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Osako and Hanyu Chase Records in Europe While Tayama Twins Take New Caledonia

by Brett Larner

Waseda University graduate Suguru Osako (Team Nissin Shokuhin) turned up at Sunday's Birmingham Grand Prix to run with sometimes training partner Mo Farah in pursuit of fellow Waseda grad Kensuke Takezawa's Japanese national record of 8:24.69.  While Farah went out way ahead of the field to set a European area record of 8:07.85 for the win, Osako came up a few seconds short of Takezawa's mark in 8:28.30.  In a distance rarely raced by Japanese athletes, Osako's time was good enough for all-time Japanese #2, joining his all-time #6 5000 m best of 13:20.80 just behind Takezawa's all-time #5 mark of 13:19.00.

A small contingent of Japanese high schoolers also turned up at Saturday's International Antwerp Athletics Gala.  Takuya Hanyu (Yachiyo Shoin H.S.), who last November ran 14:00.55 to become Japan's fastest-ever high school first-year for 5000 m, finished 2nd behind Australia's Mitchel Brown in a new PB of 13:52.98 that moved him up to #2 on the high school second-year lists.  Nodoka Aoki (Mashita Seifu H.S.) and Ryoko Matsukawa (Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) ran in the women's 1500 m, both off their bests but Aoki taking 6th in the A-heat and Matsukawa winning the B-heat.

Half a world away, Japanese athletes won both the men's and women's race at the 32nd running of the New Caledonia International Half MarathonDaito Bunka University wonder twins Mari and Eri Tayama led a Japanese sweep of the top six places in the women's race, winner Mari Tayama placing 3rd overall in 1:15:40 less than a minute out of 2nd.  Men's winner Hayato Kono ran only 1:12:39, putting him less than a kilometer ahead.

Birmingham Grand Prix
Birmingham, U.K., 8/24/14
click here for complete results

Men's 2 Miles
1. Mo Farah (Great Britain) - 8:07.85 - AR
2. Zane Robertson (New Zealand) - 8:22.82
3. Emmanuel Bett (Kenya) - 8:25.55
4. Jordan McNamara (U.S.A.) - 8:26.50
5. Will Leer (U.S.A.) - 8:27.15
6. Andy Vernon (Great Britain) - 8:27.55
7. Suguru Osako (Japan/Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 8:28.30
8. Thomas Farrell (Great Britain) - 8:30.39
9. Jonathan Hay (Great Britain) - 8:38.66
10. Thomas Lancashire (Great Britain) - 8:43.77
11. Lee Emanuel (Great Britain) - 8:50.18

International Antwerp Athletic Gala
Antwerp, Belgium, 8/23/14
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m
1. Mitchel Brown (Australia) - 13:50.06 - PB
2. Takuya Hanyu (Japan/Yachiyo Shoin H.S.) - 13:52.98 - PB
3. Nico Sonnenberg (Germany) - 13:59.59 - PB
4. Mats Lunders (Belgium) - 14:03.59
5. Nick Van Peborgh (Belgium) - 14:25.85

Women's 1500 m Heat 1
1. Melissa Courtney (Great Britain) - 4:16.38
2. Felicitas Krause Gesa (Germany) - 4:19.09
3. Kara Macdermid (New Zealand) - 4:21.92
4. Stella Kubasch (Germany) - 4:22.96
5. Noelle Yarigo (Benin) - 4:27.21
6. Nodoka Aoki (Japan/Mashita Seifu H.S.) - 4:27.57

Women's 1500 m Heat 2
1. Ryoko Matsukawa (Japan/Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 4:37.92
2. Christina Gerdes (Germany) - 4:41.37
3. Diane van Es (Netherlands) - 4:45.87
4. Ydwine van der Veen (Netherlands) - 4:46.59 - PB
5. Lieselotte Schellekens (Belgium) - 4:46.81

New Caledonia International Half Marathon
New Caledonia, 8/24/14
click here for complete results

Women
1. Mari Tayama (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:15:40
2. Eri Tayama (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 1:16:40
3. Yukiko Okuno (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 1:17:29

Men
1. Hayato Kono (Japan) - 1:12:39
2. Nordine Benfodda (France) - 1:14:48
3. Sebastien Guesdon (France) - 1:18:49

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
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