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Wanjiru and Kamais Take 5000 m Titles at 50th Oda Memorial Meet

by Brett Larner

Japan-based Kenyans Rosemary Wanjiru (Team Starts) and Paul Kamais (Team Chugoku Denryoku) scored tight wins to take the Grand Prix 5000 m titles at the 50th Oda Memorial Track and Field Meet at Hiroshima's Edion Stadium on Saturday.  Wanjiru, a graduate of Aomori Yamada H.S., led start to finish in the women's race, taking it out at 15:20 pace and closing in 2:58 to beat teammate Grace Kimanzi by just over a second.  Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), already the fastest Japanese woman so far this year for 10000 m, delivered the fastest 5000 m, 15:37.21, to take the top Japanese spot in 5th.

Kamais, a brand-new graduate of Hiroshima's local National High School Boys Ekiden course record-setter Sera H.S., alternated the lead with two-time World Championships 10000 m bronze medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) throughout the men's race before closing in 2:33 for the win.  Shuho Dairokuno (Team Asahi Kasei) was the top Japanese finisher in 13:31.56 for 5th, his teammate Takashi Ichida knocking a second off his PB to take 7th in 13:35.19.  Asahi Kasei's Tetsuya Yoroizaka, all-time Japanese #2 for both 5000 m and 10000 m last year, was only 10th in 13:49.60.

Sera's Hibiki Onishi topped the West Japan Junior Women's 3000 m, part of a group of four that kicked past leader Nagisa Shimotabira (Kobayashi H.S.) on the last lap and outrunning Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.), younger sister of the Nike Oregon Project's Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu, for the win in 9:22.60.

50th Oda Memorial Track and Field Meet
Edion Stadium, Hiroshima, 4/29/16
click here for complete results

Women's Grand Prix 5000 m
1. Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Kenya/Starts) - 15:15.14
2. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Starts) - 15:16.44
3. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Universal Entertainment) - 15:19.47
4. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:23.80
5. Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:37.21
6. Moeno Nakamura (Universal Entertainment) - 15:37.93
7. Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 15:43.13
8. Risa Kikuchi (Hitachi) - 15:44.37
9. Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 15:44.61
10. Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:47.47

Men's Grand Prix 5000 m
1. Paul Kamais (Kenya/Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:24.06
2. Paul Tanui (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 13:25.28
3. Teressa Nyakola (Ethiopia/Mazda) - 13:26.41
4. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/JFE Steel) - 13:30.47
5. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 13:31.56
6. Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA) - 13:34.52
7. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 13:35.19 - PB
8. Hideyuki Tanaka (Toyota) - 13:36.08
9. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Toyota) - 13:42.67
10. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) - 13:49.60

West Japan Junior Women's 3000 m
1. Hibiki Onishi (Sera H.S.) - 9:22.60
2. Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:26.01
3. Kyoka Kudo (Oita Nishi H.S.) - 9:26.48
4. Tsuzumi Terao (Yamada H.S.) - 9:26.76
5. Nagisa Shimotabira (Kobayashi H.S.) - 9:30.71

© 2016 Brett Larner
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