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London 4x100 m Bronze Medalist Shuhei Tada Leads Japanese Team at Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade

Following protests outside the main stadium that interrupted its opening ceremonies Saturday night, the athletics component of the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade is set to start Wedenesday. As always Japan is sending a solid crew of its A-list collegiate talent to the World University Games, with a team of 24 men and 14 women set to compete over the six day run of athletics.

Getting things off to a quick start, London World Championships men's 4x100 m bronze medallist Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin University) is set to run the first men's 100 m on the first day on competition. Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo University), Ryo Kajiki (Josai University), Ryoma Yamamoto (Juntendo Univ.) and Marina Saito (Kokushikan University) will also double back from representing Japan in London to compete in Taipei, Kitagawa in the men's 400 m, Kajiki in the men's 400 m hurdles, Yamamoto in the men's triple jump and Saito in the women's javelin throw. London men's 20 km race wal…

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …

100 m NR Holder Ito: Japan Has Entered the Ranks of the World's True Relay Powerhouse Nations

an editorial by Koji Ito
men's 100 m national record holder
JAAF Development Committee Chair

In London Japan won the men's 4x100 m relay bronze, its first-ever World Championships 4x100 m medal. I'm glad that they were able to win a medal. My honest impression was that they have done well to come this far. Before the race started sprint coach Shunji Karube was saying, "They're totally going to medal," but a key part of Japan's strength is in fact the rich experience he and Coach Hiroyasu Tsuchie bring to the picture. I think their tactics are amazing. During the heats they could make an assessment of Aska Cambridge's situation in just half a day and replace him with Kenji Fujimitsu, who delivered a solid run.

Japan has entered the ranks of the world's true relay powerhouse nations. Apart from leading man Shuhei Tada, the other three members were talking before the race in a totally relaxed way that would have been unthinkable in my era. The final ma…

Silver and Bronze - Summary of Japanese Performances at 2017 London World Championships

Thanks to a last-minute rush Japan walked away from the London World Championships with a passable haul. The JAAF judges performance in terms of medals and top 8 finishes. Up to Saturday, only one Japanese athlete had met either, 18-year-old sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown finishing 7th in the men's 200 m final as the first Japanese man to make a 200 m final at Worlds since 2003. Three other Japanese athletes had scored top 10 placings, Yuki Kawauchi and Kentaro Nakamoto in the men's marathon and Ayuko Suzuki in the women's 10000 m, but under the JAAF's criteria these were not viewed as success.


Saturday's men's 4x100 m final brought the first Japanese medal of the Championships, with Japan following up on its Rio Olympics silver with a bronze, its first-ever Worlds medal in the discipline. Sunday morning brought Japan's best-ever showing in the men's 50 km race walk, Rio bronze medalist Hirooki Arai moving up to silver, Kai Kobayashi taking bronze wit…

London World Championships - Day Ten Japanese Results

Rio Olympics men's 50 km Race Walk bronze medalist Hirooki Arai followed up with Japan's first silver medal of the London World Championships, leading teammate Kai Kobayashi to a Japanese double medal haul. Far behind the championships record pace set by eventual gold medalist Yohann Diniz of France, Arai, Kobayashi and teammate Satoshi Maruo all sat together in the chase pack through 15 km. Maruo began to drop back approaching 20 km, but Arai and Kobayashi stayed up front through 35 km before making a break that took them all the way to silver and bronze medal finishes 2 seconds apart just over 8 minutes behind Diniz. Maruo fought his way back through the pack, ultimately finishing 5th just over a minute and a half behind his medalist teammates.

On paper the men's 20 km crew had the potential to repeat the 50 km results, but it wasn't to be. One by one Rio Olympics 7th placer Daisuke Matsunaga and world #2 and #3-ranked Eiki Takahashi and Isamu Fujisawa slipped off t…

London World Championships - Day Nine Japanese Results

Following up on its silver medal at the Rio Olympics, the Japanese men's 4x100 m relay squad delivered the first Japanese medal of the London World Championships as it took bronze behind hosts Great Britain and U.S.A. Swapping in alternate Kenji Fujimitsu for ailing anchor Aska Cambridge in the final, the team featured only two starting members of the Rio lineup. Lead runner Shuhei Tada, a student at Kwansei Gakuin University who burst onto the scene in May, again proved himself the best new development in Japanese men's sprinting with a fast start. Rio members Shota Iizuka and Yoshihide Kiryu did their bits on second and third to keep Japan even with Jamaica in 3rd before Fujimitsu delivered the goods.

With bronze at the Beijing Olympics and silver in Rio last year it was Japan's first-ever World Championships men's 4x100 m relay medal. At age Fujimitsu may not make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but with Cambridge, 200 m finalist Abdul Hakim Sani Brown and Rio team …

London World Championships - Day Eight Japanese Results

Finishing 4th in her opening round heat, national champion Ayako Kimura became the first Japanese woman to make a World Championships 100 m hurdles semifinal, running 13.15 to auto-qualify. In Semifinal 2 she was unable to match that performance, finishing last in 13.29. National Championships runner-up Hitomi Shimura ran 13.29 in her heat and did not move on to the semifinals.

In the men's 1500 m semifinals, Japan-based junior world record holder Ronald Kwemoi struggled with a recent injury and failed to advance to the final. Running in the same heat, American Johnny Gregorek, who ran last year's Izumo Ekiden as part of the Ivy League Select Team, moved up from last place over the last 300 m to snag the last spot in the final, the only U.S. man to make the 1500 m final.

In the men's high jump, national champion Takashi Eto cleared 2.22 m for 9th in his qualification group and did not advance. In the decathlon, at the end of the first day of competition Japan's Akihik…

London World Championships - Day Seven Japanese Results

18-year-old national champion Abdul Hakim Sani Brown became the first Japanese man since Shingo Suetsugu's 2003 bronze medal and the youngest man ever to make a World Championships 200 m final. With a 20.32 best he faced seven men who had all broken 20 and run under 20.30 in the semifinals, and with a strong run off the curve he succeeded in taking one of them, the United States' Isiah Young, finishing 7th in 20.63 to Young's 20.64.

In the women's 5000 m heats national champion Rina Nabeshima became the tenth-fastest Japanese woman ever when she ran 15:11.83 in Heat Two, but with the slowest qualifying time going to Bahrain's Kalkidan Gezahegne in 15:07.19 she failed to advance to the final. 9th in the final at the last World Championships, Nabeshima's teammate Ayuko Suzuki showed fatigue from the 10000 m as she ran only 15:24.86 in Heat One.

In the men's javelin throw, national champion Ryohei Arai was far off his best, fouling on his first attempt in the…

London World Championships - Day Six Japanese Results

For the first time in 14 years Japan landed a man in the finals of the World Championships 200 m. In Semifinal 1, 2010 World Junior Champion and Rio Olympics 4x100 m silver medalist Shota Iizuka was eliminated when he finished 5th in 20.62 (+2.1 m/s).

In Semifinal 2, 2016 World Youth Champion and 2017 national champion Abdul Hakim Sani Brown beat Rio 4x100 m gold medalist Yohan Blake (Jamaica) for 2nd in 20.43 (-0.3 m/s) to make for the final, the youngest man to ever do it. The only one of the eight qualifiers not to break 20.30 in his semi, a time faster than his PB, Sani Brown told Japanese media afterwards that he had been lucky to make it. It's going to take some more luck for him to take down some of the other big names in Thursday's final.

#london2017#200m

サニブラウン 20.43 -0.3

準決勝2組2着。着順で決勝決めた👏 pic.twitter.com/kQhWH0O5X9 — EKIDEN HAKIM MANIA (@ekiden_mania) August 9, 2017
London World Championships Day Six Japanese ResultsLondon, England, 8/9/17
click here for complete res…

Japan's London World Championships Marathon Squad Arrives Back Home

The six members of Japan's men's and women's marathon teams at the ongoing London World Championships returned to Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Aug. 9. Decked out in the official team suit, Japanese team captain and at 9th the top-placing Japanese marathoner in London Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) spoke to the media.

Having declared pre-race his intention to withdraw from consideration for future Japanese National Team positions, post-race Kawauchi showed no change in that intent. With regard to his future plans, his motivation as a competitor likewise remaining unchanged, Kawauchi indicated that he will run Decmeber's Fukuoka International Marathon,where his 3rd-place overall finish last year earned him his place in London. "In Fukuoka I want to break my PB and run 2:07," he said. "There are things I want to accomplish besides being on the National Team."

Kawauchi revealed that his next marathon will be September's Oslo Marathon, whe…

World Championships Marathons Pull in TV Viewership Ratings Over 13.5%

According to a report by Video Research Ltd., TBS' live broadcast of the Aug. 6 London World Championships men's and women's marathons recorded high TV viewership ratings. The men's marathon starting at 18:55 Japan time averaged a 13.7% viewership rating for its 135 minute broadcast. Beginning at 22:00 Japan time, the 150 minute women's marathon averaged 13.6%.

In the men's marathon civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) missed top eight by just 3 seconds, finishing 9th. Mao Kiyota (23, Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was the top Japanese woman at 16th. It was the first time in the 22 years since 1995 that no Japanese marathoners male or female made the top eight in a World Championships marathon.

Translator's note: Although the numbers are impressive, it's worth noting that the World Championships marathon ratings were a fraction of the normal viewership for the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, where the two-day, roughly fifteen hour broadcast of…

Takigahara SDF Base Wins Third-Straight Fuji Mountain Ekiden

The 42nd running of the Fuji Mountain Ekiden took place Aug. 6 on an 11-stage, 47.93 km course to the peak of Mt. Fuji and back. 131 teams of 6 runners each from across the country competed, with the Takigahara SDF Base winning the overall title for the third year in a row. Toyota Sportsman Club won the amateur division for the tenth year straight.

The race's course features 3258 m elevation difference from the start at JR Gotemba Station to the turnaround point at the peak of Mt. Fuji. Conditions were difficult this year with a 20-degree temperature range. Local residents turned out in numbers along the course to cheer the runners on. Mitsugi Club was the top local team at 10th in the amateur division.

source article: 
http://www.at-s.com/sp/sports/article/shizuoka/388811.html
translated by Brett Larner

Yachiyo Kogyo Leads Start to Finish to Win 70th Towada Hachimantai Ekiden

25 teams from 11 prefectures took part in the 70th anniversary running of the 5-stage, 73.7 km Towada Hachimantai Ekiden on Aug. 7. Saitama's Yachiyo Kogyo corporate team scored its first-ever victory in 3:50:00. ND Software took 2nd and Subaru 3rd, with two-time defending champion Yakult falling to 4th. Kazuno T&F Assoc. was the top local team at 10th overall.

The race began at 8:00 a.m. on the shores of Lake Towada in Aomori. Mid-race temperatures around 30 degrees were recorded in Kazuno, but despite the heat and strong sunlight the athletes on each team gave it their best to ensure their tasuki would make it to the next runner.

On the tough and hilly 13.6 km First Stage Yachiyo Kogyo's Abiyot Abinet took an early lead. Yakult rookie Yuji Asaishi was only 7th. On the downhill 13.4 km Second Stage Yakult's Bernard Kimani ran the fastest time on the stage to move into 3rd, but Yachiyo Kogyo's Takahiro Yagihara ran a strong stage 3rd-best time to maintain the lead…

London World Championships - Day Four Japanese Results

Rio Olympics 4x100 m silver medalist Shota Iizuka made his first appearance at the 2017 London World Championships on its fourth day of competition, getting through to the 200 m semifinals after two other athletes in his heat were disqualified for lane violations. 18-year-old national champion Abdul Hakim Sani Brown bounced back from a disappointing 100 m semifinal to join Iizuka in the 200 m semis, finishing 2nd in his heat behind Jamaica's Yohan Blake.

In the men's 400 m hurdles, national champion Takatoshi Abe missed the final after having run well in the opening round heats, finishing only 5th in his semifinal in 49.93 when he hit a hurdle at the end end of the final curve. In the men's triple jump, national champion Ryoma Yamamoto finished last in his qualifying group and failed to move on to the final.
London World Championships Day Four Japanese ResultsLondon, England, 8/7/17
click here for complete results

Men's 200 m Heat 1(-0.5 m/s)
1. Yohan Blake (Jamaica) - …

Kawauchi and Nakamoto Make Top Ten in London World Championships Marathon

Coming from behind after a mid-race fall, team captain Yuki Kawauchi took the top Japanese men's spot in the London World Championships marathon, running down teammate Kentaro Nakamoto in the final kilometer to finish 9th in 2:12:19.

In the early stages of the race the experienced Nakamoto and Kawauchi held back mid-pack while younger teammate Hiroto Inoue stayed near the front. Midway through the second lap Kawauchi took a drink bottle at one of the aid stations and, while drinking, hit his left thigh on a sign protruding from the next table, the signs inexplicably changing at exactly that point from overhead to waist-hieght obstacles on the course. The impact was hard enough to cut Kawauchi's leg but not enough to slow him down.

When the big move came early in the third lap Nakamoto led the charge in pursuit, the three Japanese men running single file, but Inoue quickly losing touch. Near the top of the short S-curve uphill near 23 km Kawauchi abruptly stumbled and fell, an…

London World Championships - Day Three Japanese Results

The men's marathon aside, the third day of competition at the London World Championships was largely a bust for the Japanese team. Out of thirteen athletes in five disciplines only two advanced out of the opening rounds. In the men's 110 m hurdles National Championships 3rd-placer Genta Masuno advanced to the semifinals with a time of 13.58 (+1.3 m/s) for 4th in his heat, but unable to better that performance in his semi he failed to make the final. 400 m hurdles national champion Takatoshi Abe did better, taking 2nd in his heat in 49.65 to move on to Monday's semifinals.
London World Championships Day Three Japanese ResultsLondon, England, 8/6/17
click here for complete results

Men's 110 m Hurdles Heat 1(-1.2 m/s)
1. Omar McLeod (Jamaica) - 13.23 - Q
2. Balazs Baji (Hungary) - 13.35 - Q
3. Eddie Lovett (Virgin Islands) - 13.41 - Q
-----
7. Shunya Takayama (Japan) - 13.65

Men's 110 m Hurdles Heat 2(+1.3 m/s)
1. Devon Allen (U.S.A.) - 13.26 - Q
2. Garfield Darien (Fran…

London World Championships - Day Two Japanese Results

Japan's quartet of male sprinters were all knocked out of competition on the second day of the London World Championships. In the morning session, Takamasa Kitagawa failed to advance to the semifinals when he ran only 47.35. In the evening session, none of the three men in the semis made it to the final, Aska Cambridge and Abdul Hakim Sani Brown underperforming and taking only 6th and 7th in their semis, and Shuhei Tada fading to 5th despite a characteristically strong start.

The women's 1000 m saw National Championships runner-up Ayuko Suzuki move up into the third pack with a group of American and Dutch runners after hanging back in the extremely slow first 3000 m. After making contact with the third group Suzuki advanced through it at a rate of one place per lap until reaching its front, where she abruptly sped up in pursuit of 2nd group straggler Irene Chepet Cheptai (Kenya). The group behind her responded and tailed her, and over the last lap Suzuki fell back to 9th. Hea…

London World Championships - Day One Japanese Results

All three Japanese athletes in the men's 100 m made it through to the semifinals on the opening day of the 2017 London World Championships. 18-year-old Abdul Hakim Sani Brown turned heads by tying his 10.05 PB to win Heat Two despite a -0.6 m/s headwind. Rio Olympics 4x100 m silver medalist Aska Cambridge, who suffered a minor injury at June's National Championships, was clearly not back to peak form, running only 10.21 for 4th in Heat Four to squeeze through to the finals on time.

Unluckily drawing a starting position next to Usain Bolt (Jamaica) in Heat Six, Shuhei Tada held up to the pressure of his World Championships debut as delivered his usual quick start to lead almost the entire way. Bolt ran him down but it took almost until the line for James Dasolu (Great Britain) and Jimmy Vicaut (France) to catch up, but despite taking 4th Tada made it through on time in 10.19. His result showed why track and field is a great sport. Three months ago he was almost unknown college…

Beating History – The Japanese Team at the London World Championships

The Japanese team at the London World Championships has few real medal prospects. Its best chances come in the men’s 4x100 m, where the roster includes ever newer and faster blood than last year’s Olympic silver medal-winning team in 18-year-old Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) and 21-year-old Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.), and the men’s race walks, where the 20 km features Eiki Takahashi (Fujitsu), #2 in the world this season, and Hirooki Arai (SDF Academy), the 50 km Rio bronze medalist.

If there is another solid medal prospect it comes in the women’s marathon, where Japanese athletes have won eleven medals in fifteen World Championships to date. Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) ran the fastest-ever debut by a Japanese woman with a 2:21:36 at March’s Nagoya Women’s Marathon, putting her at 5th on the London entry list. There have been calls for her to be cautious in coming back with another hard marathon so soon after her first, but a run anything like what she did …

Ekarare and Tanaka the Stars of 70th National High School Track and Field Championships

The 70th edition of the Japanese National High School Track and Field Championships took place July 29 to Aug. 2 at Yamagata's ND Software Stadium. Consistently strong headwinds throughout the five days meant a shortage of quality times in the sprints, but in the middle and long distances the relatively cool temperatures meant a string of national and meet records.

The highlight of the championships was a pair of duels over 1500 m and 3000 m between Japan-based Kenyan Helen Ekarare (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) and #1-ranked Japanese-born high schooler Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.), daughter of sub-2:30 amateur marathoner Chihiro Tanaka. In the 1500 m Tanaka was the only Japanese girl to go with the Kenyan trio of Ekarare, Marta Mokaya (Oita Tomei H.S.) and Tabitha Kamau (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) in the early going. Ekarare pulled away after 1000 m to win in a high school national record and meet record 4:07.06, ranking her 4th in the world among juniors this year. Tanaka couldn't …