Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Yamanashi Gakuin's Omwamba After 1500 m Collegiate National Record - "I Want to Win at All Three University Ekidens"

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20150523-OHT1T50192.html

translated by Brett Larner
video by naoki620



With Yamanashi Gakuin University having scored a place in the Hakone Ekiden's seeded bracket for the first time in 3 years, on May 15 its star senior Enock Omwamba broke the 1500 m national collegiate record in winning the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships in 3:35.69, at the time the fastest mark in the world this year.  He became the first man in 78 years to win four-straight Kanto 1500 m titles, and returning to win the 5000 m two days later he scored his third-straight Kanto double.  Heading into his last year of university in good form, we sat down to talk to the enthusiastic Kenyan star.

At Kanto Regionals you won your fourth-straight 1500 m title, and your time of 3:35.69 was the fastest in the world this year as well as big improvement on your 3:38.78 PB.  Tell us about your race.

Omwamba: When I started warming up I could tell I was feeling good.  The last 200 m were really tough, but the training I had done to get there was tougher [laughs].  I ran at 100% all the way to the finish.

You also broke both the 3:37.96 national collegiate record set by Daniel Gitau (Nihon Univ.) and the 3:37.42 Japanese national record.

Omwamba: My target this time was 3:35.  Hitting it was the result of four years of hard work.

This was your third-straight 1500 m - 5000 m double at Kanto Regionals.  Are you going to go for the 10000 m title at the National University Track and Field Championships too?

Omwamba: I'd like to give it a try.  I think I can break my predecessor Mekubo Mogusu's 27:27.64 national collegiate record.

On the first day of Kanto Regionals YGU's new first-year Dominic Nyairo won the 10000 m but was disqualified for coming in from the outer lanes too soon at the start.

Omwamba: Nyairo was really depressed after that, so I gave him a lot of advice.  He just got to Japan.  I don't think he's going to blow it next time.

You usually practice together as well.  What advice have you given him?

Omwamba: I told him that the first year here is a nightmare, but that you have to give everything you have to both your training and your studies.  It's better to decide the pace in workouts together and run together than it is to do it by yourself, and more fun that way too.

The YGU team's motto this year is "Break your own shell."  What kind of shell do you have to break?

Omwamba: Up to now this season things have been good over the middle distances on the track, so in summer I want to build up a solid mileage base and really do it this ekiden season.  This will be the first time in three years that we are running all three of the Big Three University Ekidens.  I want to make everyone happy by winning my stages at the Izumo Ekiden, the National University Ekiden and the Hakone Ekiden.

Enock Omwamba: Senior, Yamanashi Gakuin University.  Born April 4, 1993 in Nairobi, Kenya.  22 years old.  Began running at age 12, first focusing on middle distance and then moving to long distance at Nakuru High School.  PBs this season include 3:35.69 for 1500 m and 13:28.41 for 5000 m.  Has also run 28:00.33 for 10000 m and 1:01:15 for the half marathon.  170 cm, 54 kg.  Family includes his parents and eight siblings, of which he is sixth-born.

Bolder Boulder - Japanese Results

Bolder, U.S.A., 5/25/15
click here for complete results

Women
1. Meskerem Assefa (Ethiopia) - 33:32
2. Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) - 33:38
3. Risper Gesabwa (Kenya) - 33:54
4. Rei Ohara (Japan/Tenmaya) - 34:05
5. Makida Abdela (Ethiopia) - 34:24
-----
9. Miho Ihara (Japan/Sekisui Kagaku) - 34:47
20. Yurie Fujita (Japan/Tenmaya) - 37:23

Men
1. Belete Assefa (Ethiopia) - 29:05
2. Solomon Deksisa (Ethiopia) - 29:21
3. Allan Kiprono (Kenya) - 29:34
4. Bobby Curtis (U.S.A.) - 29:43
5. Abdi Abdirahman (U.S.A.) - 29:51

Monday, May 25, 2015

Collegiate 5000 m National Record Holder Takezawa: "I'm Almost Back"

http://www.sankei.com/west/news/150524/wst1505240046-n1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Holder of the 13:19.00 collegiate national record for 5000 m, Kensuke Takezawa (Team Sumitomo Denko) won Sunday's Kansai Corporate Track and Field Championships men's 5000 m in 13:59.67 with a surge over the last 300 m.  Having just come off a long season off due to an Achilles tendon injury Takezawa nodded as he said, "I'm almost back.  I've grown since last year."

Starting this spring, Takezawa's former coach at Waseda University, Yasuyuki Watanabe, has joined the Sumitomo Denko team as head coach, reunited the pair.  A member of the 2008 Beijing Olympics team, Takezawa, still just 28,  was optimistic of making a full comeback as he said, "Coach Watanabe understands me better than anybody.  Having him around changes my mentality." 

Translator's note: Two weeks ago Takezawa ran 13:37.89 for 4th at the Golden Games in Nobeoka meet, his best time in over three years.

Kawauchi and Nojiri Set Kurobe Meisui Marathon Course Records

http://www.tulip-tv.co.jp/news/detail/?TID_DT03=20150524112830

translated and edited by Brett Larner

More than 10,000 people took on the Kurobe Meisui Marathon in Kurobe, Toyama on Sunday, the most in the event's 32-year history.  Special guests included former world record holder and Sydney Olympics gold medalist Naoko Takahashi and 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't).  "Let's make this the liveliest race in Japan, in the world!" Takahashi called out to runners at the start.

Kawauchi set the men's course record, winning in 2:17:58.  2011 World Championships marathoner Azusa Nojiri (Hiratsuka Lease) likewise set a new women's course record of 2:44:56.

Its popularity increasing due to the opening of the new Hokuriku shinkansen line, Kurobe hosted a record-setting 10,485 starters in the marathon, 10 km and 5 km divisions.  Nice weather meant comfortable running for all under clear blue skies.

32nd Carter Memorial Kurobe Meisui Marathon
Kurobe, Toyama, 5/24/15
click here for complete results

Men
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:17:58 - CR
2. Takaya Sakamoto (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 2:23:51
3. Naoki Inoue (Ibaraki T&F Assoc.) - 2:27:15

Women
1. Azusa Nojiri (Hiratsuka Lease) - 2:44:56 - CR
2. Haruka Shiina (Gifu Joshi Univ.) - 3:02:14
3. Junko Otani (Hyogo T&F Assoc.) - 3:05:06

'Ethiopians Mekuria and Birhanu Claim Ottawa Marathon Victories' - Japanese Results

http://www.iaaf.org/news/report/ottawa-marathon-2015-mekuria-birhanu

Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon
Ottawa, Canada, 5/24/15
click here for complete results

Women
1. Aberu Zennebe (Ethiopia) - 2:25:30
2. Rebecca Chesir (Kenya) - 2:25:41
3. Abebech Afework (Ethiopia) - 2:25:53
4. Agnes Kiprop (Kenya) - 2:26:12
5. Meselech Melkamu (Ethiopia) - 2:26:45
-----
11. Rika Shintaku (Japan/Shimamura) - 2:33:34
DNF - Zivile Balciunaite (Lithuania)

Men
1. Girmay Birhanu (Ethiopia) - 2:08:14
2. Philip Kangogo (Kenya) - 2:09:56
3. Chele Dechase (Ethiopia) - 2:09:59
4. Rachid Kisri (Morocco) - 2:10:18
5. Peter Kirui (Kenya) - 2:10:23
-----
DNF - Deriba Merga (Ethiopia)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Göteborgs Varvet Half Marathon - Japanese Results

Göteborg, Sweden, 5/23/15
click here for complete results

Women
1. Worknesh Degefa (Ethiopia) - 1:08:13
2. Isabella Ochichi (Kenya) - 1:09:45
3. Beatrice Mutai (Kenya) - 1:09:46
4. Michi Numata (Japan/Toyota Jidoshokki) - 1:11:37
5. Viola Jepchumba (Kenya) - 1:11:46
6. Reia Iwade (Japan/Noritz) - 1:12:33

Men
1. Richard Mengich (Kenya) - 1:00:44
2. Hizkial Tewelde (Eritrea) - 1:01:19
3. Josphat Kiptis (Kenya) - 1:01:30
4. Henry Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:01:46
5. Sisay Lemma (Ethiopia) - 1:02:06
-----
13. Keita Shitara (Japan/Konica Minolta) - 1:05:18
15. Shota Hattori (Japan/Honda) - 1:07:18

Note: Both Shitara and Hattori have run under 1:01:30 this year.  The women's world record for the half marathon is 1:05:09.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Olympic Marathoner Eri Yamaguchi Building a New Ekiden Team

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/sports/201505/0008049840.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

A former marathon great is working hard in her position as head coach.  International Pacific University in Okayama has named 2000 Sydney Olympics marathon 7th-placer Eri Yamaguchi, 42, to lead its new women's ekiden team.  Returning to the field of competition for the first time in four years, Yamaguchi was full of a sense of mission as she said, "I want to pass to them everything that I learned and accomplished."

In March, 2011 Yamaguchi left her job as assistant coach at the Tenmaya women's corporate team to get married, afterward focusing on developing juniors.  When the knock on the door came from IPU she was conflicted, asking herself, "Can you go back to the competitive world?  You won't be able to take care of your family any more."  But after talking with IPU president Hiroshi Ohashi, she said, "I got a strong desire to help develop a strong ekiden team."  "She is one of the people who helped shape Japan's long distance world," President Ohashi commented.  "We have been considering this move for the last three years," he added, smiling at seeing his plans come to realization.

At the moment the team includes just four students, all first and second-years, but plans do not call for them to enter the ekiden circuit until after next season.  As the ability levels of their incoming first-years will shape the team's development, Yamaguchi is busy with doing her first-ever recruiting.  "First we have to build the team," she said, calmly assessing the team's prospects.  "If we get off on the right track then we will be able to think about winning."  She has already begun planting the seeds of competitiveness and development in the minds of inexperienced athletes in what is now a "friendly club."  With morning practice at 6:00 a.m. and another session in the evening there is little free time.  "I'm like a substitute mom for all the athletes," she said.  With a busy day-to-day schedule she added,  "When I go home all I can do is sleep."  But her smile betrayed the sense of fulfillment her new work brings her.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

World University Games Japanese Roster

by Brett Larner

The IUAU has announced the Japanese men's and women's rosters for July's Universiade, the World University Games, in Gwangju, South Korea.  2012 London Olympian Anna Doi (Daito Bunka Univ.), 2014 World Junior Championships men's 400 m silver medalist Nobuya Kato (Waseda Univ.) and 200 m 4th-placer Yuki Koike (Keio Univ.) feature prominently in the sprints, with 2014 Youth Olympics men's high jump silver medalist Yuji Hiramatsu (Tsukuba Univ.) leading the field contingent.  The strong men's distance squad is led by 2015 National University Half Marathon champion Tadashi Isshiki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) and 2015 Kanto Regionals D2 double 5000 m and 10000 m champion Hironori Tsuetaki (Chuo Gakuin Univ.), while 2015 National University Half Marathon champion Ayumi Uehara (Matsuyama Univ.) and 2015 Kanto Regional double 5000 m and 10000 m champion Sakurako Fukuuchi (Daito Bunka Univ.) front the women's distance group.

28th Universiade
Gwangju, South Korea, July 3-14, 2015
click here for complete Japanese roster

Men's Sprints
Yuki Koike (Keio Univ.) - 100 m, 4x100 mR - PB: 10.32 +0.7
Tatsuro Suwa (Chuo Univ.) - 100 m, 4x100 mR - PB: 10.39 + 0.5
Akiyuki Hashimoto (Waseda Univ.) - 200 m, 4x100 mR - PB: 20.35 -0.3
Kotaro Taniguchi (Chuo Univ.) - 200 m, 4x100 mR - PB: 20.45 +0.6
Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) - 4x100 mR, 4x400 mR - PB: 10.23 +1.3
Nobuya Kato (Waseda Univ.) - 4x400 mR - PB: 45.88
Kentaro Sato (Josai Univ.) - 400 m, 4x400 mR - PB: 46.21
Julian Walsh (Toyo Univ.) - 4x400 mR - PB: 46.22
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 4x400 mR - PB: 46.33

Men's Long Distance
Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.) - 5000 m, 10000 m - PB: 13:38.08 / 28:30.52
Hironori Tsuetaki (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 5000 m, 10000 m, half marathon - PB: 13:42.16 / 28:36.61 / 1:03:28
Kazuto Kawabata (Tokai Univ.) - 10000 m - PB: 28:44.71
Yusuke Ogura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - half marathon - PB: 1:02:03
Tadashi Isshiki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - half marathon - PB: 1:02:09
Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ.) - half marathon - PB: 1:02:12
Yuta Takahashi (Teikyo Univ.) - half marathon - PB: 102:13

Men's Hurdles
Genta Masuno (Kokusai Budo Univ.) - 110 mH - PB: 13.58 +0.4

Men's Walks
Daisuke Matsunaga (Toyo Univ.) - 20 kmW - PB: 1:19:08
Tomohiro Noda (Meiji Univ.) - 20 kmW - 1:20:08

Men's Jumps
Yuji Hiramatsu (Tsukuba Univ.) - high jump - PB: 2.28 m
Tomoya Takamasa (Juntendo Univ.) - long jump - PB: 8.03 m +1.9
Yasuhiro Moro (Juntendo Univ.) - long jump - PB: 7.83 m + 1.0

Men's Throws
Homare Mori (Chuo Univ.) - javelin throw - PB: 75.59 m

Women's Sprints
Anna Doi (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 100 m, 200 m - PB: 11.50 +0.3 / 23.62 +1.8

Women's Long Distance
Natsuki Omori (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 5000 m - PB: 15:39.96
Rina Koeda (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 5000 m, 10000 m - PB: 15:44.02
Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 10000 m, half marathon - PB: 33:27.26 / 1:13:03
Ayumi Uehara (Matsuyama Univ.) - half marathon - PB: 1:11:19
Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - half marathon - PB: 1:11:24
Maki Izumida (Rikkyo Univ.) - half marathon - PB: 1:11:26
Sakurako Fukuuchi (Daito Bunka Univ.) - half marathon - 1:11:44

Women's Throws
Ai Yamauchi (Osaka Seikei Univ.) - javelin throw - 56.94 m

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
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