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Hokuren Distance Challenge Kitami Meet - Results

by Brett Larner

The Olympic A-standard victory of Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) in the women`s 5000 m proved the standout result of the July 13 Hokuren Distance Challenge Kitami Meet. Akaba, who has already been named to the Beijing Olympic team in the women`s 10000 m, ran a sizeable PB of 15:06.07 to win the race and all but assure that she will double in Beijing.

Her potential teammate in the Olympic 5000 m, women`s national 1500 m record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki), won the Kitami 1500 m in 4:12.79, a time too slow to put her in a position for an Olympic double. Men`s national 1500 m record holder Fumikazu Kobayashi (Team NTN) likewise missed setting an Olympic-standard mark, winning the men`s 1500 m in 3:42.67. Barring a last-minute breakthrough, the male Kobayashi will likely be staying home in August.

Athens Olympics 10000 m team member Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei) won the men`s 3000 m in 7:54.25 in a tune-up for Wednesday`s Hokuren Distance Challenge Kushiro Meet 10000 m. Ono was 2nd in last month`s National Track and Field Championships 10000 m but was not selected for Beijing after just missing the Olympic A-standard for the third time this season. The Kushiro 10000 m will be the last chance for the 22 year-old to make the Beijing team.

Next to Akaba`s performance, the standout result of the Kitami Meet came in the men`s 5000 m. Winner Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo) was far from the Olympic A-standard with his 13:45.80 mark, followed by the recently-graduated Nittai University ace Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) in 13:49.49. The notable result came with the 13:50.14 mark set by 3rd-place finisher Yuki Yagi (Waseda Univ.). Yagi was the 2007 high school 5000 m national champion and came to Waseda this spring as part of the school`s aggressive recruitment of the top three graduating high school men. Yagi`s time in Kitami was a PB of more than 11 seconds, showing that he is on track to make a significant mark on the upcoming ekiden season. His fellow super-recruit, 2007 high school 5000 m national 3rd-place finisher Takuya Nakayama, did not fare as well, finishing 2nd-to-last in 14:31.99.

Top Finishers

Women`s 800 m
1. Yeon Jung Heo (Korea): 2:07.97
2. Akari Kishikawa (Team Noritz): 2:08.44
3. Miki Nishimura (Self-Defense Force Sports Academy): 2:09.61

Men`s 800 m
1. Takeshi Kuchino (Nittai Univ.): 1:48.36
2. Jae Hum Lee (Korea): 1:48.81
3. Sung Soo Park (Korea): 1:49.20

Women`s 1500 m
1. Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki): 4:12.79
2. Ann Karindi (Team Yutaka Giken): 4:14.49
3. Kazuka Wakatsuki (Team Toto): 4:18.54

Men`s 1500 m
1. Fumikazu Kobayashi (Team NTN): 3:42.67
2. Sang Min Shin (Korea): 3:45.12
3. Ippei Tamura (Ami AC): 3:47.15

Women`s 3000 m
1. Risa Kikuchi (Team Hitachi): 9:42.37 - PB
2. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura): 9:42.53 - PB
3. Ayumi Nakayama (Team Yamada Denki): 9:46.04

Men`s 3000 m
1. Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei): 7:54.25
2. Yasuhiro Tago (Team Chugoku Denryoku): 8:10.32
3. Osamu Ibata (Team Otsuka Seiyaku): 8:14.09

Women`s 5000 m A-group
1. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren): 15:06.07 - PB
2. Obare Dorika (Team Hitachi): 15:26.08
3. Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz): 15:33.04

Women`s 5000 m B-group
1. Yuka Takashima (Team Denso): 16:04.76
2. Yuko Mizuguchi (Mie Univ.): 16:18.03
3. Shizuka Marumo (Team Denso): 16:19.94

Men`s 5000 m A-group
1. Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo): 13:45.80
2. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin): 13:49.49
3. Yuki Yagi (Waseda Univ.): 13:50.14 - PB

Men`s 5000 m B-group
1. Kazuki Koda (Team Shikoku Denryoku): 13:59.00
2. Tetsushi Abe (Team Toenec): 14:02.79
3. Takayuki Ota (Team Fujitsu): 14:03.82

Men`s 5000 m C-group
1. Woo Yeon Kim (Korea): 14:12.49
2. Hidehisa Kobayashi (Team YKK): 14:13.07
3. Tomohiro Minami (Team Aisan): 14:20.08

A complete list of results is available here.

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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