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Mesfin and Kobayashi 1500 m MR at Kanaguri Memorial

by Brett Larner

Ethiopian Nahom Mesfin (Team Kanebo) and 1500 m national record holder Fumikazu Kobayashi (Team NTN) got the track season started off with a duel over 1500 m at the Kanaguri Memorial Track Meet April 10 in Kumamoto. With a PB performance Mesfin came out a step ahead as both runners broke Kobayashi's 5 year old meet record. Kenyan Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) fell 0.11 seconds short of the women's 1500 m meet record but still set a PB of 4:09.41 and beat national record holder and teammate Yuriko Kobayashi by 9 seconds.

The other meet record of the day came in the high school boys' 5000 m, where Takashi Ichida (Kumamoto H.S.) ran 14:11.75 to break the existing meet record by 6.5 seconds. The old record holder, Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.), made his university debut in the men's 5000 m where he was 8th in a creditable PB of 13:53.20. Kenyan Josephat Ndambiri (Team Komori Corp.) took an unsurprising win in the men's 5000 m as Kenyans went 1-2-3. Only Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) prevented an all-Kenyan top 4 as he ran a solid early-season 13:33.61. Takezawa was pleased with his performance, saying afterwards, "I can't remember how many years it's been since I felt good right from the spring. This year I'm targeting my 5000 and 10000 m times." Defending national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) was 6th, while 13:18 man Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu) showed the after-effects of his disappointing marathon debut in February, finishing over 14 minutes in 13th.

With top seed Doricah Obare (Kenya/Team Hitachi) a no-show in the women's 5000 m, Ethiopian Betelhem Moges (Team Denso) was just a hair off her PB as she outkicked Kenyan Danielle Filomena Cheyech (Team Uniqlo). University star Kazue Kojima (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) had a decent pro debut, 4th in 15:54.96 behind top Japanese finisher Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz). 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno) was also a no-show. In the high school girls' 3000 m identical twins Eri and Mari Tayama (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) went 1-2.

2010 Kanaguri Memorial Track Meet - Top Results
click here for complete overall results
click event headers for complete event results

Men's 5000 m - Heat 3
1. Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 13:25.57
2. Mekubo Mogusu (Kenya/Team Aidem) - 13:32.41
3. Nicholas Makau (Yachiyo Kogyo H.S.) - 13:33.06
4. Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) - 13:33.61
5. Kiragu Njuguna (Kenya/Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 13:38.17
6. Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) - 13:45.95
7. Stephen Njeri (Fukuoka Ichi H.S.) - 13:50.43
8. Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:53.20 - PB
9. Cosmas Ondiba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:55.30
10. Terukazu Omori (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:56.13
-----
13. Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu) - 14:12.52

Women's 5000 m - Heat 2
1. Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia/Team Denso) - 15:25.36
2. Danielle Filomena Cheyech (Kenya/Team Uniqlo) - 15:25.83
3. Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) - 15:53.85
4. Kazue Kojima (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 15:54.96
5. Madoka Ogi (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 15:57.03
6. Yoshiko Fujinaga (Team Shiseido) - 16:01.78
7. Keiko Nogami (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 16:06.64
8. Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu) - 16:20.63
9. Kaori Oyama (Team Noritz) - 16:27.36
10. Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 16:28.63
-----
DNS - Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno)

Men's 1500 m - Heat 2
1. Nahom Mesfin (Ethiopia/Team Kanebo) - 3:41.60 - MR, PB
2. Fumikazu Kobayashi (Team NTN) - 3:41.88 - (MR)
3. Hiroshi Ino (Team Fujitsu) - 3:46.52
4. Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo) - 3:46.72
5. Takahiro Onishi (Team NTN) - 3:48.84

Women's 1500 m - Heat 2
1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 4:09.41 - PB
2. Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 4:18.41
3. Yukari So (Asahi Kasei AC) - 4:22.81

High School Boys' 5000 m - Heat 6
1. Takashi Ichida (Kumamoto H.S.) - 14:11.75 - MR
2. Yuki Arimura (Kumamoto H.S.) - 14:19.88
3. Masashi Ishida (Kyushu Kokuritsu Prep H.S.) - 14:39.88

High School Girls' 3000 m - Heat 4
1. Eri Tayama (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:27.04
2. Mari Tayama (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:27.14
3. Tomoka Kimura (Chikushi Jogakuen H.S.) - 9:28.81

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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