Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Incheon Asian Games Unveils 15000-Person Athletes' Village

http://www.47news.jp/smp/CN/201408/CN2014082601001851.html

translated by Brett Larner

With one month to go until the start of track and field competition, the 2014 Incheon Asian Games athletes' village where competitors will stay during the Games was unveiled to the media on Aug. 26.  With 2200 rooms in 22 newly-built apartment buildings in Incheon, South Korea, the village is capable of hosting up to 15000 people.  The 10000 square meter dining hall will be open 24 hours a day, with room for 3500 people to eat at the same time.

Along with accommodations, the athletes' village includes a medical center and service center in its international zone, with press conference space and other facilities located in the public area.  The athletes' village is located 40 minutes by car from the main stadium.  It will officially open on Sept. 12.  The Korea Broadcasting Corporation made up of three domestic South Korean broadcasters also announced on Aug. 26 that it would offer Incheon Asian Games broadcast rights to North Korea free of charge.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kikuchi and Takenaka Join Farah, Kiprotich, Kiplagat and Keitany at Sept. 7 Great North Run

by Brett Larner
photos by rikujolove

2014 Copenhagen World Half Marathon Japanese national team members Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta) and Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) will join London Olympics and Moscow World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m double gold medalist Mo Farah (GBR), London and Moscow marathon gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda), Daegu and Moscow World Championships marathon gold medalist Edna Kiplagat (Kenya), Birmingham World Half Marathon gold medalist Mary Keitany (Kenya) and others at the Sept. 7 Great North Run half marathon in Newcastle, U.K.

Kikuchi, formerly captain of Meiji University's Hakone Ekiden team, has broken 62 minutes for the half marathon three times so far this year including a 1:01:17 PB for 2nd at February's National Corporate Half Marathon Championships and a 1:01:23 at March's Copenhagen World Half Marathon, both times finishing as the top Japanese man.  Takenaka, a former captain of National University Women's Ekiden champion Ritsumeikan University, made her half marathon debut at this year's National Corporate Half Marathon in 1:10:10 for 2nd, following up with a 1:10:30 at the World Half Marathon.

2014 National Track and Field Championships men’s 1500 m winner Keisuke Tanaka (Team Fujitsu) and 2013 Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon winner Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda) will also race with support from JRN, along with Takamitsu Hashimoto (Team Komori Corporation), Sho Matsueda (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) and Haruna Takada (Team Yamada Denki).

With over 60,000 participants making it the largest half marathon in the world, the Great North Run this year will celebrate its 1 millionth finisher, the first race in the world to reach that milestone. It will be broadcast live on the BBC.

Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido)
PB: 1:10:10 (2014 National Corporate Half Marathon)
17th, 2014 World Half Marathon - 1:10:30

Haruna Takada (Team Yamada Denki)
PB: 1:11:46 (2014 National Corporate Half Marathon)

Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta)
PB: 1:01:17 (2014 National Corporate Half Marathon)
18th, 2014 World Half Marathon - 1:01:23

Keisuke Tanaka (Team Fujitsu)
PB: 1:02:38 (2014 National Corporate Half Marathon)
2014 national 1500 m champion
2010 national university 1500 m champion

Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda)
PB: 1:02:40 (2014 Sendai International Half Marathon)
top Japanese man, 2013 Chicago Marathon - 2:10:29
1st, 2013 Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon - 2:12:14 (debut)

Sho Matsueda (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki)
PB: 1:02:41 (2013 Marugame International Half Marathon)

Takamitsu Hashimoto (Team Komori Corp.)
PB: 1:03:13 (2014 National Corporate Half Marathon)
anchor, 2007 National High School Ekiden champion Sendai Ikuei H.S.

(c) 2014 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
photos (c) 2014 M. Kawaguchi, all rights reserved

Monday, August 25, 2014

Onogawa and Takamatsu Take Gold at 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics - Day Five and Six Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Following up on Sunday's double silver medal haul, girls' 3000 m favorite Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu and 10000 m race walk entrant Minoru Onogawa delivered PB performances to bring Japan a pair of gold medals on the fifth day of athletics competition at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics.

#1-seeded Takamatsu, 4th at the Eugene World Junior Championships in a then-PB 9:02.85, showed the wisdom of her conservative opener by outclassing the crowd of Africans who PBd in the qualifying round.  Sitting on #2 seed Alina Reh (Germany) through 2000 m, Takamatsu dropped a 2:55 final 1000 m to take over a second off her best and score gold in 9:01.58, almost four seconds better than Reh's silver medal-winning time.  Berhan Demiesa Asgedom (Ethiopia), who PBd in the qualifying round, ran another PB of 9:06.10 to pick up the bronze medal.

In the boys' 10000 m race walk, Onogawa likewise sat on Noel Ali Chama Almazan (Mexico), twice taking the lead before breaking away for good at 9000 m.  Onogawa's time of 42:03.64 was a sizeable PB, his last surge putting him well clear for gold by seven seconds over Russian Vladislav Saraikin.  Almazan held on to bronze another four seconds back in 42:14.11.

The day's sole low point came in the boys' 200 m, where Jun Yamashita, 3rd at this year's National High School Championships, faltered in his quest for a sub-21 clocking and finished 6th in the A final in 21.62 (+0.3). In the last individual event A final for the Japanese contingent, Nagisa Mori delivered a surprise in the girls' javelin throw.  Only 5th at the National High School Track and Field Championships earlier this month, Mori threw a PB 52.27 m to take the bronze medal, the latest addition to the ongoing Japanese javelin renaissance.  With five of the thirteen athletes on the team winning medals, two gold, two silver and one bronze, the second edition of the Youth Olympics wound up on a high note for Japanese fans.

2014 Youth Olympics Day Five and Six
Nanjing, China, Aug. 24-25, 2014
click here for complete results

Women's 3000 m A Final
1. Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Japan) - 9:01.58 - PB
2. Alina Reh (Germany) - 9:05.07
3. Berhan Demiesa Asgedom (Ethiopia) - 9:06.10 - PB
4. Fatuma Chebsi (Bahrain) - 9:12.66
5. Cavaline Nahimana (Burundi) - 9:14.45
6. Jackline Chepkoech (Kenya) - 9:20.43
7. Janat Chemusto (Uganda) - 9:22.42
8. Behafeta Abreha (Azerbaijan) - 9:22.60
9. Maria Magdalena Ifteni (Romania) - 9:29.53
10. Gebrekrstos Weldeghabr (Eritrea) - 9:30.65 - PB

Men's 200 m A Final +0.3
1. Noah Lyles (U.S.A.) - 20.80
2. Baboloki Thebe (Botsawa) - 21.20
3. Chun-Han Yang (Taiwan) - 21.31
4. Akanni Hislop (Trinidad and Tobago) - 21.57
5. Brian Kasinda (Zambia) - 21.61
6. Jun Yamashita (Japan) - 21.62
DQ - Chad Walker (Jamaica)

Men's 10000 m Race Walk
1. Minoru Onogawa (Japan) - 42:03.64 - PB
2. Vladislav Saraikin (Russia) - 42:10.95 - PB
3. Noel Ali Chama Almazan (Mexico) - 42:14.11
4. Cesar Rodriguez (Peru) - 42:26.49
5. Heyonmyeong Joo (South Korea) - 43:51.89 - PB

Women's Javelin Throw A Final
1. Hanna Tarasiuk (Belarus) - 59.92 m - PB
2. Fabienne Schonig (Germany) - 53.68 m
3. Nagisa Mori (Japan) - 52.27 m - PB
4. Laine Donane (Latvia) - 51.90 m
5. Aleksandra M. Ostrowska (Poland) - 51.79 m

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Ndirangu Wins Hiroshima Cross-Country Meet

by Brett Larner

Despite weeks of heavy rains that brought fatal landslides across the Hiroshima region, the 2014 Hiroshima Cross-Country Meet went ahead as planned under relatively good conditions.  Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel), a graduate of the local Sera H.S. ekiden program that previously produced the likes of sub-27 man Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC) and 2012 Fukuoka International Marathon winner Joseph Gitau (Team JFE Steel), had an easy time adding a win to his resume, finishing more than 30 seconds up on the rest of the men's 8 km field in 24:24.  Little-known Shogo Kanezane (Team Chugoku Denryoku) outran the rest of the Japanese field for 2nd, at 24:55 the only Japanese man to go under 25 minutes. His teammate Kaido Kita filled out the podium in 25:01.  The top man from the third corporate team at the meet, Chudenko's Naoya Hashimoto, was 6th in 25:16 in the midst of the chase pack's blanket finish.

2014 Hiroshima XC Meet Men's 8 km
Hiroshima, 8/23/14
click here for detailed results

1. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) - 24:24
2. Shogo Kanezane (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 24:55
3. Kaido Kita (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 25:01
4. Satoshi Kubooka (Team JFE Steel) - 25:09
5. Kota Otani (Team JFE Steel) - 25:15
6. Naoya Hashimoto (Team Chudenko) - 25:16
7. Ryota Nakamura (Team Chudenko) - 25:17
8. Hiroki Tanaka (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 25:19

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Osako and Hanyu Chase Records in Europe While Tayama Twins Take New Caledonia

by Brett Larner

Waseda University graduate Suguru Osako (Team Nissin Shokuhin) turned up at Sunday's Birmingham Grand Prix to run with sometimes training partner Mo Farah in pursuit of fellow Waseda grad Kensuke Takezawa's Japanese national record of 8:24.69.  While Farah went out way ahead of the field to set a European area record of 8:07.85 for the win, Osako came up a few seconds short of Takezawa's mark in 8:28.30.  In a distance rarely raced by Japanese athletes, Osako's time was good enough for all-time Japanese #2, joining his all-time #6 5000 m best of 13:20.80 just behind Takezawa's all-time #5 mark of 13:19.00.

A small contingent of Japanese high schoolers also turned up at Saturday's International Antwerp Athletics Gala.  Takuya Hanyu (Yachiyo Shoin H.S.), who last November ran 14:00.55 to become Japan's fastest-ever high school first-year for 5000 m, finished 2nd behind Australia's Mitchel Brown in a new PB of 13:52.98 that moved him up to #2 on the high school second-year lists.  Nodoka Aoki (Mashita Seifu H.S.) and Ryoko Matsukawa (Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) ran in the women's 1500 m, both off their bests but Aoki taking 6th in the A-heat and Matsukawa winning the B-heat.

Half a world away, Japanese athletes won both the men's and women's race at the 32nd running of the New Caledonia International Half MarathonDaito Bunka University wonder twins Mari and Eri Tayama led a Japanese sweep of the top six places in the women's race, winner Mari Tayama placing 3rd overall in 1:15:40 less than a minute out of 2nd.  Men's winner Hayato Kono ran only 1:12:39, putting him less than a kilometer ahead.

Birmingham Grand Prix
Birmingham, U.K., 8/24/14
click here for complete results

Men's 2 Miles
1. Mo Farah (Great Britain) - 8:07.85 - AR
2. Zane Robertson (New Zealand) - 8:22.82
3. Emmanuel Bett (Kenya) - 8:25.55
4. Jordan McNamara (U.S.A.) - 8:26.50
5. Will Leer (U.S.A.) - 8:27.15
6. Andy Vernon (Great Britain) - 8:27.55
7. Suguru Osako (Japan/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 8:28.30
8. Thomas Farrell (Great Britain) - 8:30.39
9. Jonathan Hay (Great Britain) - 8:38.66
10. Thomas Lancashire (Great Britain) - 8:43.77
11. Lee Emanuel (Great Britain) - 8:50.18

International Antwerp Athletic Gala
Antwerp, Belgium, 8/23/14
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m
1. Mitchel Brown (Australia) - 13:50.06 - PB
2. Takuya Hanyu (Japan/Yachiyo Shoin H.S.) - 13:52.98 - PB
3. Nico Sonnenberg (Germany) - 13:59.59 - PB
4. Mats Lunders (Belgium) - 14:03.59
5. Nick Van Peborgh (Belgium) - 14:25.85

Women's 1500 m Heat 1
1. Melissa Courtney (Great Britain) - 4:16.38
2. Felicitas Krause Gesa (Germany) - 4:19.09
3. Kara Macdermid (New Zealand) - 4:21.92
4. Stella Kubasch (Germany) - 4:22.96
5. Noelle Yarigo (Benin) - 4:27.21
6. Nodoka Aoki (Japan/Mashita Seifu H.S.) - 4:27.57

Women's 1500 m Heat 2
1. Ryoko Matsukawa (Japan/Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 4:37.92
2. Christina Gerdes (Germany) - 4:41.37
3. Diane van Es (Netherlands) - 4:45.87
4. Ydwine van der Veen (Netherlands) - 4:46.59 - PB
5. Lieselotte Schellekens (Belgium) - 4:46.81

New Caledonia International Half Marathon
New Caledonia, 8/24/14
click here for complete results

Women
1. Mari Tayama (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:15:40
2. Eri Tayama (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:16:40
3. Yukiko Okuno (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 1:17:29

Men
1. Hayato Kono (Japan) - 1:12:39
2. Nordine Benfodda (France) - 1:14:48
3. Sebastien Guesdon (France) - 1:18:49

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hiramatsu and Oshima Win Silver at 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics - Day Four Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

The fourth day of athletics competition at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China saw the Games' first round of medal competition.  2014 National High School Champion Kenta Oshima gave Japan its first medal of the day, taking silver in the boys' 100 m in 10.57 (-0.5) just behind winner Sydney Siame of Zambia in 10.56.  2014 high jump National High School Champion Yuji Hiramatsu followed up quickly with a PB jump of 2.14 m, far short of Russian winner Danil Lysenko's jump of 2.20 m but good for another silver medal.

In the girls' 5000 m race walk Sayori Matsumoto came up just short of the medals in 4th in 23:54.71.  Discus throw youth national record holder Yume Ando was also 4th, his throw of 57.36 m undone by a PB 57.48 m throw by Ukrainian Ruslan Valitov.  In the girls' 800 m, 2014 National High School Champion Hina Takahashi was off her game, finishing last in the final in 2:09.96.

Three Japanese athletes will be competing for medals on Sunday.  Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu will be looking to improve on her 4th-place finish in this year's World Junior Championships 3000 m, coming into the 3000 m final with the best PB in the field, 9:02.85.  Minoru Onogawa, 2nd at the 2014 National High School Championships, races the boys' 10000 m race walk, while Jun Yamashita, 3rd in the 2014 National High School Championships, runs the boys' 200 m A final.

2014 Youth Olympics Day Four
Nanjing, China, Aug. 23, 2014
click here for complete results

Women's 800 m A Final
1. Martha Bissah (Ghana) - 2:04.90 - PB
2. Hawi Alemu Negeri (Ethiopia) - 2:06.01 - PB
3. Mareen Kalis (Germany) - 2:06.03
4. Elena Belo (Italy) - 2:06.31 - PB
5. Lotte Scheldeman (Belgium) - 2:07.83
6. Louise Shanahan (Ireland) - 2:08.29 - PB
7. Ekaterina Alekseeva (Russia) - 2:09.21
8. Hina Takahashi (Japan) - 2:09.96

Men's 100 m A Final (-0.5)
1. Sydney Siame (Zambia) - 10.56
2. Kenta Oshima (Japan) - 10.57
3. Trae Williams (Australia) - 10.60
4. Altor Same Ekobo Marama (Spain) - 10.71
5. Meshaal Almutairi (Kuwait) - 10.80
6. Kristoffer Hari (Denmark) - 10.80
7. Josneyber Ramierz (Venezuela) - 10.82
8. Tyler Bower (Bahamas) - 10.96

Women's 5000 m Race Walk
1. Zhenxia Ma (China) - 22:22.08
2. Valeria Ortuno Martinez (Mexico) - 23:19.27
3. Noemi Stella (Italy) - 23:38.10
4. Sayori Matsumoto (Japan) - 23:54.71
5. Athanasia Vaitsi (Greece) - 24:22.21 - PB

Men's High Jump A Final
1. Danil Lysenko (Russia) - 2.20 m
2. Yuji Hiramatsu (Japan) - 2.14 m - PB
3. Shemaiah James (Australia) - 2.14 m - PB
4. Oleksandr Barannikov (Ukraine) - 2.14 m
5. Lushane Wilson (Jamaica) - 2.08 m - PB
6. Igor Franciszek Kopala (Poland) - 2.08 m
7. Hicham Bouhanoun (Algeria) - 2.08 m
8. Jahnhai Perinchief (Bermuda) - 2.00 m

Men's Discus Throw A Final
1. Yulong Cheng (China) - 64.14 m - PB
2. Clemens Prufer (Germany) - 63.52 m
3. Ruslan Valitov (Ukraine) - 57.48 m - PB
4. Yume Ando (Japan) - 57.36 m
5. Mithrava Senthil Kumar (India) - 57.06 m - PB
6. Andrea Thanasis (Greece) - 56.80 m - PB
7. Tyler Merkley (U.S.A.) - 56.27 m
8. Stefan Mura (Moldova) - 49.81 m

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics - Day Two and Three Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

The last two days of qualification rounds at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China saw three Japanese athletes advance to the medal-earning A finals in their events.  2014 National High School Champion Kenta Oshima led the way in the boys' 100 m, winning his heat in 10.62 (-0.5).  Jun Yamashita followed suit in the boys' 200 m, running a PB of 21.11 (-0.4) for 2nd in his heat to make the medal round.  Tomomi Kawamura missed making it a 100% success rate for Japan's sprinters, her 25.10 in the girls' 200 m only good for 4th in her heat and a place out of the medals in the B final.  In the girls' javelin, Nagisa Mori, only 5th at the Naitonal High School Track and Field Championships earlier this month, threw a PB of 50.72 for 5th in the qualification round and making the A final.

The finals get underway Saturday, with five Japanese athletes competing for medals.  Oshima returns for the boys' 100 m final.  The girls' 800 m features 2014 National High School Champion Hina Takahashi, with her fellow 2014 National High School Champions Yuji Hiramatsu and Sayori Matsumoto taking on the boys' high jump and girls' 5000 m race walk.  Yume Ando will compete in the boys' discus, where he is the Japanese youth national record holder.

2014 Youth Olympics Day Two and Three
Nanjing, China, Aug. 21-22, 2014
click here for complete results

Men's 200 m Heat 1 -0.4
1. Noah Lyles (U.S.A.) - 20.71 - PB
2. Jun Yamashita (Japan) - 21.11 - PB
3. Akanni Kislop (Trinidad and Tobago) - 21.42
4. Jordan Csabi (Australia) - 21.70
5. Erick J. Sanchez Guzman (Dominican Republic) - 21.72 - PB
6. Wojciech Jan Kaczor (Poland) - 22.01
DNF - Jorge Ely Sanchez Davila (Puerto Rico)

Women's 200 m Heat 3 +0.0
1. Nataliah Whyte (Jamaica) - 23.79
2. Ina Huemer (Austria) - 24.74
3. Kelly Laydy Barona Mora (Ecuador) - 24.75
4. Tomomi Kawamura (Japan) - 25.10
5. Fatoumata Bangoura (Guinea) - 26.61
6. Pearl Morgan (Cayman Islands) - 26.98
7. Maryan Nuh Muse (Somalia) - 30.35 - PB

Men's 100 m Heat 1 -0.5
1. Kenta Oshima (Japan) - 10.62
2. Josneyber Ramirez (Venezuela) - 10.82
3. Sergio Becerra (Colombia) - 11.09
4. Keasi Naidroka (Fiji) - 11.23
5. Sekou Traore (Mali) - 11.24
6. Jeffrey Uzzell (U.S.A.) - 11.27
7. Gwynn Uehara (Palau) - 11.51 - PB
8. Cheikh Beya (Mauritania) - 14.29

Women's Javelin Throw Qualification
1. Hanna Tarasiuk (Belarus) - 55.48 m
2. Fabienne Schonig (Germany) - 52.83
3. Jo-Ane Van Dyk (South Africa) - 52.60 - PB
4. Aleksandra M. Ostrowska (Poland) - 52.21
5. Nagisa Mori (Japan) - 50.72 - PB

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, August 21, 2014

2013 Hakone Ekiden Winner Nittai University to Run Aug. 31 Hokkaido Marathon

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20140821-OHT1T50125.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

University runners aiming for the Hakone Ekiden spend their harsh summers building a base of around 40 km a day.  They have a saying about the importance of their summer training camps: "Those who win the summer win the winter."  To protect its legacy of ten overall Hakone wins, the prestigious Nittai University is not afraid of new challenges that take it even beyond.

As usual, Nittai arrived in Yamagata on Aug. 8 for primary training at Zhao Onsen and Zhao Bodaira, breaking camp after morning practice on Aug. 18.  Team members had the rest of the day to spend as they like and to figure out how to get themselves to their scheduled assembly at Sendai Port at 6:30 p.m.  "If you can't think about everything for yourself as an athlete, you'll never be strong," says head coach Kenji Beppu, 48.  From Sendai the team boarded a ferry bound for Hokkaido, where it would go straight on into the next stage of its training camp.

Up to this point it's the same schedule they've always had, but this year the camp will be stretched out an extra three weeks.  For the first time, the Nittai team will run the Hokkaido Marathon, scheduled for Aug. 31.  They will run as a pack at a predetermined pace until 30 km, free to run the remaining 12.195 km however they like.  The target for members' final finish times is between 2:20 and 2:30.

Nittai's captain for its 2013 Hakone Ekiden win, Shota Hattori, 22, graduated this spring and is now running for the Honda corporate team.  "Up until last year we had a strong individual runner who could affect the outcome of the race all by himself," says this year's captain Hikaru Kato, a senior.  "This season every single one of us needs to deliver his absolute best."  To build the strength needed for the winter's greatest road relay, Nittai University will seek to conquer the summer's 42.195 km.