Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Tokyo Marathon Course Change - Masuzoe's Only Achievement as Governor? An Editorial

http://www.zakzak.co.jp/society/domestic/news/20160726/dms1607261200010-n1.htm

an editorial by Minoru Nasu, Sankei Newspaper photo editor
translated by Brett Larner

"Tokyo Station will form the stunningly picturesque backdrop for the new finish line."  With these words Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe confidently announced the change of the Tokyo Marathon course at a press conference on March 29.

The Sankei Newspaper is one of the Tokyo Marathon's sponsors.  Being in charge of photography, I set up an on-site meeting with representatives of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation to discuss issues like the shooting locations in the new finish area so that our reporters and photographers would be able to do their jobs smoothly.  "That's so easy for you to say, Mr. Masuzoe..."  That was my immediate reaction when I heard the news about the course change.  There are a lot of constraints on marathons held on public roads, and things do not proceed as planned.

Runners crossing the finish line framed by Tokyo Station.  There's no doubt those would be spectacular pictures if you could find the perfect angle.  Having now resigned his position as governor in the political fallout from a scandal involving misuse of public funds, is this the only thing Masuzoe actually accomplished?  It may become his lone achievement.  But the issue is whether it survives the July 31 election for his replacement.  We could start to hear calls to "Repeal the course change too!"

Monday, July 25, 2016

Obituary: Concerning the Passing of Fujitsu Athlete Johana Maina

http://sports.jp.fujitsu.com/cs/news/detail/160723010226/1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner
click here for more information on Maina's passing

Fujitsu men's long distance team member Johana Maina complained of not feeling well while on vacation back in his home country Kenya.  He was taken to a hospital but passed away suddenly on July 21, 2016.  We are deeply grateful for the kindness he showed in life and wish here to humbly pay our respects to his accomplishments.

Johana Maina, athlete
Dec. 24 1990 - July 21, 2016

Personal Bests
5000 m: 13:25.24 (2015)     10000 m: 27:26.92 (2015)     half marathon: 1:01:19 (2016)

Major Accomplishments
2012: 1st, Sendai International Half Marathon, 1:01:34
2014: 1st, Sendai International Half Marathon, 1:01:43
          2nd, Kumanchi 30 km Road Race, 1:29:55
2015: 1st, Sendai International Half Marathon, 1:02:33
          2nd, Hachioji Long Distance 10000 m, 27:26.92 - 19th in world in 2015
2016: 2nd, National Corporate Half Marathon, 1:01:19

Comments from Fujitsu head coach Tadashi Fukushima
On July 19 Johana Maina returned to Kenya in good health, but on July 21 he abruptly passed away.  As an athlete he was just at the point where he was coming into his own, and it is a tremendous loss.

Maina joined us in 2012, and from the start his bright and friendly personality meant he fit in well on our team and was well-liked by everyone.  He had the desire and work ethic to try to get better, and lately he had reached the point where he was just about ready to race in international competitions, the point where you could expect more and more success.  In the ekidens he ran with the team he was always encouraging the other team members, saying, "Let's become the best!"

This news is a sad reality but it is one that we must face and accept.  I hope that as a team we can take up Johana's spirit of striving to be the best in pursuing our goals.  My sincere gratitude for all the words of support we have received.  Thank you.

Rest in peace.

Mai Ito Wins Hot and Sunny Shibetsu Half Marathon in Final Tuneup for Rio Olympics Marathon

http://dd.hokkaido-np.co.jp/sports/sports/marathon/1-0296687.html
http://news.tbs.co.jp/newseye/tbs_newseye2828867.html
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/2016072401001248.html
http://dd.hokkaido-np.co.jp/sports/sports/marathon/1-0296700.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 30th anniversary Suffolkland Shibetsu Half Marathon  was held July 24 in Shibestu, Hokkaido.  Top-level Japanese athletes and amateur runners alike braved blazing sunshine to give it their best on the JAAF-certified course.  A total of 2136 runners including a large number of corporate league runners from Toyota and the Kansai region took part.  Special guest runners included ski jumper Sara Takanashi and the winner of the first Shibetsu Half women's race, Eriko Asai.

In the men's half marathon, Kokushikan University assistant coach James Mwangi won by a second over Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) in a course record 1:03:22.  Rio de Janeiro Olympics men's marathon team member Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) withdrew from the race, his management citing changes in his plans for the last stretch of his training.  2014 Asian Games marathon bronze medalist Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 16th in 1:06:10.

Running her final domestic tuneup before representing Japan in the Rio Olympics marathon, Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) led in temperatures of over 28 degrees to win the women's half marathon by more than 45 seconds in 1:13:31.  "There's a good chance the weather in Rio will be as hot as it was today, so being able to push it like this was a big confidence builder," she said.  "I think this was a good time at this stage."

Ito has been training in Hokkaido since late May, her workouts including tough 50 km runs.  She has been working on stabilizing her form and doing extensive core training in order to deal with possible windy conditions along the seaside portion of the Rio course.  Her coach Tadasu Kawano gave a favorable evaluation of her performance in Shibetsu, saying, "As a training run she earned a perfect score."  Ito will travel to the U.S.A. at the end of the month for her final preparations.

30th Suffolkland Shibetsu Half Marathon
Shibetsu, Hokkaido, 7/24/16
complete results coming soon

Women's Half Marathon
1. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:13:31
2. Sayo Nomura (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:14:17
3. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Hokuren) - 1:14:28
4. Ai Inoue (Team Noritz) - 1:14:36
5. Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Team Noritz) - 1:15:47

Men's Half Marathon
1. James Mwangi (Kokushikan Univ. staff) - 1:03:22 - CR
2. Yuki Oshikawa (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:03:23
3. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Team Toyota) - 1:03:28
4. Taku Fujimoto (Team Toyota) - 1:03:40
5. Kento Otsu (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 1:04:14

Women's 10 km
1. Mizuki Matsuda (Team Daihatsu) - 33:48
2. Mao Ichiyama (Team Wacoal) - 34:35
3. Kanako Takemoto (Team Daihatsu) - 34:42
4. Saki Wada (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 34:42
5. Rie Kawauchi (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 34:56

A Step Backward From Eugene - Final Japanese Tally From World U20 Championships

by Brett Larner



Japan's final score at the Bydgoszcz World U20 Championships was relatively modest, one silver medal, one bronze and fourteen other top eight placings, down significantly from the 2014 Eugene World Junior Championships where Japanese athletes earned one gold, three silver and two bronze medals along with fifteen other top eight finishes.  Both medals this year came with new Asian Junior Records attached, Takumu Furuya running 13.31 for bronze in the men's 110 m hurdles and the men's 4x100 m relay coming just shy of the U.S.A. in 39.01 for silver.  Five of the other top eight placers set new PBs, but by and large they were at the bottom end of their finals; apart from the medalists only two of the fourteen top eight placers made the top five in their events, Tatsuhiro Yamamoto with a 5th place in the men's 400 m hurdles and a 4th-place finish by the men's 4x400 m relay.

There were several close calls with a number of unlucky 9th-place finishes, but by and large results were so far off those from just two years ago that questions have to be asked.  But at the same time, the JAAF has set a goal for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics of just one medal and five top eight placings.    With the leadership having such low expectations it's hard to be critical of the World U20 team.  And with the bar that low, if the Rio team performs even close to as well as the Japanese team in Bydgoszcz it would be viewed as a rousing success.

2016 World U20 Championships Top Japanese Results
Bydgoszcz, Poland, July 19-24, 2016
click here for complete results

Men's 200 m
8. Jun Yamashita - 20.94

Men's 400 m
7. Kazuki Matsukiyo - 46.69 - PB
8. Naoki Kitadani - 47.15

Women's 3000 m
8. Nozomi Tanaka - 9:01.16 - PB

Women's 5000 m
8. Rika Kaseda - 15:39.66 - PB

Men's 110 m Hurdles
3. Takumu Furuya - 13.31 +0.2 m/s - Asian Jr. Record

Men's 400 m Hurdles
5. Tatsuhiro Yamamoto - 50.99
7. Yoshiro Watanabe - 51.09

Women's 10000 m Race Walk
8. Yukiho Mizoguchi - 46:19.49 - PB

Men's 4x100 m Relay
2. Japan - 39.01 - Asian Jr. Record

Men's 4x400 m Relay
4. Japan - 3:07.02

Men's Pole Vault
6. Masaki Ejima - 5.35 m

Men's High Jump
6. Yuji Hiramatsu - 2.21 m

Women's Javelin Throw
6. Mikako Yamashita - 54.89 m
8. Haruka Kitaguchi - 52.15 m

Men's Discus Throw
8. Shinichi Yukinaga - 58.50 - PB

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, July 22, 2016

World U20 Championships - Day Three Japanese Results

by Brett Larner



The third day of the World U20 Championships was a good one for the Japanese contingent. Just behind PB runs from Americans Marcus Krah and Amere Lattin, Takumu Furuya ran an Asian junior record of 13.31 for bronze in the men's 110 m hurdles, Japan's first medal of the Championships.  Of the ten other athletes in action today, eight advanced through their heats and semi-finals.



Naoki Kitadani and Kazuki Matsukiyo lead the way in the men's 400 m semis, both running PBs to make the final.  Jun Yamashita also delivered a PB in the opening round heats of the men's 200 m, running 20.89 for 3rd in Heat 4 to advance along with Wataru Inuzuka, 4th in Heat 1.  Yamashita ran another PB of 20.67 in the semi-finals to make it to the final, but Inuzuka was cutoff after finishing only 6th in 21.40.

Along with Furuya the other men's hurdlers were also strong, both Tatsuhiro Yamamoto and Yoshiro Watanabe advancing in the 400 m hurdles with Watanabe winning his heat in a solid 51.10, and Taisei Ogino unexpectedly making it through in the 3000 m steeplechase.  Masaki Ejima rounded out the qualifiers in the men's pole vault, his fellow vaulter Keisuke Okubo and women's 400 m hurdler Haruko Ishizuka the only ones not to move on to Day Four.

World U20 Championships Day Three
Bydgoszcz, Poland, 7/21/16
click here for complete results

Men's 110 m Hurdles Final
1. Marcus Krah (U.S.A.) - 13.25 - PB
2. Amere Lattin (U.S.A.) - 13.30 - PB
3. Takumu Furuya (Japan) - 13.31 - NJR

Men's 200 m Heat 1 +1.3 m/s
1. Vladislav Grigoryev (Kazakhstan) - 21.02 - Q
2. Chun-Han Yang (Taiwan) - 21.11 - Q
3. Micaiah Harris (U.S.A.) - 21.19 - Q
4. Wataru Inuzuka (Japan) - 21.41 - Q

Men's 200 m Heat 4 -1.2 m/s
1. Clarence Munyai (South Africa) - 20.40 - Q
2. Cameron Tindle (Great Britain) - 20.78 - PB, Q
3. Jun Yamashita (Japan) - 20.89 - PB, Q

Men's 200 m Semi-Final 1 +1.5 m/s
1. Clarence Munyai (South Africa) - 20.54 - Q
2. Roger Gurski (Germany) - 20.64 - PB, Q
3. Jun Yamashita (Japan) - 20.67 - PB, Q

Men's 200 m Semi-Final 3 +2.0 m/s
1. Tlotliso Leotlela (South Africa) - 20.58 - Q
2. Nigel Ellis (Jamaica) - 20.78 - Q
3. Vladislav Grigoryev (Kazakhstan) - 21.08
-----
6. Wataru Inuzuka (Japan) - 21.40

Men's 400 m Semi-Final 1
1. Karabo Sibanda (Botswana) - 45.15 - PB, Q
2. Kahmari Montgomery (U.S.A.) - 45.71 - Q
3. Anthony Zambrano (Colombia) - 45.81 - PB, q
4. Naoki Kitadani (Japan) - 46.41 - PB, q

Men's 400 m Semi-Final 2
1. Abdalelah Haroun (Qatar) - 45.55 - Q
2. Kazuki Matsukiyo (Japan) - 46.69 - PB, Q
3. Ivan Nunez (Mexico) - 47.00

Women's 400 m Hurdles Semi-Final 3
1. Anna Cockrell (U.S.A.) - 56.10 - Q
2. Shannon Kalawan (Jamaica) - 57.62 - Q
3. Haruko Ishizuka (Japan)

Men's 400 m Hurdles Heat 5
1. Mohamed Fares Jlassi (Tunisia) - 51.49 - PB, Q
2. Ned Justeen Azemia (Seychelles) - 51.50 - NJR, Q
3. Tatsuhiro Yamamoto (Japan) - 51.51 - Q

Men's 400 m Hurdles Heat 6
1. Yoshiro Watanabe (Japan) - 51.10 - Q
2. Dominik Hufnagl (Austria) - 51.72 - Q
3. Mohamed Reda Elbiladui (Morocco) - 53.34 - Q

Men's 3000 m Steeplechase Heat 1
1. Genet Wale (Ethiopia) - 8:43.92 - PB, Q
2. Amos Kirui (Kenya) - 8:44.32 - Q
3. Yemane Haileselassie (Eritrea) - 8:46.31 - Q
-----
5. Taisei Ogino (Japan) - 8:51.50 - Q

Men's Pole Vault Qualification Group A
1. Kurtis Marschall (Australia) - 5.30 m - q
2. Muntadher Falih Abdulwahid (Iraq) - 5.20 m - q
3. Adam Hague (Great Britain) - 5.20 m - q
-----
11. Keisuke Okubo (Japan) - 5.10 m

Men's Pole Vault Qualification Group B
1. Christopher Nilsen (U.S.A.) - 5.20 m - q
2. Armand Duplantis (Sweden) - 5.20 m - q
3. Masaki Ejima (Japan) - 5.20 m - q

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, July 21, 2016

World U20 Championships - Day Two Japanese Results

by Brett Larner



In a super-fast women's 3000 m that saw winner Beyenu Degefa (Ethiopia) break the World U20 Championships record in 8:41.76 and silver and bronze medalists Dalila Abdulkadir Gosa (Bahrain) and Konstanza Klosterhalfen (Germany) run national junior records, Japan's Nozomi Tanaka ran a PB of 9:01.16 for 8th, well out of the medals but ticking another box on the JAAF's target number of top eight finishes.  Wakana Kabasawa was next, 9th in 9:10.20.  The daughter of sub-2:30 amateur marathoner Chihiro Tanaka, Tanaka came in at #7 on the all-time Japanese junior list, only the second runner after 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi to make the all-time lists for both 1500 m and 3000 m.  In the men's long jump final Yuki Hashioka came up short of a top eight placing, jumping 7.31 m for 10th.



The day's biggest success came from hurdler Takumu Furuya, who ran a PB 13.40 to win his 110 mH heat before returning to win again in the semi-finals in 13.41.  Teammate Pap Demba Hiramatsu also made it through to the semi-finals but failed to advance to the final.  In the men's high jump, Yuji Hiramatsu won his qualification group after clearing 2.16 m on his first attempt.  Both Kazuki Matsukiyo and Naoki Kitadani advanced to the men's 400 m semi-finals, finishing 2nd and 3rd in their heats.  2015 national high school champion Haruko Ishizuka did the same in the women's 400 m hurdles, finishing 3rd in her heat to move on to the semi-finals.  2014 and 2015 national high school champion Kenta Oshima and teammate Ippei Takeda were both stopped in the men's 100 m semis, Oshima finishing 4th in his semi-final in 10.43 and Takeda 6th in his in 10.56.

World U20 Championships Day Two
Bydgoszcz, Poland, 7/20/16
click here for complete results

Women's 3000 m Final
1. Beyenu Degefa (Ethiopia) - 8:41.76 - MR
2. Dalila Abdulkadir Gosa (Bahrain) - 8:46.42 - NJR
3. Konstanza Klosterhalfen (Germany) - 8:46.74 - NJR
-----
8. Nozomi Tanaka (Japan) - 9:01.16 - PB
9. Wakana Kabasawa (Japan) - 9:10.20

Men's Long Jump Final
1. Maykel Masso (Cuba) - 8.00 m -1.8 m/s
2. Miltadis Tentoglou (Greece) - 7.91 m -0.4 m/s
3. Darcy Roper (Australia) - 7.88 m -1.0 m/s
-----
10. Yuki Hashioka (Japan) - 7.31 m -0.5 m/s

Men's 100 m Semi-Final 1
1. Filippo Tortu (Italy) - 10.26 - Q
2. Mario Burke (Barbados) - 10.34 - Q
3. Raheem Chambers (Jamaica) - 10.36 - q
-----
4. Kenta Oshima (Japan) - 10.43

Men's 100 m Semi-Final 2
1. Noah Lyles (U.S.A.) - 10.22 - Q
2. Derick Silva (Brazil) - 10.37 - Q
3. Oliver Bromby (Great Britain) - 10.37 - PB
-----
6. Ippei Takeda (Japan) - 10.56

Men's 400 m Heat 2
1. Christopher Taylor (Jamaica) - 46.73 - Q
2. Kazuki Matsukiyo (Japan) - 46.78 - Q
3. Anthony Zambrano (Colombia) - 47.18 - Q

Men's 400 m Heat 3
1. Baboloki Thebe (Botswana) - 46.25 - Q
2. Luis Charles (Dominican Republic) - 47.09 - Q
3. Naoki Kitadani (Japan) - 47.32 - Q

Men's 110 m Hurdles Heat 6
1. Takumu Furuya (Japan) - 13.40 - PB, Q
2. Dawid Zebrowski (Poland) - 13.48 - PB, Q
3. James Weaver (Great Britain) - 13.65 - Q

Men's 110 m Hurdles Heat 7
1. Marcus Krah (U.S.A.) - 13.48 - Q
2. Pap Demba Hiramatsu (Japan) - 13.59 - PB, Q
3. Max Hrelia (Sweden) - 13.66 - NJR, Q

Men's 110 m Hurdles Semi-Final 1
1. Takumu Furuya (Japan) - 13.41 - Q
2. Matthew Treston (Great Britain) - 13.70 - Q
3. Juan Pablo Germain (Chile) - 13.72

Men's 110 m Hurdles Semi-Final 2
1. Marcus Krah (U.S.A.) - 13.36 - Q
2. James Weaver (Great Britain) - 13.40 - Q
3. Max Hrelia (Sweden) - 13.61 - NJR
-----
7. Pap Demba Hiramatsu (Japan) - 19.52

Womens 400 m Hurdles Heat 1
1. Eileen Demes (Germany) - 57.77 - PB, Q
2. Anais Seiller (France) - 58.44 - PB, Q
3. Haruko Ishizuka (Japan) - 58.66 - Q

Womens 400 m Hurdles Heat 3
1. Xahria Santiago (Canada) - 58.48 - Q
2. Julie Hounsinou (France) - 58.65 - PB, Q
3. Karoline Maria Sauer (Germany) - 59.37 - Q
-----
7. Mizuki Murakami (Japan) - 1:01.78

Men's High Jump Qualification Group A
1. Oleksandr Barannikov (Ukraine) - 2.16 m - q
2. Mohamat Alamine Hamoi (Qatar) - 2.16 m - q
3. Alperen Acet (Turkey) - 2.16 m - PB, q
-----
10. Keitaro Fujita (Japan) - 2.09 m

Men's High Jump Qualification Group B
1. Yuji Hiramatsu (Japan) - 2.16 m - q
2. Tom Gale (Great Britain) - 2.16 m - q
3. Maksim Nedasekau (Belarus) - 2.16 m - q

Men's Triple Jump Qualification Group B
1. Lazaro Martinez (Cuba) - 16.49 m +1.4 m/s - Q
2. Philipp Kronsteiner (Austria) - 16.19 m +0.9 m/s - NJR, Q
3. Jordan Scott (Jamaica) - 15.99 m +0.5 m/s - q
-----
9. Mutsuki Harada (Japan) - 15.70 m +1.4 m/s

Women's Shot Put Qualification Group B
1. Jiayuan Song (China) - 16.17 m - Q
2. Alina Kenzel (Germany) - 16.04 m - Q
3. Elena Bruckner (U.S.A.) - 15.50 m - Q
-----
5. Nanaka Kori (Japan) - 14.63 m

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

'43. BMW Berlin Marathon am 25. September 2016: Kenenisa Bekele startet in Berlin'

Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia), Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) and Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) have been announced for the September 25 Berlin Marathon: http://run.hwinter.de/?p=6966