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Osako Takes Isesaki 3000 m

by Brett Larner

Members of Japan's top two university teams, 2011 Hakone Ekiden winner Waseda University and 2009-2010 winner Toyo University, held a midsummer face-off July 23 in Isesaki Gunma at the Trial in Isesaki meet hosted by locally-based Jobu University.  With early pacing provided by Jobu graduate Yusuke Hasegawa (Team S&B), Waseda second-year Suguru Osako, the Asian junior area record holder in the half marathon, won the men's 3000 m A-heat with a gap of nearly six seconds over Toyo's Takanori Ichikawa and Hiroyuki Uno, running 8:05.70.  2009 Ageo City Half Marathon winner Shota Hiraga (Waseda Univ.) was off his game as he finished only 7th in 8:18.29.

For Osako the meet was a tuneup for next month's World University Games in Shenzhen, China.  Although he set the Asian junior record at the half marathon last fall as a first-year, Osako has since backed off the distance and focused on the track.  At the World University Games he is likely to double in the 5000 m and 10000 m but will not run the half marathon.

Trial in Isesaki
Isesaki Civic Track and Field Grounds
Isesaki, Gunma, 7/23/11
Men's 3000 m Heat 8
1. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 8:05.70
2. Takanori Ichikawa (Toyo Univ.) - 8:11.41
3. Hiroyuki Uno (Toyo Univ.) - 8:11.53
4. Fuminori Shikata (Waseda Univ.) - 8:13.09
5. Keita Shitara (Toyo Univ.) - 8:14.65
6. Toshiki Sadakata (Toyo Univ.) - 8:16.86
7. Shota Hiraga (Waseda Univ.) - 8:18.29
8. Shun Sato (Jobu Univ.) - 8:24.28
9. Takaaki Tanaka (Toyo Univ.) - 8:25.90
10. Kento Otsu (Toyo Univ.) - 8:26.61

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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