Paul Kuira continued the legacy of Sendai Ikuei High School, alma mater of Kenyan greats Samuel Wanjiru and Daniel Njenga, by winning the men`s 10000 m at the June 1st Niigata Time Trials track and field meet in a strong 27:51.92, just outside the Olympic A-standard time of 27:50.00. It was the first time under 28 minutes and a PB of over 30 seconds for the 18 year-old native of Nyandarua, Kenya.
Samuel Wanjiru, running as pacemaker for teammate Yu Mitsuya as Mitsuya once more tried to make the Olympic A-standard, led for the first 8 km, the two Team Toyota Kyushu runners accompanied by Kuira, Team Asahi Kasei`s Ryuji Ono, Team Toyota`s Takeshi Hamano, and Team Toyota Boshoku`s John Kariuki. When Mitsuya began to flag after 8km, Kuira and Ono quickly pulled away from the pack, Wanjiru remaining behind to help Mitsuya. Ono was unable to match the younger Kuira`s kick, finishing just back in 27:53.19. His time was an improvement of almost 4 seconds over his May 17 performance in the Kyushu Jitsugyodan Championships, but like Kuira fell just short of the Olympic A-standard.
Wanjiru was 3rd in 28:02.41 with Mitsuya struggling home 4th in 28:12.40, 7 seconds slower than his run in the Kyushu Jitsugyodan Championships. Hamano was 5th in 28:14.23, outkicking Kariuki, the latter likely fatigued from running 13:21.75 for 5000 m at the previous day`s Golden Games in Nobeoka.
Complete results for the men`s 10000 m at the Niigata Time Trials are available here.
(c) 2008 Brett Larner
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