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by Brett Larner
Double 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno ran according to his reputation today in the men's 5000 m heats at the 2009 World Championships. With one of the slowest PBs in the field, 13:21.49, Ueno took a cue from women's 5000 m champion Yurika Nakamura and went out the way he needed to in order to stand a chance of making the final - bang on a steady 2:40 pace. In Nakamura's case the field responded and went with her, but for Ueno he was left alone as the field relaxed and trailed a few seconds behind. On the strength of his recent performances Ueno should easily have been able to sustain the pace, but after only 1 km he abruptly slowed and was helpless as the field, which maintained its pace of around 2:43/km, breezed past. Virtually flailing, Ueno finished dead last in 14:30.76 versus winner Kenenisa Bekele's 13:19.77 but still found the energy for an unjustified final kick over the last 400 m. It was a disappointing performance but one which followed an all-too familiar pattern for those who have watched Ueno's racing over the years.
In other results:
-Daisuke Ikeda has a strong second day in the men's decathlon, improving his overall standing to 26th with a PB of 7788 by the end of competition.
-Men's pole vault national champion Daichi Sawano moved on from the qualification round after clearing 5.55, but teammate Takafumi Suzuki struggled and was left behind after clearing only 5.25 to finish last in his group. Men's long jumper Daisuke Arakawa likewise finished last in his group and did not advance past the qualification round.
(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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