Skip to main content

International Chiba Ekiden to Feature Tomescu-Dita, Fukushi, Browne and Other Olympians

by Brett Larner

On Nov. 10 the International Chiba Ekiden released the entry lists for the 2008 edition of the race, to take place Nov. 24 just east of Tokyo in central Chiba Prefecture.

In the second year of the Chiba Ekiden's mixed team format Japan will once again field a team of Olympians and national record holders including Kayoko Fukushi, Yuriko Kobayashi and Takayuki Matsumiya. Other countries competing in this year's Chiba Ekiden include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Ethiopia, Great Britain, Romania, Russia, Sweden and the United States, along with a team representing hosts Chiba Prefecture and another made up of top Japanese university runners. Notably absent is Kenya, which has in the past typically fielded teams made up of professionals living in Japan.

The biggest name in the field is undoubtedly Beijing Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania. Several others countries are fielding runners with Olympic and world-level credentials, but all will have their work cut out for them to best Japan's all-star lineup. Ethiopia is likely to be Japan's strongest challenger, with two men under 13:10 for 5000m, two under 27:15 for 10000m, and one woman under 15:00 for 5000m. Russia also fields a dangerous team including two women with 5000m times better than 15:00. The Japanese university team this year is exceptionally strong and will be a candidate for a top-3 finish.

A complete listing in both English and Japanese of each country's team lineup is located here. Noteworthy runners in the field include:

Simon Bairu (Canada) - 10000m: 27:50.71
Daniel Brown (U.S.A.) - Athens Olympics men's 10000m and marathon
Constantina Dita (Romania) - Beijing Olympics women's marathon gold medal
Belaynesh Fikadu (Ethiopia) - 5000m: 14:45.25
Shawn Forrest (Australia) - 2008 NCAA 10000m 2nd place
Kayoko Fukushi (Japan) - 3000m, 5000m, half marathon NR, 15 km WR, Beijing Olympics women's 5000m and 10000m
Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia) - 10000m: 27:13.08
Ryuji Kashiwabara (Japanese Univ.) - #1-ranked univ. 1st year
Yuriko Kobayashi (Japan) - 1500m NR, Beijing Olympics women's 5000m
Kazue Kojima (Japanese Univ.) - #1-ranked univ. woman nationally
Maria Konovalova (Russia) - 5000m: 14:38.09
Maria Magdalena Luca (Romania) - 2008 World Youth women's 800m gold medal
Takayuki Matsumiya (Japan) - 5000m NR, 30km WR, Beijing Olympics men's 5000m and 10000m
Hunegnaw Mesfin (Ethiopia) - 10000m: 27:13.05
Tera Moody (U.S.A.) - U.S. Olympic Trials women's marathon 5th place
Edward Moran (U.S.A.) - 2007 Pan American Games men's 5000m gold medal
Yusei Nakao (Japan) - 5th place, 2008 World Half Marathon
Hitomi Niiya (Chiba Pref.) - winner, 2007 Tokyo Marathon
Tomoya Onishi (Japanese Univ.) - Toyo Univ. star
Yui Sakai (Japanese Univ.) - #1-ranked univ. woman in Kanto Region
Lilia Shobukhova (Russia) - Beijing Olympics women's 5000m 6th place
Ben St. Lawrence (Australia) - 2008 World XC bronze medal team member
Melinda Vernon (Australia) - 2008 World XC bronze medal team member

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Men's Marathon Rout - JAAF Executives Announce Resignation

http://www.nikkansports.com/olympic/rio2016/athletics/news/1698472.html

translated by Brett Larner

In the Rio de Janeiro Olympics men's marathon on Aug. 21, Satoru Sasaki (30) was the top Japanese man at 16th in 2:13:57.  Suehiro Ishikawa (36) was 36th, with Hisanori Kitajima (31) placing 94th.

At the end of athletics competition Japan's total was two medals and two top eight finishes, a total exceeding the JAAF's target one medal but falling short of its goal of five top eight finishes.  JAAF strengthening committee chairman Kazunori Asaba (55) announced that he intends to resign his position following the Rio Olympics.  Strengthening committee vice-chairman Katsumi Sakai (56) and director of men's marathoning Takeshi Soh (63) are also expected to join the exodus of resignations.  Japanese athletics will be forced to make a fresh start before the Tokyo Olympics.

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Kawauchi Leaves for Oslo After Trying 100 m Time Trial

The civil servant runner admits to being shocked. 2017 London World Championships marathoner and men's captain Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) left from Tokyo's Narita Airport for Norway the evening of Sept. 13 to run the Sept. 16 BMW Oslo Marathon.

On Sept. 9 at the National University Track and Field Championships, Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) became the first Japanese man to break 10 seconds in the 100 m when he set a new national record of 9.98. The news has been the talk of the nation ever since. Kawauchi said, "It's pretty amazing. It took up the front page of every newspaper." What can he run for 100 m? "My PB is 13.1, but right now, 13.9," he admitted.

Kawauchi ran that time, "in the morning the day before yesterday," he said. "I did two time trials. I even wore spikes. I ran them for real and only did 13.9. To be honest, it was pretty shocking." Although short sprints are well outside his area of expertise it seemed…