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Kawauchi Runs Double 1500 m and 5000 m PBs, Targets 1500 m at 2013 National Championships

by Brett Larner

Just six days after winning his second marathon in three weeks, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) did the unexpected and ran 3:50.51, a PB by six seconds, to win the 1500 m A-heat at the first Nittai University Time Trials Meet of the season.  "It wasn't hard at all today," Kawauchi told JRN after the race.  "It reinforced to me that Lydiard was right when he said that marathon training doesn't just give you better stamina but also improves your speed.  The mainstream approach right now is to work on speed, but I want to take the approach of working on distance.  Amateur runners have few opportunities to do high-quality speed training, and the risk of injury is much higher.  A lot of people also think that doing marathon training will make you slower, but if I can show them that that's not true I'll be very happy.  Next spring I'm going to target the 3:48 qualifying time for the National Track and Field Championships 1500 m."



A day later Kawauchi was back in the A-heat of the Nittai men's 5000 m.  Starting off in the lead pack with a 2:39 first km behind frontrunner Patrick Mutunga (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku), Kawauchi settled into PB pace and succeeded in pulling off the PB double, shaving a second off his year-old best as he finished 7th in 13:58.62.  Mutunga, who started the race at sub-13 pace, slowed into the 13:20's but, along with runner-up Leonard Barston (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin), still managed a time nearly rivaling the winning time at the National Corporate Track and Field Championships.  Mutunga took the win in 13:24.45, Barston 2nd in 13:26.84.  Japanese year-leader Daisuke Shimizu  (Team Kanebo) was 3rd in 13:42.45.

Kawauchi's next major race will be the World Half Marathon Championships in two weeks, his second time making a Japanese national team after running the marathon at last year's Daegu World Championships.

The Nittai Univ. Time Trials women's 3000 m was the fastest of at least four meets on Saturday which saw more than thirty women altogether, virtually all high schoolers, go under 9:30.  Kenyan junior Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) had the fastest time of the weekend with a 9:05.56 in the junior women's 3000 m at the National Corporate Track & Field Championships, but outside the corporate championships Mary Waithira (Sendai Ikuei) led the way at Nittai with a 9:09.34.  Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) topped the Japanese lists at the corporate championships with a 9:08.66, but high schooler Reia Iwade (Toyokawa H.S.) was next with a 9:13.30 for the win at the Toyokawa Long Distance Time Trials Meet.  Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet winner Eri Makikawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) also delivered a quality performance, running 9:16.96.  Like Kawauchi, Murugi returned Sunday for the 5000 m double, winning in a solid 15:22.82 nearly 40 seconds ahead of the nearest competition.

With most of the top pro runners in Fukuoka for the National Corporate Championships the 10000 m A-heat at Nittai was somewhat thin, primarily featuring second-tier athletes and those recovering from injuries.  Newcomer Hassan Agat Yashin (Team Chuo Hatsujo) took the win in 28:13.97 over a pack including Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) and Asmerow Mengistu (Ethiopia/Team Honda).  With Honda's top African, 2011 World Championships 10000 m Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia) still out of commission with long-lasting injury troubles Mengistu may find himself the team's key man in the fast-approaching ekiden season.

226th Nittai University Time Trials
Nittai University, Yokohama, 9/22-23/12
click here for complete results

Men's 1500 m Heat 12
1. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 3:50.51 - PB
2. Takumi Katano (Niigata Univ.) - 3:51.17
3. Akiyoshi Kamijo (Team YKK) - 3:51.65
4. Daichi Suenaga (Meiji Prep Nakano H.S.) - 3:52.40
5. Asumi Honma (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 3:52.82

Women's 3000 m Heat 7
1. Mary Waithira (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 9:09.34
2. Monami Ichimura (Narita H.S.) - 9:20.81
3. Ayumi Uehara (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 9:21.23
4. Asahi Takeuchi (Hadano H.S.) - 9:22.37
5. Kaho Sasaki (Hanawa H.S.) - 9:23.42
6. Miho Tanaka (Nishinomiya Prefectural H.S.) - 9:23.44
7. Yu Mizogami (Team Yutaka Giken) - 9:27.44
8. Aki Saito (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 9:27.55
9. Asami Matsuura (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 9:27.90
10. Natsuko Goto (Team Univ. Ent.) - 9:28.85

Men's 5000 m Heat 37
1. Patrick Mutunga (Kenya/Team Toyota Boshoku) - 13:24.45
2. Leonard Barston (Kenya/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:26.84
3. Daisuke Shimizu (Team Kanebo) - 13:42.45
4. Abera Meraku (Ethiopia/Team Kurosaki Harima) - 13:45.78
5. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Team Sendai Ikuei) - 13:49.04
6. Takeshi Makabe (Team Kurosaki Harima) - 13:52.15
7. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 13:58.62 - PB
8. Kazuma Ito (Waseda Univ. Graduate School) - 13:59.55
9. Takayuki Maeno (Meiji Univ.) - 13:59.64
10. Hayato Yamada (Meiji Univ.) - 14:02.26

Women's 5000 m Heat 32
1. Mary Waithira (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 15:22.82
2. Caroline Nyakagua (Kenya/Team Toto) - 15:59.84
3. Noriko Higuchi (Team Wacoal) - 16:00.42
4. Sakiko Naito (Funabashi Civic H.S.) - 16:08.11
5. Megumi Aoba (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 16:09.31
6. Sayuri Baba (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 16:09.54
7. Namiko Yamamoto (Team Daihatsu) - 16:10.91
8. Rika Shintaku (Team Shimamura) - 16:15.04
9. Hiromi Katakai (Josai Univ.) - 16:16.16
10. Shino Saito (Team Shimamura) - 16:19.89

Men's 10000 m Heat 13
1. Hassan Agat Yashin (Team Chuo Hatsujo) - 28:13.97
2. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 28:16.03
3. Asmerow Mengistu (Ethiopia/Team Honda) - 28:19.40
4. Benjamin Gandu (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 28:40.15
5. Johnson Kiumbani (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 28:45.63
6. Tomoya Shirayanagi (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 29:06.20
7. Takuya Suzuki (Team Aisan Kogyo) - 29:10.46
8. Taku Fujimoto (Team Toyota) - 29:11.93
9. Tomoyuki Kawakami (Team Hitachi Logistics) - 29:12.80
10. Shota Inoue (Team Toyota) - 29:13.08

Toyokawa Long-Distance Time Trials
Toyokawa, 9/22/12
click here for complete results

Women's 3000 m
1. Reia Iwade (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:13.30
2. Hanami Sekine (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:14.85
3. Kie Watanabe (Okazaki Gakuen H.S.) - 9:24.09

Shizuoka Long-Distance Time Trials
Ecopa Stadium, Fukuroi, 9/22/12
click here for complete results

Women's 3000 m Heat 11
1. Eri Makikawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 9:16.96
2. Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:19.81
3. Nanami Aoki (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:20.38
4. Chihiro Kato (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:20.59
5. Mai Hirota (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:20.68
6. Natsuki Omori (Kunei Joshi H.S.) - 9:24.46
7. Honoka Yuzawa (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:25.79
8. Megumi Hirai (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 9:28.15
9. Nao Yamamoto (Tokoha Gakuen Kikugawa H.S.) - 9:29.27
10. Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 9:32.71

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
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