Skip to main content

Ndirangu and Tanaka Win Sendai International Half, Nakamoto Over Kawauchi

by Brett Larner

Cooler than usual temperatures meant a return to faster times at Sunday's Sendai International Half Marathon, where former Sera H.S. star Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) led the top six under last year's winning time to take the top spot for the first time in 1:01:44. Ritsumeikan University grad Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) got her own first-time Sendai title, winning in 1:11:07.

A world record-pace 2:46 opening km shook off most of the Japanese competition, quickly leaving the Kenyan quartet of Ndirangu, Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta), Muthoni Muiru (Soka Univ.) and Joseph Onsarigo (Team Nasu Kensetsu) up front tailed by newlywed Takuya Noguchi (Team Konica Minolta). In the chase pack, defending champ Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu) and two members of Japan's London World Championships marathon squad, Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't).

Noguchi and Onsarigo were off the leaders near halfway, and Kawauchi, lining up in Sendai just a week after running 2:10:13 at the Prague Marathon, likewise had trouble hanging onto the Japanese pack. Running just his second half marathon, Muiru did a lot of the pushing against the more experienced Ndirangu and Kuiru, both of whom had PBs almost three minutes faster than Muiru's 1:02:41 debut from February, but in the final kilometers the faster pair slipped away from him. Ndirangu had the stronger kick, taking the win in 1:01:44 with Kuira 4 seconds behind. Muiru took 45 seconds off his debut time for 3rd in 1:01:59, a time that puts him in good position among the best on the Hakone Ekiden circuit.

Noguchi was rewarded for his early aggressiveness, taking 4th in a new PB of 1:02:21. A big surprise came in 5th place as defending champion Imai, a 2:07:39 marathoner, took one second off his 12-year-old PB for a new best of 1:02:36. Further back, Nakamoto cruised in for 10th in 1:03:25, just holding off a fast-charging Kawauchi who came back from far behind to take 11th in 1:03:29. Post-race Kawauchi told JRN, "If I hadn't gone so fast in the first km I think I could have broken 63. I'll be more careful in London."

Running in the midst of a large pack of amateur men, Tanaka, Misaki Kato (Team Kyudenko) and defending women's champ Felista Wanjugu (Team Univ. Ent.) ran the early part of the race together before Tanaka pulled away for the win. Dueling with Wanjugu, Kato got away in the final kilometers to take 2nd in 1:11:42. Wanjugu was 14 seconds faster than her winning time last year but could do no better than 3rd in 1:11:51. Alternate for the women's marathon team in London, Misato Horie (Team Noritz) matched was 11th in 1:14:13.

27th Sendai International Half Marathon
Sendai, Miyagi, 5/14/17

Men
1. Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) - 1:01:44
2. Paul Kuira (Konica Minolta) - 1:01:48
3. Muthoni Muiru (Soka Univ.) - 1:01:59 - PB
4. Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta) - 1:02:21 - PB
5. Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 1:02:36 - PB
6. Joseph Onsarigo (Nasu Kensetsu) - 1:02:49
7. Muryo Takase (Nissin Shokuhin) - 1:02:55
8. Akihiko Tsumurai (Mazda) - 1:03:12
9. Yudai Yamakawa (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:03:17
10. Kentaro Nakamoto (Yasukawa Denki) - 1:03:25
11. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 1:03:29
12. Yusuke Sato (Fujitsu) - 1:03:38

Women
1. Hanae Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 1:11:07
2. Misaki Kato (Kyudenko) - 1:11:42
3. Felista Wanjugu (Univ. Ent.) - 1:11:51
4. Sayo Nomura (Uniqlo) - 1:12:36
5. Yurie Doi (Fujitsu) - 1:13:00
6. Kaho Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 1:13:03
7. Yuko Mizuguchi (Denso) - 1:13:13
8. Chiharu Suzuki (Hitachi) - 1:13:27
9. Asami Kato (Panasonic) - 1:13:36
10. Haruna Takada (Yamada Denki) - 1:13:48
11. Misato Horie (Noritz) - 1:14:13
12. Sachi Tanaka (Sports Yamagata 21) - 1:14:20

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Named Captain of Japanese National Team for London World Championships

At a JAAF event at the British Embassy in Tokyo on July 21, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) was named men's captain of the Japanese national team for next month's London World Championships. Javelin throw national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was chosen as women's captain.

In a wide-ranging and impassioned speech 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, Kawauchi stoked the team's morale as he told attendees, "I think that there are athletes here today who look at London as just a checkpoint along the way to the Tokyo Olympics. But as a representative of Japan it is not enough just to be there competing. I feel it strongly. You must produce results at this event, the London World Championships. This is the task assigned to each and every one of us. It is critical that we work seriously to achieve our goals. The Japanese people want nothing less. What can we as athletes do for them? More than just wearing the uniform, each of us mus…

'$500,000 USD Prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 Launched in Beijing'

http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/k2-component/143-500-000-usd-prized-asian-premier-marathon-series-2017-18-launched-in-beijing

A very interesting World Marathon Majors-style development with prize money only for Asian athletes. Equally interesting is the absence of a Japanese race in the series. Japanese marathoners would dominate the series if they ran its three component races, their only real current competition in Asia coming from East African-born Bahraini athletes.

Additions to Japanese National Team for London World Championships

The JAAF has made a series of announcements over the last week confirming additions to its small team for next month's London World Championships. Along with previously announced rosters for track and field events, combined events and road events, the following athletes have been added to the Japanese team. Relay members are pending IAAF confirmation. The final complete team roster is expected next week.

Men's 400 m Hurdles
Ryo Kajiki (Josai Univ.) - 49.33
Yusuke Ishida (Waseda Univ.) - 49.35

Men's 3000 m Steeplechase
Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) - 8:29.05

Men's 4 x 400 m Relay
Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 45.76
Kosuke Horii (Sumitomo Denko) - 45.88

Women's Javelin Throw
Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 61.95 m

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved