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Kobayashi Runs PB to Win Hokuren 3000m

by Brett Larner

As expected, women`s 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) delivered the biggest result of the Hokuren Distance Challenge Sapporo meet, winning the 3000 m in a PB of 8:51.85. Kobayashi and Ann Karindi (Team Yutaka Giken) simply outclassed the rest of the field, quickly opening a large gap and running together until Kobayashi`s stronger kick left her Kenyan competitor behind. Karindi finished in 8:52.24, a PB of nearly 10 seconds; 3rd place finisher Mariko Nakao (Team OKI) was far behind in 9:19.95.

Kobayashi`s time was the 3rd fastest in the world so far this year and not far off the Japanese national record of 8:44.40 held by Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal). In April she ran a 5000 m PB of 15:07.37 to become the only Japanese woman thus far to meet the Beijing Olympics A-standard in the 5000 m. She has thus far failed to meet the Olympic B-standard in the 1500 m after setting the national record of 4:07.86 in Sept., 2006 but is expected to try again at the National Track and Field Championships later this month.

Top finishers in each event are listed below. For complete results from the Sapporo meet click here.

Men`s 1500 m

  1. Takeshi Arisumi (Team Nishitetsu) - 3:49.27
  2. Naoya Ban (Team NTN) - 3:50.34
  3. Kosuke Murasashi (Team YKK) - 3:50.81

Women`s 1500 m

  1. Saori Yamashita (Team Hokuren) - 4:16.46
  2. Minami Nakaarai (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 4:21.50
  3. Maki Arai (Team Uniqlo) - 4:22.27

Women`s 3000 m

  1. Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 8:51.85 (PB)
  2. Ann Karindi (Team Yutaka Giken) - 8:52.24 (PB)
  3. Mariko Nakao (Team Oki) - 9:19.95

Men`s 3000 m SC

  1. Tomoyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 8:47.16
  2. Michinori Takano (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 8:49.11
  3. Takayuki Matsuura (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 8:50.18

Women`s 3000 m SC

  1. Kazuka Wakatsuki (Team Toto) - 9:59.57
  2. Maiko Yamaguchi (Team Yamada Denki) - 10:28.61
  3. Yuka Ohara (Team Shimamura) - 10:35.51

Men`s 5000 m A-Group

  1. Yuki Nakamura (Team Kanebo) - 13:44.69
  2. Terukazu Omori (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:45.12
  3. Keita Akiba (Team Komori) - 13:45.30

Women`s 5000 m

  1. Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) - 16:00.30
  2. Miho Notagashira (Team Wacoal) - 16:07.18
  3. Yuka Tokuda (Team Yamada Denki) - 16:14.43

Men`s 5000 m B-Group

  1. Teruto Ozaki (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 14:03.47
  2. Kiyotaka Shimamura (Team S&B) - 14:05.04
  3. Akihiko Tsumurai (Team Mazda) - 14:06.74

Men`s 5000 m Walk

  1. Koichiro Morioka (Team Fujitsu) - 19:28.26
  2. Yuki Yamasaki (Hasegawa AC) - 20:04.21
  3. Ken Akashi (Team Alsok) - 20:07.72

Women`s 5000 m Walk

  1. Masumi Fuchise (Ryukoku Univ.) - 22:11.11
  2. Mayumi Kawasaki (Team Ebisawa Seisakujo) - 22:33.69

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