by Brett Larner
Unknown high schooler Risa Shibuya of Hanawa H.S. in the northern city of Akita turned in one of the biggest performances in the 2010 National Sports Festival on the final day of competition on Oct. 5 in Chiba. Running in the high school girls' 3000 m, Shibuya trounced 2010 Asian Junior 3000 m champion Mahiro Akamatsu (Kojokan H.S.) by over 6 seconds to win in 9:08.07, the second-fastest time of the year by a Japanese woman behind only 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki). Shibuya's performance would have put her in 2nd place at last weekend's National Corporate Championships ahead of world-ranked Ethiopian ace Betelhem Moges (Team Denso).
With most of the top high school boys opting for the 5000 m the high school boys' 3000 m was relatively unremarkable, won in 8:25.76 by Yusuke Uchikoshi (Kokugakuin Prep Kugayama H.S.).
Update: This article reports that Shibuya is a 3rd year who for the last two years placed in the top 8 in the 800 and 1500 m. In moving up to the 3000 m she has practiced kicking hard with 1000 m to go, the exact strategy she used to win this time. Her time of 9:08.07 was a PB by 6 seconds.
2010 National Sports Festival - Top Results
Oct. 5, Chiba Sogo Sports Center Stadium
click here for complete results
High School Girls 3000 m
1. Risa Shibuya (Hanawa H.S.) - 9:08.07
2. Mahiro Akamatsu (Kojokan H.S.) - 9:14.49
3. Eri Tayama (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:16.99
4. Ayaka Kikuchi (Nasu Takuyo H.S.) - 9:17.72
5. Eina Yokozawa (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:20.70
High School Boys 3000 m
1. Yusuke Uchikoshi (Kokugakuin Prep Kugayama H.S.) - 8:25.76
2. Yusuke Nishiyama (Ueno Kogyo H.S.) - 8:29.31
3. Shohei Fujihara (Tottori Johoku H.S.) - 8:30.05
(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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