by Brett Larner
Women`s 5000 m - Heats
2008 National Champion Yuriko Kobayashi narrowly missed out on qualifying for the women's 5000 m finals, finishing 7th in the slower first heat in 15:15.87. As the fastest of the finishers outside the six guaranteed to advance Kobayashi had the best chance of advancing on time to the final, but it was not to be. In the second heat the top six finishers were all more than ten seconds faster than first heat winner Tirunesh Dibaba's time of 15:09.89. All three women who advanced on time came from the second heat; the slowest of these, China's Fei Xue, ran 15:13:25 to eliminate Kobayashi from contention.
Japanese national record holder in the 5000 m Kayoko Fukushi was 10th in the second heat, running 15:20.46 and likewise failing to make the cut for the final. The Japanese team member with the fastest time this season, Yukiko Akaba, continued to show the surprisingly poor form she demonstrated in the women's 10000 m, finishing 12th in the second heat in 15:38.30. Akaba and Fukushi briefly led the pack during the first two km but were unable to keep up once the pace escalated.
(c) 2008 Brett Larner
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