Saturday, April 30, 2016

Wanjiru and Kamais Take 5000 m Titles at 50th Oda Memorial Meet

by Brett Larner

Japan-based Kenyans Rosemary Wanjiru (Team Starts) and Paul Kamais (Team Chugoku Denryoku) scored tight wins to take the Grand Prix 5000 m titles at the 50th Oda Memorial Track and Field Meet at Hiroshima's Edion Stadium on Saturday.  Wanjiru, a graduate of Aomori Yamada H.S., led start to finish in the women's race, taking it out at 15:20 pace and closing in 2:58 to beat teammate Grace Kimanzi by just over a second.  Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), already the fastest Japanese woman so far this year for 10000 m, delivered the fastest 5000 m, 15:37.21, to take the top Japanese spot in 5th.

Kamais, a brand-new graduate of Hiroshima's local National High School Boys Ekiden course record-setter Sera H.S., alternated the lead with two-time World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) throughout the men's race before closing in 2:33 for the win.  Shuho Dairokuno (Team Asahi Kasei) was the top Japanese finisher in 13:31.56 for 5th, his teammate Takashi Ichida knocking a second off his PB to take 7th in 13:35.19.  Asahi Kasei's Tetsuya Yoroizaka, all-time Japanese #2 for both 5000 m and 10000 m last year, was only 10th in 13:49.60.

Sera's Hibiki Onishi topped the West Japan Junior Women's 3000 m, part of a group of four that kicked past leader Nagisa Shimotabira (Kobayashi H.S.) on the last lap and outrunning Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.), younger sister of the Nike Oregon Project's Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu, for the win in 9:22.60.

50th Oda Memorial Track and Field Meet
Edion Stadium, Hiroshima, 4/29/16
click here for complete results

Women's Grand Prix 5000 m
1. Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Kenya/Starts) - 15:15.14
2. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Starts) - 15:16.44
3. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Universal Entertainment) - 15:19.47
4. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:23.80
5. Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:37.21
6. Moeno Nakamura (Universal Entertainment) - 15:37.93
7. Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 15:43.13
8. Risa Kikuchi (Hitachi) - 15:44.37
9. Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 15:44.61
10. Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:47.47

Men's Grand Prix 5000 m
1. Paul Kamais (Kenya/Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:24.06
2. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 13:25.28
3. Teressa Nyakola (Ethiopia/Mazda) - 13:26.41
4. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/JFE Steel) - 13:30.47
5. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 13:31.56
6. Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA) - 13:34.52
7. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 13:35.19 - PB
8. Hideyuki Tanaka (Toyota) - 13:36.08
9. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Toyota) - 13:42.67
10. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) - 13:49.60

West Japan Junior Women's 3000 m
1. Hibiki Onishi (Sera H.S.) - 9:22.60
2. Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:26.01
3. Kyoka Kudo (Oita Nishi H.S.) - 9:26.48
4. Tsuzumi Terao (Yamada H.S.) - 9:26.76
5. Nagisa Shimotabira (Kobayashi H.S.) - 9:30.71

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, April 28, 2016

An Update on Eastern European Women in Japan

by Brett Larner

The 4th-place finish by Volha Mazuronak of Belarus at last weekend's London Marathon turned heads around the world.  Her time of 2:23:54 may become a national record pending the annulment of times run by Belarussian Alexsandra Duliba following January's announcement of Duliba's suspension on biological passport violations.  New York Road Runners professional athlete consultant David Monti was quick to point out Mazuronak's splits, a 1:13:19 first half, 1:10:35 second half and 7:08 for the final 2.195 km split from 40 km to the finish, the fastest closing split in the London women's field and on a par with or better than the 6th through 10th-place men there.  Mara Yamauchi, the second-fastest British woman ever in the marathon, wrote an analysis noting the similarity between Mazuronak's splits and those in a 2012 JRN analysis of performances by Eastern European women represented by Russian Andrey Baranov and his Spartanik agency.

Baranov also represented Duliba, who recorded the following performance, facing possible annulment, at the 2014 Boston Marathon:

Aleksandra Duliba/BLR - 6th, 2014 Boston Marathon - 2:21:29
1st half: 1:10:15
2nd half: 1:11:14
last 2.195km: 7:17 (2nd-fastest in field behind only suspended doper Rita Jeptoo)

Below is an update to JRN's 2012 post with other performances by Eastern European Baranov athletes in major Japanese marathons since 2012.  As noted, all but one, the slowest one, have been annulled due to biological passport suspensions.  Mazuronak's second half and closing split were truly remarkable in that they beat those in every performance below.  Coincidentally, she is also represented by Baranov.

Mariya Konovalova/RUS (age 40) - 2nd, 2015 Nagoya Women's Marathon - 2:22:27 (annulled)
1st half: 1:11:08
2nd half: 1:11:19
last 2.195 km: 7:22 (2nd-fastest in field behind only Japanese collegiate NR holder Sairi Maeda)

Tetiana Gamera/UKR - 1st, 2015 Osaka Women's Marathon - 2:22:09 (annulled)
1st half: 1:11:15
2nd half: 1:10:54
last 2.195 km: 7:18 (fastest in field)

Mariya Konovalova/RUS - 1st, 2014 Nagoya Women's Marathon - 2:23:43 (annulled)
1st half: 1:12:34
2nd half: 1:11:09
last 2.195 km: 7:13 (fastest in field)

Tetiana Gamera/UKR - 1st, 2014 Osaka Women's Marathon - 2:24:37 (annulled)
1st half: 1:12:12
2nd half: 1:12:25 
last 2.195 km: 7:26 (fastest in field)

Albina Mayorova/RUS - 1st, 2013 Yokohama Women's Marathon - 2:25:55
1st half: 1:13:45
2nd half: 1:12:10
last 2.195 km: 7:43 (fastest in field)

Tetiana Gamera/UKR - 1st, 2013 Osaka Women's Marathon - 2:23:58 (annulled)
1st half: 1:11:40
2nd half: 1:12:18
last 2.195 km: 7:14 (fastest in field)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Hakodate Half Marathon Elite Field Highlights

Hakodate, Hokkaido, 6/26/16
click here for complete field listing
times listed are 2013-16 bests except where noted

Women
Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) - 1:10:04 (Berlin 2014)
Asami Kato (Panasonic) - 1:10:21 (Philadelphia 2013)
Hiroko Miyauchi (Hokuren) - 1:10:27 (Sanyo 2015)
Yuko Mizuguchi (Denso) - 1:11:03 (Marugame 2015)
Yukiko Okuno (Shiseido) - 1:11:28 (Matsue 2015)
Kaori Yoshida (Runners Pulse) - 1:13:04 (Nerima 2016)

Men
Tomohiro Tanigawa (Konica Minolta) - 1:02:17 (Marugame 2013)
Yuya Ito (Toyota) - 1:02:21 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Michael Githae (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:02:27 (Gifu 2015)
Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:02:55 (Ageo 2014)
Masaki Takamoto (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:10 (Marugame 2015)
Yu Chiba (Honda) - 1:03:12 (Ageo 2013)
Yuya Kato (Teikyo Uiv.) - 1:03:54 (Marugame 2016)
Shota Saito (JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:03:58 (Marugame 2014)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon Elite Field Highlights

Gifu, 5/15/16
click here for complete field listing
times listed are 2013-2016 bests except where noted

Women
Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) - 1:08:06 (Marugame 2016)
Rebecca Kangogo Chesir (Kenya) - 1:08:21 (Milan 2015)
Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia) - 1:09:23 (Olomouc 2014)
Visiline Jepkesho (Kenya) - 1:09:43 (Adana 2016)
Yuka Ando (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:09:51 (Sanyo 2015)
Sayo Nomura (Japan/Daiichi Seimei) - 1:10:03 (Sanyo 2013)
Kayoko Fukushi (Japan/Wacoal) - 1:10:04 (Berlin 2014)
Lauren Kleppin (U.S.A.) - 1:10:16 (Copenhagen 2014)
Eri Makikawa (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:10:27 (Marugame 2014)
Mao Kiyota (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:10:31 (Valencia 2015)
Bornes Jepkirui (Kenya) - 1:10:32 (Azpeitia 2014)

Men
Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA) - 59:14 (Copenhagen 2015)
Paul Kuira (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 59:47 (Marugame 2015)
Kenneth Keter (Kenya) - 59:48 (Venlo 2016)
Martin Mathathi (Kenya) - 1:00:11 (Marugame 2014)
James Rungaru (Kenya/Chuo Hatsujo) - 1:00:12 (Nice 2015)
Fabiano Sulle (Tanzania) - 1:01:19 (Marugame 2016)
Moses Kibet (Uganda) - 1:01:37 (Lisbon 2016)
Kenta Matsumoto (Japan/Toyota) - 1:01:55 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2015)
Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 1:01:56 (Gifu 2014)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 1:02:10 (Marugame 2016)
Takuya Suzuki (Japan/Aisan Kogyo) - 1:02:15 (Marugame 2016)
Yuya Ito (Japan/Toyota) - 1:02:21 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Chiharu Takada (Japan/JR Higashi Nihon) - 1:02:22 (Marugame 2013)
Dishon Maina (Kenya/Omokawa Zaimoku) - 1:02:23 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2014)
Michael Githae (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:02:27 (Gifu 2015)
Yuichiro Ogawa (Japan/NTN) - 1:02:30 (Marugame 2014)
Ryo Matsumoto (Japan/Toyota) - 1:02:32 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2013)
Kinari Ikeda (Japan/Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:45 (Takanezawa 2016)
Junji Katakawa (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:02:49 (Marugame 2015)
Satoru Kasuya (Japan/Toyota Boshoku) - 1:02:52 (Marugame 2013)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:02:55 (Ageo 2014)
Cuthburt Nyasango (Zimbabwe) - 1:02:56 (Prague 2013)
Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - debut - 27:42.09 (Tokai Univ. 2015)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

'Your Media Business Will Not Be Saved'

https://medium.com/@joshuatopolsky/your-media-business-will-not-be-saved-1b0716b5010c#.jds9z59vq

Not running or Japan-related, but a good read that expresses some of the same philosophy by which JRN has always operated.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kawauchi Returns from European 'Yuki Showdown' vs. Sato: "I Win on Time and Racing"

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20160426-OHT1T50059.html

translated by Brett Larner

Civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), age 29, returned to Tokyo's Narita Airport on April 26 after winning Sunday's Zurich Marathon in 2:12:04 in snowy conditions.  At the same time that Kawauchi was racing in Zurich, corporate league star Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) also age 29, ran the London Marathon, finishing 11th in 2:12:14.  Pre-race Kawauchi had said, "There's no way I'm going to lose to him," and having lived up to his words he was very pleased with the outcome of the 'Yuki Showdown.'  "I beat [Sato] on time, and with worse [weather] conditions in Zurich I win on racing too."

Having missed the Rio Olympic team, Kawauchi's major goal now is the 2017 London World Championships, what he considers now will be his last time going for a place on a national team.  Kawauchi is focusing on December's Fukuoka International Marathon selection race and setting up his schedule to be ready for it.  In May he will race both the Sendai International Half Marathon and Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, and in July he will return to the Gold Coast Marathon where he hopes to run sub-2:10.

"I was in really good shape and felt great in Zurich, and it doesn't feel like there's any lingering damage," he said post-race.  "I want to break 2:10 once before the summer."

Sato photo © 2016 Dr. Helmut Winter, all rights reserved
Kawauchi photo © 2016 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Monday, April 25, 2016

Paul Tanui With Another 10000 m World Lead at Hyogo Relay Carnival

by Brett Larner

James Mwangi's 27:23.24 10000 m world leading time on day one of the Hyogo Relay Carnival lasted less than 24 hours as two-time World Championships bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) held off an Ethiopian challenge from Mamiyo Nuguse (Team Yasukawa Denki) to win Hyogo's day two Grand Prix 10000 m in a new world leader of 27:22.28.  Tanui led the entire way from a 2:42 opening 1000 m to the finish, Nuguse waiting to kick in true Ethiopian style but coming up short in 27:24.85 for 2nd.  2016 National cross-country champion Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei) outran a heavyweight domestic field to take the top Japanese spot, running 28:22.57 for 5th.

Felista Wanjugu (Team Univ. Ent.) took the women's Grand Prix 10000 m in 32:11.68, running behind Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu) through 9000 m before kicking away for the win.  Ando was 2nd in 32:16.34, well ahead of a Japanese trio including marathoner Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya).

Japan-based Africans also won both the men's and women's Grand Prix 1500 m races, with meet record holder Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) taking the women's title in 4:16.10 and world junior record holder Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) just off his own meet record with a 3:38.86 in the men's race.  Close behind him, rookie pro Masaki Toda (Team Nissin Shokuhin) took another big step forward with a rare Japanese sub-3:40 clocking, running 3:39.67 for 2nd.

Juntendo University second-year Kazuya Shiojiri got fans on their feet by challenging for the men's Grand Prix 3000 mSC win, but Kosei Yamaguchi (Team Aisan Kogyo) got away from him on the last lap to take it in 8:36.78.  Junior national record holder Anju Takamizawa (Matsuyama Univ.) won the women's race in 10:00.95.

At the weekend's other big meet, 2012 World Junior Championships 5000 m bronze medalist William Malel (Team Honda) turned in a 13:23.65 to win the Nittai University Time Trials men's 5000 m A-heat by 0.14 seconds over newcomer Charles Muneria (Team Toyota Boshoku).  Second-year Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) was the top university man at 3rd in 13:27.63, with Hiroki Matsueda (Team Fujitsu) the first Japanese man across the line in 13:43.22.  The D-heat featured two interesting names, with former Aoyama Gakuin University star and aspiring Olympic triathlete Ryotaro Otani 6th in 14:13.02 and 2012 London Olympics marathoner Arata Fujiwara (Arata Project) getting in his first post-Tokyo Marathon shakeout with a 14:25.91 for 20th.  "I'll be ready for sub-14 by May," he told JRN post-race.

64th Hyogo Relay Carnival Day Two Highlights
Universiade Memorial Stadium, Kobe, Hyogo, 4/24/16
click here for complete results

Men's Grand Prix 10000 m
1. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 27:22.28 - WL
2. Mamiyo Nuguse (Ethiopia/Yasukawa Denki) - 27:24.85
3. Rodgers Kwemoi (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 27:43.85
4. Bernard Kimanyi (Kenya/Yakult) - 27:50.81
5. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 28:22.57
6. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) - 28:24.79
7. Akihiko Tsumurai (Mazda) - 28:26.12
8. Akinobu Murasawa (Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:32.13
9. Masato Kikuchi (Konica Minolta) - 28:34.58
10. Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:48.92

Women's Grand Prix 10000 m
1. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Universal Entertainment) - 32:11.68
2. Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 32:16.34
3. Risa Yokoe (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:24.87
4. Yukari Abe (Shimamura) - 32:26.84
5. Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) - 32:27.51
6. Miho Shimizu (Hokuren) - 32:28.62
7. Kaho Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 32:28.77
8. Doricah Obare (Kenya/Edion) - 32:38.73
9. Yukari Ishizawa (Edion) - 32:38.73
10. Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 32:39.43

Men's Grand Prix 1500 m
1. Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya/Komori Corp.) - 3:38.86
2. Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) - 3:39.67
3. Abiyot Abinet (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 3:42.49
4. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) - 3:43.74
5. Hiroya Inoue (Jobu Univ.) - 3:44.12

Women's Grand Prix 1500 m
1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Toyota Jidoshokki) - 4:16.10
2. Ayako Jinnouchi (Kyudenko) - 4:17.91
3. Chihiro Sunaga (Shiseido) - 4:20.14
4. Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) - 4:21.21
5. Yuna Wada (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 4:22.13

Men's Grand Prix 3000 m SC
1. Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) - 8:36.78
2. Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) - 8:39.10
3. Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) - 8:47.02
4. Yasutaka Ishibashi (Tokai Univ.) - 8:48.72
5. Aoi Matsumoto (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 8:55.53

Women's Grand Prix 3000 m SC
1. Anju Takamizawa (Matsuyama Univ.) - 10:00.94
2. Soyoka Segawa (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 10:08.36
3. Yui Yabuta (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 10:10.55
4. Ayaka Koike (Edion) - 10:13.24
5. Nana Sato (Starts) - 10:18.88

249th Nittai University Time Trials Day Two Highlights
Nittai University, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 4/24/16
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m Heat 31
1. William Malel (Kenya/Honda) - 13:23.65
2. Charles Muneria (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:23.79
3. Patrick Wambui (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 13:27.63
4. Daniel Kipkemoi (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:27.70
5. Amos Kirui (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:29.44
6. Samuel Mwangi (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 13:31.57
7. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:40.50
8. Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) - 13:43.22
9. Minato Oishi (Toyota) - 13:43.91
10. Genki Yagisawa (Yakult) - 13:45.28

Men's 5000 m Heat 28
1. Wataru Sato (Tokai Univ.) - 14:09.46
2. Shoma Funtasu (Chuo Univ.) - 14:09.67
3. Takumi Ichida (Chuo Univ.) - 14:10.09
-----
6. Ryotaro Otani (unattached) - 14:13.02
20. Arata Fujiwara (Arata Project) - 14:25.91

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Kawauchi Scores First European Win at Snowy Zurich Marathon

by Brett Larner


Overcoming tough conditions that saw 19 of the 35 elite athletes in the combined men's and women's elite fields drop out, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) led almost start to finish to score his first-ever European win at Sunday's Zurich Marathon.  With snow starting just before the race began and peaking out with 1 cm accumulation 40 minutes in Kawauchi, 2nd last year in 2:12:13 and running again with support from JRN, pushed it from the gun in hopes of a sub-2:10 win.  Pacer Edwin Kiprop Korir (Kenya), tasked with taking the race out on track for 2:09:24, slipped on a corner at 3 km and twisted his ankle, holding on through 5 km before falling behind and leaving Kawauchi to do the heavy lifting.

Followed closely by Ethiopians Abere Belay and Bizuneh Malaku Belachew and the soon-to-vanish Titus Masai (Kenya), Kawauchi led through off-and-on snow all the way to 35 km, the Africans never making an effort to share the load.  After Masai and Belachew lost touch Belay made a move on a small hill at 35 km.  Kawauchi quickly responded and was back in front within 30 seconds.  "His movement didn't look right and I could tell that his legs were locking up from the cold, so I felt pretty confident about how it was going to go," Kawauchi said post-race.  "Having won in snow a few years ago in Nagano I knew it was to my advantage."


The pair sparred over the next 4 km before Kawauchi took advantage of a slight hill on a bridge just before 39 km to open a gap that Belay couldn't overcome.  Clocking 2:55 between 39 and 40 km despite a sharp corner and slick surfaces, Kawauchi put over a minute on Belay to win in 2:12:04.  His 60th marathon, Zurich was Kawauchi's first win in Europe and the 25th marathon win of his career.  It was also his 50th time breaking 2:17 and 30th time going under 2:13, both more than any other athlete in history.  "I knew early on that the time wasn't going to happen, so I focused on winning," Kawauchi said.  "I'm a little disappointed that I didn't at least break 2:12, but my legs were so cold that I couldn't move when I tried to kick at the end.  But given that I had to lead over 90% of the way I think this was a great run.  Now I've won marathons in Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe.  Next up, the U.S.A."

Abere took 2nd in 2:13:09, the only elite African male or female to finish the race.  Switzerland's Julien Lyon was 3rd in his debut, running 2:16:17.  Kawauchi took extra satisfaction just over an hour later when Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin), like Kawauchi 29 years old and the biggest star on the Hakone Ekiden circuit back when Kawauchi was still only an anonymous minor college runner, ran a PB of 2:12:14 for 11th at the London Marathon.


Less fortunate than Kawauchi was defending women's champion Yoshiko Sakamoto (YWC).  Sakamoto ran the first 15 km at sub-2:30 pace as part of a group including the four fastest women on the entry list and several male pacers.  The group was hit directly by the worst of the snowfall, and after the turnaround into the slight headwind near halfway, with clothing soaking from earlier snow and rain they began to drop one by one.  Olympic hopeful Katharina Heinig (Germany) made an early break, but after Sakamoto passed her at 27 km to take the lead Heinig quickly stopped, shaking badly in the cold.

A kilometer later it was Sakamoto's turn.  "I was running really smoothly and starting thinking I could win it, but I realized that I couldn't feel my hands or feet anymore," Sakamoto told JRN afterward.  "My vision started going black and I couldn't tell if I was still running.  I stopped and started shaking so badly I fell.  A spectator picked me up, hugged me and started rubbing my back hard to warm me up.  When I kept shaking and couldn't talk she took me back to her house, filled a hot bath for me, gave me dry clothes and shoes and then called an ambulance.  I can't speak English so I couldn't talk to her and don't know her name, but I really want to say thank you for saving me to whoever she was."

Sakamoto was taken to a nearby hospital but later released with no serious problems.  Along with her, Heinig and African-born elites Isabellah Andersson (Sweden) and Alemitu Bekele Aga (Belgium) dropped out due to the conditions, leaving Daniela Aeschbacher (Switzerland) to unexpectedly win in 2:47:40.  "I had no idea I was in the lead until the top woman's escort bicycle came back!" Aeschbacher said post-race.  Race director Bruno Lafranchi commented, "These were the worst conditions in the history of the Zurich Marathon.  At another race we organize in December we had 12 degrees and sunshine.  In late April, 3 degrees and snow!  I was glad I was in the lead car and not out there running."



14th Zurich Marathon
Zurich, Switzerland, 4/24/16

Men
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:12:04
2. Abere Belay (Ethiopia) - 2:13:09
3. Julien Lyon (Switzerland) - 2:16:17
4. Adrian Lehmann (Switzerland) - 2:19:17
-----
Bizuneh Malaku Belachew (Ethiopia) - DNF
Edwin Kiprop Korir (Kenya) - DNF
Titus Masai (Kenya) - DNF
Tesfamariam Solomon (Eritrea) - DNF

Women
1. Daniela Aeschbacher (Switzerland) - 2:47:40
2. Jane Fardell (Australia) - 2:48:12
3. Bojana Bjeljac (Bosnia & Herzegovina) - 2:48:18
4. Judit Varga (Hungary) - 2:48:29
-----
Isabellah Andersson (Sweden) - DNF
Alemitu Bekele Aga (Belgium) - DNF 
Katharina Heinig (Germany) - DNF
Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan/YWC) - DNF

Sakamoto photo © 2016 Chris Godfrey, all rights reserved
text © 2016 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Saturday, April 23, 2016

World Leads at Hyogo Relay Carnival and Nittai Time Trials - Day One Report

by Brett Larner

Two big two-day meets got started Saturday, turning out two world-leading times.  At the Hyogo Relay Carnival the Asics Challenge events serve as the B-heats ahead of Sunday's Olympic selection Grand Prix races, but there was nothing second-tier in the men's 10000 m as James Mwangi (Team NTN) ran a world-leading 27:23.04 to lead six men, all Kenya, under 28 minutes.  Mwangi's time took more than 9 seconds off the meet record set in way back in 2005 by the late great Samuel WanjiruFabiano Sulle (Tanzania) was the top non-Kenyan at 7th in 28:01.76.

Second-year Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) led the collegiate results in 3rd in 27:56.47.  Tokai University dominated Heat Two of the 10000 m with three runners, two of them first-years, going sub-29 led by first-year Hayato Seki with the win in 28:48.63.  Toyo University first-year Sota Watanabe also cleared 29, just, running 28:59.77 for 10th.  Many more university men broke 29 at the Nittai Time Trials meet, led by Stanley Siteki (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) in 28:39.29, pointing to an exciting hear ahead on the university ekiden circuit.

The other world-leading run came at Nittai as Kenyan Helen Ekarare (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) ran 8:56.92 to win the women's 3000 m A-heat, followed closely by rival Monica Margaret (Aomori Yamada H.S.) in 8:58.93.  Natsumi Yoshida (Route Inn Hotels) topped the Nittai women's 5000 m A-heat in 15:51.55, but back in Hyogo Hisami Ishii (Yamada Denki) turned in a bigger run, delivering the fastest Japanese women's 5000 m so far this year with a 15:39.92 in the Asics Challenge Women's 5000 m, the only runner there to break 16.  Both Hyogo and Nittai continue tomorrow.

64th Hyogo Relay Carnival - Day One Highlights
Universiade Memorial Stadium, Kobe, Hyogo, 4/23/16
click here for complete results

Asics Challenge Men's 10000 m Heat One
1. James Mwangi (Kenya/NTN) - 27:23.04 - WL, MR
2. Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 27:47.20
3. Dominic Nyairo (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 27:56.47
4. Patrick Muendo Muwaka (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 27:56.97
5. Charles Ndungu (Kenya/Komori Corp.) - 27:57.36
6. Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) - 27:57.57
7. Fabiano Sulle (Tanzania) - 28:01.53
8. Silas Kingori (Kenya/SGH Group) - 28:01.76
9. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Toyota) - 28:05.56
10. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/YKK) - 28:26.11

Asics Challenge Men's 10000 m Heat 2
1. Hayato Seki (Tokai Univ.) - 28:48.63
2. Hiroyuki Ishikawa (Aisan Kogyo) - 28:49.11
3. Junji Katakawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 28:52.21
4. Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) - 28:53.66
5. Ryutaro Ichitani (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:55.14
6. Kazuto Kawabata (Tokai Univ.) - 28:55.26
7. Shota Onizuka (Tokai Univ.) - 28:55.26
8. Kazuki Muramoto (Sumitomo Denko) - 28:55.45
9. Daisuke Koyama (Chudenko) - 28:56.71
10. Sota Watanabe (Toyo Univ.) - 28:59.77

Asics Challenge Women's 5000 m
1. Hisami Ishii (Yamada Denki) - 15:39.92
2. Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 16:00.59
3. Kasumi Nishihara (Yamada Denki) - 16:00.66
4. Nami Hashimoto (Denso) - 16:02.63
5. Ayano Ikemitsu (Kagoshima Ginko) - 16:04.29

249th Nittai University Time Trials - Day One Highlights
Nittai University, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 4/23/16
click here for complete results

Women's 3000 m Heat 5
1. Helen Ekarare (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 8:56.92 - WL
2. Monica Margaret (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 8:58.93
3. Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 9:10.12
4. Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:11.32
5. Yumika Nagahama (Miura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:22.23

Women's 5000 m Heat 4
1. Natsumi Yoshida (Route Inn Hotels) - 15:51.55
2. Yuma Adachi (Kyocera) - 15:51.56
3. Satomi Ueta (Kyocera) - 15:52.08
4. Yuri Nozoe (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 15:59.69
5. Harumi Okamoto (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 16:01.57

Men's 10000 m Heat 8
1. John Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) - 27:43.70
2. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Kanebo) - 28:04.22
3. Johana Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) - 28:18.45
4. Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 28:19.43
5. Stanley Siteki (Kenya/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 28:39.29
6. Titus Mogusu (Kenya/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 28:39.68
7. Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:40.31
8. Simon Kariuki (Kenya/Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 28:40.86
9. Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) - 28:44.44
10. Yuki Matsumura (Honda) - 28:44.83

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sakamoto and Kawauchi Return to Zurich Marathon

by Brett Larner

Most of the running world will be focused on the London Marathon, where among others Japanese track and ekiden great Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) will be trying again to get the marathon right, but there's at least one other good race this weekend.  Last year Yoshiko Sakamoto (YWC), an unknown amateur runner and mother of three, seemed to come out of nowhere to win Switzerland's Zurich Marathon, with the popular Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) taking 2nd in what ended up being his fastest race of an injury-prone 2015.  This year both Sakamoto and Kawauchi return to Zurich for Sunday's race with support from JRN.

Sakamoto faces at least two strong rivals this year.  It has been a while since Kenyan-born Swede Isabellah Andersson's 2:23:41 PB in Dubai 2011 or even since she broke 2:30, but with a 2:30:02 in Tokyo in February she is still the best in the field.  A stroke against her: Andersson only joined the Zurich field after a DNF in Rotterdam earlier this month.  Katharina Heinig, daughter of German legend Katrin Dorre, is next on the list with a 2:33:56 best from Hamburg 2014 and will be trying to make the German Olympic team.  To do that she will need to beat Anna Hahner's 2:30:35 from Hannover two weeks ago.  Sakamoto, who pulled out of January's Osaka International Women's Marathon when her children came down with the flu and the Tokyo Marathon when she did the same, is seeded third and will have a tough time repeating.

Kawauchi ran Zurich last year still struggling with complications from an ankle sprain, finishing 2nd in 2:12:13.  This year he is fit, well-trained and enthusiastic about going for his first sub-2:10 win outside Japan.  Ethiopian Abere Belay is the only other athlete in the field to have broken 2:10 with a 2:08:18 in Dubai 2014, but since then he hasn't broken 2:12 in four attempts.  Kenyans Edwin Kiprop Korir and Titus Masai form the rest of the small front group, but the race looks like Kawauchi's to lose.  The forecast is not looking ideal for fast times; sometimes it snows in April, but wet or dry there's still a race to be run.

14th Zurich Marathon Elite Field Highlights
Zurich, Switzerland, 4/24/16
times listed are bests in last three years except where indicated

Women
Isabellah Andersson (Sweden) - 2:30:02 (Tokyo 2016)
Katharina Heinig (Germany) - 2:33:56 (Hamburg 2014)
Yoshiko Sakamoto (Japan/YWC)  2:36:29 (Osaka Women's 2015)
Jane Fardell (Australia) - 2:37:35 (Paris 2013)
Alemitu Bekele Aga (Belgium) - 2:39:26 (Ticino 2011)

Men
Abere Belay (Ethiopia) - 2:08:18 (Dubai 2014)
Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 2:09:05 (Fukuoka Int'l 2013)
Edwin Kiprop Korir (Kenya) - 2:10:26 (Zurich 2013)
Titus Masai (Kenya) - 2:11:16 (Torino 2014)
Bizuneh Melaku Belachew (Ethiopia) - 2:13:10 (Mainz 2015)
Tesfamariam Solomon (Eritrea) - 2:14:51 (Berlin 2015)
Adrian Lehmann (Switzerland) - 2:15:08 (Berlin 2015)
Mohamednur Hamd (Eritrea) - 2:16:40 (Florence 2015)
Michael Ott (Switzerland) - 2:16:53 (Zurich 2013)
Tewodros Zewdu Asfaw (Ethiopia) - 2:17:02 (Poitiers 2013)
Wissem Hosni (Tunisia) - 2:17:59 (San Sebastian 2014)

text and photo © 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

JAAF Issues Warning Against Widespread Use of Iron Injections for Anemia

http://www.asahi.com/articles/DA3S12316787.html

translated by Brett Larner

The JAAF has decided to take measures against the widespread use of iron injections by long distance athletes to combat anemia, saying that they undermine the athletes' bodies.  Beginning this spring it is sending documents to high school, university and corporate teams under the governance of the various local prefectural athletics associations to warn of the risks posed by iron injections, following up with a survey to help understand the scale of the actual situation.  The JAAF considers this problem central to the stagnation of distance running and marathoning, particularly with regard to women's performances.

Iron injections were already conventionally known to have deleterious effects upon athletes, but because there are situations in which the injections are a legitimate medical practice they have continued to be allowed.  However, amid a sense of crisis the JAAF has opted to take a strong stance.  "If we do not face the iron problem head-on we will never be able to rebuild our women's marathoning," commented JAAF senior managing director Mitsugi Ogata.

In the background of the issue is the wildfire popularity of the ekiden.  Recognizing that "light makes fast," some junior high school and high school coaches, particularly of girls' teams, have their runners diet while doing extremely high-volume training.  As a consequence the iron levels needed to produce the hemoglobin that transports oxygen to the body drop, leading to anemia.  Iron injections offer a quicker-fix remedy than taking iron tablets orally.

Injections are only used correctly if the athlete is not already taking iron tablets.  A large amount of iron in the bloodstream can lead to "iron overload," excessive concentrations accumulating in internal organs such as the heart and liver and raising the risk of organ dysfunction.  At an April 10 seminar on anemia for coaches and trainers JAAF officials told them, "Do not give iron just because an athlete says they don't feel right or are not producing the desired results."

Daiichi Seimei women's corporate team head coach Sachiko Yamashita lamented the situation, saying, "I want to be able to help develop athletes to become stronger, but when they arrive at our team their bodies already can't handle the training."  The JAAF plans to help assemble local medical committees in various locations as necessary to explain the harmful effects of iron injections.  Additionally, the JAAF is exploring the possibility of introducing blood testing at high school-level races.

Translator's note: Also in the background of this story is Kaori Yoshida's 2013 suspension for a positive test for EPO after receiving treatment for anemia.  Amid international scandals such as the current one involving meldonium, the JAAF's sudden move against a longstanding practice gives pause for thought about what, if anything, might be being left unsaid.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Weekend Track Highlights

by Brett Larner

Although many events in Kyushu were cancelled as a series of major earthquakes and aftershocks hit the Kumamoto and Oita areas, track season went ahead as usual in the rest of Japan despite high winds and rain that kept times relatively slow.  Some highlights at home and abroad:
  • Former Sera H.S. ace Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) delivered the fastest 5000 m of the weekend, running 13:40.34 to win the Chugoku Corporate Time Trials meet's fastest heat.  High schooler Joel Mwaura (Kurashiki H.S.) was the only other runner under 14 minutes, running 13:48.20 for 2nd.
  • The lone entrant in the women's 5000 m at the Chugoku meet, Sera's Yuka Mukai ran a solo 15:58.62.
  • Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) was the only Japanese man to break 14 over the weekend, winning Friday's Oregon Relays 5000 m in 13:45.39.
  • Masaru Aoki (Team Kanebo) narrowly missed joining him, running 14:00.47 to win the Challenge Meet in Kumagaya 5000 m A-heat.
  • 17-year-old Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.), Japan's top current high schooler, won the 3000 m in Kumagaya in 8:06.29 over Kenyans Stanley Siteki (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) and Willy Kipselem (Team Hitachi Butsuryu).
  • Yukari Abe (Team Shimamura) delivered Kumagaya's fastest women's 3000 m, running 9:19:12.
  • In nearby Gunma, Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) ran 9:23.50 to win the Gunma Prefecture Championships Women's 3000 m.
  • Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 6th in Kumagaya's 1500 m A-heat, running 3:59.70 for 6th.
© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Chanchima and Insermu Win Nagano Marathon

by Brett Larner

Strong winds and off-and-on rain throughout the area made for two of the slowest winning times in the Nagano Marathon's 18-year history as Kenya's Jairus Chanchima and Ethiopia's Shasho Insermu won Sunday's race in 2:15:31 and 2:34:19.

A slow start in the men's race kept a large lead group together for the first 25 km before Chanchima went to work.  Returning to Nagano after dropping out mid-race last year, Chanchima put on a solo surge from 25 to 30 km that put him 38 seconds ahead of the rest of the lead group.  From there Chanchima tucked in and cruised on unthreatened, Japan-based Mongolian national record holder Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Team NTN) closing the gap slightly but never coming in range of the win.  Chanchima's winning time of 2:15:31 was the slowest in Nagano Marathon history, over a minute behind Yuki Kawauchi's 2013 winning time of 2:14:27 in heavy snow.  Bat-Ochir was 25 seconds back in 2:15:56 for 2nd, with Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) running 2:16:32 for 3rd and top Japanese honors.

The women's race also started slow, but after just 10 km it quickly evolved in a duel between Isermu and Gladys Tejeda, the Peruvian stripped of her gold medal at last summer's Pan-Am Games for a positive drug test and promptly invited to Nagano by race organizers to make an early post-suspension return to the marathon.  By 15 km the pair was more than 30 seconds ahead of its nearest competition, and over the next 5 km Tejeda broke free of Insermu to go it alone.  By 35 km Tejeda was 58 seconds ahead, but with a combination of too much too soon and a strong finish from Insermu it wasn't to be.  Cutting Tejeda's lead down to 19 seconds by 40 km, Insermu flew by to win in 2:34:19, the second-slowest time in Nagano Marathon history.  Completely spent, Tejeda shuffled in for 2nd in 2:34:54, sparing Nagano organizers the headlines and questions about their laxity in inviting an athlete fresh off a drug suspension that would have happened had she won.  Another athlete with a recent suspension behind her, Japan's own Kaori Yoshida (Runners Pulse) took 3rd in 2:35:14.

18th Nagano Marathon
Nagano, 4/17/16
click here for complete results

Men
1. Jairus Chanchima (Kenya) - 2:15:31
2. Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 2:15:56
3. Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:16:32
4. Laban Mutai (Kenya) - 2:16:53
5. Fabiano Joseph (Tanzania) - 2:17:35
6. Shoji Takada (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:18:14
7. Kazuya Ishida (Nishitetsu) - 2:18:21
8. Kinya Hashira (Police Dep't) - 2:18:42
-----
DNF - Harry Summers (Australia)

Women
1. Shasho Insermu (Ethiopia) - 2:34:19
2. Gladys Tejeda (Peru) - 2:34:54
3. Kaori Yoshida (Runners Pulse) - 2:35:14
4. Winfreidah Kebaso (Kenya/Nittori) - 2:40:23
5. Hellen Mugo (Kenya) - 2:43:02
6. Seika Iwamura (Edion) - 2:48:20

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, April 15, 2016

Looking Back at Mizuki Noguchi

by Brett Larner



Today's retirement press conference marks the end of the road for one of the sport's all-time greats, Mizuki Noguchi.  Noguchi is best remembered, rightfully, for her achievements in the marathon.  Five wins and seven top three finishes in ten marathon starts.  An Olympic gold medal.  A World Championships silver medal.  A Japanese national record of 2:19:12.  That time still a Berlin Marathon course record no one has been able to touch more than ten years later, the only World Marathon Majors course record held by a Japanese runner.

Her gold medal win at the 2004 Athens Olympics brilliantly executed, her loss to Catherine Ndereba at the 2003 Paris World Championships showing her exactly what she had to do to beat Ndereba a year later on the bigger stage and then doing it perfectly, almost down to the second, breaking Paula Radcliffe in the process.  Her DNS at the the 2008 Beijing Olympics a national heartbreak.  Her comeback in 2012 and 2:24:05 for 3rd in Nagoya a year later saying something inspiring about never giving up.

But there was more to Noguchi than the marathon.  On the track she was one of Japan's fastest-ever over 10000 m, running the 10000 at the 2001 World Championships.  Holder of the world records for 30 km on the road as both a marathon split and in a 30 km race.  And, often overlooked outside Japan, it was in the half, where she earned the title "Queen of the Half Marathon," that she really shined.  A silver medal and two 4th-place finishes at the World Half Marathon Championships.  23 sub-1:10 half marathons in her career, more than any other runner in history, and 17 of them wins.  14 times sub-1:09, more than half the total number run by Japanese women and a mark only Mary Keitany has surpassed with 15.  Twice under 1:08.  Five times breaking the national record, the last, her 1:07:43 best, coming in behind current national record holder Kayoko Fukushi in Marugame in 2006.  Even the last race of her pre-Beijing golden years, anchoring a 4x400 m relay at the May, 2008 Kansai Corporate Track and Field Championships, showed another dimension.

In later years Noguchi burned a fair amount of good will by regularly announcing that she was running races and then pulling out at the last second, the public's hope of seeing her shine again dimming each time.  But with all now said and done she keeps a special place in Japanese hearts.  Its last Olympic medalist.  Its last world-beater.  That kind of sun may never rise again.



© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mizuki Noguchi Retires From Competition

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20160414-00000528-san-spo

translated by Brett Larner

On April 14 it was learned that Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (37, Team Sysmex) is retiring from competition.  A press conference to formally announce her retirement will take place April 15 in Kobe.  In March Noguchi ran the Nagoya Women's Marathon, saying, "This will be my last shot at the Olympics."  She finished 23rd in 2:33:54.

Noguchi graduated from Uji Yamada H.S. in Mie.  She ran her first marathon in 2002, winning the silver medal at the Paris World Championships a year later.  In 2004 she won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics and in 2005 set the Japanese national record of 2:19:12 at the Berlin Marathon, a record that still has not been broken.  She remains the Berlin course record holder.


Golden Games in Nobeoka Entry List Highlights

by Brett Larner

The Golden Games in Nobeoka are the main spring Japanese meet for distance runners, held in Japan's Eugune, the Asahi Kasei team's home of Nobeoka.  Fans line the track, banging on the metal sponsor boards with sticks to produce a wall of sound that pushes runners to some of the best Japanese times of the year, every year.

This year a lot of the big names will be chasing Olympic qualifying times in the United States, but the 5000 m and 10000 m still have deep lists of upper-tier Japanese and Japan-based African talent.  Last year two-time World Championships medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) paced Kenta Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei) and Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) to two of the fastest Japanese 10000 m times ever.  This year both Tanui and Shitara are back in the 10000 m along with Shitara's twin brother Keita Shitara (Team Konica Minolta), 61-minute half marathoner university teammates Keisuke Nakatani and Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ.) and former Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University teammates Kazuma Kubota (Team Kyudenko) and Daichi Kamino (Team Konica Minolta) in their pro track debuts.  All will be looking for sub-28 times ahead of June's National Championships to have a shot at making the Rio team.

Murayama's twin and future 10000 m national record setter Kota Murayama (Team Asahi Kasei) was the only Japanese man to have a go at the fastest Nobeoka 5000 m heat last year, the otherwise all-African field pulling along to what was at the time the sixth-fastest time ever by a Japanese man.  The African roster in the fast heat is deep again this year, led by Bernard Kimani (Team Yakult), Leonard Barsoton (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and, in his pro debut, former national champion Sera H.S. star Paul Kamais (Team Chugoku Denryoku), but a half-dozen Japanese men led by collegiate record holder Kensuke Takezawa (Team Sumitomo Denko) will be looking to fall Murayama's lead and clear the Rio standard.

Others including 2015 national university 5000 m champion Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) and #1-ranked high schooler Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.), 13:48.13 at age 17, will opt for a more conservative heat paced by 2016 World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki (Team DeNA).  Kenyans Veronica Wanjiru and Miriam Waithira (Team Kyudenko) lead the fastest women's 5000 m heat, with Yuko Shimizu (Team Sekisui Kagaku) and #1-ranked high schooler Yuka Mukai (Sera H.S.) topping the domestic list.

Golden Games in Nobeoka Entry List Highlights
Nobeoka, Miyazaki, May 7, 2016
click here for complete entry lists

Men's 10000 m
Paul Tanui (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 26:49.41
Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 27:42.71
Keita Shitara (Konica Minolta) - 27:51.54
Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA) - 28:01.71
Masato Kikuchi (Konica Minolta) - 28:04.25
Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) - 28:05.79
Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 28:17.09
Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:17.56
Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:23.85
Kazuma Kubota (Kyudenko) - 28:24.50
Daichi Kamino (Konica Minolta) - 28:41.48

Men's 5000 m C-Heat
Bernard Kimani (Kenya/Yakult) - 13:10.83
Leonard Barsoton (Kenya/Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:16.25
Kensuke Takezawa (Sumitomo Denko) - 13:19.00
Paul Kamais (Kenya/Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:21.52
Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:21.90
Alfred Ngeno (Kenya/Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:22.04
Abiyot Abinet (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 13:22.42
John Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) - 13:24.21
Kassa Mekashaw (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 13:24.87
Johana Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) - 13:25.24
Teresa Nyakola (Ethiopia/Mazda) - 13:25.72
Paul Kuira (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 13:27.20
Samuel Mwangi (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 13:27.66
Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 13:28.61
Takanori Ichikawa (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:28.91
Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Kanebo) - 13:33.62
Kazuto Nishiike (Konica Minolta) - 13:37.93
Kaido Kita (Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:38.60
Kazuya Deguchi (Asahi Kasei) - 13:39.40

Women's 5000 m A-Heat
Veronica Wanjiru (Kenya) - 14:44.82
Pauline Kamulu (Kenya/Route Inn Hotels) - 15:29.55
Yuko Shimizu (Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:29.58
Yuka Mukai (Sera H.S.) - 15:31.92
Miriam Waithira (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 15:32.53
Miho Shimizu (Hokuren) - 15:34.22
Risa Kikuchi (Hitachi) - 15:36.28
Chiaki Morikawa (Uniqlo) - 15:36.66
Ayumi Uehara (Matsuyama Univ.) - 15:37.89
Maki Izumida (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:38.22
Yuko Kikuchi (Hokuren) - 15:39.53
Megumi Hirai (Canon AC Kyushu) - 15:39.92

Men's 5000 m A-Heat
Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA) - 13:15.25
Genki Yagisawa (Yakult) - 13:28.79
Yuki Matsuoka (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 13:35.37
Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:38.08
Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 13:38.45
Kazuharu Takai (Kyudenko) - 13:39.76
Ikuto Yufu (Fujitsu) - 13:42.09
Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 13:48.13
Koki Takada (Sumitomo Denko) - 13:50.52

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

'Japan’s Open Olympic Logo Selection Process Wins Disapproval From Designers'

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/04/13/national/japans-open-olympic-logo-selection-process-wins-disapproval-designers/#.Vw7fDPmLSUk

An excellent earlier story on the problems with Tokyo's logo crowdsourcing: https://medium.com/@ianlynam/why-we-should-really-be-concerned-about-the-visual-identity-for-the-tokyo-olympics-969830d0e819#.tbewuyw6r

Japanese Supplement Maker Meitan Announces Presence of Banned Substance in One of its Products

http://www.meitanhonpo.jp/information/1775/
http://www.meitanhonpo.jp/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/lcg_wada.pdf

translated by Brett Larner

Cycling and running supplement maker Meitan Honpo Ltd. released the following on its website earlier this week.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The presence of a substance prohibited by WADA has been identified in Koshiki Bainiku Extract [Traditional Plum Extract].  More details will be forthcoming.  Please consult the following for information on the current situation.


April 11, 2016

Meitan Honpo Ltd.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: WADA-prohibited substances detected in Koshiki Bainiku Extract

Thank you for your loyal patronage of Meitan Honpo Super Athlete products.  We wish to inform you of important information.  The UK's LGC has tested the following products for the presence of substances prohibited under WADA anti-doping regulations.
  • Koshiki Bainiku Extract
  • Top Condition (TC)
  • Meitan Super Extra Gold
  • Meitan Extra Gold
  • Meitan Cycle Charge (CC)
  • Cycle Charge Caffeine Plus (CCC)
  • Cycle Charge Caffeine 200 (CCC200)
  • 2Run
  • Electrolyte Powder
Test results revealed the presence of 1,4-androstadiene-3,17-dione [also known as boldione] in Koshiki Bainiku Extract.  Specific test results for Top Condition have not yet been received.   The other products listed above have been confirmed to be free of prohibited substances, but because the following products include Koshiki Bainiku Extract as an ingredient, to be safe, athletes subject to doping control should stop taking them.
  • Koshiki Bainiku Extract
  • Top Condition (TC)
  • Meitan Super Extra Gold
  • Meitan Extra Gold
  • Meitan Cycle Charge (CC)
  • Cycle Charge Caffeine Plus (CCC)
  • Cycle Charge Caffeine 200 (CCC200)
Please note that 2Run and Electrolyte Powder have both been cleared by testing and do not contain Koshiki Bainiku Extract and are safe for athletes subject to doping control to use.

The results above are the results of screening testing only, so preparations are currently underway for more detailed secondary centrifuge testing of the Koshiki Bainiku Extract used in the Cycle Charge group of energy products.  We will post the results as soon as they have been reported.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Imai, Kawauchi and Shigetomo Lead Sendai Half Field

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/tohokunews/201604/20160412_14046.html

translated by Brett Larner

On April 11 the organizers of the 26th Sendai International Half Marathon announced the five domestic athletes set to lead the elite field for this year's race on May 8.  Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), a member of the 2011 and 2013 World Championships marathon teams and the bronze medalist in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games marathon, returns to the Sendai Half for the fifth year in a row.  A former Hakone Ekiden star on the uphill Fifth Stage during his days at Juntendo University, Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) is the fastest current Japanese marathoner with a 2:07:39 best.

Others in the field include last year's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon placer Takuya Noguchi (Team Konica Minolta), 2012 London Olympian and 2015 World Championships team member Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya), and this year's Osaka International Women's Marathon runner-up Misato Horie (Team Noritz).

Rio de Janeiro Paralympics team member Hiroyuki Yamamoto leads the four invited athletes in the wheelchair race.  2000 Sydney Olympics gold medalist and former world record holder Naoko Takahashi returns for the fifth time as a special guest runner.  A total of 11,964 people are entered in the half marathon, with 2,820 signed up to take part in the 5 km and 2 km divisions.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Kawauchi Wins Yaizu Minato Half Marathon

by Brett Larner


Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) won Sunday's Yaizu Minato Half Marathon by almost a minute in 1:03:47, outrunning dozens of university men to turn in his fastest half marathon since November.  His third time at Yaizu Minato, it was Kawauchi's fastest run on the flat seaside course and the fastest-ever by a general division entrant.  For his win Kawauchi was awarded the fishing town of Yaizu's local specialty, a large bonito.


Ryota Yabushita (Meiji Univ.) was 2nd across the line, beating Takumi Komatsu (Nittai Univ.) by 5 seconds to lead the university division in 1:04:39.  University teams in Yaizu Minato are scored by the combined times of their fastest two finishers, the Pair Marathon winners earning more bonito for their team.  Komatsu led Nittai to the title in 1:04:44, teammate Shun Onoki taking 4th in 1:04:57 for a combined Nittai time of 2:09:41.

31st Yaizu Minato Half Marathon
Yaizu, Shizuoka, 4/10/16

Men
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:03:47
2. Ryota Yabushita (Meiji Univ.) - 1:04:39
3. Takumi Komatsu (Nittai Univ.) - 1:04:44
4. Shun Onoki (Nittai Univ.) - 1:04:57
5. Ryusei Matsumoto (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:18
6. Kento Tamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:22
7. Daisuke Sakamoto (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:31
8. Kohei Yamamoto (Nittai Univ.) - 1:05:32
9. Naoyuki Fujihana (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:38
10. Yusei Shirokoshi (Nittai Univ) - 1:05:46

Pair Marathon
1. Nittai Univ. - 2:09:41
2. Chuo Gakuin Univ. - 2:11:09
3. Meiji Univ. - 2:11:36

©2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Rio Holds Olympic Marathon Course Test Run on Short Notice

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20160411/k10010474511000.html

translated by Brett Larner

In preparation for August's Rio de Janeiro Olympics, a marathon course test run took place on April 10.  To reduce costs the organizing committee held the race in conjunction with an event put on by a sports manufacturer.  Because it was only announced shortly before it took place just 16 local Brazilian athletes took part.

The runners started from the Rio Carnival parade area, running through the city and along the coast before finishing back at the same place as the start.  Although it is almost totally flat the course features three loops of the coastline section where the sunshine is strong and wind can become an issue.  While runners will feel the effects of Rio de Janeiro's famously strong sunlight they can draw strength from the inspiration of the world-class views along the coast.

The winner of the test run in 2:31:22, local runner Silva described his impressions of the course, saying, "It was humid along the coast and the sunlight was tough.  Some sections have a lot of curves that are hard to run, so it's important not to go out too fast."

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ueda Over Kamino at Akasaka 5-Chome Mini Marathon

by Brett Larner


Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage star Daichi Kamino made his pro debut for the Konica Minolta team in surprising style, running Saturday night as part of the 50th edition of the All-Star Kanshasai variety show's twice-annual Akasaka 5-Chome Mini Marathon.  Broadcast live during the show, the race covers four laps of a twisting 900 m course with a steep downhill start, two 180-degree turns, a 200 m-long uphill with a nearly 10% grade, and a section through the TBS studios in front of the hundred or so comedians and TV personalities assembled for the variety show.  Each edition features a well-known pro runner racing several dozen other comedians and celebrities, each carefully handicapped for the staggered start to make the outcome as close as possible.  Past editions have featured Olympic and World Championships medalists including Joan Benoit Samuelson, Masako Chiba, Meseret Defar, Vanderlei de Lima, Bedan Karoki, Frank Shorter, Lidia Simon, Erick Wainaina and Valentina Yegorova.  This year's guest star was Kamino, who graduated last month from Aoyama Gakuin University where he played a key role in AGU's two-straight Hakone wins by dominating the hills of its legendary Fifth Stage.

Before Kamino took to the roads four of his former AGU teammates, Tadashi Isshiki, Yuki Nakamura, Yuta Shimoda and Kazuki Tamura, ran a special Mini Ekiden against eight more comedians and entertainers, the comedians each running one lap of a shortened 350 m version of the course with the AGU runners each handling two laps.  Fans were out along the course in record numbers to cheer on the massively popular Hakone champs.  Accidental interference during the comedians' third exchange forced Nakamura to go wide and lose several seconds that neither Tamura nor anchor Isshiki could make up, and the comedian team held on for the win.  AGU tweeted pics of its "gutted" team post-race.


The Mini Marathon started with non-runner women, then non-runner men, then entertainers with running experience carefully seeded all the way up to Kamino's 5:10 handicap.  The most experienced runner among the entertainers and a regular on the program, Kenji Moriwaki upped the stakes by saying pre-race that if Kamino won he would retire from the show.  Model Nonoka Ono went out to an early lead, just finishing her first lap when Kamino started, but was quickly caught by Tatsuya Ueda, a singer from the boy band KAT-TUN who was doubling from the Mini Ekiden.  From there to the finish it was a race between Ueda and Kamino, Kamino flying through the field in pursuit.

Out among the deafening, screaming fans, the AGU team student managers were on the course holding up signs showing the time difference between Kamino and the leader, just like at Hakone.  With one lap to go Kamino was down to one minute behind, and on the last uphill before the turn into the studio for the finish he came into sight of Ueda for the first time.  It looked like he would do it, but on the highly technical last stretch into the studio Ueda held on to take the win by one second, saving Moriwaki from having to quit the show.  Moriwaki was 3rd just 18 seconds back with 4th-placer Ayumu Mori and last fall's winner Gaku Sano a few steps behind, the close finish showing just how well whoever at TBS was doing the handicapping knew their game. There's no doubt that when it comes to making distance running popular and entertaining for the general population Japan leads the way.


© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, April 8, 2016

Nagano Marathon Proudly Welcomes Tejeda and Yoshida

by Brett Larner

With its long history of hosting Russians now interrupted by the IAAF's doping scandal suspension of all Russian athletes, Japan's Nagano Marathon proudly welcomes two other athletes with recent drug suspensions to lead the women's field at next weekend's 18th edition.  Gladys Tejeda (Peru) tops the list with the loss of her gold medal in last summer's Pan-Am Games marathon after testing positive for the masking agent furosemide.  Close behind is Kaori Yoshida (Runners Pulse), who holds the honor of being the only Japanese athlete to have been publicly suspended for EPO after testing positive at the 2012 Honolulu Marathon.

With both having run 2:28 bests last year they are almost 4 minutes ahead of the fastest athlete in the field never to have served a drug suspension, Kenya's Hellen Mugo.  Neither is currently under suspension, an indication that Nagano and its elite coordinator share the familiar focus here on details at the expense of the big picture or moral considerations.  A growing number of other races might not touch people like Tejeda and Yoshida, but with a win by one of them likely there's not much doubt that the Nagano Marathon will get what it's asking for.  Together with other events Nagano sends the clear message: remember, if you're serving a drug suspension don't lose heart.  You can always find Japanese races and elite coordinators ready to take you back.

The men's field looks drug suspension-free, Laban Mutai (Kenya) the favorite with a 2:08:03 at the 2014 Linz Marathon.  On paper Japan-based Mongolian national record holder Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Team NTN) is his toughest competition, but with wild swings in performance ranging from a 1:02:10 national record at February's Marugame Half to a blistering 2:27:30 at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon he's hard to read.  Other internationals include Jairus Chanchima (Kenya), 2005 World Half Marathon gold medalist Fabiano Joseph (Tanzania) and Harry Summers (Australia).

Last year's Nagano ran hot for the home crowd with three Japanese men breaking 2:12.  The fastest one not to do it, Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), 5th in 2:12:04, is back, along with the Japanese stars of the last two years' Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathons, Hiroki Kadota (Team Kanebo) and Kazuya Ishida (Team Nishitetsu).  Look also for surprise additions from the depths of the general division.

18th Nagano Marathon
Nagano, 4/16/16
click here for detailed elite field listing
times listed are 2013-2016 bests except where noted

Women
Gladys Tejeda (Peru) - 2:28:12 (Rotterdam 2015)
Kaori Yoshida (Japan/Runners Pulse) - 2:28:43 (Saitama Int'l 2015)
Hellen Mugo (Kenya) - 2:32:00 (Kosice 2013)
Winfridah Kebaso (Kenya/Nittori) - 2:32:08 (Saitama Int'l 2015)
Shasho Insermu (Ethiopia) - 2:32:42 (Marrakesh 2016)
Yumiko Kinoshita (Japan/Second Wind AC) - 2:35:49 (Tokyo 2015)

Men
Laban Mutai (Kenya) - 2:08:03 (Linz 2014)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 2:08:50 (Fukuoka Int'l 2014)
Jairus Chanchima (Kenya) - 2:10:37 (Xiamen Int'l 2013)
Hiroki Kadota (Japan/Kanebo) - 2:10:46 (Beppu-Oita 2015)
Taiga Ito (Japan/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 2:11:15 (Tokyo 2013)
Kazuya Ishida (Japan/Nishitetsu) - 2:12:25 (Beppu-Oita 2016)
Fabiano Joseph (Tanzania) - 2:13:57 (Hofu 2015)
Hiro Tonegawa (Japan/Alps Tool) - 2:18:55 (Tokyo 2014)
Yuta Koyama (Japan/Kotohira Kogyo) - 2:20:43 (Nagano 2013)
Harry Summers (Australia) - 2:21:23 (Lake Biwa 2014)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Special Session to Decide Tomorrow Whether Erupe Will Become South Korea's First Black Marathoner

http://japanese.donga.com/List/3/all/27/531014/1
http://english.donga.com/List/3/06/26/528066/1

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The symbol of yin and yang upon his chest, a black man may become the first of his kind to represent South Korea in the marathon.  On April 6 the Korean Sports Council (KSC) will hold a session to deliberate on a special recommendation of naturalization for Kenyan-born marathoner Wilson Loyanae Erupe (28, Cheongyang).  Erupe also has the Korean name Joo Han Oh, meaning "I will run for Korea."  The KSC previously held a session on Erupe's naturalization on January 7 but, citing a lack of adequate documentation concerning Erupe's prior suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, postponed making a recommendation.  Erupe claimed that, "The positive result was due to medicine I took for malaria, but Athletics Kenya did not accept this and suspended me for two years."

Following the postponement of the recommendation, the Korean Amateur Athletic Federation (KAAF) applied to the KSC for the special recommendation session after gathering further documentation.  The documentation includes records indicating Erupe's admission to a local hospital in Kenya and certification of verification of these records by the Korean General Hospital.  A KAAF spokesperson commented, "In consultation with domestic malaria experts we have confirmed that prescriptions for the drug in question were unavoidable at the time."

Having served a two-year suspension from competition, the outcome of Erupe's special naturalization hearing will hinge upon whether or not there was willful use of prohibited substances.  KAAF development committee director Bok Ju Kim commented, "Generally speaking, if the goal is to take this drug to improve performance, it must be administered three times a week over the course of two weeks.  Erupe tested positive in out-of-competition testing, not during post-race testing.  Additionally, in other cases to date athletes' abilities have rapidly declined after being caught for drug use.  In Erupe's case it is exactly the opposite."  Prior to his positive drug test Erupe ran 2:05:37 at the March, 2012 Seoul International Marathon, the course record at the time.  In March this year he won Seoul again in a PB time of 2:05:13, a new South Korean all-comers' record and the 4th-fastest time in the world to date this year.

Following his Seoul victory Erupe spent time with his sponsor team Cheongyang Namudo before leaving South Korea on Mar. 27 to return to Kenya for training.  His representative in the naturalization process, Baekseok University professor Chang Suk Oh commented, "Erupe's goal is not just to run in the Olympics, but to act as a leader in South Korea and to make contributions to South Korean marathoning.  If his naturalization is confirmed he plans to return to South Korea immediately."

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Weekend International Road Race Roundup

Paris Marathon: http://www.iaaf.org/news/report/paris-marathon-2016
The great Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz), 40, was 6th in the women's race in Paris in 2:32:44, an apparent new masters' national record.  Click here for complete results.

Daegu Marathon: http://www.iaaf.org/news/report/daegu-marathon
Tomomi Higuchi (Team Daihatsu) took 7th in the women's race in Daegu in 2:38:31.

Prague Half Marathon: http://www.iaaf.org/news/report/prague-half-marathon-athletics-2016-prague
Misato Horie and Mei Matsuyama of the Noritz corporate team finished 14th and 15th in the Prague women's race in 1:14:12 and 1:15:38.  Click here for complete results.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Olympic Year Track Season Kicks Off at Setagaya and Kanaguri

by Brett Larner
video by toyosina2008



Outdoor track season got moving early with two big meets on April 2nd. At the Setagaya Time Trials meet in Tokyo's Kinuta Park, 17-year-old Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) kicked hard over the last lap to outrun three members of 2016 Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University, all of whom ran PBs, and all other competition and go under 13:50 for 5000 m for the first time.  A day after the start of his senior year of high school Endo won the fastest 5000 m heat in 13:48.13, moving up from #9 to #7 on the all-time Japanese high school lists.  AGU's Kazuki Tamura and Yuki Nakamura took 2nd and 3rd in PBs of 13:50.43 and 13:52.29, with Hakone Sixth Stage winner Yuji Onoda joining them under 14 for the first time in 13:56.87.  One other high schooler, Ryunosuke Omori (Sano Nittai Prep H.S.) scored his first sub-14, running 13:54.25 for 5th just behind Kenyan Silas Kingori (Team SGH Group).  Kenyan Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Team Starts) won Heat 2 of the women's 3000 m in 9:04.24, the fastest outdoor time in the world so far this year.


The Kanaguri Memorial Meet in Kumamoto was the bigger of the two.  Kenyan James Mwangi (Team NTN) won the fastest men's 5000 m heat in a world-leading 13:13.93, with former Toyo University Sixth Stage man Takanori Ichikawa (Team Toyota Boshoku) coming up just short of the Olympic standard in 13:28.91 for 7th.  Further down the same heat in 11th, Toyo's Hazuma Hattori ran just off his best in 13:40.62 two hours after having run 3:46.89 in the 1500 m fast heat.  Kenyan Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) won there in a meet record 3:35.77, also an early season world-leading time.  Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) made a strong corporate debut in 3:40.82 for 2nd behind Kwemoi, the fastest time at the Kanaguri Memorial by a Japanese man in the meet's 25-year history.  Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 6th in the slow heat, 4 seconds off his best in 3:54.60.


The meet record also fell in the high school girls' 3000 m, where Sae Hanada (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) outran Mikuni Yada (Luther Gakuin H.S.) for the win in 9:08.51, a world junior lead.  Kenyan Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) easily won the women's 5000 m A-heat in 15:32.80, over 15 seconds ahead of top Japanese woman Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei).

Setagaya Time Trials
Kinuta Park Field, Setagaya, Tokyo, 4/2/16
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m Heat 15
1. Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 13:48.13 - PB
2. Kazuki Tamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:50.43 - PB
3. Yuki Nakamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:52.29 - PB
4. Silas Kingori (Kenya/SGH Group) - 13:52.88
5. Ryunosuke Omori (Sano Nittai Prep H.S.) - 13:54.25 - PB
6. Naoki Koyama (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 13:55.07 - PB
7. Kenta Matsubara (Toyota) - 13:56.21
8. Ryutaro Ichitani (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:56.54
9. Yuji Onoda (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:56.87 - PB
10. Ryo Matsumoto (Toyota) - 13:57.30

Men's 5000 m Heat 14
1. Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) - 13:53.37
2. Hiroyuki Ishikawa (Aisan Kogyo) - 13:55.64
3. Ryo Kuchimachi (Toyo Univ.) - 13:58.67

Women's 3000 m Heat 2
1. Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Kenya/Starts) - 9:04.24 - WL
2. Grace Mbutiye Kimanzi (Kenya/Starts) - 9:07.43
3. Nana Sato (Starts) - 9:29.71

Men's 3000 m Heat 6
1. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Kanebo) - 8:04.45
2. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 8:06.90
3. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) - 8:07.76


Kanaguri Memorial Meet
Kumamoto Civic Sports Park Field, Kumamoto, 4/2/16
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m Heat 4
1. James Mwangi (Kenya/NTN) - 13:13.93 - WL
2. Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 13:18.98
3. William Malel (Kenya/Honda) - 13:19.89
4. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 13:20.77
5. Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:21.90
6. Mamiyo Nuguse (Ethiopia/Yasukawa Denki) - 13:24.93
7. Takanori Ichikawa (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:28.91
8. Daniel Maemba (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:30.37
9. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Toyota) - 13:33.16
10. Samuel Mwangi (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 13:34.52
11. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 13:40.62

Men's 5000 m Heat 3
1. Charles Ngundu (Kenya/Komori Corp.) - 13:25.32
2. Teresa Nyakola (Ethiopia/Mazda) - 13:25.72
3. Amos Kirui (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:25.91
4. Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) - 13:40.49
5. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/JFE Steel) - 13:42.52

Women's 5000 m Heat 2
1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:32.80
2. Hanae Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 15:48.74
3. Misaki Hayashida (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:49.42
4. Saori Noda (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 15:53.04
5. Naoko Koizumi (Denso) - 15:53.98

Women's 5000 m Heat 1
1. Yuma Adachi (Kyocera) - 15:55.95
2. Yuri Nozoe (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 15:57.41
3. Risa Taguchi (Route Inn Hotels) - 15:58.42
4. Nao Taguchi (Route Inn Hotels) - 16:04.13
5. Chitose Shibata (Japan Post Group) - 16:05.73

High School Girls' 3000 m Heat 4
1. Sae Hanada (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 9:08.51 - MR, WJL
2. Mikuni Yada (Luther Gakuin H.S.) - 9:09.93 (MR)
3. Eijia Miyagi (Oita Tomei H.S.) - 9:22.24
4. Mai Misaki (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 9:23.73
5. Mashiro Mori (Ariake H.S.) - 9:26.66

Men's 1500 m Heat 2
1. Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya/Komori Corp.) - 3:35.77 - MR, WL
2. Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) - 3:40.82
3. Yasunari Kusu (Komori Corp.) - 3:43.73
4. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 3:46.89
5. Tatsuro Okazaki (Osaka Gas) - 3:47.65

Men's 1500 m Heat 1
1. Naoki Nakamura (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) - 3:49.51
2. Taisuke Hamada (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) - 3:49.61
3. Taro Hatamoto (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) - 3:49.87
-----
6. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 3:54.60

Women's 1500 m
1. Mei Okada (Hokuren) - 4:25.38
2. Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 4:26.69
3. Yume Goto (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 4:26.95

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved