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Eritreans Dominate 250th Nittai University Time Trials

by Brett Larner

With the launch of the Sky Project exchange program earlier this year, Kanagawa prefecture will play host to Eritrean athletes between now and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with Eritrea scheduled to hold its pre-Olympic and Paralympic training camps in the prefecture along Tokyo's southern side.  The Eritreans made their presences felt at the 250th edition of the Nittai University Time Trials meet in suburban Yokohama over the weekend, winning the A-heats of both the men's 5000 m and 10000 m and a number of women featuring in the 5000 m as well.

Four Eritrean women ran the single women's 5000 m heat on Saturday.  With top Japanese track runner Ayuko Suzuki and teammate Hanami Sekine (both Team Japan Post) going 1-2 in 15:26.28 and 15:28.88, Kokob Tesfagaber Solomon and Merhawit Ghide Medhin led the Eritrean contingent in 6th and 7th in 16:18.68 and 16:18.79.  Kokob Ghebru Abraha and Berhane Tesfay Berhe made more of an impact in the men's 10000 m A-heat, also on Saturday, taking the top two spots in 28:38.46 and 28:45.98.

Kokob Ghebru Abraha was back on Sunday for the men's 5000 m A-heat, where Eritrean men took six of the top seven spots.  Teklit Teweldebrhan Tesfable and Awet Habte Gebregi dominated the field, 1st and 2nd in 13:24.13 and 13:24.40, with Kokob 4th another 25 seconds back.  Unknown Yohei Suzuki (Waseda Univ.) was the only runner to break up the Eritrean pack, outrunning Berhane Mehansho Beru for 6th in 13:53.58, a PB by 25 seconds.  The vibe at Nittai, the Tokyo area's main spring and fall track series, is bound to change for the more competitive.

250th Nihon Taiiku University Time Trials
Yokohama, Kanagawa, May 14-15, 2016
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m
1. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 15:26.28
2. Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) - 15:28.88
3. Harumi Okamoto (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 15:35.43
4. Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 16:06.76
5. Rui Aoyama (Universal Entertainment) - 16:10.80
6. Kokob Tesfagaber Solomon (Eritrea) - 16:18.68
7. Merhawit Ghide Medhin (Eritrea) - 16:18.79
-----
10. Rahma Mohammed Abas (Eritrea) - 16:48.36
13. Kidanu Teshome Teurde Medhin (Eritrea) - 17:08.01

Men's 10000 m Heat 5
1. Kokob Ghebru Abraha (Eritrea) - 28:38.46
2. Berhane Tesfay Berhe (Eritrea) - 28:45.98
3. Ryo Hashimoto (GMO Athletes) - 29:06.20
4. Saiya Yamamoto (Toyo Univ.) - 29:10.11
5. Hotaka Murofushi (Nittai Univ.) - 29:16.83

Men's 5000 m Heat 16
1. Teklit Teweldebrhan Tesfable (Eritrea) - 13:24.13
2. Awet Habte Gebregi Aberu (Eritrea)  13:24.40
3. Berhane Tsegaye Tekle (Eritrea) - 13:48.87
4. Kokob Ghebru Abraha (Eritrea) - 13:49.16
5. Yohannes Mehansho Teskete (Eritrea) - 13:49.41
6. Yohei Suzuki (Waseda Univ.) - 13:53.58
7. Berhane Mehansho Beru (Eritrea) - 13:54.35
8. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:54.71
9. Hiroki Miura (Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:57.73
10. Hiroyoshi Umegae (NTN) - 14:06.60

© 2016 Brett Larner
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