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Double Half Marathon Bronze on Final Day of World University Games Athletics

by Brett Larner

Click photo for video highlights of men's 5000 m.

The final day of track and field competition at the 2011 World University Games brought the biggest round of distance racing, with the women's and men's half marathon and the men's 5000 m final all taking place Aug. 21.  Both half marathons were slow and tactical as the athletes dealt with the morning heat and humidity.  The women's half went out in 18:59 for the first 5 km, a pace which kept the entire field together.  A split of 18:39 for the next 5 km dropped a few of the weaker runners, but a 17:42 split from 10 to 15 km cut the field down to seven, including all four Japanese runners.  China's Xiaoli Jiang and Japan's Shiho Takechi were unable to keep this pace and fell away from the lead pack.  Of the remaining five, only North Korean Un Ok Ro could maintain pace as she ran 17:43 from 15 to 20 km to open a narrow lead she carried all the way to gold in 1:16:38.  China's Lingling Jin and Japan's Sayo Nomura, Machiko Iwakawa and Aki Odagiri were together five seconds back at 20 km, and in the last kick Jin proved the strongest as she pulled away to take silver in 1:16:42, Nomura claiming bronze in 1:16:48.

In the men's half marathon a lead pack of fourteen went through 5 km in 16:00, the pack whittling down to ten after a 16:13 split for the next 5 km and seven after the pace picked up to 15:31 from 10 to 15 km.  As in the women's race, four of the seven runners in the game at 15 km were Japanese athletes.  After 15 km Japan's Yo Yazawa and Takehiro Deki and South Africa's Sibabalwe Gladwin Mzazi lost touch as Turkey's Fatih Bilgic pushed the pace to 15:20 from 15 to 20 km.  Only 10000 m bronze medalist Ahmed Tamri of Morocco could follow, one second behind at 20 km, Japan's Tsubasa Hayakawa and Hiromitsu Kakuage drifting back.  Hayakawa had the fastest split in the field from 20 km on to the end but could not close the gap to the lead pair and had to settle for bronze as Tamri caught Bilgic and took gold, both of the top pair clocking 1:06:20 to Hayakawa's 1:06:25.

Kakuage took 4th in 1:06:38.  His teammate at Komazawa University, Ikuto Yufu, took the men's 5000 m final out in a conservative 2:49.87 but soon ran into trouble and moved backward through the field.  Uganda's Joseph Chebet kept control through 4000 m, hitting the mark in 11:24.54, before the racing began over the last 1000 m.  Andrew Vernon of Great Britain emerged on top, taking gold in 14:00.06 just ahead of 10000 m silver medalist Evgeny Rybakov who was silver again in 14:00.60.  Italian Stefano La Rosa was just behind them for bronze in 14:02.95.  Yufu ultimately ended up finishing last in a disappointing 14:38.29.

2011 World University Games
Shenzhen, China, 8/21/11

Women's Half Marathon
click here for complete results
1. Un Ok Ro (North Korea) - 1:16:38
2. Lingling Jin (China) - 1:16:42
3. Sayo Nomura (Japan) - 1:16:48
4. Machiko Iwakawa (Japan) - 1:16:53
5. Aki Odagiri (Japan) - 1:17:02
6. Xiaoli Jiang (Japan) - 1:17:57 - PB
7. Shiho Takechi (Japan) - 1:18:16
8. Zhenzhu Li (China) - 1:18:30
9. Filomena Costa (Portugal) - 1:19:15
10. Eunyoung Chang (Korea) - 1:20:11

Men's Half Marathon
click here for complete results
1. Ahmed Tamri (Morocco) - 1:06:20
2. Fatih Bilgic (Turkey) - 1:06:20
3. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Tokai Univ.) - 1:06:25
4. Hiromitsu Kakuage (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:06:38
5. Sibabalwe Gladwin Mzazi (South Africa) - 1:07:32
6. Takehiro Deki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:07:34
7. Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.) - 1:08:03
8. Denis Mayaud (France) - 1:09:08
9. Qi Bian (China) - 1:09:13
10. Stsiapan Rahautsou (Belarus) - 1:10:52

Men's 5000 m
click here for complete results
1. Andrew James Vernon (U.K.) - 14:00.06
2. Evgeny Rybakov (Russia) - 14:00.60
3. Stefano La Rosa (Italy) - 14:02.95
-----
14. Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 14:38.29

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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