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Nishihara Scores 5000 m PB at Marugame Nighter

by Brett Larner

2009 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and 5000 m silver medalist and 2010 National University 5000 m champion Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) took another step toward the top with a 15:27.94 PB to finish 1st in the final women's 5000 m at the 2010 Nighter Time Trials in Marugame on Oct. 9. With runner-up Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) over 15 seconds behind, Nishihara's solo effort makes her the third-fastest Japanese woman of the year over 5000 m behind national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) and Nishihara's younger teammate Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.). Nishihara's progression since high school has been impressively consistent:

2006: 15:47.52
2007: 15:41.54
2008: 15:36.72
2009: 15:32.89
2010: 15:27.94

Yoshimoto was also scheduled to run but was a DNS, raising concerns about her condition after several weak performances earlier this fall season. With Bukkyo runners Mai Ishibashi and Rika Kawashima also under 16 minutes in heats 5 and 6, if both Yoshimoto and Nishihara are at full strength Bukkyo University should be virtually unchallenged to defend its national ekiden title in December.

2010 Nighter Time Trials in Marugame
click here for complete results
Women's 5000 m - Heat 6
1. Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:27.94 - PB
2. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 15:43.30
3. Mai Ishibashi (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:44.96
4. Miyuki Oka (Kojokan H.S.) - 15:45.87
5. Mariko Nakao (Team Shiseido) - 16:02.60
6. Atsuko Muraoka (Team Shiseido) - 16:03.33
7. Kaori Urata (Team Tenmaya) - 16:04.24
8. Mahiro Akamatsu (Kojokan H.S.) - 16:07.75
9. Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) - 16:10.65
10. Machi Tanaka (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 16:14.80

Women's 5000 m - Heat 5
1. Rika Kawashima (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:53.92
2. Toshika Tamura (Matsuyama Univ.) - 15:57.79
3. Chieko Kido (Canon AC Oita) - 16:01.72

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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