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Prefontaine Classic 10000 m Results - Sub-27 PBs by Tanui and Karoki

by Brett Larner

Japan-based Kenyans Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) and Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC) ran big at the U.S.' Prefontaine Classic 10000 m, both setting new sub-27 PBs for 2nd and 3rd behind winner Galen Rupp's new 26:44.36 American record.  Tanui, the Moscow World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist and fastest in the world going into the race with a 27:16.75 two weeks ago at the Kyushu Corporate Track and Field Championships, ran next to Rupp in the front pack for the entire race, twice going to the front in the late going before Rupp got away on the last lap.  Tanui first broke 27 at Prefontaine three years ago.  Today he took just over a second off his best from that race with a 26:49.41 PB.

Karoki, who runs for the Toshihiko Seko-coached DeNA corporate team in central Tokyo and set a 1:00:02 course record at the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon less than two weeks ago, started more conservatively in the second pack before working his way up to join the leaders.  Even in the s…

Nikko to Host New University Women's Ekiden on Tough Uphill Course

http://mainichi.jp/sports/news/20140529k0000m050113000c.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The Nikko municipal government in Tochigi prefecture announced May 28 that women will soon be handing off the tasuki on Nikko's mountain roads at the first running of the Nikko Irohazaka Women's Ekiden on Nov. 30.  The uphill course will feature six stages totalling 23.4 km, zigzagging its way up 700 m of climb.  A city spokesperson commented, "We want to develop this into a race that will make people say, 'The men have Hakone, and the women have Nikko.'"

The new race is being organized by the "'Nikko: The Runner's Paradise' Executive Committee," a joint project of the local tourism board, sports bureau and others.  To help the event grow into a major post-autumn foliage season draw, it will also feature a mass-participation race on Nikko's famous "Nikko Utsunomiya Doro" toll road a day earlier on Nov. 29.

Organizers are aiming…

National Stadium's 50-Year Heritage to Go Nationwide as Seats and Other Equipment Distributed Free of Charge

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG5Q4FX5G5QUTQP01J.html

translated by Brett Larner

Set to be rebuilt for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the National Stadium's seats and other equipment are to find new life in sports facilities all across the country.  In response to requests from more than ten municipalities nationwide, the Japan Sports Promotion Center (JSC), managers and operators of the National Stadium, will donate the facility's equipment free of charge.  The list of recipients was announced on May 28.

The equipment to be distributed includes the National Stadium's signature orange plastic chairs, crowd control fencing, and lounge furniture.  The JSC is also looking at putting the soccer pitch's turf and the stadium's extra seats up for sale.  As the site of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the place where the drama of countless famous soccer and rugby matches unfolded, a JSC official commented, "We want to make sure the National Stadium's history …

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Entry List Highlights

Fukushima, 6/6-8/14
click here for complete entry lists in Japanese
marks given are best within qualification period / PB

Men's 100 m
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) 10.01 / 10.01
Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - 10.11 / 10.07
Takumi Kuki (Waseda Univ.) - 10.19 / 10.19
Asuka Cambridge (Nihon Univ.) - 10.21 / 10.21
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 10.22 / 10.22
Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas) - 10.24 / 10.07
Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) - 10.31 / 10.09

Men's 200 m
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 20.21 / 20.21
Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) - 20.34 / 20.34
Akiyuki Hashimoto (Waseda Univ.) - 20.35 / 20.35
Shota Hara (Jobu Univ.) - 20.41 / 20.41
Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - 20.41 / 20.41
Kenji Fujimitsu (Team Zeirin) - 20.48 / 20.38
Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) - 20.50 / 20.22

Men's 400 m
Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 45.46 / 45.16
Hiroyuki Nakano (Aichi T&F Assoc.) - 45.62 / 45.62
Nobuya Kato (Waseda Univ.) - 45.69 / 45.69
Kazuya Watanabe (Mizuno) - 45.71 / 45.71
Yusuke Ishitsuka (Mizuno) …

2063 Run Record-Setting Kinshuko 30 km

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/tohokunews/201405/20140525_34027.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 34th running of the Kahoku Shinpo Kinshuko Road Race took place May 25 on a JAAF-certified 30 km course starting and finishing in front of the Yuda government offices in Nishiwaga-machi, Iwate.    2063 men and women from all six Tohoku prefectures and elsewhere took part, running through the fresh green of spring along the lakeside course.  Conditions were excellent, with the temperature 17.7 degrees and humidity 79.4% at the start as each runner set off for the finish line at their own individual pace.

First across the line was the civil servant runner and member of this fall's Asian Games marathon team, Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't).  Fans thronged the course for the chance of catching a glimpse of Kawauchi's running in person, and they were rewarded as he took more than two minutes off the course record, winning in a new record of 1:34:01.  "I was really…

Mori With a National Collegiate Record as Fukuuchi and Omwamba Double at Kanto Regionals

by Brett Larner
videos by naoki620 and 陸上競技動画集

With the rest of the world busy discovering the joy of the relay that makes the Hakone Ekiden, the Kanto Region university men's road relay championships, the most-watched annual running race in the world, Japan spent the weekend focused on Hakone's stars at the 93rd edition of it's most exciting track meet, the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships.  Imagine an NCAA national championship held in a major stadium packed with ear-splitting cheering squads from each university and thousands of enthusiastic fans, average folk who actually care about "the sport," and you begin to approach the vibe at the Kanto Regionals.  Plus a half marathon.

Yes, the half marathon, the most entertaining event of the meet, D2 running with a 3-minute head start over D1 over nine loops of a course like this:


Child's play, or only in Japan? Either way, despite humid conditions both the D2 and D1 turned in exciting race…

50000 Enter to Run New Fukuoka Marathon

http://www.nishinippon.co.jp/nnp/f_toshiken/article/90266

translated by Brett Larner

With the closure of entries, on May 23 the organizing committee of the new Fukuoka Marathon scheduled to be held Nov. 9 announced its final tally of applicants.  46547 people applied to run the event's full marathon, which has a field limit of 10000. 1000 of those places have already been assigned in a separate entry lottery for local residents.  The other 9000 runners will be selected from among the remaining 45547 applicants including locals not selected in that lottery, a 5.06:1 applicant-to-runner ratio.  Results of the lottery will be announced in mid-June.

3320 people also applied to run the event's 5 km fun run, which has a maximum field size of 2000.  4 people applied for the 5 km wheelchair division, which can accommodate up to 20.  Altogether the three divisions totalled 49871 applicants.

Translator's note: This is a completely separate event from the long-standing Fukuoka Interna…

Olympic Marathoner Eri Yamaguchi Becomes Assistant Coach at International Pacific University

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2014052300819

translated by Brett Larner



On May 23 International Pacific University in Okayama announced that it has hired 2000 Sydney Olympics marathon 7th-place finisher Eri Yamaguchi, 41, as an assistant coach of its track and field team.  Yamaguchi will be responsible for the women's middle and long distance programs.

Yamaguchi was named to the Sydney Olympics team after winning the 1999 Tokyo International Women's Marathon in 2:22:12, then the 2nd-fastest time in Japanese women's marathoning history.  Since retiring in 2005 her activities have included coaching work with her former corporate team, Tenmaya.

Kanto Regionals The Focus of the Weekend

by Brett Larner

While the corporate leagues take a breather after their regional track and field championships last week, Kanto-area university runners are bracing for the second weekend of Japan's best track meet, the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium.

The men's 800 m should be highlights of the meet, Nihon University senior Sho Kawamoto having set a national record of 1:45.75 two weeks ago at the Golden Grand Prix Tokyo meet in Tokyo's National Stadium.  His second-year teammate Jun Mitake is the next-best runner in the field with a 1:48.67 PB, so while another NR is probably too much to ask between the two of them they should have a good chance of taking the 1:48.06 meet record set in 2009 by Kenyan Daniel Gitau, another Nihon University runner.

It says a lot about the quality of Kanto university men's distance running that four of the five Japanese men in this week's ARRS world top 200 rankings are collegia…

Youth Olympics Asian Area Qualification - Japanese Results

Bangkok, Thailand, 5/21-22/14
click here for Day One results
click here for Day Two results

Girls' 3000 m
1. Fatuma Jewaro Chebsi (Bahrain) - 9:42.12
2. Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Japan) - 10:15.52
3. Nazarova Mekhrangez (Tajikistan) - 10:31.65
4. Nelia Martins (Timor-Leste) - 11:16.16
5. Aviuntungolog Enkhbayov (Mongolia) - 11:30.20

Girls' 1500 m
1. Dalila Abdulkadirgosa (Bahrain) - 4:21.61
2. Nana Kuraoka (Japan) - 4:22.01
3. Zipei Jiang (China) - 4:34.91
4. Aprilia Kartina (Indonedia) - 4:45.38
5. Nastaran Akbari (Iran) - 5:16.88

Girls' 800 m
1. Hina Takahashi (Japan) - 2:09.28
2. Desi Mokonin (Bahrain) - 2:11.39
3. Fernando K.N. Dilhani (Sri Lanka) - 2:11.55
4. Zipei Jiang (China) - 2:13.50
5. Thi Tham Tran (Vietnam) - 2:13.81

Girls' 200 m
1. Xiaojing Liang (China) - 24.08
2. Manqi Ge (China) - 24.30
3. Zion Corrales-Nelson (Philippines) - 24.30
4. Tomomi Kawamura (Japan) - 25.12
5. Shiori Kakegawa (Japan) - 25.26

Girls' 100 mH
1. Nana Fujimori (Japan) - 13.59
2. Jing …

Paul Tanui World-Leading 27:16.75 - Weekend Corporate League Highlights

by Brett Larner

Alongside Bedan Karoki's Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon course record, Murayama twins Kenta and Kota's Kanto Regional University Championships 10000 m double victory and Yoshihide Kiryu's 10.05 national university record, four of the six regional corporate leagues held their track and field championships over the weekend.  Moscow World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) fronted the corporate regionals' best race with a world-leading 27:16.75 to win the Kyushu region men's 10000 m over the Koichi Morishita-coached Kenyan Jeremiah Karemi (Team Toyota Kyushu), 2nd in 27:41.81, and Ethiopian Melaku Abera (Team Kurosaki Harima), 3rd in 27:42.35.

Four of the eight Japanese men to have run sub-2:10 marathons so far this year were also in the race, Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), 2nd in 2:09:30 at February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, topping the group 5th overall in 28:34.75.  Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi Juko N…

Karoki Over Tadese, Jepkesho Over Kiplagat at Gifu Seiryu Half

by Brett Larner

Tokyo-based 2014 Lisbon Half Marathon winner Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA RC) and little-known Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya) upstaged big names Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) and Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) to take the men's and women's title at Sunday's fourth edition of the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon.

Tadese led through 5 km in 14:17 with Karoki relaxing two seconds back at the rear of the lead pack of Africans.  From there Karoki moved to the front, pushing the pace to a 14:06 split until by 10 km only he, Tadese and Japan-based Ethiopian Abayneh Ayele (Team Mazda) remained.  Things slowed over the next 5 km, but despite the slackened pace Karoki picked up a slight lead.  Heading into the last 5 km as temperatures rose Karoki said goodbye for good, dropping a 14:03 split from 15 km and 20 km to open his lead over world record holder Tadese to 1:14.  Closing at near-world record speed, Karoki crossed the line in 1:00:02, taking the win and Tadese's course record.  Tadese…

Kiryu 10.05 Meet Record for Kanto Regionals Win

by Brett Larner

After coming out on top of the 100 m qualifying heats and anchoring their 4x100 m teams to qualify for the finals yesterday, Japan's teen sprint sensations Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) and Anna Doi (Daito Bunka Univ.) returned for record-setting finals on the second day of the 2014 Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships, May 17 in Kumagaya, Saitama.



Kiryu, ranked #1 in the D1 100 m after a 10.36 (-0.6) opening round on Friday, started Saturday with a 10.25 (+3.6) to lead the semifinals.  Three hours later he was back in more moderate wind for the final, where he dropped a 10.05 (+1.6) meet record to tie Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Shingo Tsuetsugu's national university record.  His time, sixth in the world so far this season, was the closest Kiryu has come to his name-making 10.01 just over a year ago, bringing him one step closer to his career goal of Japan's first sub-10 clocking.

Just over three hours later he was back again to anch…

Murayama Twins Dominate and Omwamba Returns on First Day of 2014 Kanto Regionals

by Brett Larner
videos by naoki620


Train-stopping winds tore at what was left of the roof of the neighboring snow-damaged Kumagaya Dome, but the first day of Japan's biggest university meet, the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships, plowed ahead as scheduled on Friday, May 16 northwest of Tokyo in Kumagaya, Saitama.  Because Kanto is home to Japan's biggest sporting event, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden university men's road relay championships,  the region is a national magnet for men's distance running talent to the extent that the Kanto Regionals meet is much more competitive than its national counterpart where Kanto distance men race others from weaker regions from across the country.



That being the case, it was no surprise that the highlight of the day came in its final two events, the D2 and D1 men's 10000 m.  A school's D1 or D2 standing depends on the combined scoring of its overall track and field team, meaning that distance specialty sch…

Karoki vs. Tadese at Sunday's Gifu Half

by Brett Larner

The Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon leads this weekend’s Japanese road action, in just its fourth year already surpassing the long-running Sendai International Half Marathon as Japan’s leading late-spring half. With the withdrawal of 2011-2012 Gifu winner Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), who sat out the London Marathon with an injury following his 1:00:11 win at February’s Marugame Half, last year’s winner and world record holder Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea), 4th at this year’s World Half Marathon Championships in 59:38, returns to face #1-ranked Japan-based Kenyan Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), winner of March’s Lisbon Half in 59:58 in his half marathon debut.  With the aggressive Karoki in the race and good weather the lead pack should have a good shot at bettering Tadese’s course record of 1:00:31.

Making up that lead pack are last year’s 3rd, 5th and 6th-placers Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko), Abayneh Ayele (Ethiopia/Team Mazda) and Patrick Muwaka (Kenya/Team A…

Kanto Regionals Lead Five Championship Meets This Weekend

by Brett Larner

This weekend is one of the busiest on the Japanese calendar, with no less than five regional track and field championship meets. Leading the way is the first half of Japan’s toughest university meet, the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships. Bumped from its traditional place at Tokyo’s National Stadium by a two-night stand of Paul McCartney concerts, this weekend’s half of the Kanto Regionals meet takes place far out in the wilds of Saitama in Kumagaya.

The big news of the meet is the return of 2013 triple 1500 m, 5000 m and 10000 m D1 champion Enock Omwamba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) from a stress fracture that forced him to drop out of the Second Stage of the Hakone Ekiden in January, eliminating YGU from Japan’s most prestigious race. It’s a sign that he is taking the comeback easy that Omwamba is skipping the 10000 m, racing only the 1500 m, where he set a meet record 3:39.16 last year, this weekend and the 5000 m next weekend in Kawasak…

Marathoner Yuri Kano To Retire

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20140512-1299913.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On May 12, representatives of Shiseido announced that 2009 World Championships women's marathon 7th-placer Yuri Kano (35) will retire, leaving both the Shiseido team and company on May 31.  Following her departure she plans to be involved in outreach activities.  "I'd still like to be able to take part in marathons at my own pace," she said.

A native of Hyogo prefecture, Kano left the Second Wind AC team in 2011 to return to Shiseido, from which Second Wind had separated several years previously.  After her return, however, she was hit with repeated injuries and setbacks.  The May 11 Sendai International Half Marathon, where she finished 6th in 1:16:16, was her final race.

Kawamoto Sets 800 m National Record at National Stadium's Final Meet

by Brett Larner

Organizers announced that 17,000 fans turned out on a spectacular spring day for the final track and field meet at Tokyo's 1964 Olympics National Stadium, Sunday's Golden Grand Prix Tokyo. Many were there to relive memories of Abebe and Tsuburaya, of Taniguchi and Yamashita's 1991 World Championships medals, and of Seko, Takahashi and Noguchi's wins at the old Tokyo International Marathon, but there's no question that the main draw was the meet-closing men's 100 m featuring Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) up against the likes of Justin Gatlin (U.S.A.), Christophe Lemaitre (France) and Mike Rodgers (U.S.A.). Strong winds precluded fast times as multiple medalist Gatlin duly took 1st in 10.02 (-3.5) over Rodgers and Lemaitre. Kiryu was just 5th in 10.46, but fans seemed happy to see him in action regardless of the outcome.

Along the way they were treated to a great men's high jump that saw Moscow World Championships gold medalist Moscow Bohdan…