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Yoshimoto Makes a Big Debut, Thuo Runs World Leading Time at Hyogo Relay Carnival Day Two

by Brett Larner

In the grand prix events on day two of the 2010 Hyogo Relay Carnival, Bukkyo Univ. third-year Hikari Yoshimoto showed that her anchor stage win at last November's International Chiba Ekiden was no fluke as she nearly ran down winner Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) in the women's 10000 m and set a new national university record in the process. Fukushi, the 3000 m, 5000 m and half marathon national record holder, won in a solid 31:29.03. Yoshimoto, in her first track 10000 m, was just steps behind in 31:30.92, a time which broke the 15 year-old Japanese university record and which would have put her in the top 20 worldwide last year. The pair outran top-ranked Kenyan Doricah Obare (Team Hitachi), who was 3rd in a PB of 31:37.07. The trio's times were the 2nd, 3rd and 4th-fastest in the world so far this year and no other women broke 32:15, making Yoshimoto's debut all the more impressive.

In the men's 10000 m John Thuo (Kenya/Team Toyota) outkicked Japanese all-comers record holder Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori) and 2010 Kenyan cross-country champion Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) for the win in a world-leading 27:15.73. The 19 year-old Tanui clocked a PB of 27:17.61. Redirecting from a planned run at Friday's Brutus Hamilton Invitational, Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) was the top Japanese finisher, 5th overall in 28:19.01.

In the 1500 m races, men's 1500 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) did most of the leading before being narrowly clipped for the win by Kenyan Jonathan Ndiku (Team Hitachi), who clocked 3:42.70. Ueno did manage to beat national record holder Fumikazu Kobayashi (Team NTN) in their first major rematch since Ueno humiliated Kobayashi at last summer's National Championships. Women's 1500 m national champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) was only 3rd, with little-known Yukari Nomura (Chuo Univ.) taking the win in a modest 4:20.57. Tetsuya Sasaki (Team Chudenko) won the men's steeplechase in 8:48.70.

2010 Hyogo Relay Carnival Day Two - Top Finishers
click here for complete results or event header for individual event results

Women's Grand Prix 10000 m
1. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 31:29.03
2. Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 31:30.92 - debut
3. Doricah Obare (Kenya/Team Hitachi) - 31:37.07 - PB
4. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 32:15.91
5. Noriko Matsuoka (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 32:18.90
6. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 32:33.99
7. Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 32:37.72
8. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 32:38.68
9. Madoka Ogi (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 32:51.24
10. Misaki Katsumata (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 32:54.78

Men's Grand Prix 10000 m
1. John Thuo (Kenya/Team Toyota) - 27:15.73
2. Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 27:16.51
3. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 27:17.61 - PB
4. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) - 28:11.45
5. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:19.01
6. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 28:21.58
7. Atsushi Ikawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 28:29.67
8. Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 28:53.42
9. Takeshi Hamano (Team Toyota) - 28:55.05
10. Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko) - 29:01.91

Men's Grand Prix 3000 m SC
1. Tetsuya Sasaki (Team Chudenko) - 8:48.70
2. Minato Yamashita (Chukyo Univ.) - 8:50.77
3. Tatsunori Shinoura (Team S&B) - 8:51.53

Men's Grand Prix 1500 m
1. Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya/Team Hitachi) - 3:42.70
2. Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) - 3:42.95
3. Fumikazu Kobayashi (Team NTN) - 3:43.22

Women's Grand Prix 1500 m
1. Yukari Nomura (Chuo Univ.) - 4:20.57
2. Saori Yamashita (Team Hokuren) - 4:21.36
3. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 4:21.61

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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