by Brett Larner(c) 2011 Brett Larner
#316 Tatsuro Okazaki leads half marathon Asian jr. area record holder Suguru Osako, #315, in the 1500 m on Apr. 2 at Tokyo's National Stadium. Click here for more pictures courtesy of WESC.
Even as road races continue to be cancelled in the wake of last month's earthquake and tsunami, track season got underway this weekend with a handful of competitive meets across the country. Among highlights of the distance events:
- At the Mar. 30 Kokushikan University Time Trials in Tama, Tokyo, women's 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno) returned from a long layoff due to injury to run 15:46.58, the lone woman in a men's 5000 m.
- 2011 Hakone Ekiden winners Waseda University dominated the distance events at the Tokyo Six University Meet at the National Stadium on Apr. 2. Seniors Yo Yazawa and Yuki Yagi went 1-2 in the 5000 m, clocking 14:03.04 and 14:15.73. Sophomores Kohei Kudo and Noriki Tazawa likewise went 1-2 in the 3000 m SC in 9:04.33 and 9:08.53.
Waseda's lone loss came in the 1500 m, where Meiji University's star recruit Genki Yagisawa got his university career off to a solid start by beating half marathon Asian junior area record holder and sophomore Suguru Osako. Yagisawa clocked 3:48.60 with Osako closing fast for a PB 3:49.01. Waseda senior Tatsuro Okazaki was 3rd in 3:50.60.
- Across the country the same day at the Fukuoka University Open, the hosts took the top seven spots in the women's 5000 m, led by junior Rina Hidaki who ran 16:11.70. Local pro team Kyudenko took the top eight spots in the men's 5000 m, Kazuharu Takai outrunning marathoner Kazuhiro Maeda by three seconds to win in 14:02.06.
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