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Niiya Advances to Daegu 5000 m Final

by Brett Larner

For the first time at this World Championships, a Japanese track runner ran an assertive race. Running the same way she did at June's National Championships 5000 m, 2007 Tokyo Marathon winner Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) took Heat One of the women's 5000 m out at near-PB pace, 3:03.70 for the first km, and led for the first half of the heat before being overtaken.  Niiya was rewarded for her honest effort by qualifying for the final.  10000 m national champion Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) ran more passively in the same heat, hanging back and finishing too far down to qualify.  In Heat Two Russian Elizaveta Greshichnikova ran in similar, if significantly slower, frontrunning fashion to Niiya and likewise went through to the final.  5000 m national champion Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno), who finished last in Saturday's 10000 m, stayed back in the pack, perhaps planning to rely on her characteristic long surge finish.  After a slow first half her time of 15:38.23 was not fast enough to get her through, placing her as the first woman in the combined heats not to qualify for the final.

2011 World Championships Women's 5000 m Heats
Daegu, Korea, 8/30/11
click here for complete results

Heat 1
1. Meseret Defar (Ethiopia) - 15:19.46 - Q
2. Mercy Cherono (Kenya) - 15:20.01 - Q
3. Sylvia Kibet (Kenya) - 15:20.08 - Q
4. Sentayehu Ejigu (Ethiopia) - 15:20.13 - Q
5. Yelena Zadorozhnaya (Russia) - 15:23.90 - Q
6. Amy Hastings (U.S.A.) - 15:29.49 - q
7. Hitomi Niiya (Japan/Team Univ. Ent.) - 15:31.09 - q
8. Helen Clitheroe (GBR) - 15:37.73 - q
-----
9. Kayo Sugihara (Japan/Team Denso) - 15:41.78

Heat 2
1. Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 15:33.06 - Q
2. Tejitu Daba (Bahrain) - 15:33.67 - Q
3. Linet Masai (Kenya) - 15:33.99 - Q
4. Lauren Fleshman (U.S.A.) - 15:34.04 - Q
5. Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 15:34.80 - Q
6. Zakia Mrisho (Tanzania) - 15:35.37 - q
7. Elizaveta Grechishinikova (Russia) - 15:35.64 - q
-----
8. Megumi Kinukawa (Japan/Team Mizuno) - 15:38.23

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

JY said…
I hope Megumi Kinukawa will be okay.
It was so sad to see Megumi crying her heart out after the race...

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