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Mathathi 10000 m World Leader, Murasawa 28:00.78 at 2011 Hyogo Relay Carnival (updated with video)

by Brett Larner

Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) takes the men's Grand Prix 10000 m in a world-leading 27:23.85. Click event headers in results below for complete video of other events.

In the wake of a spate of road race cancellations following last month's disasters, the 10000 m was the focus of this year's Hyogo Relay Carnival, Apr. 23-24 at Kobe's Universiade Memorial Stadium. In addition to the regularly-programmed men's and women's Grand Prix 10000 m and the men's Asics Challenge 10000 m, effectively the meet's B-heat, this year's race featured an additional 10000 m for university men looking to qualify for the 10000 m at this summer's World University Games and a separate men's and women's 10000 m qualifier for the World University Games half marathon.

With a shortage of quality 10000 m races worldwide the focus in the Grand Prix and Asics Challenge 10000 m events for both Japanese runners and Japan-resident Africans was on hitting the tougher new World Championships qualifying standards, 27:40 and 28:00 for men, 31:45 and 32:00 for women. On the men's side, Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) set a world-leading PB of 27:48.74 to win Saturday's Asics Challenge 10000 m, only to see his mark fall a day later as 2007 World Championships bronze medalist Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) took the Grand Prix event in a new world leader of 27:23.85. The top four men in the Grand Prix 10000 m, all Kenyan, cleared the 27:40.00 A-standard. Just past his 20th birthday, top-ranked university man Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) ran an evenly-paced 44-second PB in the Grand Prix 10000 m but came up agonizingly short of the 28:00.00 B-standard as he clocked a new best of 28:00.78, the fastest so far this year by a Japanese man. Both Mathathi and Murasawa's leading marks are likely to fall May 1 at the Cardinal Invitational in Stanford, California thanks to the presence of sub-27 man Chris Solinsky (U.S.A.) and at least a half-dozen Japanese men with recent times under the 28 minute mark.

Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) paced collegiate national record holder Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) to aim for the 31:45.00 A-standard in the Grand Prix women's 10000 m, pulling away on the last lap to win in a PB of 31:38.70. Yoshimoto, struggling over the last two kilometers, just missed the mark as she finished in 31:45.82. She was the only Japanese woman in the field to break the 32:00.00 B-standard. Despite missing the A-standard, Yoshimoto holds a valid A-standard qualifying time from 2010 and stands in good stead to be picked for the World Championships team. Junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno), staging the latest comeback from three years of setbacks, dropped out after 6000 m. Kenyan Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) also had a good day in the women's 1500 m, breaking the meet record held by her teammate Yuriko Kobayashi to win in 4:12.60.

In the World University Games 10000 m qualifier, Meiji University ace Tetsuya Yoroizaka just outlasted Asian half marathon junior area record holder Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) for the win in 28:42.72 to Osako's 28:43.07. Both are likely to be named to the team on the strength of their performances. In the half marathon-qualifying 10000 m, Takashimadaira 20 km course record holder Takehiro Deki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) ran a 12-second PB in a slow, tactical race to take down Waseda star Yo Yazawa for the win in 29:04.16, opening 5 seconds on Yazawa over the last lap. Pre-race favorite Shota Hiraga (Waseda Univ.) was tripped from behind partway through the race and fell hard enough to knock him out of contention. Like Deki against Yazawa, Machiko Iwakawa (Ritsumeikan Univ.) took down the better-credentialed Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) to take the top spot in the women's half marathon qualifier, running 33:32.89.

2011 Hyogo Relay Carnival
April 23-24, Universiade Memorial Stadium, Kobe
click section headers for complete video

1. Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 27:23.85
2. John Thuo (Kenya/Team Toyota) - 27:23.99
3. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 27:32.71
4. Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 27:39.81
5. Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia/Team Honda) - 27:41.67
6. Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 27:43.06
7. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 27:57.63
8. Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:00.78 - PB
9. Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 28:05.84 - PB
10. Takuya Ishikawa (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 28:14.44 - PB

1. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 31:38.70 - PB
2. Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 31:45.82
3. Kaoru Nagao (Team Univ. Ent.) - 32:10.46 - PB
4. Tomoka Inadomi (Team Wacoal) - 32:26.46 - PB
5. Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 32:27.56 - PB
6. Mai Ishibashi (Bukkyo Univ.) - 32:37.25 - PB
7. Chinami Mori (Bukkyo Univ.) - 32:40.39 - PB
8. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 32:54.15
9. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 32:56.36
10. Sayo Nomura (Meijo Univ.) - 32:57.69
DNF - Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno)

1. Jacob Wanjuki (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 27:48.74 - PB
2. Gideon Ngatuny (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 27:49.26
3. Patrick Mwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 27:49.93 - PB
4. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 27:50.26 - PB
5. Samuel Ndungu (Kenya/Team Aichi Seiko) - 28:22.55

1. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Meiji Univ.) - 28:42.72
2. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 28:43.07
3. Hiromitsu Kakuage (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:43.28 - PB
4. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:44.34 - PB
5. Takumi Honda (Nittai Univ.) - 28:56.93 - PB

1. Takehiro Deki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 29:04.16 - PB
2. Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.) - 29:09.06
3. Masato Kikuchi (Meiji Univ.) - 29:19.69

1. Machiko Iwakawa (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:32.89
2. Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) - 33:41.92
3. Namiko Yamamoto (Team Daihatsu) - 33:46.59 - PB

1. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 16:01.81
2. Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 16:03.00
3. Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 16:03.17

1. Aoi Matsumoto (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 8:40.08
2. Masatoshi Kikuchi (Team Fujitsu) - 8:45.49
3. Tsuyoshi Takeda (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 8:47.59

1. Yasuhiro Tago (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 3:43.05
2. Hiroshi Ino (Team Fujitsu) - 3:43.39
3. Tatsuro Okazaki (Waseda Univ.) - 3:43.56

1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshoki) - 4:12.60 - MR
2. Yukari Soh (Team Asahi Kasei) - 4:22.62
3. Shiho Takeda (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:22.68 - PB

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Brett Larner said…
Murasawa's time was the 6th-fastest ever by a Japanese 20 year-old. Only two Americans that age, Galen Rupp and Craig Virgin, have ever run faster.

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