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Fukushi Doubles - Japanese National Championships Day Three

by Brett Larner

Strong winds meant slower times than anticipated across the board on the final day of the 2010 Japanese National Track and Field Championships, but many races nevertheless saw unexpected and dramatic results. Both sprint finals featured upset wins. In the women's 200 m, Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) finally got the better of the marginally more talented national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido HiTec AC), her strong finish finally overcoming Fukushima's faster start as she muscled out a win by 0.01 seconds in the final steps of the straight. Defending men's 100 m national champion Masashi Eriguchi (Waseda Univ.) finally got the title for real, beating Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) after gaining last year's title be default when Tsukahara withdrew before the final.

In the women's 5000 m, Kenyan Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) took the top spot, while national record holder Kayoko Fukushi came 2nd to reclaim the national title after three years and complete the 5000-10000 m double. Fukushi took the race out at 15:20 pace, but when she began to slack after 2000 m Karindi was quick to take the lead and ran the rest of the race unchallenged to win in 15:15.46. Fukushi was likewise on her own for the duration, while 10000 m runner-up Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) had another good run for 3rd. Defending national champion Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) was 5th, while 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) dropped out early in the race after failing to start in the 1500 m.

As in the 10000 m, the men's race provided more action. Top Kenyan Martin Mathathi (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) took it easy for the first km, allowing teenager Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B) to lead the first km in 2:39 with 10000 m national champion Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B), frosh Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) and little-heralded former university ace Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) close behind. When Mathathi took over he and Karoki were soon on their own, while Takezawa and the others gradually fell behind and were overtaken by a chase pack led by defending national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B).

Ueno, 2008 World Half Marathon 5th placer Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku) and university ace Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) traded the chase pack lead for the rest of the race, while a clearly fatigued Takezawa lost touch. In the final lap Matsuoka pulled away and to the surprise of all received a strong challenge on the final curve from former Toyo University captain Tomoya Onishi (Team Asahi Kasei). The pair was nearly run down by Takezawa and his unparalleled finishing speed but were just out of range. As Mathathi took an evenly-paced win in 13:16.91, Matsuoka just held Onishi off for 3rd in 13:40.11 for his first national title. Defending champ Ueno, 3rd in the 1500 m, was only 13th in 13:56.22.

2010 National T&F Championships - Top Finishers
click here for complete results
Men's 5000 m
1. Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 13:16.91
2. Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B) - 13:23.85
3. Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 13:40.11
4. Tomoya Onishi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:40.52
5. Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) - 13:41.73
6. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:42.63
7. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:42.68
8. Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 13:42.69
9. Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:42.96
10. Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 13:46.81

Women's 5000 m
1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 15:15.46
2. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 15:29.80
3. Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - 15:41.40
4. Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 15:41.96
5. Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya) - 15:46.19
6. Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) - 15:49.97
7. Kazue Kojima (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 15:50.29
8. Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:54.00
9. Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 15:57.76
10. Ai Igarashi (Team Sysmex) - 16:09.53

Men's 800 m - final
1. Masato Yokota (Team Fujitsu) - 1:47.25
2. Ryosuke Awaji (Meiji Univ.) - 1:48.88
3. Yasuhiro Makino (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:50.16

Women's 800 m - final
1. Akari Kishikawa (STCI AC) - 2:05.22
2. Ruriko Kubo (Team DeoDeo) - 2:06.47
3. Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) - 2:07.60

Men's 400 m - final
1. Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 45.56
2. Yusuke Ishitsuka (Team Mizuno) - 46.03
3. Hideyuki Hirose (Keio Univ.) - 46.05

Women's 200 m - final (-1.4 m/s wind)
1. Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 23.56
2. Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido HiTec AC) - 23.57
3. Saori Imai (Shigakkan Univ.) - 24.15

Men's 100 m - final (+0.0 m/s wind)
1. Masashi Eriguchi (Waseda Univ.) - 10.26
2. Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) - 10.45
3. Hirotaka Taguchi (Chukyo Univ.) - 10.47

Women's 400 mH - final
1. Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) - 55.83
2. Miyabe Tago (Chuo Univ.) - 56.31
3. Sayaka Aoki (Team Natureal) - 56.90

Women's 100 mH - final (-2.0 m/s wind)
1. Asuka Terada (Hokkaido HiTec AC) - 13.32
2. Rena Joshita (Yokohama T&F Assoc.) - 13.57
3. Mami Ishino (Team Hasegawa) - 13.58

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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