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Omwamba Secures Triple Title; More World-Class Sprinting at Kanto Regionals

by Brett Larner

After doubling in the 1500 m and 10000 m last weekend, Yamanashi Gakuin University sophomore Enock Omwamba took his third title of this year's Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships, outrunning #1-ranked Japanese collegiate Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) and fellow Kenyan Daniel Kitonyi (Nihon Univ.) for the win in the Div. I 5000 m, clocking a solid 13:31.54.  Kosei Yamaguchi (Josai Univ.), 6th in 13:55.85, deserves special mention for running the 5000 m just after winning his fourth-straight Kanto Div. I steelechase title.  The Div. II 5000 m was a nearly perfect replica of the Div. I race, Duncan Muthee (Takushoku Univ.) outkicking Yudai Okamoto (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) and Ethiopian Leul Gebrselassie (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) for the win in 13:56.22.

Earlier the same morning, Takumi Honda of 2013 Hakone Ekiden champion Nittai University took the honors in the Div. I half marathon, running 1:04:25 just ahead of a 1:04:38 photo finish between Shogo Sekiguchi (Hosei Univ.) and Kento Otsu (Toyo Univ.).  Hiroshi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.), whose identical twin Takashi Ichida impressed in last week's 10000 m, was the top in the Div. II half marathon in 1:05:43.

Sprint action continued the momentum among Japan's younger set over the last month with a 20.41 (-0.5) win by London Olympian Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) in the Div. I men's 200 m final, a sizeable PB and well under the World Championships A-standard.  Yamagata is now the third Japanese man to get the A-standard this season, all collegiates.  One of those other collegiates, 2010 World Junior 200 m gold medalist Shota Iizuka of Chuo University, led an incredible Div. I 4x100 m relay final, with Iizuka anchoring Chuo to the win in 38.75 just ahead of rival Waseda University in 38.81.  Chuo's time was just short of its own 38.54 national collegiate record from Iizuka's first year at Chuo in 2010, but with a thrilling near photo-finish and two teams under 39 nobody was complaining.  With the three star collegiates and high school star Yoshihide Kiryu (Rakunan H.S.) Japan has the makings of a pretty impressive relay team for August's World Championships even without any of the established names.

92nd Kanto Regional University Track and Field Championships Pt II
Nissan Stadium and environs, 5/25-26/13
click here for complete results

Men's Div. I 200 m Final (-0.5 wind)
1. Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - 20.41 - PB
2. Asuka Cambridge (Nihon Univ.) - 20.73
3. Masafumi Naoki (Chuo Univ.) - 20.81
4. Kotaro Taniguchi (Chuo Univ.) - 20.87
5. Keisuke Nakamura (Juntendo Univ.) - 20.89

Men's Div. I 4x100 m Relay Final
1. Chuo University - 38.75
2. Waseda University - 38.81
3. Hosei University - 39.31
4. Keio University - 39.34
5. Nihon University - 39.35

Men's Div. I 5000 m
1. Enock Omwamba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:31.54
2. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 13:34.30
3. Daniel Kitonyi (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 13:35.21
4. Shota Hattori (Nittai Univ.) - 13:50.01
5. Shuho Dairokuno (Meiji Univ.) - 13:50.13
6. Kosei Yamaguchi (Josai Univ.) - 13:55.85
7. Kazuma Kubota (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:56.69
8. Keigo Yano (Nittai Univ.) - 13:59.20
9. Kazuto Nishiike (Hosei Univ.) - 14:06.95
10. Ken Yokote (Meiji Univ.) - 14:09.72

Men's Div. II 5000 m
1. Duncan Muthee (Kenya/Takushoku Univ.) - 13:56.22
2. Yudai Okamoto (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 13:58.29
3. Leul Gebreselassie (Ethiopia/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 13:58.76
4. Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 14:00.23
5. Hironori Tsuetaki (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 14:01.30

Men's Div. I Half Marathon
1. Takumi Honda (Nittai Univ.) - 1:04:25
2. Shogo Sekiguchi (Hosei Univ.) - 1:04:38
3. Kento Otsu (Toyo Univ.) - 1:04:38
4. Yusuke Suzuki (Nittai Univ.) - 1:04:39
5. Hiroto Inoue (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:47
6. Masaya Taguchi (Toyo Univ.) - 1:04:55
7. Yoshiki Takenouchi (Nihon Univ.) - 1:05:03
8. Shota Kai (Nittai Univ.) - 1:05:13
9. Koki Takada (Waseda Univ.) - 1:05:45
10. Yuma Morii (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:54

Men's Div. II Half Marathon
1. Hiroshi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:05:43
2. Keita Shioya (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 1:05:51
3. Junji Katakawa (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:06:01
4. Kota Kakinuma (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 1:06:16
5. Yusei Tsutsumi (Teikyo Univ.) - 1:06:25

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

The Kawauchi Counter

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Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
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              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
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