09.80 Shiojiri is closer to the standard than any of the women and has one fewer slot left to work with, so he really needs to take a serious shot at sub-27. If not, a win in 27:53.72 or better would put him ahead of France's Jimmy Gressier as the top rankings qualifier worldwide in the Paris quota. 2023 Nationals runner-up Ota, 27:12.53, would need a win in 27:44.70 or something faster for a lower finish to pass Gressier. 3rd at Nationals, former NR holder Akira Aizawa, 27:13.04, would need a 27:40.85 win. 4th last time, Tazawa is currently the top Japanese man in the quota but has scratched from Friday's Nationals. There's a pretty good chance all three rankings spots left in the quota will be filled by Japanese athletes come Saturday morning, and like with the women it'll be a race not to the 4th out of the four favorites.

2024 National Championships 10000 m Entry Lists

Ecopa Stadium, Shizuoka, 3 May 2024

Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) - 30:57.26
Haruka Kokai (Daiichi Seimei) - 30:57.67
Rino Goshima (Shiseido) - 30:58.83
Mikuni Yada (Edion) - 31:34.39
Miyaka Sugata (Japan Post) - 31:49.20
Tomo Muramatsu (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 31:51.78
Kaede Kawamura (Iwatani Sangyo) - 31:54.73
Momoka Kawaguchi (Uniqlo) - 31:57.81
Wakana Itsuki (Kyudenko) - 31:58.59
Kazuna Kanetomo (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 32:27.84
pacer - Judy Jepngetich (Shiseido) - 14:50.20

Kazuya Shiojiri (Fujitsu) - 27:09.80
Tomoki Ota (Toyota) - 27:12.53
Akira Aizawa (Asahi Kasei) - 27:13.04
Ayumu Kobayashi (NTT Nishi Nihon) - 27:28.13
Mebuki Suzuki (Toyota) - 27:30.69
Jun Kasai (Asahi Kasei) - 27:36.75
Kotaro Shinohara (Komazawa Univ.) - 27:38.66
Yusuke Tamura (Kurosaki Harima) - 27:43.11
Ryuto Igawa (Asahi Kasei) - 27:47.21
Shunya Kikuchi (Chugoku Denryoku) - 27:47.76
Akira Akasaki (Kyudenko) - 27:48.09
Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 27:48.22
Shunsuke Shikama (Logisteed) - 27:50.05
Yuto Imae (GMO) - 27:50.93
Yuya Yoshida (GMO) - 27:51.26
Tamaki Fujimoto (Logisteed) - 27:54.81
Shinichiro Nakamura (Kyudenko) - 27:54.93
Chikara Yamano (Kyudenko) - 27:55.57
Shoya Saito (Josai Univ.) - 27:59.68
Sodai Shimizu (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 28:01.47
Kazuma Maeda (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 28:03.51
Kazuma Hattori (NTT Nishi Nihon) - 28:05.44
Aritaka Kajiwara (Comodi Iida) - 28:08.21
Tatsuya Iyoda (Fujitsu) - 28:06.26
Tomonori Yamaguchi (Waseda Univ.) - 28:17.87
pacer - Emmanuel Maru (Toyota Boshoku) - 27:09.06

© 2024 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Stefan said…
I'll be cheering for Haruka Kokai tomorrow. Given what she achieved last year it is conceivable she can go under the 30:40.00 standard. I hope she does and also wins the race. It's a big ask. If she can do it she can stamp herself as a true rival to Hironaka. I'm disappointed Hironaka isn't running. I just hope it isn't a serious injury if that is the reason for her omission. As the poster girl for the event it has me worried. I recall she pulled out of a half marathon debut which I was anticipating so I am a little concerned. It would be terrible timing if it were the case. I've been looking forward to this race for a whille so I'll be glued to the screen.
Brett Larner said…
Hironaka is also out of the Seiko GGP 5000, so it’s not looking good.
Stefan said…
Thanks Brett. I didn't know about that.

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