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Yusei Nakao Surprises at Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet - Results

by Brett Larner

Fukagawa, Hokkaido was the site for the second part of the six-meet Hokuren Distance Challenge series on June 10. The men's 3000 m was the most anticipated race of the evening, being as it was the pro debut of the injury-prone university star and Beijing Olympian Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B). Running his first race since setting a new stage record on the third leg of his final Hakone Ekiden on Jan. 2, Takezawa won the 3000 m by a slim margin over another former Hakone star, Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku). Takezawa's time of 8:05.44 was far from his PB of 7:53.20, but he was using the 3000 m as a test run for the 5000 m at the next Challenge meet in Shibetsu on June 14. In that race Takezawa, who holds a 5000 m PB of 13:19.00, will go for the World Championships B-standard time of 13:29.00 before he runs the National Track and Field Championships 5000 m at the end of the month.

A more significant result occured in the men's 10000 m. Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku), the son of Japan's first sub-2:20 marathoner, had a strong 2008 including a 5th place overall finish at the World Half Marathon in Rio. With the exception of March's Tokyo Marathon he has continued to impress this year and his run in Fukagawa followed the pattern. Nakao banged out a 22 second PB of 27:48.71 to win, beating his Kenyan teammate Micah Njeru and another Kenyan, Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) as the top four all went under 28 minutes. Nakao just missed the World Championships A-standard of 27:47.00, but barring an unexpected string of A-standard performances by others between now and August this performance puts him into position to pick up the single 10000 m B-standard spot on the Berlin team.

Team Suzuki's Noriko Matsuoka won the women's 10000 m in 32:18.74, just clearing the World Championships B-standard. Matsuoka already holds an A-standard qualifying time from 2008 and looks to be rounding into form in the leadup to Nationals. She was 4th in the National Track and Field Championships 10000 m last year, and with two of the women who beat her running the marathon in Berlin and the third in questionable condition Matsuoka is very likely to make the national team.

World Championships men's marathon team member Arata Fujiwara (Team JR Higashi Nihon) ran his first race of the season, winning the 10000 m B-heat in 28:41.05, a PB by nearly 12 seconds, and demonstrating that he is in good shape as his marathon training progresses. In third place in the 10000 m B-heat was former Sendai Ikuei High School ace Wataru Ueno (Komazawa Univ.) making his university debut.

Ethiopian Betelhem (Team Denso) and Kenyan Ann Karindi (Team Suzuki) had comfortable wins in the women's 5000 m and 1500 m, respectively. National record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) was a notable non-starter in the women's 5000 m. Japanese men's 1500 m national record holder Fumikazu Kobayashi (Team NTN) had a slimmer margin than Karindi but nevertheless picked up the men's 1500 m.

Click here for complete results from the Fukagawa meet.

2009 Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet - Top Finishers
Men's 10000 m A-heat
1. Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 27:48.71 - PB
2. Micah Njeru (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 27:53.79
3. Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) - 27:57.99 - PB
4. Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei) - 27:58.03 - PB
5. Bene Zama (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:27.61 - PB
6. Kiyokatsu Hasegawa (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 28:45.23 - PB
7. Yuki Tanaka (Team Sumco Techxiv) - 28:48.86
8. Tomoya Adachi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:49.35
9. Tomoya Deguchi (Nittai Univ.) - 28:52.96 - PB
10. Noritaki Fujiyama (Team Sumco Techxiv) - 28:54.04

Women's 10000 m
1. Noriko Matsuoka (Team Suzuki) - 32:18.74
2. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 32:52.21 - PB
3. Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) - 32:54.64
4. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 33:08.31
5. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 33:28.01
6. Ayaka Ohira (Team Daihatsu) - 33:47.77 - PB
7. Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 33:48.87
8. Kikuyo Tsuzaki (Meijo Univ.) - 33:56.26
9. Mika Kawai (Team Yutaka Giken) - 34:06.24
10. Sumiko Suzuki (Team Hokuren) - 34:07.83 - PB

Men's 10000 m B-heat
1. Arata Fujiwara (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 28:41.05 - PB
2. Akihiko Tsumurai (Team Mazda) - 28:48.16
3. Wataru Ueno (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:55.74
4. Yusuke Kawaminami (Team Osaka Gas) - 29:02.49
5. Kenji Takeuchi (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 29:04.36

Women's 5000 m
1. Betelhem Moges (Team Denso) - 15:35.57
2. Ai Igarashi (Team Sysmex) - 15:54.53
3. Seika Nishikawa (Meijo Univ.) - 15:58.79
4. Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 16:04.63
5. Miho Nomiyama (Team Denso) - 16:10.37
6. Seika Iwamura (Team Daihatsu) - 16:15.19
7. Hiromi Koga (Team Denso) - 16:16.82
8. Ayaka Sutani (Meijo Univ.) - 16:19.84
9. Saki Miyashita (Team Yutaka Giken) - 16:19.90
10. Sayo Nomura (Meijo Univ.) - 16:22.57
-----
DNS - Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal)

Men's 3000 m
1. Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) - 8:05.44
2. Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 8:05.57
3. Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 8:10.33
4. Masayoshi Kuroda (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 8:12.93
5. Kazuyoshi Tokumoto (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 8:13.39

Women's 1500 m
1. Ann Karindi (Team Suzuki) - 4:15.69
2. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 4:22.22
3. Maki Arai (Team Uniqlo) - 4:27.18
4. Kazumi Hashimoto (Team Hokuren) - 4:28.70
5. Takami Ota (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 4:28.80

Men's 1500 m
1. Fumikazu Kobayashi (Team NTN) - 3:47.37
2. Hiroshi Ino (Team Fujitsu) - 3:48.19
3. Yasuhiro Tago (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 3:49.48
4. Takehiko Onishi (Team NTN) - 3:49.88
5. Yoshikazu Kubo (Team Shikoku Denryoku Kochi) - 3:53.01 - PB

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

dennis said…
How about MIzuko Nasukawa? Didn't she try to clear the a standard.
dennis said…
Akane Wakita made the team in Osaka. She should at least try to qualify. Is she running the national track and field champs?
dennis said…
I miss Megumi Oshima. She retire right. She's ran the olympics in athens and finish 13th. She not running track anymore.
dennis said…
I want to train with Jitsugyodan Teams. I want to challenge them and show that I can beat them.
dennis said…
Is there 5 people selected at the national track and field champs. I'm pretty sure Nakamura, Megumi SEike, Noriko Matsuoka, Kayoko Fukushi and Miwako Yamanaka will make the team. And Nakamura should automatically be selected for running fastest time 32:13.
dennis said…
Why isn't ekiden ace Miki Ohira running track? She would be perfect for the track. She held off Akaba for 3 seconds. Ekiden season is over. Run some track races.

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