by Brett Larner
Team Nissin Shokuhin's Yuki Sato, a university star who struggled through injury his senior year looked set for the World Championships when he ran 27:38 earlier this spring in the second race of his pro career. Injuries returned shortly afterwards and a disastrous showing in the 10000 m at June's National Championships left him empty-handed, but since then Sato has edged closer and closer back toward some measure of his full fitness. On July 21 he took another step toward earning the World Championhips 5000 m A-standard when he finished 2nd overall in 7:53.56 in the 3000 m at the Gentse Feesten Meet in Ghent, Belgium, part of the Flanders Cup series. Sato's time was a PB by nearly 3 seconds but was well short of his university-era and now cross-town Team S&B rival Kensuke Takezawa's PB of 7:49.26 at last week's Gobierno de Aragon meet in Saragossa, Spain.
Two other runners, Yusei Nakao of Team Toyota Boshoku and Sato's teammate Satoru Kitamura, also made the top five, both clocking PBs. Four other runners on the Japanese tour of this summer's European track circuit also ran. Click here for complete results.
Sato will go after the A-standard on July 26 at the next Flanders Cup meet in Brasschaat, Belgium along with the other Japanese runners from the Feesten 3000 m. Several Japanese runners are also entered in the Brasschaat 800 m and 1500 m. Complete entry lists are available here.
2009 Gentse Feesten Meet - Men's 3000 m Top Finishers
1. Molefe Molefe (South Africa) - 7:53.27 - PB
2. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 7:53.56 - PB
3. Elroy Gelant (South Africa) - 7:54.36 - PB
4. Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 7:54.84 - PB
5. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 7:57.67 - PB
8. Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) - 8:03.19
10. Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 8:04.79
15. Seigo Ikegami (Team Honda) - 8:30.38
16. Yasunori Murakami (Team Fujitsu) - 8:34.46
(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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