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Prefontaine Classic Men's 10000 m - Japanese Results

Eugene, U.S.A., 5/29/15
click here for complete results

1. Mo Farah (Great Britain) - 26:50.97
2. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 26:51.96
3. Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) - 26:52.65 - PB
4. Cam Levins (Canada) - 27:07.51 - NR
5. Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) - 27:17.91
6. Emmanuel Bett (Kenya) - 27:22.34
7. El Hassan El Abbassi (Bahrain) - 27:25.02 - PB
8. Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) - 27:27.57 - PB
9. Diego Estrada (U.S.A.) - 27:30.53 - PB
10. Titus Mbishei (Kenya) - 27:31.48
-----
16. Suguru Osako (Japan/Nike Oregon Project) - 27:45.24

Federation Eliminates International Chiba Ekiden Citing Overcrowded Calendar and Declining Significance

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASH5X5RP5H5XUTQP02J.html
http://www.jiji.com/jc/zc?k=201505/2015052800724&g=spo 
http://www.sankei.com/sports/news/150529/spo1505290004-n1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner
photo courtesy of STITCHrunner

On May 28 the JAAF announced that it is cancelling the International Chiba Ekiden, scheduled for Nov. 23 this year, and will no longer stage it.  The event's organizing committee at the Federation made the decision today, citing difficulty in recruiting top-level athletes in the midst of a calendar already crowded with marathons and other ekidens and a decreasing significance in staging Chiba as both Japanese and international athletes focus on other international races.

The International Chiba Ekiden was first held in 1988.  Beginning in 2007 it featured mixed teams alternating men's and women's legs over a six-stage, 42.195 km course.  At last year's 26th running 13 teams from 11 countries took place including a team of top Jap…

Federation Eliminates Selection Advantage from National Team Program

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/1483468.html

an editorial by Hirokazu Ogishima
translated by Brett Larner

At a meeting of its executive committee May 27 in Tokyo, the JAAF made the decision to eliminate the advantage in Olympic and World Championships marathon team selection given to members of its National Team program.  The National Team program was launched last spring and is overseen directly by the JAAF's Development Committee, who at the time of the program's inauguration said that members would receive priority in consideration for the 2016 Rio Olympic team.  A year later they have flip-flopped and gone in exactly the opposite direction.

At the meeting the JAAF board discussed the organization of this year's National Team, the members of which have not yet been announced.  Criteria such as evaluation of athletes' performances over the last year will not change, but Vice-Chairman of Development Katsumi Sakai stated, "At the point in time when…

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 la…

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

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…

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…

'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
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DNF - Deriba Merga (Ethiopia)

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
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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.

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.…

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 K…

Owakudani Volcanic Activity Raises Questions About Cutting the Hakone Ekiden Course Short

http://www.zakzak.co.jp/sports/etc_sports/news/20150512/spo1505121550001-n1.htm

an editorial by Mitsuo Kamiya
translated by Brett Larner

"If this volcanic activity continues like this then it won't be a situation where you could think about holding an ekiden," said an official nervously.  He was speaking of one of the biggest national events, the New Year holidays' HakoneEkiden.  Located near the Hakone Ekiden's climax, the mountainous uphill Fifth Stage, the Owakudani valley famous for its "black eggs" is currently experiencing earthquakes and increased volcanic activity with the land in the valley having risen an alarming 12 cm.

On May 6 authorities elevated the eruption alert level at Owakudani from 1 (normal) to 2 (crater periphery restrictions).  To put it simply, the move meant that an eruption could happen at any time.  During the Golden Week holidays in early May the surrounding hot spring tourism area experienced few cancellations as tourists to…

Tanui Runs World-Leading 27:08.21 - Regional Corporate Track Championship Highlights

by Brett Larner

2013 Moscow World Championships men's 10000 m bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) capped a weekend of regional corporate track and field championships with a world-leading 27:08.21 meet record at the Kyushu Championships.  Starting at near world record pace with a 2:38.38 first 1000 m Tanui soon calmed down and ran under control, going through halfway in 13:34.98 and lapping the entire field including sub-62 half marathoner Hiroto Inoue (Mitsubishi Hitachi Nagasaki) and three of the Asahi Kasei team's star new recruits, Kota Murayama, Shuho Dairokuno and Takashi Ichida.

The women's 10000 m was not quite as fast but still started quick, with Misaki Kato (Team Kyudenko) and Keiko Nogami (Team Juhachi Ginko) going after the sub-32:00.00 Beijing World Championships standard.  The pace slowed off the standard but the pair ran together until the last lap when Kato pulled just ahead to win in 32:13.72.

At the East Japan meet Kenyans William Malel (Team Hond…

Omwamba, Tsuetaki and Fukuuchi Double With Kanto Regionals 5000 m Wins

by Brett Larner
videos by naoki620 and JRN



A day after becoming the first man in 78 years to win four-straight Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships 1500 m titles, Enock Omwamba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) added another title to his collection, winning a third-straight 5000 m in 13:35.35.  Omwamba and 1500 m runner-up Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) went out front from the start, initially with some company from Japanese athletes but soon on their own.  Wambui made it a good race, at one point going to the front and knocking Omwamba back to 5th, but in the last km he was no match as Omwamba kicked away to win by just over 2 seconds.  Hiroki Matsueda (Juntendo Univ.) was an unexpected 3rd in 13:52.08, just holding off 30 km national collegiate record holder Yuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.).



After winning the D2 10000 m Thursday night with a solid 59-second final lap, Hironori Tsuetaki (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) did it again in the D2 5000 m with a 2:32 last 1000 m that put away 2015 Nationa…

Kirwa Breaks Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon Course Record

by Brett Larner

2014 Asian Games marathon gold medalist Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) was back in Japan at Sunday's hot Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, pulling along Atsede Baysa (Ethiopia) and Paskalia Kipkoech (Kenya) through the early kilometers but on her own by 30 seconds before halfway and rolling on unchallenged to a new course and national record of 1:09:37.  Baysa was likewise on her own in 2nd in 1:10:37, while Brianne Nelson (U.S.A.) ran down Kipkoech late in the race for 3rd in 1:12:43.  Yuko Mizuguchi (Team Denso) took top Japanese honors at 5th in 1:13:47.

On the men's side, former Team Toyota runner James Rungaru (Kenya) likewise pushed things early in his return to Japan, killing off favorite Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) with an opening 5 km of 14:17 that put him 10 seconds ahead of the chase group including past winner Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC).  Rungaru slowed in the final 5 km but was out of range of the chasers and took the win in 1:02:21, Michael Githae

'Javier Gomez Outsprints Alistair Brownlee in Yokohama'

Omwamba Runs 3:35.69 National Collegiate Record for 4th-Straight Kanto Regionals 1500 m Title

by Brett Larner
video by naoki620



Senior Enock Omwamba (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) brought the biggest news of the second day of the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium, winning his fourth-straight D1 Kanto 1500 m title in a national collegiate record 3:35.69.  Omwamba simply outclassed the field, runner-up Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) more than 5 seconds back in 3:41.13 and top Japanese finisher Mitsutaka Tomita (Tokai Univ.) 3rd in 3:47.20.  The fastest time by a Japanese runner actually came in the D2 1500 m final, where Hiroya Inoue (Jobu Univ.) took 0.1 off marathon great Daniel Njenga's meet record with his 3:45.47 win.

Alongside Omwamba, Sakurako Fukuuchi (Daito Bunka Univ.) likewise pulled off a successful title defense in the women's 10000 m, winning for the second year in a row in 33:32.94 by almost 4 seconds over teammate Fuyuka Kimura.  Another Daito Bunka runner, Rina Koeda, won the women's 1500 m in 4:17.54, less…

'The Superhero Runner - Why Yuki Kawauchi is My Son’s Hero'

Kanno, Tsuetaki and Yamanaka Take 10000 m Titles on First Day of University Regionals

by Brett Larner

Compressed from its usual two-weekend format to one this year, the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships started May 14 at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium.  In the day's main event, Yamanashi Gakuin University debuted its new Kenyan first-year Dominic Nyairo in the D1 10000 m.  Nyairo and two-time National University 10000 m champion Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Nihon Univ.) led throughout the race, pursued by a large Japanese chase pack that shook down to just one runner, 2014 National University Half Marathon champion Hideto Yamanaka (Nittai Univ.).  Yamanaka, who sat out his entire junior year last year with injury, was hesitant to lead, but when he did make a move he and Nyairo shook off Muiva, turning the race into a head-to-head duel over the last lap.  Nyairo pulled away with a brilliant last 200 m to win by two seconds, but shortly after the race it was announced that he had been disqualified for stepping over the outer/inner start dividers at the be…

'NYRR’S Mary Wittenberg Steps Down, Michael Capiraso & Peter Ciaccia to Lead Organization'

http://www.nyrr.org/media-center/press-releases/nyrr-news

Mary Wittenberg's support has been key to the success of the Ageo City Half Marathon - NYC Half Japanese university student invite program over the last four years.  As the results at last weekend's Golden Games in Nobeoka show, this invite is having a major impact on the young athletes' futures and the state of Japanese men's distance running.

Starting Gun at Sendai Half Malfunctioned 10 Seconds Before Start

http://sp.kahoku.co.jp/tohokunews/201505/20150511_14013.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Just before the start of the May 10 Sendai International Half Marathon in central Sendai, the electronic pistol used to start the race experienced a malfunction, emitting sound 10 seconds before the official start time.  According to race officials, the malfunction occurred in the pistol's electrical system before guest starter Mayor Emiko Okuyama pulled the trigger.  Few runners starting running when the false signal occurred, and the race began as scheduled when officials gave the verbal command, "Start!"  Results from the race will still be officially certified.

Kwemoi and Murayama Twins Dominate at Golden Games in Nobeoka

by Brett Larner
videos by Ekiden News

Nobeoka is Japan's twin to the United States' Eugene, an isolated mecca of the sport with intense local support driven by the legends of local greats.  Track Town U.S.A. Eugene has 1972 Olympics 5000 m 4th-placer Steve Prefontaine, while Athlete Support Town Nobeoka has twins Takeshi Soh, 4th in the 1976 Olympics marathon, and Shigeru Soh, whose 2:09:06 in 1978 was that time's fastest ever behind Australian Derek Clayton's short-course world best.  Prefontaine died a rock star death to become a marketing icon for locally-originating global manufacturer Nike, while the Soh twins became the faces of locally-originating global manufacturer Asahi Kasei, first as athletes and then as coaches and staff members, their work in developing the Asahi Kasei corporate team, in creating and operating the Golden Games meet and in supporting children's programs and the local community helping make Asahi Kasei synonymous with distance running gr…

Maeda and Maina Win 25th Running of the Sendai International Half Marathon

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/tohokunews/201505/20150511_14015.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Breaking the event's old record by 349 people, a record-setting 13,932 participants took part in the 25th running of the Sendai International Half Marathon on May 10 in central Sendai, Miyagi.

In the day's main event, the JAAF-certified half marathon division starting and ending at the municipal track and field grounds on the city's south side, defending champion Johana Maina (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) ran 1:02:33 to win the men's race again, his second-straight and third overall Sendai title.  His teammate and 2014 World Half Marathon Championships Japanese national team member Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) was 3rd in 1:03:11, while 2015 World Championships marathoner Masakazu Fujiwara took 6th in 1:03:51.  2014 Asian Games marathon bronze medalist Yuki Kawauchi was 30th.

In the women's race, 2015 World Championships marathoner Sairi Maeda (Team Daihatsu) opened a 46-second le…

Yamanashi Gakuin University Welcomes Tenth Kenyan Student Athlete in School History

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/20150504-OYT1T50009.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Aiming for its first seeded bracket finish in three years at January's Hakone Ekiden, Yamanashi Gakuin University's track and field team welcomed the tenth Kenyan student athlete in the program's history, Dominic Nyairo, 18, at the start of the new academic year in April.  At a time trial meet on April 25 Nyairo broke 29 minutes for 10000 m, a time that puts him on the same level as the upper tier of athletes who run the Hakone Ekiden.  YGU head coach Kiyoshi Ueda is optimistic about Nyairo's prospects, saying, "he is highly adaptable."

Nyairo is 1 m 67 cm tall and weighs 48.5 kg.  Like the student athletes who preceded him at YGU, he comes from western Kenya.  After his arrival on April 11 he enrolled as a first-year in YGU's Faculty of Modern Business.  Because Nyairo can not yet speak Japanese, Ueda is coaching him in English.

Having a Kenyan on the team d…

Kawauchi Wins Unprecedented 3 Half Marathons on 3 Straight Days

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150505-00000127-nksports-spo

translated and edited by Brett Larner

2014 Asian Games bronze medalist Yuki Kawauchi (28, Saitama Pref. Gov't) won Tuesday's Toyohiragawa Half Marathon in Sapporo, Hokkaido, running 1:09:23.  Beginning on May 3 he travelled more than 3000 km across the country in three days, winning Sunday's Asagiriko Half Marathon in Ehime in 1:07:23 and following up on Monday with a 1:07:03 win at Saitama's Kasukabe Otako Half Marathon. He completed his unprecedented streak of three half marathon wins on three consecutive days at Toyohiragawa, running solo right from the gun.

"I wanted to run a bit better time than this, but my legs were heavy right from when I started warming up," he said. "But still," he added, showing satisfaction in his performances, "this was a solid streak, so I think today was a good run."  After the race Kawauchi planned to "go to Kogane Onsen to help recover fr…

Payton Jordan Invitational - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Although Japanese men largely stayed away from Stanford University's Payton Jordan Invitational this year, three more women picked up qualifying marks for this year's Beijing World Championships.  In the 10000 m, Yuka Takashima (Team Denso) improved on her qualifying mark with a 31:37.32 best for 4th, while behind her teammates Mao Kiyota and Eri Makikawa (both Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) ran 31:44.79 and 31:48.22 to expand the list of candidates for the Beijing team to six.  5000 m national champion Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) likewise ran a best of 15:16.82 to get under the 15:20.00 Beijing standard, bringing that list of candidates up to three.   Men's 10000 m national champion Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) duly turned in the top men's performance of the day, a 27:57.13 that made him the first Japanese man this year to break 28 but still left him far off the sub-27:45.00 Beijing standard.

Payton Jordan Invitational
Stanford, California, U.S.A., 5/…