Sunday, February 7, 2016

Abera and Yoshitomi Take 65th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon Wins, Akutsu Gets Ehime Marathon Course Record

by Brett Larner

Shut out of inclusion in the selection races for the Rio Olympics men's team the 65th running of the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon was largely a developmental race, the small international field and large field of second-tier and debuting Japanese men setting out in hopes of sub-2:10 times.  #1 seed Evans Ruto (Kenya), the only athlete in the field to have broken 2:09, was an early casualty, dropping out just past 15 km as the pace accelerated from high 2:09 to low 2:08 territory.  Over a dozen were still in touch at halfway in 1:04:22, including #2 and #3-ranked Shume Hailu (Ethiopia) and Anthony Maritim (Kenya), Japanese men Naohiro Yamada (YKK), Kenichi Shiraishi (Asahi Kasei) and Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku), 22-year-old Myeung Jun Son (South Korea) and debuting Melaku Abera (Ethiopia/Kurosaki Harima), Yuki Munakata (Kanebo) and Keisuke Kusaka (Hitachi Butsuryu).

Past the halfway point Kiflom Sium (Eritrea) was the next main casualty, and just after 25 km a surge on a corner from remaining pacer Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Sunbelx) dropped everyone but Haile, Maritim and Abera.  Yamada was quick to catch up, Son leading Munakata and Taiga Ito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) back into contact a kilometer or two later.  When Mogusu stepped off at 30 km the lead group was on 2:08:53 pace, with Maritim, Abera and Shume side-by-side, Yamada a few strides back and Son slipping away.

The Japan-based Abera, making his marathon debut at age 21 after setting the course record at last year's Oita City Half Marathon, pushed the pace to crack first Shume and then Maritim.  By 35 km he was free and clear in the lead, smiling, blowing kisses and talking to the camera, waving and giving peace signs.  That lasted all of about 3 km before the marathon caught up with him.  Still on sub-2:09 pace at 40 km, his stride shortened dramatically and he began to look back with gritted teeth.  Luckily for him Maritim and Shume were nowhere to be seen, and Abera held on for the win in 2:09:27.  Maritim was next, almost two minutes back in 2:11:17, with Shume rounding out the top 3 in 2:11:41.

More dramatic action was happening further back.  Yamada, looking strong at 30 km, slowed almost to a jog after 32 km and was overtaken by both Munakata and Son.  At 38 km Son dropped Munakata to move into 4th, but with 1.5 km he was caught by former Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage runner Kazuya Ishida (Nishitetsu), off the lead pace early but closing hard to advance through the field and take a surprise 4th in 2:12:25 as the top Japanese man.  In just his third marathon Son was 5th in a PB 2:12:34, the best Korean men's time since 2012.

In the women's race Japan's #1-ranked amateur Hiroko Yoshitomi (First Dream AC) scored her fourth-straight marathon win in the last three months, outrunning Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) and Hisayo Matsumoto (unattached) for the win in 2:45:07.  Yoshitomi's season goal is a sub-2:30 PB at the Tokyo Marathon later this month where she is again the #1-ranked Japanese woman.

Beppu-Oita did count in qualification for the Rio Paralympics team visually impaired division.  Masahiro Okamura (Runweb) secured himself a place with a 2:27:24 win at age 45.  Misato Michishita (JBMA), already on the Rio team, set out in search of a world record but fell off pace late in the race, winning 3:03:42.

A much faster time than Yoshitomi's came at the 54th Ehime Marathon, where 21-year-old Yuka Akutsu (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) ran 2:35:31 to take over a minute and a half of the course record.  Defending men's winner Sohei Wada (Tokushima T&F Assoc.) made it two in a row, bettering last year's winning time by 42 seconds in 2:21:00.

65th Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
Oita, 2/17/6
click here for complete results

Men
1. Melaku Abera (Ethiopia/Kurosaki Harima) - 2:09:27 - debut
2. Anthony Maritim (Kenya) - 2:11:17
3. Hailu Shume (Ethiopia) - 2:11:41
4. Kazuya Ishida (Nishitetsu) - 2:12:25
5. Myeong Jun Son (South Korea) - 2:12:34 - PB
6. Kenichi Shiraishi (Asahi Kasei) - 2:13:07
7. Ihor Olefirenko (Ukraine) - 2:13:33
8. Yuki Munakata (Kanebo) - 2:13:53 - debut
9. Keisuke Kusaka (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 2:14:11 - debut
10. Shogo Kanezane (Chugoku Denryoku) - 2:14:15 - PB
-----
DNF - Evans Ruto (Kenya)
DNF - Kiflom Sium (Eritrea)

Women
1. Hiroko Yoshitomi (First Dream AC) - 2:45:07
2. Haruka Yamaguchi (AC Kita) - 2:48:27
3. Hisayo Matsumoto (unattached) - 2:48:51

Visually Impaired - Men
1. Masahiro Okamura (Runweb) - 2:27:24
2. Shinya Wada (JBMA) - 2:33:46
3. Yutaka Kumagai (AC Kita) - 2:34:06

Visually Impaired - Women
1. Misato Michishita (JBMA) - 3:03:42
2. Hiroko Kondo (JBMA) - 3:18:05
3. Yumiko Fujii (Biwako Timers) - 3:24:06

54th Ehime Marathon
Matsuyama, Ehime, 2/7/16
complete results coming shortly

Men
1. Shohei Wada (Tokushima T&F Assoc.) - 2:21:00

Women
1. Yuka Akutsu (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 2:35:31 - CR

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Kifle and Kirwa Win Marugame Half, Isshiki Takes Kanagawa Half in Tokyo Marathon Tuneup

by Brett Larner

Great conditions meant fast times across the board including three national records at the first major Japanese half marathon of the season, the Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon

A large pack including internationals Goitom Kifle (Eritrea), Fabiano Sulle (Tanzania) and Japan-based 18-year-old Dominic Nyairo (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.), Hakone Ekiden stars Keisuke Nakatani and Naoki Kudo (both Komazawa Univ.), corporate runners Keijiro Mogi and Shuho Dairokuno (both Asahi Kasei) and Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) went out slightly slower than expected, hitting 5 km in 14:27 on track to just crack 1:01.  20-year-old Kudo, a second-year at Komazawa, pushed the next 5 km faster, on 1:00:50 pace at 10 km in 28:50.  Mogi, also just 20 after going straight into the corporate leagues post-high school, took over after 10 km and dropped the fastest 5 km yet, shaking down the leaders to just himself, Kifle, Nyairo and Sulle as he took them through 15 km in 43:05.  1:00:36 pace, the 1:00:25 Japanese national record just before him.

Sulle was the first to crack, but while Kifle and Nyairo dueled and Mogi fought to hang on the pace slowed slightly and the national record was out of range.  In the last battle Kifle got away from the less-experienced Nyairo, winning in a PB 1:00:49.  Nyairo, still a first-year at Yamanashi Gakuin, was 1 second back in 1:00:50, a superb debut that puts him to the front of the line on the Hakone circuit.  Mogi hung on for 3rd in 1:00:54, placing all-time #6 among Japanese men and all-time #3 for 20-year-old Japanese men.  Mogi's time was also a PB by 2 1/2 minutes and scored him a place on Japanese team for next month's World Half Marathon Championships.

Nakatani and Kudo worked together to catch the fading Sulle but came up just short, all three recording PBs as Sulle took 4th in 1:01:19, Nakatani 5th in 1:01:21, a PB by more than 3 1/2 minutes, and Kudo 6th in 1:01:25.  Both Nakatani and Kudo also joined Mogi in the all-time Japanese top 25, Nakatani tying Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage star Daiichi Kamino (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) for fastest-ever Japanese 21-year old at 1:01:21 and Kudo coming in behind Mogi for #4 among 20-year-olds.  Along with Nyairo, Nakatani and Kudo, a total of 14 university runners broke 1:03:00 including non-Hakone runner Masatoshi Teranishi (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.), 21st in 1:02:38.

Further back, Japan-based Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (NTN) took well over a minute off his own Mongolian NR as he ran 1:02:10 for 13th.  Bat-Ochir also bettered the PB of his friend and rival Yuki Kawauchi by 8 seconds.  2015 World Championships marathon silver medalist Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) was 31st in 1:02:53, with London Olympian Arata Fujiwara (Miki House), tuning up for his shot at the Rio team at the Tokyo Marathon, clocking his best half marathon since his 4th-place finish at the 2013 Great North Run in 1:02:57 for 36th.

The women's race was a blowout by 2014 Asian Games marathon gold medalist Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain), who took almost 30 seconds off her own Bahrain national record to win in 1:08:06.  The race for 2nd was closer as Diane Nukuri (Burundi) and last year's winner Eloise Wellings (Australia) finished just 6 seconds apart after running the entire race together, Nukuri getting 2nd in 1:09:23 with Wellings recording a new PB in 1:09:29.  Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was the top Japanese woman at 4th in 1:10:10, outrunning the fastest female Japanese half marathoner of 2015, Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya), by over 30 seconds.  Further back came another national record, Chien-Ho Hsieh taking over a minute off the two-week old Taiwanese national record as she finished 21st in 1:15:13.

Further north in Yokohama, Hakone winner Aoyama Gakuin University put on a show at the Kanagawa Half Marathon as it swept the top five spots in the men's race.  AGU's 2015 National University Half Marathon champion and course record holder Tadashi Isshiki and star second-year Yuta Shimoda, both using Kanagawa as a tune-up for their marathons debuts later this month at the Tokyo Marathon, led the way, but in the second half while Shimoda held back with his other teammates Isshiki shot ahead to take the win by 30 seconds, just missing his own CR in 1:03:03.  AGU's Ryo Hashimoto and Taisei Hashizume were next across the line in 1:03:33 and 1:03:36, Shimoda just back in 1:03:41.  Nanami Okubo (Shoin Univ.) easily took the win in the women's race in 1:19:30.

70th Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon
Marugame, Kagawa, 2/7/16
click here for complete results and splits

Men
1. Goitom Kifle (Eritrea) - 1:00:49 - PB
2. Dominic Nyairo (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:00:50 - debut
3. Keijiro Mogi (Asahi Kasei) - 1:00:54 - PB
4. Fabiano Sulle (Tanzania) - 1:01:19 - PB
5. Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:01:21 - PB
6. Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:01:25 - PB
7. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 1:01:32 - PB
8. Taku Fujimoto (Toyota) - 1:01:51
9. Keita Shitara (Konica Minolta) - 1:01:54
10. Kaoru Hirosue (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:01:58  - PB
11. Collis Birmingham (Australia) - 1:02:00
12. Kento Otsu (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:02:09 - PB
13. Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) - 1:02:10 - NR
14. Keita Shioya (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:11 - PB
15. Takuya Suzuki (Aisan Kogyo) - 1:02:15 - PB
16. Masato Kikuchi (Konica Minolta) - 1:02:18
17. Masaya Taguchi (Honda) - 1:02:19 - PB
18. Soma Ishikawa (Nihon Univ.) - 1:02:20 - PB
19. Yuhi Akiyama (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:29 - PB
20. Yuki Nakamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:02:35 - PB
21. Masatoshi Teranishi (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.)- 1:02:38 - PB
22. Toshiki Sadakata (Mitsubishi HPS Nagasaki) - 1:02:40 - PB
23. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Konica Minolta) - 1:02:41
24. Yuji Serunarudo (Soka Univ.) - 1:02:48 - PB
25. Suehiro Ishikawa (Honda) - 1:02:49
-----
31. Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) - 1:02:53
36. Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) - 1:02:57

Women
1. Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) - 1:08:06 - NR
2. Diane Nukuri (Burundi) - 1:09:23
3. Eloise Wellings (Australia) - 1:09:29 - PB
4. Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:10:10
5. Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) - 1:10:42
6. Kotomi Takayama (Sysmex) - 1:11:14
7. Akane Sekino (Imabari Shipbuilding) - 1:11:17 - PB
8. Moeno Nakamura (Univ. Ent.) - 1:11:33 - PB
9. Yomogi Akasaka (Meijo Univ.) - 1:11:41 - debut
10. Mami Onuki (Sysymex) - 1:12:03
-----
21. Chien-Ho Hsieh (Taiwan) - 1:15:13 - NR
-----
DNF - Ayumi Uehara (Matsuyama Univ.)

38th Kanagawa Half Marathon
Yokohama, Kanagawa, 2/7/16

Men
1. Tadashi Isshiki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:03
2. Ryo Hashimoto (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:33
3. Taisei Hashizume (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:36
4. Yuta Shimoda (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:41
5. Toshinori Watanabe (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:47
6. Shun Yuzawa (Tokai Univ.) - 1:04:04
7. Takumi Mochizaki (Kokushikan Univ.) - 1:04:05
8. Kenta Sogabe (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:08
9. Yasuyuki Ishida (Waseda Univ.) - 1:04:13
10. Shota Kirihara (Tokai Univ.) - 1:04:15

Women
1. Nanami Okubo (Shoin Univ.) - 1:19:30
2. Misato Kubokura (Tokai Univ.) - 1:20:20
3. Sayaka Nagai (Shoin Univ.) - 1:20:25

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, February 5, 2016

Weekend Preview

by Brett Larner

It's a big weekend of racing across Japan.  The 70th Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon leads the way with a shot at the Japanese men's national record as Konica Minolta teammates Masato Kikuchi, Keita Shitara and Tsuyoshi Ugachi, all 1:00:32 to 1:01:12 for the half marathon, line up with support from past winner Collis Birmingham (Australia), Goitom Kifle (Eritrea), track star Yuki Sato (Nissin Shokuhin) in his serious half marathon debut, and more.  2014 Asian Games marathon gold medalist Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) leads a women's field that includes 2015's top Japanese woman Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya), last year's winner Eloise Wellings (Australia), Canadian record hopeful Natasha Wodak and many more.

Likewise celebrating an anniversary year is the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in its 65th running.  Not counting in the qualifying for the Rio Olympic team the home field is weaker than usual, Kenichi Shiraishi (Team Asahi Kasei) topping the list at 2:10:36 in Beppu two years ago.  Ahead of Shiraishi are three solid sub-2:10 internationals, Evans Ruto (Kenya), Hailu Shume (Ethiopia) and Anthony Maritim (Kenya).  One potentially interesting name in is marathon debut is Hiroto Kanamori (Takushoku Univ.), one of the stars of the ultracompetitive First Stage at January's Hakone Ekiden.  With a 2:31:28 best amateur Hiroko Yoshitomi (First Dream AC) leads the women's race fresh off three marathon wins in the last three months.

Yokohama's Kanagawa Half Marathon also goes down Sunday, as always featuring a field packed with Hakone runners.  Two-time Hakone champion Aoyama Gakuin University has two of its best, 2015 National University Half Marathon Tadashi Isshiki and 2016 Hakone Ekiden Eighth Stage winner Yuta Shimoda, on its entry list.  Both Isshiki and Shimoda are set to make their marathon debuts at the end of the month at the Tokyo Marathon, Shimoda at the age of 19.  Other university runners will line up further north at the Moriya Half Marathon.  Northwest of Tokyo, Yuki Kawauchi will run his second ekiden of 2016, representing the Saitama Prefectural Government at the home ground Saitama Ekiden.

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Japanese State Media: Research Shows Japanese Athletes Don't Dope Because They Have Samurai Spirit

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20160204/k10010397731000.html

translated by Brett Larner

Coincidentally timed nearly simultaneously with reports of Chinese state media confirming the existence of a 1995 letter claiming state-sponsored doping, on Feb. 4 Japanese public broadcaster NHK, headed by the controversial Katsuto Momii, aired a news report on "Why Japanese athletes don't dope."  A segment of the video is included in the source article linked above.

In the first-ever survey of Japanese medalists regarding doping, research found that many of them cited the spirit of bushido, the samurai way, as the reason Japanese athletes do not dope.  Among unending doping problems in the rest of the world including the scandal in Russian athletics, Japan has never produced a single athlete who has tested positive at the Olympics.  Against this backdrop, a Waseda University graduate school research group led by Mikio Hibino and Prof. Yoshiyuki Mano interviewed six male and six female Japanese medalists from the last three Olympic Games up to the London Olympics.

The research indicated that on the question of their "reasons for not doping," many of the medalists said that their parents and coaches had taught them, "Do not cheat," and "Giving everything you have is more important than winning or losing."  Additionally, many answered that "something similar to bushido underlies [their] beliefs," showing that the Japanese spirit of fair play stemming from bushido is a major factor.

The research group commented, "It is a deeply interesting result to find that the ancient spirit of bushido is still alive.  In the buildup to the 2020 Tokyo Games, we believe this basic research will be crucial to awareness of the importance of spreading anti-doping education around the world."  The results of the research are expected to be published next month in the academic journal "Sports Industry Studies."

Sairi Maeda Scratches From Final Rio Olympics Selection Race With Injury

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20160204-00000096-mai-spo

translated and edited by Brett Larner

A member of last summer's Beijing World Championships women's marathon team, Sairi Maeda (24, Team Daihatsu) has withdrawn from the Mar. 13 Nagoya Women's Marathon Rio de Janeiro Olympic team selection race, with a leg injury.  With Nagoya serving as the final selection race for the women's marathon team her withdrawal means that Maeda will miss the Rio Olympics.

After setting the national university record of 2:26:46 in her 2014 debut at the Osaka International Women's Marathon Maeda ran 2:22:48 in Nagoya last year, at the time making her the all-time 8th-fastest Japanese woman.  Heading to Beijing as the star of the Japanese team she finished only 13th, missing a chance to score a place in Rio by finishing in the top 8.  Following Beijing Maeda planned to run Osaka in January but was forced to change plans after an injury.  Nagoya became her target, but according to a team spokesperson Maeda was unable to do sufficient serious training due to the lingering effects of her injury.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

'Tokyo 2020 Olympics Minister at Centre of Cash-for-Support Allegations'

http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1033994/tokyo-2020-olympics-minister-at-centre-of-cash-for-support-allegations

National Corporate Half Marathon and 10 km Championships Entry Lists

by Brett Larner

The National Corporate Half Marathon Championships are Japan's premier half, producing more quality times over its 43-year history than any other half marathon worldwide.  This year's 44th running on Feb. 14 counts as the final men's and women's selection race for the 2016 World Half Marathon Championships team and has fields as good as ever lined up.  The men's field includes last year's course record-breaking top two Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) and Macharia Ndirangu (Team Aichi Seiko), 2014 3rd-placer Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu), 2013 runner-up Johana Maina (Team Fujitsu) and 2012 winner Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota), along with Rio Olympics marathon team contender Satoru Sasaki (Team Asahi Kasei) and fellow 2:08 marathoners Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Team NTN).

The women's field is split between the half marathon and 10 km distances again this year, making for two smaller but equally competitive races.  Kenyan Felista Wanjugu (Team Univ. Ent.) leads the way in the half with a best of 1:09:36.  Last year's runner-up Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) returns with a place in Rio assured, accompanied by 3rd-placer and junior national record holder Reia Iwade (Team Noritz), 10000 m national record holder Yoko Shibui (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo), last year's 10000 m national champion Kasumi Nishihara (Team Yamada Denki) and more.  The 10 km is led by 2013 winner Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) and Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Denso), both with sub-32 bests on the track.  Former Ritsumeikan University captain Kazue Kojima (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) is also entered in what will be a return from a long time off for injury if she starts.

44th National Corporate Half Marathon and 10 km Championships
Entry List Highlights
Yamaguchi, 2/14/16
click here for complete entry lists
times listed are 2013-2015 half marathon best times except where noted

Men’s Half Marathon
Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/JFE Steel) – 1:00:18 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) – 1:00:30 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Sota Hoshi (Fujitsu) – 1:01:18 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2014)
Johana Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) – 1:01:28 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2013)
Yuji Osuda (Mazda) – 1:01:40 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) – 1:01:56 (Copenhagen World Half 2014)
Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) – 1:02:03 (Ageo City Half 2014)
Yoshihiro Nishizawa (Komori Corp.) – 1:02:03 (Nat’l Univ. Half 2014)
Minato Oishi (Toyota) – 1:02:06 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2013)
Joseph Gitau (Kenya/JFE Steel) – 1:02:07 (Sendai Int’l Half 2013)
Edward Waweru (Kenya/NTN) – 1:02:08 (Gifu Seiryu Half 2014)
Masamichi Yasuda (Aichi Seiko) – 1:02:10 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2014)
Chihiro Miyawaki (Toyota) – 1:02:18 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Kazuki Onishi (Kanebo) – 1:02:21 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2013)
Keita Baba (Honda) – 1:02:23 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Hiroshi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) – 1:02:25 (Nat’l Univ. Half 2015)
Shuji Matsuo (Chudenko) – 1:02:25 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Kenta Kitazawa (Yachiyo Kogyo) – 1:02:32 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Shun Inoura (Yachiyo Kogyo) – 1:02:32 (Ageo City Half 2014)
Ezekiel Chebotibin (Kenya/Toho Refining) – 1:02:34 (Sendai Int’l Half 2015)
Keigo Yano (Nissin Shokuhin) – 1:02:38 (Ageo City Half 2013)
Masaru Aoki (Kanebo) – 1:02:45 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Shota Kai (Yachiyo Kogyo) – 1:02:46 (Marugame Int’l Half 2015)
Yuki Matsumura (Honda) – 1:02:46 (Nat’l Univ. Half 2014)
Yoshihiro Yamamoto (NTN) – 1:02:47 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Kenta Iinuma (SGH Group) – 1:02:47 (Marugame Int’l Half 2013)
Ryotaro Otani (Toyota Boshoku) – 1:02:48 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Ryuji Okada (Otsuka Seiyaku) – 1:02:48 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Takahiro Yagihara (Yachiyo Kogyo) – 1:02:49 (Nat’l Univ. Half 2014)
Toshikatsu Ebina (Komori Corp.) – 1:02:49 (Nat’l Univ. Half 2013)
Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta) – 1:02:50 (Marugame Int’l Half 2014)
Nobuyuki Matsumoto (Aisan Kogyo) – 1:02:52 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Ryu Takaku (Yakult) – 1:02:53 (Kumanichi Road Race 2014)
Keisuke Sago (Yasukawa Denki) – 1:02:54 (Ageo City Half 2013)
Tatsumi Abe (Komori Corp.) – 1:02:55 (Marugame Int’l Half 2014)
Yuto Aiba (Chuo Hatsujo) – 1:02:56 (Ageo City Half 2013)
Takuma Sano (Mazda) – 1:02:58 (Ageo City Half 2013)
Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) – 2:08:35 (Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon 2013)
Ser-Od Bat-Ochir (Mongolia/NTN) – 2:08:50 (Hofu Yomiuri Marathon 2014)
Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei) – 2:08:56 (Fukuoka Int’l Marathon 2015)
Joseph Kamathi (Kenya/Toyota) – 27:38.18 (Yamaguchi 10000 m 2014)
Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) – 28:06.10 (Hachioji 10000 m 2015)

Women’s Half Marathon
Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Univ. Ent.) – 1:09:36 (Sanyo Ladies’ Half 2013)
Reia Iwade (Noritz) – 1:09:45 (Sanyo Ladies’ Half 2013)
Mai Ito (Otsuka Seiyaku) – 1:09:57 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Rina Yamazaki (Panasonic) – 1:10:45 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2014)
Kumi Ogura (Toenec) – 1:10:51 (Marugame Int’l Half 2013)
Yoko Shibui (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) – 1:11:00 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Miho Ihara (Sekisui Kagaku) – 1:11:02 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2014)
Yuka Takemoto (Canon AC Kyushu) – 1:11:11 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Kaho Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) – 1:11:12 (Marugame Int’l Half 2015)
Yukari Abe (Shimamaura) – 1:11:18 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2014)
Yui Okada (Otsuka Seiyaku) – 1:11:27 (Sendai Int’l Half 2014)
Yurie Doi (Starts) – 1:11:28 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Ai Inoue (Noritz) – 1:11:53 (Matsue Ladies’ Half 2015)
Asami Furuse (Kyocera) – 1:12:01 (Sanyo Ladies’ Half 2014)
Chiharu Suzuki (Hitachi) – 1:12:27 (Matsue Ladies’ Half 2015)
Erika Ikeda (Higo Ginko) – 1:12:38 (Sanyo Ladies’ Half 2015)
Mizuki Tanimoto (Tenmaya) – 1:12:39 (Nat’l Corp. Half 2015)
Hitomi Suzuki (Panasonic) – 1:12:46 (Matsue Ladies’ Half 2014)
Hinako Kashio (Miyazaki Ginko) – 1:12:49 (Sanyo Ladies’ Half 2015)
Naoka Akutsu (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) – 1:12:52 (Porto Half 2015)
Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) – 1:12:54 (Usti nad Labem Half 2015)
Kasumi Nishihara (Yamada Denki) – 31:53.69 (Kobe 10000 m 2014)
Yuka Miyazaki (Kyudenko) – 32:07.43 (Fukagawa 10000 m 2015)

Women’s 10 km
Riko Matsuzaki (Sekisui Kagaku) – 31:44.86 (Abashiri 10000 m 2015)
Yuki Mitsunobu (Denso) – 31:56.92 (Abashiri 10000 m 2015)
Risa Yokoe (Toyota Jidoshokki) – 32:13.30 (Nittai Univ. 10000 m 2015)
Asahi Takeuchi (Uniqlo) – 32:26.32 (Abashiri 10000 m 2014)
Sakiho Tsutsui (Yamada Denki) – 32:30 (Nat’l Corp. 10 km 2015)
Kazue Kojima (Toyota Jidoshokki) – 32:34.45 (Tokushima 10000 m 2011)
Kanayo Miyata (Yutaka Giken) – 32:42.43 (Abashiri 10000 m 2015)
Risa Kikuchi (Hitachi) – 32:45 (Nat’l Corp. 10 km 2014)
Yui Fukuda (Toyota Jidoshokki) – 15:37.83 (Abashiri 5000 m 2015)

© 2016 Brett Larner
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Nakamoto and Crew Aiming for Rio Olympics at Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

http://news.goo.ne.jp/article/mainichi_region/region/mainichi_region-20160201ddlk40050396000c.html

translated by Brett Larner

Appearing at an event in Kurosaki as part of a campaign to revitalize the area through better health, London Olympics men's marathon 6th-placer Kentaro Nakamoto and other members of the local Yasukawa Denki corporate team spoke on the theme of "From Kurosaki to the World."  "My goal is to make the Rio Olympics," Nakamoto said with determination.

The event took place in the Yasukawa Denki Headquarters Auditorium.  Appearing alongside Nakamoto were 2015 Sydney Marathon winner Hisanori Kitajima and 2012 Fukuoka International Marathon 5th-placer Bunta Kuroki, a graduate of Tsutsui Elementary School.  The trio spoke about the appeal of the marathon, their training, and their future goals.

All three plan to run March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, which will serve as the final Olympic selection race.  Nakamoto commented, "The three of us are working hard together to achieve our goal of making the Olympics."  Kuroki told the crowd, "The local support here gives us strength.  We want to make Kurosaki the source of a new wave of excitement in Japanese athletics."  Kitajima said, "I hope to follow the two of them to the Olympics."