Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gando Takes Kanto Regionals 10000 m

by Brett Larner



Picking up where the recently-graduated Daniel Gitau left off, Kenyan Benjamin Gando (Nihon Univ.) stepped up to take the win in the men's 10000 m A-heat at the 2010 Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships, May 16 at Tokyo's National Stadium. With a 3rd-place finish as a frosh and a 2nd-place finish last year, star junior Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.) took the race out hard with a 2:42 first km in search of his first Kanto win but was unable to keep with up with Gando's surge over the final three kilometers. Gando fell just short of a new PB but took his first major win in 28:27.16.

Behind him, Kashiwabara battled with two Japanese runners over the last lap for the runner-up spot. 18 year old Saku Chosei H.S. grad Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.), one of four frosh on the entry list with PBs under 29 minutes, tried to drop Kashiwabara and solid junior Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.) but was unable to match their closing speed. Edging Kashiwabara into 3rd, Yoroizaka took 2nd in a 21-second PB of 28:34.12. Kashiwabara missed setting a new PB but was 10 seconds faster than his time and 5 seconds faster than Gitau's winning time at last year's Kanto Regionals, a positive sign particularly in light of recent knee troubles. Osako took 22 seconds off his PB to finish in 28:35.75 but was unhappy with being outkicked for 4th, holding his head in his hands in disappointment immediately after finishing.

All told, despite strong winds seven men broke 29 minutes, four of them in PBs and two of them frosh. Cosmas Ondiba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) was one of the few casualties, 16th in 29:35.98 after leading next to Kashiwabara through much of the early part of the race.



In the 10000 m B-Heat, Kenyan newcomer Duncan Mozay (Takushoku Univ.) had little trouble employing the same race strategy as Gando, pulling away with a strong surge with 3000 m to go. Kazuya Deguchi (Nittai Univ.) and Kazuhiro Kuga (Komazawa Univ.) worked together to reel him back in but ran out of ground and finished just a second behind. Along with fellow new Takushoku recruit John Maina, one of Mozay's tasks this year will be to work as training partner for Takushoku's most well-known alumnus, 2:08 marathoner Arata Fujiwara (Proposer Japan).

2010 Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships - Top Finishers
click event header for complete video

Men's 10000 m A-Heat
click here for complete results
1. Benjamin Gando (2nd yr., Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 28:27.18
2. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (3rd yr., Meiji Univ.) - 28:34.12 - PB
3. Ryuji Kashiwabara (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 28:35.14
4. Suguru Osako (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 28:35.75 - PB
5. Masaki Ito (3rd yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 28:38.69 - PB
6. Tsubasa Hayakawa (2nd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 28:47.37 - PB
7. Fuminori Shikata (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 28:56.89
8. Kentaro Tone (3rd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 29:01.42 - PB
9. Yo Yazawa (3rd yr., Waseda Univ.) - 29:03.75
10. Keita Shitara (1st yr., Toyo Univ.) - 29:16.11

Men's 10000 m B-Heat
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1. Duncan Mozay (1st yr., Kenya/Takushoku Univ.) - 29:15.43
2. Kazuya Deguchi (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 29:16.45
3. Kazuhiro Kuga (2nd yr., Komazawa Univ.) - 29:17.13

Men's 3000 m SC Semifinal A-Heat
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1. Kohei Kudo (1st yr., Waseda Univ.) - 9:05.37
2. Hiroaki Koike (1st yr., Toyo Univ.) - 9:06.95
3. Tomoyuki Wada (4th yr., Nihon Univ.) - 9:07.21

Men's 3000 m SC Semifinal B-Heat
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1. Daichi Motomura (1st yr., Tokai Univ.) - 8:59.95
2. Kosei Yamaguchi (1st yr., Josai Univ.) - 9:00.19
3. Yuji Yamada (4th yr., Chuo Univ.) - 9:00.35

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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