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Olympic Year Track Season Kicks Off at Setagaya and Kanaguri

by Brett Larner
video by toyosina2008



Outdoor track season got moving early with two big meets on April 2nd. At the Setagaya Time Trials meet in Tokyo's Kinuta Park, 17-year-old Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) kicked hard over the last lap to outrun three members of 2016 Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University, all of whom ran PBs, and all other competition and go under 13:50 for 5000 m for the first time.  A day after the start of his senior year of high school Endo won the fastest 5000 m heat in 13:48.13, moving up from #9 to #7 on the all-time Japanese high school lists.  AGU's Kazuki Tamura and Yuki Nakamura took 2nd and 3rd in PBs of 13:50.43 and 13:52.29, with Hakone Sixth Stage winner Yuji Onoda joining them under 14 for the first time in 13:56.87.  One other high schooler, Ryunosuke Omori (Sano Nittai Prep H.S.) scored his first sub-14, running 13:54.25 for 5th just behind Kenyan Silas Kingori (Team SGH Group).  Kenyan Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Team Starts) won Heat 2 of the women's 3000 m in 9:04.24, the fastest outdoor time in the world so far this year.


The Kanaguri Memorial Meet in Kumamoto was the bigger of the two.  Kenyan James Mwangi (Team NTN) won the fastest men's 5000 m heat in a world-leading 13:13.93, with former Toyo University Sixth Stage man Takanori Ichikawa (Team Toyota Boshoku) coming up just short of the Olympic standard in 13:28.91 for 7th.  Further down the same heat in 11th, Toyo's Hazuma Hattori ran just off his best in 13:40.62 two hours after having run 3:46.89 in the 1500 m fast heat.  Kenyan Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) won there in a meet record 3:35.77, also an early season world-leading time.  Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) made a strong corporate debut in 3:40.82 for 2nd behind Kwemoi, the fastest time at the Kanaguri Memorial by a Japanese man in the meet's 25-year history.  Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 6th in the slow heat, 4 seconds off his best in 3:54.60.


The meet record also fell in the high school girls' 3000 m, where Sae Hanada (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) outran Mikuni Yada (Luther Gakuin H.S.) for the win in 9:08.51, a world junior lead.  Kenyan Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) easily won the women's 5000 m A-heat in 15:32.80, over 15 seconds ahead of top Japanese woman Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei).

Setagaya Time Trials
Kinuta Park Field, Setagaya, Tokyo, 4/2/16
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m Heat 15
1. Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 13:48.13 - PB
2. Kazuki Tamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:50.43 - PB
3. Yuki Nakamura (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:52.29 - PB
4. Silas Kingori (Kenya/SGH Group) - 13:52.88
5. Ryunosuke Omori (Sano Nittai Prep H.S.) - 13:54.25 - PB
6. Naoki Koyama (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 13:55.07 - PB
7. Kenta Matsubara (Toyota) - 13:56.21
8. Ryutaro Ichitani (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 13:56.54
9. Yuji Onoda (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:56.87 - PB
10. Ryo Matsumoto (Toyota) - 13:57.30

Men's 5000 m Heat 14
1. Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) - 13:53.37
2. Hiroyuki Ishikawa (Aisan Kogyo) - 13:55.64
3. Ryo Kuchimachi (Toyo Univ.) - 13:58.67

Women's 3000 m Heat 2
1. Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Kenya/Starts) - 9:04.24 - WL
2. Grace Mbutiye Kimanzi (Kenya/Starts) - 9:07.43
3. Nana Sato (Starts) - 9:29.71

Men's 3000 m Heat 6
1. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Kanebo) - 8:04.45
2. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 8:06.90
3. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) - 8:07.76


Kanaguri Memorial Meet
Kumamoto Civic Sports Park Field, Kumamoto, 4/2/16
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m Heat 4
1. James Mwangi (Kenya/NTN) - 13:13.93 - WL
2. Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 13:18.98
3. William Malel (Kenya/Honda) - 13:19.89
4. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 13:20.77
5. Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:21.90
6. Mamiyo Nuguse (Ethiopia/Yasukawa Denki) - 13:24.93
7. Takanori Ichikawa (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:28.91
8. Daniel Maemba (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:30.37
9. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Toyota) - 13:33.16
10. Samuel Mwangi (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 13:34.52
11. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 13:40.62

Men's 5000 m Heat 3
1. Charles Ngundu (Kenya/Komori Corp.) - 13:25.32
2. Teresa Nyakola (Ethiopia/Mazda) - 13:25.72
3. Amos Kirui (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:25.91
4. Macharia Ndirangu (Kenya/Aichi Seiko) - 13:40.49
5. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/JFE Steel) - 13:42.52

Women's 5000 m Heat 2
1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:32.80
2. Hanae Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 15:48.74
3. Misaki Hayashida (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:49.42
4. Saori Noda (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 15:53.04
5. Naoko Koizumi (Denso) - 15:53.98

Women's 5000 m Heat 1
1. Yuma Adachi (Kyocera) - 15:55.95
2. Yuri Nozoe (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 15:57.41
3. Risa Taguchi (Route Inn Hotels) - 15:58.42
4. Nao Taguchi (Route Inn Hotels) - 16:04.13
5. Chitose Shibata (Japan Post Group) - 16:05.73

High School Girls' 3000 m Heat 4
1. Sae Hanada (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 9:08.51 - MR, WJL
2. Mikuni Yada (Luther Gakuin H.S.) - 9:09.93 (MR)
3. Eijia Miyagi (Oita Tomei H.S.) - 9:22.24
4. Mai Misaki (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 9:23.73
5. Mashiro Mori (Ariake H.S.) - 9:26.66

Men's 1500 m Heat 2
1. Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya/Komori Corp.) - 3:35.77 - MR, WL
2. Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) - 3:40.82
3. Yasunari Kusu (Komori Corp.) - 3:43.73
4. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 3:46.89
5. Tatsuro Okazaki (Osaka Gas) - 3:47.65

Men's 1500 m Heat 1
1. Naoki Nakamura (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) - 3:49.51
2. Taisuke Hamada (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) - 3:49.61
3. Taro Hatamoto (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) - 3:49.87
-----
6. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) - 3:54.60

Women's 1500 m
1. Mei Okada (Hokuren) - 4:25.38
2. Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 4:26.69
3. Yume Goto (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 4:26.95

© 2016 Brett Larner
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