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Yoshikawa and Shimizu Pick Up Olympic A-Qualifiers at Nittai

by Brett Larner

Five-time 1500 m national champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) and ekiden ace Yuko Shimizu (Team Sekisui Kagaku) closed off their years in style at the Dec. 24 Nittai University Women's Long Distance Time Trials meet in Yokohama.  Running in the 5000 m A-heat, Yoshikawa took 13 seconds off her PB to clear the London Olympics A-standard in 15:15.33.  Just over half an hour later, Shimizu sliced more than 30 seconds from her 10000 m PB to join Yoshikawa in clearing the Olympic A-standard in a new best of 31:43.25.  Yoshikawa is the third Japanese woman to hit the 5000 m A-standard and Shimizu the fourth in the 10000 m, but with higher-ranking qualifiers Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno) and Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) aiming for the marathon both have excellent chances of making the London team at this stage.

2011 Nittai University Women's Long Distance Time Trials
Yokohama, 12/24/11
click here for complete results

Women's 10000 m
1. Yuko Shimizu (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 31:43.25 - PB
2. Sayuri Oka (Osaka Taiku Univ.) - 33:08.08
3. Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:09.40
4. Aya Goto (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:10.85
5. Rina Kurosawa (Tamagawa Univ.) - 33:21.12

Women's 5000 m Heat 5
1. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 15:15.33 - PB
2. Misaki Katsumata (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 15:37.96
3. Mutsumi Ikeda (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:42.15
4. Shiori Yano (Kitakyushu Civic H.S.) - 15:44.98
5. Eina Yokosawa (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 15:45.74

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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