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Jarso, Ominami Top Hokuren Distance Challenge Abashiri Meet - Results

by Brett Larner

The final meet in the 2009 Hokuren Distance Challenge series took place July 20 in Abashiri, Hokkaido, the last domestic opportunity for athletes to qualify for the Japanese national team for this year's World Championships. Ironically, the only athlete to pick up a Berlin ticket was Ethiopian Yakob Jarso (Team Honda).

Jarso set the Ethiopian national record of 8:13.47 in the 3000 m steeplechase at last summer's Beijing Olympics where he was 4th. This spring Jarso attempted to move up to the 5000 m and 10000 m but missed the times he needed to make the Ethiopian team at those competitive distances. Resigned to running the steeple again after a year's absence, Jarso had to set an A-standard time to illustrate to the Ethiopian federation that he is ready to go for Berlin. The Abashiri Meet organizers were generous enough to organize a steeplechase heat for Jarso, but when he came to the starting line he found only Sapporo Gakuin University's Masashi Takemoto lining up with him. While Takemoto knocked out a hapless 9:43.47, Jarso performed a remarkable solo 8:17.12, less than four seconds off his national record and clearing the World Championships A-standard by six seconds. After his failed spring season he is determined to improve on his Beijing performance with a medal in Berlin.

The women's 10000 m featured some of the most competitive racing of the meet. Veteran Hiromi Ominami (Team Toyota Shatai) led the way in search of the A-standard, running her best time of the season but coming up short in 32:06.07. With B-standard runner Yukari Sahaku (Team Aruze) already confirmed for Berlin in the women's 10000 m it looks as though Ominami will be staying home. Berlin World Championships marathoner Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) built on her strong showing in last week's Hokuren Distance Challenge 5000 m, running 32:26.63 for 3rd and continuing to round into form nicely. Women's 5000 m national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) ran in the B-heat of the men's 5000 m, finishing last in 15:23.44 ahead of her appearance at the World Championships.

In other noteworthy results, women's 1500 m national champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) ran the 3000 m rather than the 1500 m, beating marathoner Miki Ohira (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) who is on the comeback from injury. Former Gakushuin University ace Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama T&F Assoc.), a Hakone Ekiden downhill specialist who graduated this spring to take a job in the Saitama Prefectural Government rather than joining a pro team, ran an eight-second PB in the B-heat of the men's 5000 m. His time of 13:59.73 gives hope to others that there is life after university running without having to go the jitsugyodan route.

2009 Hokuren Distance Challenge Abashiri Meet - Top Results
click here for complete results

Women's 10000 m
1. Hiromi Ominami (Team Toyota Shatai) - 32:06.07
2. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 32:22.50
3. Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 32:26.63
4. Yuko Machida (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 32:45.55
5. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 32:47.00

Men's 5000 m A-heat
1. Tsuyoshi Makabe (Team Kanebo) - 13:46.57
2. Yuta Takahashi (Josai Univ.) - 13:47.43
3. Hideyuki Anzai (Team JAL Ground Service) - 13:48.62
4. Daisuke Matsufuji (Team Kanebo) - 13:50.09
5. Haji Aman (Team Honda) - 13:50.62

Men's 5000 m B-heat
1. Keizo Maruyama (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:57.76
2. Kazuuma Kaikura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:58.62
3. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama T&F Assoc.) - 13:59.73 - PB
4. Shoji Imabori (Team Honda) - 14:07.19
5. Yasuo Ishida (Jobu Univ.) - 14:09.19
24. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 15:23.44

Men's 3000 m SC
1. Yakob Jarso (Team Honda) - 8:17.12
2. Masashi Takemoto (Sapporo Gakuin Univ.) - 9:43.47

Women's 3000 m
1. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 9:14.51
2. Miki Ohira (Team Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 9:19.65
3. Natsumi Matsumoto (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 9:23.00
4. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 9:23.43
5. Maki Arai (Team Uniqlo) - 9:27.12

Men's 1500 m
1. Takahiko Onishi (Team NTN) - 3:45.92
2. Daiki Sato (Tokai Univ.) - 3:46.29
3. Patrick Morgan (U.S.A.) - 3:46.51

Women's 1500 m
1. Ayaka Mori (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 4:20.16
2. Saki Nakamichi (Team Shiseido) - 4:25.18
3. Sayuri Sendo (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 4:26.43

Men's 800 m
1. Sugeru Hattori (Tokai Univ.) - 1:50.75
2. ??? Kim (Korea Sports Univ.) - 1:50.96
3. ??? Kang (South Korea) - 1:51.01

Women's 800 m
1. Ruriko Kubo (Team Deodeo) - 2:05.15
2. Akari Kishikawa (NPO STCI) - 2:07.46
3. Yeon Jung Heo (South Korea) - 2:08.71

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Kevin said…
She already run the 10000 meters at Helsinki. It looks like she's interested in making the marathon team but she keep running 2:32:00 not enough to get selected. There's a big difference between 2:25 and 2:32.
Kevin said…
I'm gonna run cypress 10K in Orange County this weekend. I hope to run 32 minutes. Is that the B standard for 10000 meters?
Kevin said…
If I run fast or make it to the top 10 can I join Jitugayodan team?
Brett Larner said…
Yes, 32:20.00 is the WC B-standard for women. If you can run that kind of time and you are a woman then yes, I'm sure a team would be interested in you. Good luck this weekend.

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