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Weekend Track Roundup - Miyawaki Becomes Tenth Japanese Man to Clear 10000 m Olympic Standard

by Brett Larner

Another weekend, another round of massive track time trials.  The Shizuoka Long-Distance Time Trials meet, always the site of the fastest 10000 m of the fall season, had a tight race up front as Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN) outkicked John Thuo (Kenya/Team Toyota) for the win, 27:23.82 to 27:24.41.  Patrick Muwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) also cleared the 27:45 Olympic A-standard, 3rd in 27:33.14.

A large selection of top young Japanese talent ran the same heat to shoot for the A-standard, but the only new athlete to achieve an Olympic mark was 20-year-old Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) who ran a PB of 28:01.00, the tenth Japanese man this year to clear the London A- or B-standard.  Only five days after a disastrous university debut at the Izumo Ekiden where he was 13th on his stage, 18-year old Komazawa University first-year Kenta Murayama was the second Japanese finisher, outkicking pro Takuya Fukatsu (Team Asahi Kasei) and Tokai University ace Akinobu Murasawa and running a PB of 28:17.57.  Kenyan Jeremiah Karemi (Toyokawa H.S.) won the men's 5000 m A-heat in 13:55.86, 14 seconds over Saku Chosei H.S. ace Shun Morozumi.  Karemi's time beat that of rival Titus Waroru (Kenya/Chinzai H.S.), who ran 14:02.12 for the win at the Kumamoto Prefecture Long Distance Time Trials Meet the same day.

The women's talent in Shizuoka was split between 3000 m and 5000 m.  Karemi's teammate Beatrice Wainaina Mururgi (Toyokawa H.S.) soloed a 9:02.35 win in the 3000 m A-heat, with 2nd-place pro Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) over 8 seconds behind.  Matsuzaki's teammates Yuko Shimizu and Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) had the fastest runs in the 5000 m, 15:46.05 and 15:46.22.  Daegu World Championships marathoner Mai Ito was the only other woman to break 16, 3rd in 15:56.14.  Across the country two other women also broke 16.  Kenyan ace Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko) ran a solid 15:28.83 to win the Nagasaki Nighter Time Trials meet, while Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) set a meet record 15:50.74 at the Tokai Region Fall University Championships meet.

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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