Skip to main content

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...

Most-Read This Week

Nittai University Head Coach Masaaki Watanabe Fired Over Abuse Scandal

On Sept. 12 Nittai University announced that it will fire ekiden team head coach Masaaki Watanabe, 55, over the current power harassment scandal surrounding him. According to the university's public relations office, interviews by the alumni association with five current and one former team member reported multiple acts of violence by Watanabe including kicking athletes' legs and grabbing them by the chest.

The interviews also reported that Watanabe verbally abused and threatened student athletes and attacked their character. When runners fell off pace during workouts he was reported to have shouted, "Get the hell out of this university!" and, following the runners in a car, "I am going to f*cking run you over and kill you." Injured team members were also reported to have been subject to verbal humiliation by Watanabe, including, "Look at this f*cking cripple," and "You f*cking deserve it." Watanabe admitted the accusations but said tha…

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge's world record and Gladys Cherono's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005.

A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average wildcard opt…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…