translated and edited by Brett Larner
The men's and women's 5000 m were the highlights of the May 9 Chugoku Jitsugyodan Track and Field Meet at the Miyoshi Sports Park Track and Field Grounds in Miyoshi, Hiroshima Prefecture. In the men's race, Joseph Gitau (Team JFE Steel) ran 13:41.98 to take his first win at the meet, while Peter Kariuki and Samuel Ganga (both Team Mazda) rounded out a Kenyan sweep of the top three positions. Masayoshi Kuroda (Team Chugoku Denryoku) was 4th.
Danielle Filomena Cheyech (Team Uniqlo) set a new meet record of 15:19.47 to defend her title from last year in the women's event. Cheyech's time was a PB by nearly eight seconds and the second-best in the world thus far this year. Beijing Olympics marathoner Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) was 2nd in 15:45.41. She was red-eyed and furious with herself after letting Cheyech slip away in the second half of the race. "I thought I could stay with her, but....." she trailed off in a strained voice.
The theme of Nakamura's training lately has been "to stick with it when it gets tough after halfway." However, 3000 m into the race she couldn't keep up the 73 seconds per lap pace she and Cheyech had maintained through the first half. Ten days ago at the Oda Memorial meet Nakamura ran a strong 15:23.99, just off her PB. Three days earlier in the Hyogo Relay Carnival 10000 m she ran with Cheyech through halfway but fell back to 2nd as the Kenyan took five seconds off her PB. "It was the same thing all over," Nakamura said through her tears after losing to Cheyech again. Planning to run on the track at the World Championships, this 23 year old could have put her poor showing down to having run three races in two weeks, but she offered no excuses: "Fatigue has nothing to do with it."
Cheyech will next face off against Nakamura's teammate Tomo Morimoto, the alternate for the World Championships women's marathon team, next weekend in the Chugoku Jitsugyodan Track and Field Meet's 10000 m. All three Kenyans from the men's 5000 m will be back for the men's 10000 m, joined by Japanese runners including Naoki Okamoto, Hideaki Date and Shigeru Aburaya (all of Team Chugoku Denryoku).
2009 Chugoku Jitsugyodan Track and Field Meet 5000 m - Top Finishers
Click division header for complete results in Japanese.
1. Danielle Filomena Cheyech (Team Uniqlo) - 15:19.47 - CR, PB
2. Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) - 15:45.41
3. Megumi Sebata (Team Tenmaya) - 16:29.91
4. Rina Nomura (Team Uniqlo) - 16:31.35
5. Takako Yamada (Team Deodeo) - 16:33.86
6. Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) - 16:34.84
7. Maki Arai (Team Uniqlo) - 16:50.15
8. Yasuko Owatari (Team Uniqlo) - 16:51.71
9. Yuko Watanabe (Team Deodeo) - 16:57.98
10. Nami Hirata (Team Uniqlo) - 16:58.71
1. Joseph Gitau (Team JFE Steel) - 13:41.98
2. Peter Kariuki (Team Mazda) - 13:42.05
3. Samuel Ganga (Team Mazda) - 13:48.03
4. Masayoshi Kuroda (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:58.50
5. Naoya Hashimoto (Team Chudenko) - 14:04.78
6. Hiroshi Takahashi (Team JFE Steel) - 14:05.22
7. Akihiko Tsumurai (Team Mazda) - 14:06.22
8. Masahiro Okumura (Team Mazda) - 14:07.03
9. Teruto Ozaki (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 14:08.44
10. Takeshi Ueno (Team JFE Steel) - 14:09.58
16. Laban Kagika (Team JFE Steel) - 14:18.11
18. Hideaki Date (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 14:21.73
21. Shigeru Aburaya (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 14:22.61