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Showing posts from September, 2013

20-Year-Old Genki Yagisawa Breaks Through to Sub-13:30 at Nittai Time Trials

by Brett Larner
photos by Kazuyuki Sugimatsu
videos by Ekiden News



The 232nd edition of 2013 Hakone Ekiden champion Nittai University's regular time trial meet series was the biggest on record.  After a Saturday dedicated to distances ranging from 800 m to 10000 m, Sunday dawned early for 45 heats of 5000 m, 42 for men and 3 for women, the first starting at 7:30 a.m. and the last at 9:20 p.m.  Mass-producing quality, the 5000 m heats averaged 42 runners each with the two largest having 48 finishers.  Late in the day the heats were beginning every 15 minutes like clockwork.  Performances were equally deep, with the women's 5000 m A-heat seeing the most women ever under 16:30, 38, and the men's 5000 m A-heat with 30 under 14:05 falling just short of the record of 33.

The performance of the weekend went to 20-year-old Meiji University junior Genki Yagisawa, a former high school star who has so far struggled to live up to expectations on the university ekiden circuit.  Running i…

Fujiwara and Watanabe Win on the Roads At Opposite Ends of Japan

by Brett Larner

Two weeks after finishing 4th and 6th in 1:02:44 and 1:02:58 at the Great North Run half marathon, London Olympian Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) and the Koichi Morishita-coached Ryuji Watanabe (Team Toyota Kyushu) scored wins on the roads at opposite ends of Japan.

Running at Hokkaido's Hakodate Half Marathon against a strong domestic field including perennial rival Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) who was 8th at the Great North Run, Fujiwara bided his time in hot conditions before attacking 2008 World Half Marathon 5th-placer Yusei Nakao and Taiga Ito of Suzuki Hamamatsu AC with 1.5 km to go and taking the win in 1:04:19.  "It was quite hot out there, so it ended up being a slow day," Fujiwara told JRN post-race.  After not having raced domestically since last December, though, he added, "Everyone made it a great race and I'm really happy to have gotten the win."  It was only the third road race victory of Fujiwara's career.

Kawa…

Berlin Marathon - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner
photos by Dr. Helmut Winter

Behind Wilson Kipsang's brilliantly self-controlled world record run at the 40th Berlin Marathon, 2:09:10 man Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) and last year's fastest Japanese man overseas, 24-year-old Koji Kobayashi (Team Subaru) with a 2:10:40 best from the 2012 Chicago Marathon, spent the race sparring with Brazilian great Marilson dos Santos in the second pack.  Keying off dos Santos through 10 km, Ishikawa fell back three seconds between 10 and 15 km with Kobayashi staying at his side before deciding to stay in the race and regain direct contact.

In a virtual replay of his run against Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.) in Chicago last year, Kobayashi stayed glued to dos Santos on low-2:07 pace until 35 km before starting to lose ground and then fading badly.  As dos Santos went ahead to take 6th in 2:09:24 Ishikawa, who had fallen as much as a minute behind, closed hard to retake Kobayashi in the final 2 km.  Ishikawa crossed the line 7th …

'Yoshihisa Hosaka Drawn to STWM by Prospect of Another World Record and Meeting Ed-san!'

http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/blog/2013/09/yoshihisa-hosaka-drawn-to-stwm-by-prospect-of-another-world-record-and-meeting-ed-san/

Men's 59+ world record holder Yoshihisa Hosaka (Natural Foods AC), 2:34:23 at age 59, 2:36:30 at age 60, 2:38:12 at age 61, 2:46:30 at age 63 and 2:46:17 in July at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon at age 64, will be running next month's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon with support from JRN in pursuit of the 2:42:44 age 64 world record.  Hosaka will also meet 68+ world record holder Ed Whitlock in Toronto for a panel discussion at the race expo.  Look for coverage of the two greats' meeting in Courir and Running Times magazines later this fall.

Kiryu in Action (updated)

Update, 9/27: The videos are live again, so I'm bumping this post back up to the top.

Update, 9/24: The video poster has made the videos of Kiryu running at his high school festival private, unfortunately.  I'll leave the links here on the off chance they ever revert.


Teen sprint sensation Yoshihide Kiryu was in action over the weekend at his high school's sports festival.  Running around a dirt field on the Rakunan H.S. grounds, he started the second leg of the senior class relay fourth out of five teams.  The result was predictable.

Kiryu also cleaned up in the 200 m.

World Championships Marathoner Maeda Named Police Chief for A Day

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/saga/news/20130925-OYT8T01531.htm

translated by Brett Larner

On September 25th the Shiroishi police department appointed 2013 Moscow World Championships marathoner Kazuhiro Maeda (32, Team Kyudenko) and former National Sports Festival 5000 m champion Tomoka Inadomi (27), both natives of Shiroishi, honorary police chiefs for the day.  The nominations came as part of a fall road safety campaign across Saga prefecture.  Receiving the letter of appointment from police chief Kazuhiro Shinohara, Maeda greeted the assembled crowd saying, "Let's all work together to raise awareness and eliminate accidents from our streets."  Inadomi added, "I hope that everyone will carry a personal sense of the importance of road safety."

After the ceremony Maeda, who is suffering from a leg injury, rode in a loudspeaker car promoting road safety to local residents.  Wearing a tasuki emblazoned with a road safety slogan, Inadomi ran 2 km from police hea…

Akari Ota Holds Off Kenyan Sweep of Distance Titles at National Corporate Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner

Following the 10000 m victories of Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) and Doricah Obare (Team Hitachi) a day earlier, two-time world junior steeplechase champion Jonathan Ndiku (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) and Grace Kimanzi (Team Starts) added to the Kenyan haul with 5000 m wins on the second day of the 2013 National Corporate Track and Field Championships.  In the men's race, 2010 World Cross-Country silver medalist Clement Langat (Team Subaru) took things out at a desultory pace, splitting 2:48 and 2:51 for the first two km, trailed by Ndiku, fellow Kenyans Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel), Daniel Gitau (Team Fujitsu) and Patrick Muwaka (Team Aisan Kogyo) and just one Japanese man, Meiji University graduate Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei).

Former Sera H.S. standout Ndirangu quickly lost patience with the state of things and took over with a 2:39 split for the third km, dropping all but Ndiku.  Ndirangu kept up the pressure with a 2:37 fourth km, but over the last lap h…

Tanui and Obare Win National Corporate 10000 m Titles

by Brett Larner

The 61st National Corporate Track and Field Championships got underway the evening of Sept. 20 in Kumagaya, Saitama with five rounds of 10000 m.  Moscow World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) outran fellow Japan-based Kenyan Edward Waweru (Team NTN) for the A-heat win in 27:26.43 to 27:30.51, pushing the pace relentlessly to make it a two-man race before kicking away over the final lap.  Ethiopian Mulaku Abera (Team Kurosaki Harima) went sub-28 for the first time, running a solo 27:54.74 for 3rd.  2012 national corporate half marathon champion Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota), relatively flat this year since a strong 30 km debut in February, was the top Japanese finisher, 4th inonly 28:06.52.

In the women's A-heat, longtime Japan resident Doricah Obare (Team Hitachi) got the better of Moscow 7th-place finisher Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko), pulling away to win in 32:02.78 over the last km.  Chepyego in turn barely held off the chargin…

'Beyond the Stats: Yuki Kawauchi'

http://www.nyrr.org/newsroom/nyrr-news-service/beyond-the-stats-yuki-kawauchi

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) is running November's ING New York City Marathon with support from JRN along with Hakone Ekiden mountain stage great Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), who he memorably beat in a battle of surges at the 2011 Fukuoka International Marathon, and London Olympian Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya), who was 13th in 2:51:55 four weeks ago at the Hokkaido Marathon. 

'Defending Champions Lead International Field for 2013 ING New York City Marathon'

http://www.nyrr.org/newsroom/press-release/defending-champions-lead-international-field-for-2013-ing-new-york-city-marathon

2013 ING New York City Marathon Elite Field New York, Nov. 3, 2013
Men Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) - 2:04:15 (Berlin 2012) / 2:03:02a (Boston 2011) Stanley Biwott (Kenya) - 2:05:12 (Paris 2012) Wesley Korir (Kenya) - 2:06:13 (Chicago 2012) Ryan Hall (U.S.A.) - 2:06:17 (London 2008) / 2:04:58a (Boston 2011) Peter Kirui (Kenya) - 2:06:31 (Frankfurt 2011) Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) - 2:07:20 (Enschede 2011) Jose Manuel Martinez (Spain) - 2:08:09 (Rotterdam 2003) Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:08:14 (Seoul Int'l 2013) Mebrahtom Keflezighi (U.S.A.) - 2:09:08 (Houston 2012) Masato Imai (Japan/Team Toyota Kyushu) - 2:10:29 (Tokyo 2013) Jason Hartmann (U.S.A.) - 2:11:06 (Chicago 2010) Ryan Vail (U.S.A.) - 2:11:45 (Fukuoka Int'l 2012) Jeff Eggleston (U.S.A.) - 2:12:03 (Chicago 2012) Daniele Meucci (Italy) - 2:13:49 (Rome 2010) Bouabdellah Tahri (France)…

Kawauchi by Fujiwara - A Photo Essay

A portrait of 2:08:14 marathoner Yuki Kawauchi by 2:07:48 marathoner Arata Fujiwara.











All photos taken by Arata Fujiwara  in Newcastle, U.K., 9/15/13.
all photos (c) 2013 Arata Fujiwara all rights reserved

National Corporate Track and Field Championships Kick Off Friday in Kumagaya

http://www.saitama-np.co.jp/news/2013/09/19/07.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Held in Saitama for the first time, the 61st National Corporate Track and Field Championships get underway Friday, Sept. 20 at Kumagaya Sports Park Field bringing three days of hot action featuring many of the country's best athletes direct to local fans. The opening ceremonies will be on the 21st, but the meet actually gets underway on the 20th with the men's and women's 10000 m races, the main action following over the next two days.

Athletes scheduled to appear on the 21st include Moscow World Championships marathon bronze medalist Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) and 4x100 m relay finalist Kenji Fujimitsu (Team Zenrin), a graduate of Saitama's Urawa H.S.  Fujimitsu is scheduled to double in the 100 m and 200 m, with his fellow Urawa graduate Yuji Ohashi (Mizuno) entered in the men's 110 m hurdles.  Among other Saitama athletes, having competed on three national teams including …

Soejima and Yamamoto Join ING New York City Marathon Wheelchair Field

For Immediate Release

NEW YORK, September 18, 2013 - A quartet of past champions— Kurt Fearnley of Australia, Edith Wolf-Hunkeler of Switzerland, Ernst van Dyk of South Africa and returning men's champion, Masazumi Soejima of Japan —will lead a powerhouse field of international stars at the ING New York City Marathon wheelchair race, it was announced today by NYRR officials.  Also announced were Canadian star and marathon all-conditions world record-holder Josh Cassidy, 2013 Boston Marathon men's champion Hiroyuki Yamamoto of Japan and women’s wheelchair pioneer Louise Sauvage of Australia.

They join a formidable lineup of previously announced USA contenders for the November 3 race, including reigning Boston and Virgin London champion Tatyana McFadden, London Paralympic marathon gold medalist Shirley Reilly and two-time New York City Marathon champion and course record-holder Amanda McGrory. On the men's side, Josh George, Ryan Chalmers and Adam Bleakney lead the USA conten…

2014 National Championships To Be Held In Fukushima

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20130918-OHT1T00105.htm

translated by Brett Larner

At a meeting in Tokyo on Sept. 18 to set the schedule for the 2014 season, the Japanese athletics federation Rikuren voted to hold the 2014 National Championships June 6-8 at Fukushima's Toho Minna no Stadium, with mixed events to be staged May 31 and June 1 at the Nagano Municipal Track and Field Grounds.  The Golden Grand Prix meet featuring a range of top international athletes is planned for May 11 pending coordination with the IAAF.  Final details will be announced at a later date following securing of the meet venue.

Best-Ever Japanese Results at Great North Run (updated)

by Brett Larner

The 2013 Great North Run lived up to expectations with thrilling races up front on both the men's and women's sides.  Battling strong crosswinds through the first half of the race and benefitting from an equally strong tailwind through the middle stages, 5000 m and 10000 m world record holder Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) made a successful transition to longer distances with a 1:00:09 win by one second over favorite Mo Farah (Great Britain) and the great Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) who took nearly two minutes off the existing 40+ world record in 1:00:41, while London Marathon winner Priscah Jeptoo (Kenya) mopped the soaking wet roads with Moscow World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m gold medalists Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) and Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) to win in a smoking 1:05:45.  The JRN-supported Japanese contingent brought its A-game, six of the seven of them making the top eight led by Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) who scored the best-ever Japanese men's…

Great North Run Start Lists

by Brett Larner

Scratches from the upper end of the entry lists for tomorrow's Great North Run include Koen Raymaekers (Netherlands) and Andy Vernon (Great Britain) in the men's race and #1-ranked Brit Gemma Steel, Irene Jerotich (Kenya), Jen Rhines (U.S.A.), Laura Whittle (Great Britain) and Abigail Bayley (Great Britain) in the women's race.

2013 Great North Run Start List Highlights
Newcastle-South Shields, U.K., 9/15/13

Men
Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) - debut
Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) - 58:55 (Phoenix, 2006)
Mo Farah (Great Britain) - 1:00:22 (New York 2011)
Collis Birmingham (Australia) - 1:00:56 (Marugame 2013)
Daniele Meucci (Italy) - 1:01:06 (New York 2013)
Arata Fujiwara (Japan/Miki House) - 1:01:34 (Marugame 2012)
Tomohiro Tanigawa (Japan/Team Konica Minolta) - 1:02:17 (Marugame 2013)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:02:18 (Marugame 2012)
Jonathan Mellor (Great Britain) - 1:02:59 (New York 2012)
Ryota Matoba (Japan/Team Komori Corp.) - 1:03:15 (N…

Fujiwara and Kawauchi Lead Seven-Strong Japanese Contingent at Great North Run

by Brett Larner

Sunday's Great North Run features men's and women's races bound to go down in history, with the winners of the last five Olympic 10000 m gold medals, Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia), Mo Farah (Great Britain) and now-veteran Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) slated to go head-to-head in the men's race and London Olympics marathon silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo (Kenya) going after Moscow World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m gold medalists Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) and Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia).  Even though there may be doubts as to whether Bekele will really start what would be his half marathon debut, what more could you ask for?

But beyond the big stars both races feature deep quality fields.  The men's race features 2013 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon winner Collis Birmingham (Australia), top Europeans Daniele Meucci (Italy) and Koen Raymaekers (Netherlands), and five Japanese men appearing with support from JRN.  London Olympian Arata Fujiw…

Japan Post Announces New Women's Distance Team Targeting 2020 Tokyo Olympics

http://www.47news.jp/CN/201309/CN2013091001002070.html

translated by Brett Larner

Japan Post Holdings announced on Sept. 10 that it will launch a new women's corporate league team next April.  Made up of athletes who will join the company as new workers next spring, the team will focus on middle and long distances.  The goal behind the new team is to get an athlete onto the 2020 Tokyo Olympics team, thereby raising the profile and image of the national post corporation.

Japan Post Holdings president and C.E.O. Taizo Nishimuro is expected to make an official announcement on Sept. 11.  The athletes will be given reduced working hours and other allowances to help them place an emphasis on their training and racing.  Many of the nation's top coaches will be approached with offers to lead the team, which is expected to have roughly ten members.

Japan Post Holdings already sponsors tennis and other sports teams, but athletes are expected to train after working a regular work day.  The…

'Horiguchi, Yoshitomi to Bring Strong Japanese Presence to Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon'

http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/blog/2013/09/horiguchi-yoshitomi-bring-strong-japanese-presence-to-scotiabank-toronto-waterfront-marathon/

Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda) and Hiroko Yoshitomi (First Dream AC) will run the Oct. 20 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon with support from JRN.  Horiguchi planned to run Toronto in 2010 before withdrawing shortly before the race with injury.  For Yoshitomi, the "female Kawauchi," it will be her international debut.

photos (c) 2013 Kazuyuki Sugimatsu
all rights reserved

Gebrehiwot Takes Over Five Minutes Off Muenster Marathon Course Record

by Brett Larner

Click here for Dr. Helmut Winter's German-language article on this year's Muenster Marathon including a large number of high-quality photos.

The day dawning with heavy rain, wind, thunder and lightning, the 12th edition of the Volksbank Muenster Marathon saw the worst conditions in the race's history, but with radically opposing results in the men's and women's races the weather's impact on the race was hard to determine.  In the men's race things went out very slow on the twisting roads in the course's first 10 km, understandable given the slick cobblestone surface.  The designated Kenyan pacer was more than 10 seconds per km off the target pace of 3:06/km, but still the almost entirely Kenyan lead pack lagged behind.  Japanese runners Yuko Matsumiya (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) and Yuya Shiokawa (Team Subaru), in Muenster with support from JRN, gestured for the pacer to run the designated splits but he repeatedly looked over his shoulder and…

Daniel Muiva Kitonyi Breaks Through With 5000-10000 Double at National University Championships

by Brett Larner

In the absence of Kanto Region champion Enock Omwamba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.), Nihon University's Daniel Muiva Kitonyi broke through to take the 5000 m and 10000 m double over two of Japan's best collegiate runners Sept. 6 and 7 at Tokyo's National Stadium.  In Friday's 10000 m he easily outdistanced the field to solo a 28:17.31 for the win, with 1:01:19 half marathoner Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) outkicking Hideto Yamanaka of 2013 Hakone Ekiden champions Nittai University for 2nd in 28:43.89.  A day later and Kitonyi was back to win the 5000 m in 13:46.19 over #1-ranked Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.), fresh back from racing in Europe earlier this week.  Having won the 1500 m last year Kitonyi opted not to go for the triple, leaving the door open for Murayama's teammate Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) to take the national title in 3:46.29 by a margin of nearly two seconds.

In the women's distance events, Mai Tsuda (Ritsumeikan Univ.) won a c…

Matsumiya and Tanaka Top Entry Lists at Volksbank Muenster Marathon

by Brett Larner

For the second year in a row, Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon features Japanese athletes in its elite field through the support of JRN.  Yuko Matsumiya (Team Hitachi Butsuryu), identical twin brother of 5000 m and 30 km Japanese national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta), and veteran Chihiro Tanaka (AthleC AC) are the fastest athletes in the field on paper, Matsumiya with a best of 2:09:18 and amateur Tanaka holding a 2:29:30.  But both ran these times several years ago and will face tough challenges from the best-quality fields Muenster has yet assembled.  Kenyans Bertram Kimutai Keter, Joel Kipsang Kositany and John Kyalo have all run under the course record of 2:10:25 within the last two years, and with favorable conditions forecast for Sunday it may well take a new course record to win.  Pre-race Matsumiya was optimistic, saying, "I'm here to win.  I'm not focused on a time, just whatever it takes to win." Komazawa …