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Japanese Women Score Team Bronze at World Half Marathon Championships

by Brett Larner

The Japanese women's team came through at the Mar. 29 World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, narrowly outrunning a strong Italian squad for the team bronze medal.  Top-placing Japanese woman Sayo Nomura (Team Daiichi Seimei) started slow, nearly 15 seconds behind the lead pack at 5 km, but ran steadily to move up through the pack and overtake teammates Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu), Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) and Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) for 15th place overall. Both Takenaka and Iwade finished within 30 seconds of Nomura to overcome Italian Valeria Straneo's strong 8th-place finish in 1:08:55 and give Japan the team bronze by just 24 seconds.

Further up front, Kyushu-based Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) took the individual bronze in a 1:07:52 PB, with Aomori Yamada H.S. graduate and former Suzuki runner Lucy Kabuu 4th in 1:08:37.

In the men's race, Komazawa University's Kenta Murayama and Shogo Nakamura ran up in the front lines in the early going, the other Japanese team members hanging further back in the pack.  By 10 km only Nakamura remained in contact with the leaders, both Murayama and Hiroto Inoue (Yamanashi Gakuin University) having slipped 45 seconds behind.  By 15 km Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta), who ran sub-62 PBs twice in two weeks in February to make the World Half team, had overtaken Nakamura and sat in 25th.  From there he steadily advanced to 18th, side-by-side with Spain's Ayad Lamdassem at 20 km and finishing just six seconds off his PB in 1:01:23.

Nakamura dropped further back but pushed on to take 44 seconds off his PB and join the ranks of Japan's sub-62 collegiate crowd with a new best of 1:01:57 for 28th.  Inoue, the fastest-ever Japanese 21-year-old in the half marathon, rounded out the team scoring in 1:02:25 for 36th.  Last year's 5000 m national champion Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) and Murayama, who hoped to break the Japanese national record of 1:00:25, had disappointing days and finished over 63 minutes.  The Japanese men took 6th, well out of the team bronze medal but in range of 4th-place South Africa and 5th-place Uganda.

World Half Marathon Championships
Copenhagen, Denmark, 3/29/14
click here for complete results

Women
1. Gladys Cherono (Kenya) - 1:07:29
2. Mary Wacera (Kenya) - 1:07:44 - PB
3. Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko) - 1:07:52 - PB
4. Lucy Kabuu (Kenya) - 1:08:37
5. Mercy Jerotich (Kenya) - 1:08:42
6. Netsanet Gudeta (Ethiopia) - 1:08:46 - PB
7. Christelle Daunay (France) - 1:08:48
8. Valeria Straneo (Italy) - 1:08:55
9. Tsehay Desalegn (Ethiopia) - 1:09:04 - PB
10. Genet Yalew (Ethiopia) - 1:09:15 - PB
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15. Sayo Nomura (Japan/Team Daiichi Seimei) - 1:10:18
17. Risa Takenaka (Japan/Team Shiseido) - 1:10:30
19. Reia Iwade (Japan/Team Noritz) - 1:10:45
24. Chieko Kido (Japan/Canon AC Kyushu) - 1:11:17
48. Rina Yamazaki (Japan/Team Panasonic) - 1:14:20

Team Results
1. Kenya - 3:23:05
2. Ethiopia - 3:27:05
3. Japan - 3:31:33
4. Italy - 3:31:57
5. U.S.A. - 3:32:48
6. France - 3:36:21
7. China - 3:37:43
8. Eritrea - 3:41:58
9. Norway - 3:42:43
10. South Africa - 3:43:23

Men
1. Geoffrey Kipsang (Kenya) - 59:08
2. Samuel Tsegay (Eritrea) - 59:21 - PB
3. Guye Adola (Ethiopia) - 59:21 - PB
4. Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) - 59:38
5. Nguse Amlosom (Eritrea) - 1:00:00
6. Wilson Kiprop (Kenya) - 1:00:01
7. Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (Eritrea) - 1:00:10
8. Samsom Gebreyohannes (Eritrea) - 1:00:13 - PB
9. Adugna Tekele (Ethiopia) - 1:00:15 - PB
10. Kenneth Kiprop (Kenya) - 1:00:29
-----
18. Masato Kikuchi (Japan/Team Konica Minolta) - 1:01:23
28. Shogo Nakamura (Japan/Komazawa University) - 1:01:57 - PB
36. Hiroto Inoue (Japan/Yamanashi Gakuin University) - 1:02:25
53. Sota Hoshi (Japan/Team Fujitsu) - 1:03:29
56. Kenta Murayama (Japan/Komazawa University) - 1:03:52

Team Results
1. Eritrea - 2:58:59
2. Kenya - 2:59:38
3. Ethiopia - 3:00:48
4. South Africa - 3:03:13
5. Uganda - 3:04:39
6. Japan - 3:05:45
7. U.S.A. - 3:06:18
8. Bahrain - 3:06:27
9. France - 3:07:28
10. Spain - 3:08:01

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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