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Daniel Muiva Kitonyi Breaks Through With 5000-10000 Double at National University Championships

by Brett Larner

In the absence of Kanto Region champion Enock Omwamba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.), Nihon University's Daniel Muiva Kitonyi broke through to take the 5000 m and 10000 m double over two of Japan's best collegiate runners Sept. 6 and 7 at Tokyo's National Stadium.  In Friday's 10000 m he easily outdistanced the field to solo a 28:17.31 for the win, with 1:01:19 half marathoner Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) outkicking Hideto Yamanaka of 2013 Hakone Ekiden champions Nittai University for 2nd in 28:43.89.  A day later and Kitonyi was back to win the 5000 m in 13:46.19 over #1-ranked Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.), fresh back from racing in Europe earlier this week.  Having won the 1500 m last year Kitonyi opted not to go for the triple, leaving the door open for Murayama's teammate Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) to take the national title in 3:46.29 by a margin of nearly two seconds.

In the women's distance events, Mai Tsuda (Ritsumeikan Univ.) won a close race against Mai Shinozuka (Chuo Univ.) to take the 10000 m title in 33:28.89 as defending champion Haruka Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.) dropped out partway through the race.  Shinozuka's teammate Natsuki Omori (Ritsumeikan Univ.) was superb in the 5000 m, more than six seconds ahead of top-ranked Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) in 15:40.34.  Chikako Mori (Daito Bunka Univ.) was the lone Kanto-region woman to take a distance title as she won the 1500 m in 4:20.49.

In many ways the overall distance results at Nationals reflected the geographic divide in Japanese men's and women's collegiate running, with only one runner from outside the Tokyo-centric Kanto Region, Kyushu-based Kenyan John Kariuki (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) making the top ten in the 5000 m and 10000 m but only four Kanto women clearing the top ten over the same distances.  The relatively weak 1500 m was dominated by Kanto Region athletes for both men and women, but the overwhelming preponderance of Kanto men in the 5000 m and 10000 m indicates how strong an influence the Hakone Ekiden, open only to schools located in Kanto, exerts on collegiate athletics.  The relative absence of quality female athletes in the same region and their aggregation at schools without strong men suggests that a majority of the athletics budgets in Kanto go toward building men's teams that can compete at Hakone, while schools outside Kanto know that they cannot compete in attracting competitive men and instead focus their resources on women.  While there are a few exceptions, such as Josai University with strong men's and women's teams and Tsukuba University with a more dominant women's program, but the upcoming ekiden season will bear out the reality of the geographic distribution of budgets and talent in Japanese collegiate distance running.

82nd National University Track and Field Championships
National Stadium, Tokyo, 9/6-8/13
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m
1. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 28:17.31
2. Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:43.89
3. Hideto Yamanaka (Nittai Univ.) - 28:45.63
4. Shuhei Yamamoto (Waseda Univ.) - 28:57.21
5. Keisuke Nakatani (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:58.80
6. Toshiyuki Yanagi (Waseda Univ.) - 28:59.12
7. John Kariuki (Kenya/Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 28:59.59
8. Kazuma Ganaha (Kanagawa Univ.) - 29:00.28
9. Takashi Ichida (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 29:03.53
10. Takaya Sato (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:05.60

Women's 10000 m
1. Mai Tsuda (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:28.89
2. Mai Shinozuka (Chuo Univ.) - 33:32.14
3. Yukiko Okuno (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 33:34.61
4. Natsumi Fujiwara (Matsuyama Univ.) - 33:41.59
5. Chika Okazaki (Kansai Univ.) - 33:43.96
6. Ayame Takaki (Meijo Univ.) - 34:02.98
7. Rie Fujita (Kanoya Taiiku Univ.) - 34:02.98
8. Aiko Sakata (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 34:04.31
9. Nami Hashimoto (Josai Univ.) - 34:08.77
10. Miyu Motegi (Josai Univ.) - 34:11.76

Men's 5000 m
1. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 13:46.19
2. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 13:47.21
3. Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:57.06
4. Keita Shitara (Toyo Univ.) - 14:00.58
5. Jun Nobuto (Toyo Univ.) - 14:08.43
6. Shuhei Yamamoto (Waseda Univ.) - 14:12.65
7. Kota Murayama (Josai Univ.) - 14:14.61
8. Shohei Kurata (Jobu Univ.) - 14:15.08
9. Hiroki Matsueda (Juntendo Univ.) - 14:18.88
10. Rintaro Takeda (Waseda Univ.) - 14:22.21

Women's 5000 m
1. Natsuki Omori (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:40.34
2. Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) - 15:46.39
3. Ayano Ikeuchi (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:55.39
4. Nanaka Izawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 15:57.56
5. Rina Nabeshima (Kanaya Taiiku Univ.) - 15:59.02
6. Ami Hirose (Kansai Univ.) - 15:59.50
7. Mai Shoji (Chukyo Univ.) - 16:02.02
8. Sayaka Kuwahara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 16:03.81
9. Honoka Yuzawa (Meijo Univ.) - 16:07.19
10. Akane Yabushita (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 16:10.01

Men's 1500 m
1. Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 3:46.29
2. Shinya Saito (Toyo Univ.) - 3:48.13
3. Shinnosuke Tokai (Kanto Gakuin Univ.) - 3:49.83
4. Kenta Ikeyama (Waseda Univ.) - 3:50.19
5. Yuichi Nagahama (Toyo Univ.) - 3:50.55

Women's 1500 m
1. Chikako Mori (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 4:20.49
2. Miho Nakata (Nittai Univ.) - 4:21.12
3. Maya Iino (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 4:21.31
4. Mayuko Nakamura (Tsukuba Univ.) - 4:21.35
5. Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 4:22.83

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
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