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Showing posts from July, 2024

20 km Race Walk WR Holder Suzuki and 400 m National Champ Walsh Retire

On July 23 the Fujitsu corporate team announced that men's 20 km race walk world record holder and 2019 50 km world champion Yusuke Suzuki , 36, and three-time men's 400 m national champion Julian Walsh , 27, are retiring at the end of the month. Suzuki competed in the 2012 London Olympics in the 20 km race walk. In 2015 he set a world record of 1:16:36 for 20 km at the National Race Walk Championships in Nomi. At the 2019 Doha World Championships he won the 50 km race walk, the first time a Japanese athlete won gold at an international championships including the Olympics. After that, he suffered setbacks from overtraining and other issues and did not try to make the Tokyo Olympic team in 2021. After leaving Fujitsu Suzuki will become a coach at Niigata University of Food and Agriculture . "I want to give the next generation of athletes the same kind of support that I received in my time as an athlete," he said. A member of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2021 Tokyo Ol

Fukube Breaks 100 mH NR at All-Star Night Games - Japan's Olympians Make Final Tune-Ups

Getting stuck in the shinkansen cancelation headaches yesterday means we're a day late getting to the weekend's track roundup, but better late than never. At the top of the list, women's 100 mH national record holder Mako Fukube (NKK) took 0.04 off her own record to win in 12.69 (+1.2) at the All-Star Night Games in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa in her last race before the Paris Olympics. Other Paris team members won their races too: 4x400 m squad member Takuho Yoshizu (GK Line) took the win in the men's 400 m in 45.89. Men's 400 m hurdler Daiki Ogawa (Toyo Univ.) set a meet record 49.09 for the win. Sumire Hata (Sumitomo Denko) set a women's long jump MR of 6.61 m (+0.8). Marina Saito (Suzuki) and Momone Ueda (Zenrin) both threw over the old MR held by world champion and Paris teammate Haruka Kitaguchi , Saito getting the win with a final attempt of 58.45 m, Ueda next at 57.93 m and 3rd-placer Yuki Yamamoto (Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ.) also going over the old MR at 57

Kamau and Kobayashi Win Shibetsu Half Marathon

The 37th Suffolkland Shibetsu Half Marathon took place July 21 in hot and sunny conditions. Patrick Kamau (Jobu University) won the men's race in 1:03:42, his third-straight Shibetsu win.. In 2nd place and the top Japanese position was Reishi Yoshida (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) in 1:04:47. Koki Yoshioka (Kyudenko) was 3rd in 1:05:09. In the women's race Kana Kobayashi (Otsuka Seiyaku) won in 1:14:01 by 48 seconds over Yuki Toyoda (Higo Ginko). The top member of Chuo Gakuin's ekiden team, Yoshida ran the competitive Second Stage at this year's Hakone Ekiden. Last year he ran the World University Games half marathon and was the fastest among the Japanese team at 1:02:08 for 4th, helping Japan score the team bronze medal. He has a half marathon PB of 1:00:31 and took 5th in the fast heat at last month's National University Ekiden qualifier. 37th Suffolkland Shibetsu Half Marathon Shibetsu, Hokkaido, 21 July 2024 complete results Men 1. Patrick Kamau (Jobu Univ.) - 1:03:

Kubo, Ochiai, Drury and Saku Chosei Lead Japan's Team For U20 World Championships

800 m national champions Rin Kubo and Ko Ochiai lead Japan's team for next month's Lima World U20 Championships , Kubo having just broken the NR with a 1:59.93 and Ochiai just off the NR at Nationals last month with a 1:45.82 in the heats. Sherry Drury is another one of Japan's big U20 hopes and will run the 1500 m, and 2023 National High School Ekiden champion Saku Chosei H.S. dominates the men's long distance squad with 3rd-years Yamato Hamaguchi in the 3000 m and 5000 m, Tetsu Sasaki in the 3000 m and 3000 mSC, and 2024 graduate Soma Nagahara in the 3000 m SC. World Athletics U20 Championships Japanese Team Lima, Peru, 27-31 Aug. 2024 complete team listing Women  (14) 800 m Rin Kubo (Higashi Osaka Keiai H.S.) - 1:59.93 1500 m Sherry Drury (Tsuyama H.S.) - 4:16.69 3000 m Miyu Yamada (Meijo Univ.) - 9:16.12 Miu Suzuki (Tsukuba Univ.) - 9:19.53 5000 m Kana Mizumoto (Edion) - 15:31.51 Yumi Yamamoto (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:47.74 100 m Hurdles Ami Takahashi (Tsuku

Arakawa and Tomizawa Win Ontake 100-Miler, Onodera and Sakai Take Short Course Titles

  The OSJ Ontake 100 happened this past weekend, one of Japan's most popular trail ultras. In the 100 km short course race , actually around 109 km, Shingo Nosaka had a 4-minute lead over Yuta Onodera through the first checkpoint at 54 km, splitting 4:26:20 to Onodera's 4:30:39. Running in 3rd and 4th at that point, Ryo Murata and Yuichi Miura were another 4 minutes back, but over the tough 2nd half both dropped out. Nosaka faded too, caught by Onodera before the second checkpoint at 83 km, but he rallied over the last 26 km to close a minute and a half on Onodera's lead. In the end, Onodera won by almost 9 minutes in 9:23:20, Nosaka 2nd in 9:32:16 and Hironori Nomoto running strong over the second half for 3rd in 9:39:59. In the women's 109 km race, Ethiopian Mulu Seboka , a 2:21:56 runner who was 5th in Chicago 2015 and won Toronto in 2014, led by half an hour at the first checkpoint and sat at 13th overall in 5:05:09. But on a course that rewarded more caution,

16-Year-Old Rin Kubo Becomes First Japanese Woman to Break 2:00 for 800 m

At the July 15  Long Distance Time Trials meet in Nara, Higashi Osaka Keiai H.S. 2nd-year Rin Kubo , 16, added the 800 m national record to her national title two weeks ago and 4x800 m NR on Friday, becoming the first Japanese woman to break 2 minutes with a new NR of 1:59.93. The previous NR of 2:00.45 was set on June 5, 2005 by Miho Sugimori . Kubo cut 0.52 seconds off that time, set almost three years before Kubo was born, and in doing it she achieved one of her major goals, becoming Japan's first woman to break the 2-minute barrier. It also majorly improved her own U18 NR of 2:03.13 set at Nationals two weeks ago, and bettered her 2:01.9 split in the NR-setting 4x800 m three days ago where she went through the first 400 m in 56.8. Translator's note: Kubo's 100 m splits per the stadium announcer: 14-28-43-58-1:13-1:29-1:44-1:59.93 Worldwide, her 1:59.93 is the 2nd-fastest U18 time in the world this year behind the 1:57.86 run by 17-year-old Phoebe Gill of Great Brita

Kubo Leads Higashi Osaka Keiai to 4x800 m NR

Newly crowned women's 800 m national champion Rin Kubo , 16, anchored one of two 4x800 m teams from Higashi Osaka Keiai H.S. at a time trial meet in Higashi Osaka Friday, setting a new Japanese NR of 8:33.77. The team, which included Rin Kitamura , Runa Asano , Misa Tamura and Kubo, took 8 seconds off the old record, clocking individual splits of 2:07.4 for Kitamura, 2:11.2 for Asano, 2:13.1 for Tamura and a solid 2:01.9 for the 16-year-old Kubo whose official PB for a standard 800 m is 2:03.13. Higashi Osaka Keiai's B-team also broke the old high school NR in 8:55.06. Overseas, three members of Japan's team for the Paris Olympics tuned up at the Monaco Diamond League meet. Women's javelin world champion Haruka Kitaguchi (JAL) ntook the win in style with a 65.21 m season best on her final throw, surpassing the leader since the first round, Australian Mackenzie Little , by 47 cm. After a good comeback run at the Paris Diamond League meet, Shunsuke Izumiya (Sumitom

Yasushi Sakaguchi Retires as Chugoku Denryoku Head Coach - "I Was Blessed With the Right People for 35 Years"

Yasushi Sakaguchi , who guided the Chugoku Denryoku men's corporate team to the peak of its power as its head coach and later executive head coach, retired from the team at the end of June. Appearing at his final race on June 29, he said, "It all went by in a blur. I was blessed with the right people for 35 years." Sakaguchi helped co-found the Chugoku Denryoku team, working to build the team up from zero and becoming its head coach in 1994. "We started with the basics, and built Chugoku Denryoku up into a well-known powerhouse in athletics," he said. Sakaguchi's coaching style encouraging the independence of his athletes helped produced Olympians, World Championships medalists and national record breakers like Shigeru Aburaya , Tsuyoshi Ogata and Atsushi Sato . In the team's golden era it even won the New Year Ekiden national title. Asked what athletics has meant to him, Sakaguchi answered, "I got to experience the world, and to see it in all its

93-Year-Old Sprint Legend Hiroo Tanaka After 1:43.02 - "400 m is Hard"

In his first race of the season 93-year-old super veteran runner Hiroo Tanaka showed that he still has what it takes. Tanaka lined up in three events at the Prefectural Sports and Recreation Festival in Aomori. Tanaka trains four days a week most of the time, but this was his first race since November, 2023, an almost 8-month blank. "I'm not confident at all. Especially about the 400 m," he said pre-race. "I'll be trying to break 1:50." But once the starting gun fired, Tanaka's sheer momentum couldn't be stopped. "I just focused on getting to the finish line without worrying about time," he said afterward. "I got there just before I was about to collapse." Despite not thinking about the pace he was running, Tanaka easily cleared his 1:50 goal with a stellar 1:43.02. Other runners gathered round to congratulation the legend of masters athletics. "Thank God it's over, thank God we're done," he said. "400 m is

Midweek Track Roundup

Catching up on track results from the last few days: After skipping the National Championships, men's 3000 mSC NR holder Ryuji Miura (Subaru) and 110 mH hurdler Shunsuke Izumiya (Sumitomo Denko) demonstrated fitness at the Paris Diamond League meet. Miura ran a season best 8:10.52 for 7th, with Izumiya 3rd in the final in a 13.16 (-0.6) SB after winning Heat 2 in 13.16 (+0.4). National champion Rachid Muratake (JAL) was a DNS in the final after winning Heat 1 in 13.15 (+0.1). At the last Nittai University Time Trials meet of the season, collegiate 5000 m and 10000 m record holder Richard Etir (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) won the men's 5000 m fast heat in 13:27.48, outrunning Brian Kiptoo (Reitaku Univ.) and Patrick Kamau (Kokushikan Univ.). Reishi Yoshida (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) was the fastest Japanese man in the meet at 13:45.54 for 6th. Kiptoo also soloed a 10000 m, literally, as in the only person in the race, in 29:05.52. Sharon Mwanthi (Yamanashi Gakuin H.S.) won the wome

Kasai, Goto, Kabasawa and Takashima Added to Japan's Olympic Team

With World Athletics' update of its Road to Paris rankings , one male and three female athletes have been added to Japan's team for the Paris Olympics, all in mid/long distance events. Left out are the vertical jumps, with women's pole vault NR holder Misaki Morota and high jumpers Nagisa Takahashi and Naoto Hasegawa missing by one or two places each. Men 100 m Abdul Hakim Sani Brown - 9.97 PB / 9.99 SB Ryuichiro Sakai - 10.02 PB / 10.10 SB Akihiro Higashida - 10.10 PB / 10.14 SB (4x100 m) - Hiroki Yanagita - 10.02 PB / SB (4x100 m) - Yoshihide Kiryu - 9.98 PB / 10.20 SB (4x100 m) - Shota Yamamoto - 10.16 PB / SB -  alternate 200 m Towa Uzawa - 20.23 PB / 20.26 SB Shota Iizuka - 20.11 PB / 20.46 SB Koki Ueyama - 20.26 PB / 20.47 SB 400 m Yuki Joseph Nakajima - 45.04 PB / 45.16 SB Kentaro Sato - 44.77 PB / 45.21 SB Fuga Sato - 44.88 PB / 45.61 PB (4x400 m) - Takuho Yoshizu - 45.57 PB / SB (4x400 m) - Kaito Kawabata - 45.73 PB / 45.77 SB (4x400 m) - Yudai Nishi - 20.43 PB

23-yr-old Yuki Nakamura Breaks Gold Coast Marathon Course Record

23-year-old Yuki Nakamura broke through to the upper levels of Japanese women's marathoning, taking over 6 minutes off her PB to win Australia's Gold Coast Marathon in a course record 2:24:22. Coming into the race with a best of only 2:30:31 from Nagoya in March, the night before the race Nakamura's coaching staff told JRN that her goal was to clear 2:26 and that she'd go with the lead group on 2:24 pace and see what she could do. Helped by a large group of men to break the wind, the pack of five soon shook down to just Nakamura, favorite Visiline Jepkesho of Kenya and 2:26 Ethiopian Sichala Kumeshi . Nakamura looked comfortable and under control, even like she was holding back, through the first 2/3 of the race. A move from Jepkesho before 30 km opened a 10 m gap between the two Africans and Nakamura, but Nakamura worked the small hill just after 31 km to catch back up and even go to the front. From there Nakamura threw in a series of surges, first breaking Kumeshi a

Buchanan and Pompeani Win Gold Coast Half Marathon

  The winner of Tokyo's Year End Half Marathon in 2019,  Andy Buchanan  ran a crafty race to beat four sub-61 Japanese men and the debuting Australian  Isaac Heyne  at the Gold Coast Half Marathon . Smiling most of the way, Heyne led on 2:59/km pace through the turnaround point just before 11 km before Koki Kamata  took over. From there it was a series of turnovers that took the lead group down to just Heyne, favorite Shunsuke Shikama , 2:06 marathoner Daisuke Doi , and Buchanan. All of them made moves in the last 2 km, but Buchanan made the definitive one in the last km, pulling away to win in a PB 1:02:20. After falling slightly behind, Heyne fought back for 2nd in 1:02:22 with Doi getting Shikama on the line for 3rd, both clocking 1:02:25. Four other Japanese men including 2:05 marathoner Kenya Sonota  made the top 10. The women's race started out as a trio with Australians Leanne Pompeani  and Jessica Stenson , and two-time winner  Sara Hall . Hall was the first to drop off

Gold Coast Half Marathon and Marathon Preview

Australia's Gold Coast Half Marathon and Marathon are big draws for Japanese corporate leaguers these days, especially with a big contingent from this year's National Corporate Half Marathon dominating the entry lists in the half. Two-time winner Sara Hall is top-ranked in the women's half with a 1:07:15 from Houston two years ago and will mostly be racing Leanne Pompeani for the win. Beyond that there's a big group at the 1:10 level including Japan's Rinka Hida , Yukari Nagatomo and Moe Shimizu who should all be in it for 3rd. The men's half is dominated by four Japanese men who broke 1:01 at the National Corporate Half in February, meaning that if the weather is decent then the 1:01:16 CR is likely to fall to Shunsuke Shikama , Koki Kamata , Soshi Suzuki or Daisuke Doi . That's a big if, though, with >50% chance of rain and a headwind in the 2nd half that's forecast to get stronger as the race goes along. The favorite for the win and a shot at

JAAF Announces Paris Olympic Team of 34 Men and 17 Women

Following last week's National Track and Field Championships, the JAAF has announced a tentative team of 34 men and 17 women for next month's Paris Olympics. Athletes in italics are within 5 places of their event quota and still have a chance of being added on roll-downs. The final team lineup will be announced next week. Men 100 m  (10.00) Abdul Hakim Sani Brown - 9.97 PB / 9.99 SB Ryuichiro Sakai - 10.02 PB / 10.10 SB Akihiro Higashida - 10.10 PB / 10.14 SB (4x100 m) - Hiroki Yanagita - 10.02 PB / SB (4x100 m) - Yoshihide Kiryu - 9.98 PB / 10.20 SB (4x100 m) - Shota Yamamoto - 10.16 PB / SB -  alternate 200 m  (20.16) Towa Uzawa - 20.23 PB / 20.26 SB Shota Iizuka - 20.11 PB / 20.46 SB Koki Ueyama - 20.26 PB / 20.47 SB 400 m  (45.00) Yuki Joseph Nakajima - 45.04 PB / 45.16 SB Kentaro Sato - 44.77 PB / 45.21 SB Fuga Sato - 44.88 PB / 45.61 PB (4x400 m) - Takuho Yoshizu - 45.57 PB / SB (4x400 m) - Kaito Kawabata - 45.73 PB / 45.77 SB (4x400 m) - Yudai Nishi - 20.43 PB / SB (20

Oga Ekiden, Hakodate Half and Lake Saroma 100 km - Weekend Road Race Roundup

The National Track and Field Championships in Niigata were the main event this weekend, but up north where it's cooler there were three important road races.   Chuo University won the 7-stage, 66.2 km university men's race at Saturday's 71st Oga Ekiden in Akita. Hakone Ekiden winner Aoyama Gakuin University led on the first two stages, but on the 7.5 km Third Stage Chuo's Rei Yamahira took over the top spot and never let go. Chuo won in 3:22:42, with Aoyama Gakuin ultimately a minute and a half back in 3:24:12. Tokyo Kokusai University was a close 3rd in 3:24:53. Running the same distance, the Shingenden corporate team was the top placer in the open division in 3:31:06, well back from 4th-place university team Toyo University . Omuta H.S. won the 7-stage, 49.5 km high school boys' division in 2:30:10, with Sendai Ikuei H.S. taking the top 2 spots in the 5-stage, 21.3 km high school girls' race, its A-team winning in 1:08:56. Complete results here . At th