Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2009

Niiya Outdoes Nakamura at Oda Memorial Meet

by Brett Larner

Aspiring marathoner Hitomi Niiya (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) bounced back from her failed attempt to win March's Nagoya International Women's Marathon by running a 5-second PB to beat Beijing Olympics marathoner Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya), Kenyans Felista Wanjugu (Team Aruze) and Doricah Obare (Team Hitachi) and several other top Japanese women in the competitive 5000 m at the Apr. 29 Oda Memorial Track and Field Meet. Niiya clocked a strong 15:23.27, the second-best time in the world so far this year, to break her nearly four-year old PB of 15:28.70. Nakamura came in in 15:23.99 with the two Kenyans another second back; all three were less than 3 seconds off their best times. A moderate gap separated the lead quartet from the rest of the field. Niiya's win signals that she has moved on from this spring's big disappointment and is ready to retarget this summer's World Championships on the track.

In another of the Oda Memorial Meet's highlights, wo…

An Interview With 60+ World Record Holder Yoshihisa Hosaka

JRN recently interviewed Yoshihisa Hosaka about his training and background leading up to his 60+ world record 2:36:30 performance at February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. The interview and some photos appear in the June issue of Running Times magazine, available Apr. 28.

Hosaka will run the Los Angeles Marathon next month in an attempt to bring his record down to 2:34, his target time for his record-setting run in February.

Update: Read the Running Times article here.

Jarso and Cheyech Top Hyogo Relay Carnival GP 10000 m - video highlights

by Brett Larner

As he kicks off his second year of professional running, Ethiopian steeplechase national record holder Yacob Jarso (Team Honda) continues to solidify his hold on the title of best African on the Japanese pro circuit. For the second time this month Jarso outkicked rivals Josephat Ndambiri (Team Komori Corp.) and Gideon Ngatuny (Team Nissin Shokuhin) to win, this time with an extended push over the last lap of the Hyogo Relay Carnival Grand Prix 10000 m in Kobe on Apr. 26. Strong winds and high temperatures following a storm front kept times comparatively slow, but although his winning time of 27:38.67 cleared the World Championships A-standard of 27:47.00 Jarso was unsatisfied. "In my country," he told reporters following the race, "this kind of time is not good enough to make the national team. I must try harder next time."

World Cross Country Championships team member Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) was the only Japanese runner to try to run …

Atsushi Sato Leads Solid Japanese Turnout at London Marathon (updated)

by Brett Larner

Update: JRN reader Jarno Maimonen sent his outstanding photos from the London Marathon. His blog contains excellent firsthand coverage of this year's race.

Japan-based and trained runners captured much of the spotlight at the 2009 London Marathon. Beijing Olympics gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya, a graduate of Sendai Ikuei High School and former member of Team Toyota Kyushu, missed his goal of a new world record but won the men's race nevertheless, breaking both the course record and his PB with a finishing time of 2:05:10. Based on the outskirts of Tokyo, British runner Mara Yamauchi provided much of the fireworks in the women's race as she broke Japanese-coached Beijing bronze medalist Chunxiu Zhou of China and tried to do the same to German defending champion Irina Mikitenko. Yamauchi had to settle for 2nd behind Mikitenko, but it was an inspiring performance which saw Yamauchi finally break through past 2:25 and come close to her stated dream of a 2…

Yuki Sato 27:38.25 at Brutus Hamilton Invitational for All-Time Japanese #3

by Brett Larner



After a year of injury disappointments which kept him out of the Beijing Olympics, Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) has made a definitive comeback. A week after his professional debut in the 5000 m B-heat at the Mt. SAC Relays, the former Tokai University star ran a 13-second 10000 m PB of 27:38.25 to finish 3rd in the New York Road Runners-sponsored Brutus Hamilton Invitational on Apr. 24 in Berkeley, CA. Sato's time was just over 3 seconds off the Japanese national record and is the third-fastest ever run by a Japanese man. Prior to leaving for California he wrote on the Team Nissin Shokuhin blog, "Since these will be my first races as a pro and they're overseas I want to be myself again and do something special." Consider that goal accomplished: the two men ahead of him on the all-time list, Toshinari Takaoka and Takeyuki Nakayama, were both 10000 m and marathon national record holders. The 22 year-old Sato's future looks very bright.

Click pictu…

Masato Kihara Aiming for Sub-28 in Pro Debut at Hyogo Relay Carnival

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/rentoku/sports/200904ace/01.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 57th Hyogo Relay Carnival takes place Apr. 25-26 at Kobe's Univer Stadium Track and Field Grounds. A selection race for this summer's World Championships national team, in the wake of the Beijing Olympics this year's Carnival features the debuts of a range of new aces. One of the most eagerly anticipated is Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo).

In his four years at Chuo Gakuin University, Hyogo native Kihara showed remarkable growth. From never once making the top eight in the National High School Championships to being one of the highest placers at last summer's Olympic Trials and likewise on the road in ekidens and half marathons, Kihara has become one of the brightest hopes for the future of Japanese distance running. Yet he still has regrets.

Of last season Kihara says, "I didn't meet even a single one of my goals." Entering his senior year as Chuo Gakuin's sta…

Tomo Morimoto's Quiet Ambition for World Champs Berth at London Marathon

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/sports/0001853743.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Seizing her last chance to qualify for the Japanese national women's marathon team for this August's World Championships in Berlin, Tomo Morimoto (Team Tenmaya) is running the Apr. 26 London Marathon. After being unable to run the Beijing Olympics as the team alternate, Morimoto is quietly determined to make her first World Championships team. "This time I'm going to make it," she says with understated resolve.

At last year's Osaka International Women's Marathon Morimoto couldn't put the kind of race she wanted together. After a slow first half spent in the pack far behind leader Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), eventual winner Mara Yamauchi (U.K.) broke away when Fukushi came within sight. Morimoto gave pursuit but was unable to close the gap to Yamauchi and finished 2nd. Although Morimoto ran a faster time, her teammate Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) was chosen ove…

Fukushi to Make Comeback in May

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/osaka/spor/200904/24/spor219690.html

translated by Brett Larner

Sidelined since November with plantar fasciitis in her left foot, Beijing Olympics 5000 m and 10000 m runner Kayoko Fukushi (27, Team Wacoal) will make a comeback at the May 15 Kansai Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships at the Amagasaki Memorial Park Track and Field Grounds in Hyogo Prefecture. Tentatively entered in both the 5000 m and 10000 m, Fukushi will be running her first track races in 7 1/2 months since last September's National Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships. Team Wacoal head coach Tadayuki Nagayama commented, "Kayoko's injury has completely healed. She's feeling the best she has since the Beijing Olympics."

Rikuren to Announce World Championships Marathon Teams May 7

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/f-sp-tp0-20090423-486359.html
http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2009042300873

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Rikuren's Long Distance and Road Racing Special Committee held a meeting at the National Training Center in Tokyo's Kita Ward on Apr. 23. With regard to August's World Championships in Berlin, committee director Susumu Takano commented, "We're not in a position to discuss our goals in much detail quite yet, but I will say that we expect to improve on our overall performances from the last two years." Japan earned one medal in athletics at the 2007 World Championships, Reiko Tosa's bronze in the women's marathon, and two in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the men's 4 x 100 m relay team's bronze and Koji Murofushi's bronze in the men's hammer throw.

Takano went on to add that the committee anticipates two finishers within the top eight in the World Championships women's marathon and …

Nittai University Loses Ban Appeal in Marijuana Scandal

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20090422-00000059-jij-spo
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2009/04/23/01.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Apr. 22 the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Association rejected an appeal by Nihon Taiku [Nittai] University to overturn punitive measures the Association had levied against Nittai in response to marijuana use by a member of the university's track and field team.* Nittai had sought to reverse the ruling in an effort to expedite the rebuilding of its track and field team, but the Association chose to leave its original decision in place unaltered.

Despite Nittai having already suspended its entire track and field team for one month, the Kanto Association imposed the draconian measures of stripping the school's long distance running team of its prestigious seeded position in next year's Hakone Ekiden and banning the entire track and field team from competing in Association-sponsored competitions until June 30. Ni…

Yuri Kano to Make International Debut at London Marathon

http://www.nikkei.co.jp/kansai/news/news005972.html
http://sports.nikkei.co.jp/index.aspx?n=SSXKC0474%2021042009
http://www.plus-blog.sportsnavi.com/kmanabu/

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Having already secured a place on the national team for August's World Championships in Berlin, Yuri Kano (30, Second Wind AC) will get an advance taste of world-class competition when she lines up among most of the world's best women for the first time at the Apr. 26 London Marathon.

Kano thought she would win last November's Tokyo International Women's Marathon but she was 2nd after being outrun by Yoshimi Ozaki (27, Team Daiichi Seimei), the younger sister of her Second Wind teammate Akemi Ozaki. Following the final domestic selection race last month, Kano's place on the World Championships team was announced on Mar. 23. "I felt like, 'Finally!'" Kano says. Now, as she faces her first overseas marathon, she is confident. "My training hasn't gone pe…

Atsushi Sato Heads to London

http://sports.nikkei.co.jp/index.aspx?n=SSXKC0474%2021042009
http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/sports/Sp200904210225.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/p-sp-tp0-20090422-485810.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Beijing Olympics men's marathoner Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) left from Tokyo's Narita Airport on Apr. 21 to travel to London ahead of the Apr. 26 London Marathon. Looking toward Sunday's race and his goals, Sato told reporters, "I'm feeling pretty so-so. The marathon has turned into a speed race recently and I'm sure this is going to be a fast one too. I want to see how big the difference really is."

After earning a place on the Beijing Olympic team with a 2:07:13 finish at the 2007 Fukuoka International Marathon Sato finished 76th in Beijing, last place in the Olympic marathon. London will be his first marathon since then. It will count as a selection race for the national team for this summer's Berlin World Championships, bu…

A Dream Born in Tokushima as Otsuka Seiyaku Launches Women's Team

http://osaka.yomiuri.co.jp/sp_others/20090421ks06.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Based in Fukushima Prefecture's Naruto, beverage maker Otsuka Seiyaku is helping a select crew of young women to achieve their dreams through sports. This month the company announced the formation of a new professional women's track and field team. 2009 Berlin World Championships national team member and world-class race walker Masumi Fuchise leads the initial lineup of five middle and long distance athletes, with additional spots expected to be filled to allow Otsuka Seiyaku to field a women's ekiden team. The new Otsuka Seiyaku team's approval by the Jitsugyodan Track and Field Association is pending, and head coach Tadasu Kono is optimistic about the future as he says, "Especially in times of recession such as these it's important to do something to help inspire the community through sports."

Otsuka Seiyaku founded its men's team in 1990. Athletes who have run under K…

Keizo Yamada Completes Final Boston Marathon

by Brett Larner

81 year-old Keizo Yamada, the 1953 Boston Marathon winner, returned to this year's race on Apr. 20. Yamada successfully finished his 18th Boston in 6:16:56 after a first half of 2:33:29. Universal Sports reports that Yamada intends this year's running to be his last.

A laughably slow women's race gave Team Toto's Tomoe Yokoyama and amateur runner Hiroko Sho some unexpected international camera exposure as they ran at the head of the elite women's pack in the earliest stages of the race. Yokoyama had suffered injuries since winning February's Ome Marathon 30 km road race and hoped only to break 2:40, meaning that the lead pack's speed throughout the first 10 km of the race suited her fine. As the pace crept glacially forward Sho drifted away, but Yokoyama moved to the front and alternated the lead with veteran American Colleen de Reuck. Only nearing halfway, for which Yokoyama clocked 1:19:59, did she begin to lose contact, eventually fading to…

Injured Again, Noguchi is "Still Looking Toward Being Completely Healed"

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2009041700970
http://sports.nikkei.co.jp/index.aspx?n=SSXKF0657%2017042009
http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2009/04/18/0001834808.shtml
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/f-sp-tp0-20090417-484141.html
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/flash/KFullFlash20090421020.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

2004 Athens Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) appeared in Ome, Tokyo on Apr. 17 to give a talk as part of her coach Nobuyuki Fujita's nationwide 'Fujita Running Academy' program. Speaking of her future, Noguchi revealed that she is still undergoing medical treatment as she told the audience, "I'm still looking toward the day when I'm completely healed, but I can't make any concrete plans."

After withdrawing from last summer's Beijing Olympics with an injury to her left leg, Noguchi had begun training for a comeback race at September's Berlin Marathon. However, the pain h…

Shibui Cancels Spring Track Debut After Leg Problem

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/p-sp-tp0-20090420-485059.html
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2009/04/20/08.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

2009 World Championships women's marathon team member Yoko Shibui (30, Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) has cancelled her planned spring track debut in the Apr. 26 Hyogo Relay Carnival 10000 m. Shibui returned to Japan on Apr. 19 following two weeks at a training camp in Kunming, China. Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo head coach Shigeharu Watanabe commented, "Yoko felt some discomfort on the back of her left thigh while training in Kunming on the 15th. She has cut back to just jogging. This is only a precautionary move and there is no serious injury." Shibui's spring debut will instead shift to the East Japan Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships in Yamagata on May 16 and 17 where she plans to run the 5000 m and 10000 m.

Translator's note: Shibui also sat out last month's Matsue Ladies Half Marathon as a pr…

Fujinaga Wins Japan Invitational 3000 m

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2009041900184

translated and edited by Brett Larner

2009 World Championships women's marathon team member Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) ran the 3000 m at the weekend's Japan Invitational Track and Field Meet, winning the distance for the first time. Asked about her time of 9:18, Fujinaga laughed, "I'm still not fast enough." Fujinaga won March's Nagoya International Women's Marathon, her debut at the full marathon. This weekend's 3000 m was her first race since then. Leading up to the World Championships marathon Fujinaga plans to run in the Hyogo Relay Carnival next weekend, followed by the 10000 m at next month's National Track and Field Championships. "Berlin is going to be fast," she told reporters. "To be honest I think I'm fifth on [The Japanese women's marathon] team, so I have to work on my speed before then."

In other domestic weekend track action:

-Naoyuki Daigo (Team Fuj…

No Surprises in Nagano

by Brett Larner

There were no surprise upsets in the 11th edition of the Nagano Marathon on Apr. 19. Running on a new course, the fastest man in the field, Isaac Macharia (Kenya) bided his time before dropping the other leaders in the final 7 km to take his second Nagano win in 2:11:21, while the woman with the best recent time, Irina Timofeyeva (Russia), finished strong to overtake ailing Kenyan Irene Limika in the final stretch, clocking 2:30:08 for the win. Expected men's contender Masaru Takamizawa (Saku Chosei H.S.) went flat in the second half of the race, leaving the top Japanese man title to debutant Masaki Shimoju (Team Konica Minolta), 7th overall in 2:15:57. Akemi Ozaki (Second Wind AC), the older sister of 2009 World Championships team member Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei), was the top Japanese woman, 3rd overall in 2:31:18.

Frontrunning the race as he did on his way to victory at last year's Hokkaido Marathon, high school coach Masaru Takamizawa took the race o…

Ongori and Ueno Shine at Mt. SAC Day Two

by Brett Larner

Four distance races featured Japanese and Japan-based athletes on the second day of the Mt. SAC Relays meet in Walnut, CA.



Former high school and university star Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) showed that he has finally overcome the illness which kept him under medical treatment for most of 2008, running a PB of 3:42.51 to finish 5th in the men's invitational 1500 m. Ueno was also entered in the invitational 5000 m but wisely sat it out.



Kenyan Philes Ongori (Team Hokuren) easily dominated the women's invitational 5000 m, starting slowly and gradually accelerating to grind down her competitors. She finished in 15:23.33 nearly 11 seconds ahead of 2nd place finisher Christin Wurth-Thomas (Nike). Over 30 seconds off her PB, the run amounted to little more than a buildup practice run for the talented Ongori.



In Ueno's absence, Honda teammates Suehiro Ishikawa and Seigo Ikegami, the top Japanese men in last month's World Cross-Country Championships, were the sole …

Olympian Tamesue Wins Libel Lawsuit Against 'Weekly Shincho' Publishers

http://www.nikkei.co.jp/news/shakai/20090415AT1G1504215042009.html

translated by Brett Larner

On Apr. 15, Olympic 400 m hurdler Dai Tamesue won a libel lawsuit against the Shinchosha publishing group for damaging his name and reputation in the company's Weekly Shincho magazine and in its advertisements for the gossip publication. Tamesue sought approximately $450,000 in compensation, but Tokyo court chief justice Minoru Hatakeyama ruled that only Shinchosha's advertisements for its publication and not the actual magazine itself damaged Tamesue's name. Accordingly, he reduced the judgment against the company to approximately $22,000.*

The problem stemmed from Shinchosha's advertisements in subways and elsewhere for the Apr. 10, 2008 issue of the Weekly Shincho magazine. The advertisements juxtaposed the words 'Swindlers Exposed' and the name 'Dai Tamesue,' but the magazine itself did not contain such accusations against the two-time World Championships meda…

Hayakari Opens Season at Mt. SAC Relays (updated)

by Brett Larner



Japanese women's 3000 m steeplechase national record holder Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) opened her 2009 season on Apr. 16 at the Mt. SAC Relays meet in Walnut, CA. Hayakari started aggressively, running in 3rd through a 77-second first lap. She held to precisely the same for the following two laps, clocking 2:34 and 3:51, but slipped backwards through the pack as the overall pace quickened behind breakaway leader Lindsey Anderson (Nike). Falling as low as 11th, Hayakari had a characteristically strong finish to move back up to 8th. Her time of 10:10.18 was far off last summer's national record of 9:33.93 but a good start to her World Championships buildup nevertheless.

Hayakari wrote about her race on her blog shortly afterwards:

The Mt. SAC Relay meet started on Apr. 16 and a lot of Japanese athletes are here. I ran the 3000 m SC in 10:10.18. My self-evaluation is.....maybe it was a little too sloppy, but I don't really care about the time or the result b…

Nittai University to Lose Hakone Ekiden Spot in Marijuana Scandal

http://mainichi.jp/select/jiken/news/20090416ddm041040069000c.html

translated by Brett Larner

In response to a marijuana scandal at a training facility in Yokohama involving a now-expelled pole vaulter on Nittai University's track and field team, the Kanto Regional University Track and Field Association headed by Yoshiyuki Aoba informed Nittai on Apr. 15 that the school's long distance ekiden squad will lose its seeded position in next year's Hakone Ekiden. Additionally, Nittai's entire track and field team must suspend all activity for the next three months. Nittai University officials accepted the decision. An official with the Kanto Association commented, "I've never heard of a school being stripped of its Hakone seed like this before."

Nittai University had already placed the 46 members of its track and field team's pole vault and jump squad on indefinite suspension as of Mar. 26 and afterwards suspended the rest of the track and field team through t…

New Zealand Marathon Camp Athletes Return to Japan

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/f-sp-tp0-20090415-483225.html

translated by Brett Larner

The long distance athletes attending the Rikuren Long Distance and Road Racing Special Committee's first group training camp returned to Japan on April 15 after two intensive weeks in New Zealand. Beijing Olympian Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) commented, "Thanks to being able to train together with a bunch of other people I've gotten a lot stronger." His twin brother Yuko (Team Konica Minolta) added, "It was hard work what whith so many strong runners there. I'm looking forward to reaping the benefits of all the training we did."

Takahashi, Seko and Asahara Join Welcoming Committee for IOC Task Force

http://sports.nikkei.co.jp/index.aspx?n=SSXKD0679%2015042009

translated by Brett Larner

The International Olympic Committee's task force charged with evaluating Tokyo's bid for the 2016 summer Olympic Games will tour the proposed marathon course on Apr. 17 as part of its four-day examination of the city. On Apr. 15 it was announced that Sydney Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Naoko Takahashi will be part of the delegation greeting IOC members at the marathon course's starting point, the 1964 Olympic Games' National Stadium. Takahashi, Japan's first Olympic women's [sic] marathon gold medalist, will join Toshihiko Seko, the architect of an era of Japanese men's marathoning, in greeting IOC task force head and first African women's Olympic gold medalist Nawal El Moutawakel. Together the two greatest assets of Japanese marathoning will help to illustrate the strong appeal of Tokyo's Olympic bid. The proposed marathon course will travel fro…

Akaba and Suwa Headline 2009 Sendai International Half Marathon

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2009/04/20090415t14022.htm
http://www.sendaihalf.com/jp/document/2009news0414a3.pdf

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 19th edition of the Sendai International Half Marathon takes place May 10. Headlining the women's and men's fields are Beijing 5000 m and 10000 m Olympian Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) and 2004 Athens Olympics men's marathon 6th place finisher Toshinari Suwa (Team Nissin Shokuhin). Akaba made her marathon debut this year at the Osaka International Women's Marathon, finishing 2nd overall. This will be her fourth time running Sendai. Suwa was 7th in the 2007 Osaka World Championships marathon and continues to be one of the strongest of Japan's marathon men.

In the women's race, last year's runner-up Julia Mombi (Team Aruze) and 3rd place finisher and Sendai native Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) will return. Joining them are 2009 Osaka Half Marathon winner Kiyoko Shimahara (Second Wind AC) and former world-cla…

Hakone Just a Checkpoint Along the Road to the Top for Akinobu Murasawa

http://www.asahi.com/sports/column/TKY200904110148.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The close-cropped haircut Akinobu Murasawa wore during his days at Nagano's Saku Chosei High School has grown out a little. Since February the high school star has been practicing with the Tokai University team ahead of his graduation from Saku Chosei and entrance into Tokai in April. "It feels different from high school," he says at the outset of his university career. "In university I want to learn how to be a competitor."

Last year was a big one for the 18 year old Murasawa. He was on the winning teams in the National High School Ekiden and National Interprefectural Ekiden, set a stage record of 23:55 for the 8.5 km 5th stage in the Interprefectural Ekiden, and ran on both the 2008 and 2009 World Cross Country Championships junior national teams. He also won the national high school 5000 m, his time of 13:50.86 ranking him at all-time 7th on the Japanese high school li…

Nittai Univ. Track and Field Team Under Suspension Until May in Marijuana Scandal (updated)

http://www.47news.jp/CN/200904/CN2009041101000666.html
http://www.nikkei.co.jp/news/shakai/20090412STXKA043812042009.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner (updated 4/15)



In the wake of a scandal involving a now-expelled pole vaulter's alleged marijuana use at one of its training facilities, the Nihon Taiku (Nittai) University track and field team announced on Apr. 11 that the entire team will undergo suspension from competition through the end of the month. The team will miss several important competitions as a result, including its long-distance squad's home meet which was scheduled for Apr. 18 and 19.

Nittai University has kept the 46 members of the alleged perpetrator's pole vault and jump squad on indefinite suspension. The rest of the track and field team was suspended from Mar. 3-5 immediately following the original incident, but with the new academic year beginning in April those in power decided upon re-examination of the details to extend the entire team's su…

Rikuren Announces New Spring Grand Prix Series (updated)

http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/sports/Sp200904110067.html
http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/090410/spg0904102235000-n1.htm
http://www.jiji.com/jc/zc?k=200904/2009041000849
http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/sports/Sp200904140241.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Rikuren has announced the formation of a new Spring Japan Grand Prix Series aligning four of the season's biggest track and field meets in the leadup to August's World Track and Field Championships in Berlin, Germany. The series will consist of the Apr. 18-19 Japan Invitational in Wakayama, the Apr. 26 Hyogo Relay Carnival in Kobe, the Apr. 29 Oda Mikio Memorial in Hiroshima, and the May 3 Shizuoka International in Fukuroi.

The series will play host to a range of Olympians, national record holders and other international-level Japanese athletes. Results in the meets will count toward national team selection for the World Championships. Top entrants inlcude:

Japan Invitational - Apr. 18-19
Hiromasa Tanaka (Team Monteroza) - men&…

Mt. SAC Relays Schedule

The Mt. SAC Relays meet in Walnut, CA takes place this Friday to Sunday, Japan time, with a fair number of Japanese athletes and at least one Japan-based Kenyan starting off their track seasons at the meet. At least two sites are promising live webcasts, offering a rare chance to see Japanese athletes in overseas track competition.

Below is a schedule of events featuring Japanese athletes. All dates and times are Japan time. Italicized events are major distance events which do not include Japanese runners but will be worth watching. A complete event schedule is available here. Please note that the dates and times on the official schedule are local California time.

Click here for the official Mt. SAC webcast.

Click here for the Flotrack webcast.

Friday, April 17
10:15 a.m. – Women’s Invitational 3000m SC: Minori Hayakari
10:40 a.m. – Men’s Invitational 3000m SC
11:35 a.m. – Women’s Invitational 10000m
12:10 p.m. – Men’s Invitational 10000m

Saturday, April 18
4:00 a.m.
– Men’s Olympic Development…

Ndambiri Over Ngatuny in Premium Race 3000 m (updated)

by Brett Larner



Nominally running as pacemakers, Kenyans Josephat Ndambiri (Team Komori Corp.) and Gideon Ngatuny (Team Nissin Shokuhin) outdistanced the ten Japanese runners in The Premium Race 3000 m at the Kanto Private Schools Five-University Track Meet at Daito Bunka University on Apr. 12. Along the way they were challenged only by university star Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.), who surprisingly bridged the gap to the two Kenyans one km into the race, but in the end it was a two-man show with Ndambiri coming out ahead on the last lap after losing to Ngatuny over 5000 m at last week's Kanaguri Memorial. Ngatuny led Ndambiri and Kashiwabara through the first km in 2:34:19, with Ndambiri taking over for the second km, clocking 5:16:13 and dropping Kashiwabara. Ngatuny resumed the lead for the final km, but Ndambiri sped away with 300 m to go to win in 7:50.66. Ngatuny was just a step behind in 2nd.

Managing to stay on his feet after suffering falls at last year's Cardinal Invi…