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.

2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics - Day One Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Over half of the small Japanese track and field contingent at the 2014 Youth Olympics saw action on the first day of competition, with over half of those qualifying for the A-level final in their events.  4th in the 3000 m at this year's World Junior Championships, Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu, the daughter of 2001 Nagano Marathon winner Maxwell Musembi, led the way with a time of 9:08.01 for 4th in the girls' 3000 m qualification round, the only runner in the top five not to PB but only 1.14 seconds behind winner Fatuma Chebsi (Bahrain).  2014 National High School champions Hina Takahashi and Yuji Hiramatsu finished 4th in their events' qualifying rounds to both make their A finals, Takahashi quick enough at 2:09.59 in the girls' 800 m and Hiramatsu one of only five athletes to clear 2.10 m in the boys' high jump.  Boys' discus national youth record holder Yume Ando threw 55.87 m for 6th in the qualifying round, good enough to also make the A final.

In the girls' pole vault, Misaki Morota cleared only 3.40 m, missing the A final cutoff and bumped down to the B final.  Also making the B final was 100 m hurdler Nana Fujimori, just 0.03 outside the A final at 13.83 (-0.7).  Nao Kanai had an off day in the boys' 110 m hurdles, well off his PB in 14.03 (+0.4) for the dubious distinction of being the only Japanese athlete of the day to make a C final.  Track and field events at the Youth Olympics continue through August 26.

2014 Youth Olympics Day One
Nanjing, China, 8/20/14
click here for complete results

Women's 3000 m Qualification
1. Fatuma Chebsi (Bahrain) - 9:06.87 - PB
2. Berhan Demiesa Asgedom (Ethiopia) - 9:07.05 - PB
3. Cavaline Nahimana (Burundi) - 9:07.23 - PB
4. Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Japan) - 9:08.01
5. Jackline Chepkoech (Kenya) - 9:08.54 - PB
6. Alina Reh (Germany) - 9:08.70
7. Janat Chemusto (Uganda) - 9:10.74 - PB
8. Behafeta Abreha (Azerbaijan) - 9:14.06 - PB
9. Maria Magdalena Ifteni (Romania) - 9:15.00 - PB
10. Gebrekrstos Weldeghabr (Eritrea) - 9:34.73 - PB

Women's 800 m Heat 3
1. Martha Bissah (Ghana) - 2:07.67
2. Hawi Alemu Negeri (Ethiopia) - 2:08.18
3. Ekaterina Alekseeva (Russia) - 2:09.32
4. Hina Takahashi (Japan) - 2:09.59
5. Thandi Uerimuna (Botswana) - 2:11.97 - PB
6. Maryna Duts (Ukraine) - 2:13.76
7. Dhakirina Fatima (Colombia) - 2:28.17
DNF - Delgado J. Espinales (Nicaragua)

Men's 110 m Hurdles Heat 3 +0.4
1. Henrik Hannemann (Germany) - 13.55 - PB
2. Dawid Aaron Zebrowski (Poland) - 13.64
3. Joshuan J. Berrios Mora (Colombia) - 13.66
4. Tavonte Dejour Mott (Bahamas) - 13.86 - PB
5. Nao Kanai (Japan) - 14.03
6. Chi-Hung Cheng (Taiwan) - 14.09
DQ - Mohd Rizzua Muhamad (Malaysia)

Women's 100 m Hurdles Heat 1 -0.7
1. Klaudia Sorok (Hungary) - 13.66
2. Natalia Christofi (Cyprus) - 13.80
3. Rachel Pace (Australia) - 13.83
4. Nana Fujimori (Japan) - 13.83
5. Paolla Ferlin Luchin (Brazil) - 14.32
6. Emanuelle Masse (Canada) - 14.49

Mens' High Jump Qualification
1. Daniel Lysenko (Russia) - 2.10 m
2. Oleksandr Barannikov (Ukraine) - 2.10 m
3. Jahnhai Perinchief (Bermuda) - 2.10 m - PB
4. Yuji Hiramatsu (Japan) - 2.10 m
5. Igor Franciszek Kopala (Poland) - 2.10 m

Women's Pole Vault Qualification
1. Angelica Moser (Switzerland) - 3.80 m
2. Thiziri Daci (France) - 3.70 m
2. Leda Kroselj (Slovenia) - 3.70 m
2. Robeilys Peinado (Venezuela) - 3.70 m
2. Anna Shpak (Belarus) - 3.70 m
-----
11. Misaki Morota (Japan) - 3.40 m

Men's Discus Throw Qualification
1. Yulong Cheng (China) - 59.88 m
2. Clemens Prufer (Germany) - 59.88 m
3. Pavol Zencar (Slovakia) - 59.64 m
4. Ruslan Valitov (Ukraine) - 56.97 m - PB
5. Tyler Merkley (U.S.A.) - 56.61 m - PB
6. Yume Ando (Japan) - 55.87 m

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kiryu Going for Asian Games Gold Despite Hip Pain

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/08/19/kiji/K20140819008774070.html
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/08/20/kiji/K20140820008775040.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

With one month to go until the start of the Incheon Asian Games, ten members of the national team's sprint contingent held a practice session open to members of the media at an indoor facility in Eniwa, Hokkaido on Aug. 19.  The big hope for Japan's first sub-10 in the men's 100 m, 18-year-old Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) talked about his ambitions for the Asian Games, saying, "I don't what kind of time I'll run, but I will be running to win."

In April Kiryu sensed tightness in his right thigh during the heats at the Oda Memorial Meet and sat the final out.  Suffering from pain in his right heel since winning the National Championships in June and cancelling two subsequent meets, Kiryu won the bronze medal at July's World Junior Championships.  Since then he has also been having pain in his left hip joint.  At the press session he worked on baton passing with the relay team and did light training.  "This is most injuries I've had in one year since I started running," he said.  Coach Hiroyasu Tsuchie commented, "I'd be lying if I said there were no worries at all, but we want him to have the best preparations he can for the Asian Games."

At September's National University Track and Field Championships Kiryu plans to run the 200 m and the 4x100 m relay before heading to Incheon.  "I've been wanting to run the 200 m, so I want to tweak things to be ready for that and then ride that flow to the Asian Games. I can't help thinking about injuries.  My situation now is that I'm injured, so I have to try to see how competitive I can be in this condition.  I think once I get there it'll be game on."

Japan's other hope for a sub-10, London Olympian Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) looked fresh and light after recovering from hip problems of his own.  "My sense of the times I'm running and the actual times are matching up well and consistent with when I'm feeling good.  I want to come back with my best running and a good placing."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Japan Sends Team of Thirteen to Nanjing Youth Olympics

by Brett Larner

Amid concerns for athletes' safety in a city with strong resentment of Japanese denial of the Nanking Massacre, with delegation head Yosuke Fujiwara directing team members not to wear their uniforms outside the athletes' village and boos greeting the Japanese delegation during the opening ceremonies, Japan sends a team of only thirteen to compete in athletics at the second Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.

4th in the girls' 3000 m at last month's World Junior Championships in Eugene, U.S.A., Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) is the lone distance runner on the team, a sure medal contender after her 9:02.85 in Eugene.  Other prominent members include Hina Takahashi (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) in the girls' 800 m, Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.) in the boys' 100 m, Sayori Matsumoto (Nara Ikuei H.S.) in the girls' 5000 m race walk and Yuji Hiramatsu (Shijoyo H.S.) in the boys' high jump, all national title winners at the National High School Track and Field Championships earlier this month, along with boys' discus youth national record holder Yume Ando (Tokyo H.S.).  Below is a complete breakdown of the team roster.

2nd Youth Olympics
Japanese National Team in Athletics
Nanjing, China, Aug. 20-26, 2014
click here for detailed English-language bios of each team member

Boys' 100 m - Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.) - P.B.: 10:37 (+1.9)
1st, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' 200 m - Jun Yamashita (Fukushima H.S.) - P.B.: 21.23 (-0.2)
3rd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' 110 m Hurdles - Nao Kanai (Tachibana H.S.) - P.B.: 13.77 (-0.1)
3rd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' High Jump - Yuji Hiramatsu (Shijoyo H.S.) - P.B.: 2.19 m
1st, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' Discus Throw - Yume Ando (Tokyo H.S.) - P.B.: 59.48 m - Youth NR
2nd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' Race Walk - Minoru Onogawa (Tokyo Jitsugyo H.S.) - P.B.: 46:06.83
2nd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' 200 m - Tomomi Kawamura (Morioka Daiichi H.S.) - P.B.: 24.29 (-0.3)
4th, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' 800 m - Hina Takahashi (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - P.B.: 2:07.19
1st, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' 3000 m - Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - P.B.: 9:02.85
4th, 2014 World Junior Track and Field Championships

Girls' 100 m Hurdles - Nana Fujimori (Hamamatsu Municipal H.S.) - P.B.: 13.84 (+0.2)
3rd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' Pole Vault - Misaki Morota (Ota Joshi H.S.) - P.B.: 3.50 m

Girls' Javelin Throw - Nagisa Mori (Meijo Prep Fuzoku H.S.) - P.B.: 49.03 m
5th, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' Race Walk - Sayori Matsumoto (Nara Ikuei H.S.) - P.B.: 24:13.13
1st, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Perkins Crushes 100 Meilen Berlin Course Record (updated)

by Brett Larner
photos by Dr. Helmut Winter

In the 25th anniversary year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Great Britain's Mark Perkins ran the race of his life to take nearly three hours off the 100 Meilen Berlin course record and an hour off his own best, covering the 100 mile course along the former path of the Berlin Wall in 13:06:52.

A partially handicapped runner ranked 6th in the world for 100 km in 2013, Japan's Tsutomu Nagata took the race out hard in his European debut, running mid-11 hour pace, just one second off world record pace through 21 km, and holding near world record level through 30 km before settling into something more sustainable in the low-12 hour range.  Skipping many aid stations while receiving on-the-run assistance from his wife and daughter, Perkins was never far behind him, maxing out at 4 minutes behind as he followed Nagata's lead and ran steadily on low-12 hour pace.



Nearing halfway Nagata began to suffer stomach trouble and slowed.  Perkins made contact around 75 km, but while Nagata tried to stay with him he quickly lost touch and was two minutes behind by 79 km.  Now alone out front, Perkins gradually slowed, unchallenged the rest of the way but just missing a rare sub-13 hour clocking as he knocked the course record from last year's 15:53:45 to a world-class 13:06:52, a major improvement on his 14:03:54 best.  Runner-up Marco Bonfiglio just missed Perkins' old PB as he took 2nd in 14:04:27.  The top five, including last year's course record-setter Peter Flock, all broke the former course record.

After being left behind Nagata suffered mightily from his internal problems, clocking over an hour for the 6 km from 79 to 85 km after an extended break at an aid station.  Following that he got back in gear with some of the fastest splits of his race, but he again ran into trouble near 110 km.  After staggering through the next 27 km Nagata talked with the race doctor who made an initial determination that his stomach trouble made it dangerous for him to continue the race, but thanks to the intervention of an interpreter Nagata was allowed to continue.  Pulling himself together, he covered the final 23 km two minutes faster than winner Perkins' split, crossing the line in 11th in 16:50:59.

Nearly an hour and a half after him, women's winner Grit Seidl finished in 18:16:29 not far ahead of fellow German Martina Schliep, 2nd in 18:59:19.  Canadian Veronique Bourbeau was 3rd in 21:19:32.  All told 120 men and 10 women in the starting field of 300 cleared 24 hours for the complete course.

Update: Winner Mark Perkins has posted his recap of his race here.  Read Dr. Helmut Winter's firsthand account of the race in German here.

100 Meilen Berlin
Berlin, Germany, Aug. 16-17, 2014
click here for complete results

Men
1. Mark Perkins (Great Britain) - 13:06:52 - CR
2. Marco Bonfiglio (Italy) - 14:04:27 (CR)
3. Patrick Hoesl (Germany) - 15:19:46 (CR)
4. Peter Flock (Germany) - 15:51:50 (CR)
5. Christof Kuehner (Germany) - 15:53:31 (CR)
-----
11. Tsutomu Nagata (Japan) - 16:50:59

Women
1. Grit Seidl (Germany) - 18:16:29
2. Martina Schliep (Germany) - 18:59:19
3. Veronique Bourbeau (Canada) - 21:19:32

text (c) 2014 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
photos (c) 2014 Dr. Helmut Winter, all rights reserved

The 'Kawauchi Effect' Brings Record-Setting 779 to Nosappu Misaki Half Marathon

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140817-00000035-nksports-spo

translated by Brett Larner

The 33rd Hoppo Ryodo Nosappu Misaki Half Marathon took place Aug. 17 on the northeastern coast of Nemuro, Hokkaido. 2014 Incheon Asian Games marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran the half marathon division as an invited athlete, taking 1st in 1:06:12. The last time the Nosappu Misaki Half invited an athlete was nine years ago when it featured Seoul Olympian Akemi Matsuno.  As a measure of the 'Kawauchi Effect,' 779 people entered the race, the most ever in the event's 33-year history.

Wearing a bib reading "Give back the Northern Territories!" [a reference to an ongoing territorial dispute with Russia involving nearby islands held by the Soviet Union and Russia since the end of World War II but still claimed by Japan] emblazoned across his chest, Kawauchi showed his strength to local fans.  After finishing, he gorged himself on the local specialty, hanasaki crab soup.

At the end of the month Kawauchi plans to run a full marathon in Perth, Australia on Aug. 31.  After coming back to Japan he will return to Hokkaido to take part in the Japanese Federation's men's marathon National Team training camp in preparation for the Oct. 3 Asian Games men's marathon.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Federation Officials Examine Rio Olympics Marathon Course

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20140813/k10013771981000.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

In preparation for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics two years from now, executives from each Japanese sports federation visited the city this week to inspect the venues for their disciplines during the same period in which the Olympics will take place.  JAAF representatives including men's marathon director Takeshi Soh and women's marathon director Yutaka Taketomi examined the marathon course running through the heart of the city.

For the most part the course avoids the Copacapana and Ipanema waterfront that characterizes Rio de Janeiro, instead featuring many straight sections with few hills or undulations.  Although it is winter, temperatures in Rio de Janeiro peaked at 30 degrees with strong sunshine on the day of the course inspection.  Members of the inspection committee began at the start point of the marathon, examining the road conditions and taking measurements of the road surface temperature and perceived heat in the shade all along the course.

Men's director Soh commented, "I had heard that the humidity would be quite high but it was unexpectedly low.  I think the crosswind from the ocean helped to lower the heat.  I plan to take full advantage of the data we have gathered for our planning and future development.  The sooner we can do that the better.  If the race goes right I think we can target times as well.  It's a great course."  Women's director Taketomi spoke about the difficult hills at the turnaround point, saying, "That will be the deciding point of the race.  We have to come into this being comfortable enough to be able to compete at that point in the race.  There is a great deal we can do to prepare beforehand, and that gives us a chance."