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Tanui, Nishihara Win National Corporate T&F Championships 10000 m

by Brett Larner

A busy long weekend of distance action kicked off Sept. 23 with the National Jitsugyodan Track & Field Championships 10000 m in Tokushima, Shikoku.  Having run last month's World Championships 10000 m as a last-minute replacement, Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) had a narrow win in the men's race, 27:37.67 over runner-up Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) and 3rd-place John Thuo (Kenya/Team Toyota).

After a slow first km Tanui took the lead pack of seven Kenyans and four Japanese up to 2:46/km, where the race remained until final km.  Hisanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) could not keep up with the sub-28 pace, leaving former Komazawa University teammate Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) and Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) as the only Japanese athletes in contention.  Both lost touch after 6000 m, Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) following suit 2000 m later.  In the last km Fukatsu, who broke 28 minute for the first time at last year's National Jitsugyodan meet, broke away from Ugachi and tried to run down Mwangi, just missing out on another sub-28 mark as he finished in 28:01.31.  Ugachi faltered and was nearly overtaken by Kitajima, who pushed through the last 2000 m to finish just over a second behind Ugachi.

The women's 10000 m was more of a blowout as 2009 World University Games 10000 m gold medalist and 2010 National University 5000 m champion Kasumi Nishihara (Team Yamada Denki) led wire to wire to take the win in 32:17.59.  Her only competition, Hitomi Nakamura (Team Panasonic), was six seconds back.  Regrettably, Nishihara's great university-era rival Kazue Kojima (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) ran in the B-heat where she won in 32:34.45, a time that would have put her in 3rd in Nishihara's A-heat.  It was a missed opportunity for fans to see the pair go head-to-head in Nishihara's first season as a pro.

2011 National Jitsugyodan Track & Field Championships 10000 m
Pocari Sweat Stadium, Tokushima, 9/23/11
click here for complete results

Men A-Heat
1. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 27:37.67
2. Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) - 27:37.99
3. John Thuo (Kenya/Team Toyota) - 27:38.27
4. Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 27:41.13
5. Gideon Ngatuny (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 27:46.04
6. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 27:46.71
7. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) - 27:57.16
8. Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:01.31
9. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 28:07.41
10. Hisanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 28:08.53

Women A-Heat
1. Kasumi Nishihara (Team Yamada Denki) - 32:17.59
2. Hitomi Nakamura (Team Panasonic) - 32:23.49
3. Ayumi Sakaida (Team Daihatsu) - 32:37.03
4. Seika Nishikawa (Team Sysmex) - 32:37.28
5. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 32:38.59
6. Korei Omata (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 32:40.06
7. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 32:50.67
8. Madoka Ogi (Team Juhachi Ginko) - 32:51.21
9. Chizuru Ideta (Team Daihatsu) - 32:52.95
10. Akane Wakita (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:55.06

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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