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Goshima and Kasai Win 10000 m National Titles, Maeda Breaks U20 Asian Record

Rino Goshima and Jun Kasai stepped up with PBs to win the 2024 National Championships 10000 m titles Friday at Shizuoka's Ecopa Stadium.

In the women's race, Goshima, 4th in last December's 2023 National Championships 10000 m, went out front from the start with Kenyan teammate Judy Jepngetich pacing and 2023 3rd-placer Haruka Kokai in tow. Things were never on track to hit the 30:40.00 Paris Olympics standard, but except for a brief dip to 3:08 at 7000 m Goshima held steady at 3:05 to 3:06/km even as Kokai and Jepngetich fell off. With blood dripping from her left knee after getting spiked by Jepngetich, Goshima closed in 3:03 to take 5 seconds off her best from December's Nationals and win in 30:53.31, moving up to all-time Japanese #6. Jepngetich also PBd at 31:09.42 without counting in the standings, with Kokai 2nd in 31:10.53 and Kazuna Kanetomo 3rd in a PB 31:59.29. The runner-up last time, Yuka Takashima was last in 33:33.27.

The men's race went out in a pedestrian 13:43 for the first 5000 m with a group of 12 and Kenyan pacer Emmanuel Maru all in it. As the pace ramped up over the second half people including NR holder and 2023 winner Kazuya Shiojiri fell off one by one. Former Soka University star Jun Kasai pulled away with 1000 m to go, dropping a 58-second last lap for the win in a 27:17.46 PB good for all-time Japanese #4. Last December's runner-up Tomoki Ota was 2nd again in 27:20.94, but the big surprise came from 19-year old Tokyo Nogyo University 2nd-year Kazuma Maeda, who showed his great results over 10000 m and half marathon last year weren't a fluke as he broke Keita Sato's U20 Asian record with a 27:21.52 for 3rd, the fastest-ever time by a Japanese-born collegian and 5th-fastest ever on the Japanese charts.

Part of a training group led by former Komazawa University head coach Hiroaki Oyagi that includes both Ota and Sato, Mebuki Suzuki and Kotaro Shinohara both ran PBs, Suzuki 4th in 27:26.67 for all-time Japanese #8 and Shinohara 6th in 27:35.05. Paris Olympics marathon team member Akira Akasaki continues to go from strength to strength, running a 27:43.84 PB for 7th. Former NR holder Akira Aizawa had a good follow up to his 27:13.04 PB in December, running 27:34.53 for 5th.

What does it mean for the chances of having Japanese athletes in the 10000 m in Paris? On the men's side only 3 spots are left out of the quota of 27 for people qualifying via rankings. #26 is currently Ren Tazawa of Oyagi's group, who was a DNS today. #27 is Ota, whose performance today moves him ahead of both Tazawa and #25 Jimmy Gressier of France with a total of 1249 points, as well as past #4 American Joe Klecker and #13 Kenyan Athanas Kioko.

Aizawa scored enough to move his Paris quota total in 1228 and 27th, knocking Tazawa out of the quota to 28th. Current #28 Shiojiri did not score enough points to make the top 27 and falls to 29th. Kasai comes in around 31st with a total of 1213 points, but with one more good performance before the June 30th deadline could knock Aizawa out. Maeda would need another extremely good performance to do it. Even Shiojiri could hypothetically have a chance. At least Aizawa and Kasai have already confirmed they'll be at the May 18 Night of the 10,000 m PBs meet in London to go for more.

On the women's side, out of 4 spots in the field of 27 currently open to rankings qualifiers 3 are currently occupied by Japanese women. Ririka Hironaka is 24th and looks to be currently injured, having withdrawn from both Nationals today and the Seiko Golden Grand Prix 5000 m in two weeks. Kokai is 26th, but while today improved her score to 1236 it wasn't enough to overtake #25 Jessica Warner-Judd of Great Britain. Goshima's score improves to 1246, enough to take over Kokai's 26th spot and bump her down to 27th but still short of Warner-Judd's 1275. Like Shiojiri, Takashima failed to score enough points to move up.

There's no guarantee either quota won't fill up with time qualifiers, but based on today there's a chance that two, possibly three Japanese women and one, maybe two Japanese man could make the Paris cut.

10000 m National Championships

Ecopa Stadium, Shizuoka, 3 May 2024

1. Rino Goshima (Shiseido) - 30:53.31 - PB
OP - Judy Jepngetich (Shiseido) - 31:09.42 - PB
2. Haruka Kokai (Daiichi Seimei) - 31:10.53
3. Kazuna Kanetomo (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 31:59.29 - PB
4. Mikuni Yada (Edion) - 32:00.08
5. Miyaka Sugata (Japan Post) - 32:02.52
6. Kaede Kawamura (Iwatani Sangyo) - 32:22.08
7. Momoka Kawaguchi (Uniqlo) - 32:42.09
8. Tomo Muramatsu (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:14.22
9. Wakana Itsuki (Kyudenko) - 33:20.38
10. Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) - 33:33.27

1. Jun Kasai (Asahi Kasei) - 27:17.46 - PB
2. Tomoki Ota (Toyota) - 27:20.94
3. Kazuma Maeda (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 27:21.52 - U20 AR
4. Mebuki Suzuki (Toyota) - 27:26.67 - PB
OP - Emmanuel Maru (Toyota Boshoku) - 27:30.72
5. Akira Aizawa (Asahi Kasei) - 27:34.53
6. Kotaro Shinohara (Komazawa Univ.) - 27:35.05 - PB
7. Akira Akasaki (Kyudenko) - 27:43.84 - PB
8. Yusuke Tamura (Kurosaki Harima) - 27:46.04
9. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 27:49.86
10. Kazuya Shiojiri (Fujitsu) - 27:54.08
11. Ryuto Igawa (Asahi Kasei) - 27:56.82
12. Ayumu Kobayashi (NTT Nishi Nihon) - 27:57.54
13. Sodai Shimizu (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 28:17.75
14. Shunya Kikuchi (Chugoku Denryoku) - 28:18.26
15. Tamaki Fujimoto (Logisteed) - 28:19.85
16. Chikara Yamano (Kyudenko) - 28:20.61
17. Tatsuya Iyoda (Fujitsu) - 28:33.21
18. Shunsuke Shikama (Logisteed) - 28:37.42
19. Hazuma Hattori (NTT Nishi Nihon) - 28:45.12
20. Yuto Imae (GMO) - 28:48.06
21. Tomonori Yamaguchi (Waseda Univ.) - 28:55.62
22. Shinichi Nakamura (Kyudenko) - 29:02.90
23. Yuya Yoshida (GMO) - 29:03.85

© 2024 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Stefan said…
Congrats to Rino Goshima. She dictated from the outset and ran an outstanding race to PB. Kudos to her for performing at her best when it mattered. As much as I wanted Haruka Kokai to win and get the Olympic standard I knew it would be a very difficult task given the huge improvement she made last year to her PB. But as the youngest runner in the field her prospects are bright. It would be an amazing achievement for her to make the Olympic team. The biggest suprise was the last place finish of Yuka Takashima.
Thanks Brett for the information regarding the Olympic selection current standings as this is what I was trying to understand post race. I hope Ririka Hironaka can fill her position on the Olympic team. I have my doubts whehter she can perform at her best if she is indeed injured. It is only 3 months till the Olympics and with no race fitness it is not ideal.
3 years ago I was hoping Seira Fuwa and Ririka Hironaka would be peaking at the Paris Olympics. It would be disappointing to see neither make the starting line up.

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