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Junior Women Score Bronze Medal at World XC

by Brett Larner

Click here for a gallery of photos from the 2009 World Cross Country Championships.

Once again, Japan's junior women's squad led the way at the 2009 World Cross Country Championships in Amman, Jordan, scoring the overall team bronze medal while the Japanese teams in the other three races came up empty-handed. Junior woman Nanaka Izawa had the strongest individual finish of the day, 17th, followed closely by scoring members Erika Ikeda, Asami Kato and Aki Otagiri, and by 5th runner Chitose Shibata.

The senior men's and women's squads had modest improvements over last year, the men finishing 11th despite missing ace Yuta Takahashi, and the women 8th, led by Yuko Shimizu's strong 18th place finish. Only the junior men showed a decline, the three members of 2008 National High School Ekiden champions Saku Chosei H.S. and aces Wataru Ueno, Kazuto Nishiike and Yutaro Fukushi coming in only 8th after last year's 4th place finish. Star runner Akinobu Murasawa led the junior men's race in its earliest stages but finished a disappointing 27th.

Complete results for the Japanese teams are listed below. Click each division header for overall results.

2009 World Cross Country Championships - Amman, Jordan
Junior Women 6 km - 3rd
Nanaka Izawa - 21:27 (17th)
Erika Ikeda - 21:30 (18th)
Asami Kato - 21:33 (20th)
Aki Otagiri - 21:40 (21st)
Chitose Shibata - 21:47 (22nd)
Emi Kameyama - 22:51 (36th)

Junior Men 8 km - 8th
Akinobu Murasawa - 24:46 (27th)
Wataru Ueno - 25:30 (40th)
Shota Hattori - 25:32 (42nd)
Kazuto Nishiike - 25:39 (44th)
Kenta Chiba - 25:44 (45th)
Yutaro Fukushi - 26:38 (73rd)

Senior Women 8 km - 8th
Yuko Shimizu - 28:02 (18th)
Kazuka Wakatsuki - 28:54 (45th)
Korei Omata - 28:56 (48th)
Chisa Nishio - 29:05 (54th)
Yuki Numata - 29:48 (68th)
Tomoka Inadomi - 30:07 (72nd)

Senior Men 12 km - 11th
Suehiro Ishikawa - 37:11 (47th)
Seigo Ikegami - 37:38 (59th)
Hiroyoshi Umegae - 37:47 (64th)
Naoki Okamoto - 38:02 (76th)
Makoto Fukui - 38:43 (94th)
Yuta Takahashi - DNS

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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