by Brett Larner
Alongside the duo of 100 m national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) and Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) breaking the women's 200 m national record, another pair made headlines at the May 3 Shizuoka International Track and Field Meet. Just a week after finishing 2nd in 27:40.32 behind Ethiopian Yacob Jarso (Team Honda) in tough conditions at the Hyogo Relay Carnival 10000 m, Kenyan Josephat Ndambiri (Team Komori Corp.) outran 2007 World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Kenyan Martin Mathathi (Team Suzuki) to break his own 10000 m Japanese all-comers record, clocking 26:57.36 to record the first-ever sub-27 minute 10000 m on Japanese soil. Mathathi just squeezed under 27 minutes to join Ndambiri in the honor with a 26:59.88.
The pair were well over a minute over the rest of the field as Kenyan Nicholas Makau (Team JAL Ground Service) led the also-rans with 28:07.39 for 3rd. Mathathi's teammate Daisuke Shimizu was the top Japanese finisher, 6th in 28:44.75. The race was Ndambiri's first major competition of the year without the presence of his rivals Jarso and Gideon Ngatuny (Team Nissin Shokuhin), but both his and Mathathi's world-leading PB clockings give them a good chance of being on the start line in Berlin this summer.
Mathathi's Kenyan teammate Ann Karindi Mwangi (Team Suzuki) was on top of the women's 3000 m, running a PB of nearly 9 seconds to win in a meet record 8:43.54. Like Ndambiri, Mwangi's mark was another world-leading time, but in her case it was a solo effort as Team Starts teammates Grace Mbuthye Kimanzi and Chisa Nishio were over 20 seconds behind in 2nd and 3rd, both running PBs. Runners from Team Starts and Team Wacoal rounded out most of the rest of the top 10.
The meet's other distance event, the women's 10000 m, did not produce any world-leading times but featured a sensational battle between university stars, with university runners taking five of the top six spots all in PB times under 33 minutes. Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) won in a PB of 32:29.59 but landed only 11th for the year thus far worldwide. Her rival Seika Nishikawa (Meijo Univ.) likewise ran a sizeable PB of 32:38.94 for 2nd. University runners took the rest of the top six places with the exception of Berlin World Championships marathon team member Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido), who was 4th in 32:46.68. Sayo Nomura (Meijo Univ.) ran a superb PB of nearly a minute and a half to clip 2008 national university 10000 m champion Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) at the line for 5th.
Click here for complete results from the 2009 Shizuoka International Track and Field Meet.
2009 Shizuoka International Track and Field Meet - Major Results
Men's 10000 m
1. Josephat Ndambiri (Team Komori Corp.) - 26:57.36 - PB and Japanese All-Comers Record
2. Martin Mathathi (Team Suzuki) - 26:59.88 - PB (also under old Japanese ACR)
3. Nicholas Makau (Team JAL Ground Service) - 28:07.39
4. Samuel Ndungu (Team Aichi Steel) - 28:08.15
5. Micah Njeru (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 28:21.59
6. Daisuke Shimizu (Team Suzuki) - 28:44.75
7. Kenichi Shiraishi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:45.84
8. Tomoya Adachi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:53.41
9. Tomoyuki Sato (Team Asahi Kasei) - 29:14.21
10. Hiroki Tanaka (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 29:27.92
Women's 10000 m
1. Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 32:29.59 - PB
2. Seika Nishikawa (Meijo Univ.) - 32:38.94 - PB
3. Yuika Mori (Bukkyo Univ.) - 32:44.31 - PB
4. Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 32:46.68
5. Sayo Nomura (Meijo Univ.) - 32:47.41 - PB
6. Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 32:47.41 - PB
7. Esako Noguchi (Team Suzuki) - 33:25.87
8. Seika Iwamura (Team Daihatsu) - 33:30.17
9. Yoko Nishimi (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 33:41.42
10. Haruka Obara (Team Shimamura) - 33:43.48
Women's 3000 m
1. Ann Karindi Mwangi (Team Suzuki) - 8:43.54 - PB and Meet Record
2. Grace Mbuthye Kimazi (Team Starts) - 9:04.96 - PB
3. Chisa Nishio (Team Starts) - 9:05.24 - PB
Women's 200 m
1. Chisato Fukushima (Team Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 23.14 - Japanese National Record
2. Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 23.15 - (also under old Japanese NR)
3. Mayumi Watanabe (Team Natureal) - 23.66
(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved