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Wanjiru Wins Big With 16-Second PB in National H.S. Championships 3000 m

by Brett Larner

Despite going through the heats and final of the 1500 m and the qualifying heats for the 3000 m, Kenyans Rosemary Wanjiru (Aomori Yamada H.S.) and Mary Waithera (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) saved the best for last, braving temperatures over 30 degrees to smash their PBs and go 1-2 in the 3000 m final on the last day of the 2012 Japanese National H.S. Track & Field Championships, Aug. 2 and Niigata's Big Swan Stadium.  The winner of both Heat 1 and the 1500 m final, Waithera pushed the pace from the start but was unable to top Heat 3 winner Wanjiru, who lopped a stunning 16 seconds off her best to finish in a high-quality 8:51.97 for the win.  Unable to match Wanjiru, Waithera still took 6 seconds off her personal best as she finished a half second back in 8:52.59.  Heat 2 winner and Japanese favorite Miyuki Uehara (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) was 3 seconds off her best but strong enough to hold off rival Sakiko Naito (Funabashi Civic H.S.) for 3rd in 9:09.90.

2012 Japanese National H.S. T&F Championships
Big Swan Stadium, Niigata, 7/29-8/2/12
click here for complete results

Girls' 3000 m Final
1. Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 8:51.97
2. Mary Waithera (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 8:52.59
3. Miyuki Uehara (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 9:09.90
4. Sakiko Naito (Funabashi Civic H.S.) - 9:10.56
5. Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:11.13
6. Ami Hirose (Seiryo H.S.) - 9:12.04
7. Shihio Yahagi (Hachioji H.S.) - 9:15.21
8. Maki Izumida (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 9:15.27
9. Yuki Maekawa (Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S.) - 9:15.32
10. Shiho Takeda (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:15.53

Girls' 1500 m Final
1. Mary Waithera (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 4:13.91
2. Saki Yoshimizu (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 4:15.98
3. Shiho Takeda (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:16.61
4. Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 4:18.15
5. Momoko Akiyama (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 4:18.64

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
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