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Kamais, Bulo and Ichida Twins Top Golden Games in Nobeoka

by Brett Larner

Japan's best spring distance meet, the Golden Games in Nobeoka came up short on Rio qualifying marks but still delivered some fast times with the winners of all the major races running PBs to get to the top.

Ethiopian newcomer Shuru Bulo (Team Toto) was the only woman to clear the 15:24.00 women's 5000 m Rio standard, winning the women's A-heat in a PB 15:18.54.  Top Japanese woman Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) was far short of the mark in 15:42.29 for 4th.  After having helped Sera H.S. break the legendary Samuel Wanjiru-era National High School Boys Ekiden course record last December, Kenyan Paul Kamais (Team Chugoku Denryoku) continued to dominate in the 5th week of his pro career, leading four Japan-based Africans under the 13:25.00 men's Rio standard to win the 5000 m C-heat in a PB 13:17.50.  Hopes of another Japanese man getting the standard went unrequited, but top Japanese man Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) still delivered a solid 13:34.64, 4 seconds better than the 13:38.45 PB he ran to win last September's National University Championships 5000 m.

The best hopes for additions to Japan's list of Rio qualifiers was in the men's 10000 m.  With pacing from two-time World Championships medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) and a solid field of top-level Japanese men things were on track through 7000 m, but the field was unable to maintain momentum and slowed.  2016 national cross-country champion Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei), fresh off a less than 1 second PB for 5000 m at last weekend's Oda Memorial Meet, came through with a PB by just under 2 seconds to win in 28:16.00, well short of the 28:00.00 Rio standard but another mark in his favor for a place on the Rio team should he hit the time in time.  His twin brother Hiroshi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei) came up with a 5-second PB to win the 5000 m B-heat in 13:50.45.  Waseda University graduate Toshiyuki Yanagi (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) won the 5000 m A-heat in 13:42.10, also a PB by 5 seconds.

Golden Games in Nobeoka Top Results
Noboeka, Miyazaki, 5/7/16
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m
1. Takashi Ichida (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:16.00 - PB
2. Shogo Nakamura (Team Fujitsu) - 28:27.50
3. Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA) - 28:27.81
4. Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 28:29.97
5. Minato Oishi (Toyota) - 28:34.70
6. Daichi Kamino (Konica Minolta) - 28:37.71
7. Keita Baba (Honda) - 28:38.26
8. Masato Kikuchi (Konica Minolta) - 28:39.42
9. Keita Shitara (Konica Minolta) - 28:43.28
10. Kenji Yamamoto (Mazda) - 28:55.66

Men's 5000 m C-Heat
1. Paul Kamais (Kenya/Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:17.50 - PB
2. John Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) - 13:17.93
3. Teresa Nyakola (Ethiopia/Mazda) - 13:23.66
4. Leonard Barsoton (Kenya/Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:24.46
5. Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:25.53
6. Charles Mneria (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 13:26.23
7. Alfred Ngeno (Kenya/Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:30.39
8. Kassa Mekashaw (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 13:33.65
9. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Kanebo) - 13:34.04
10. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 13:34.64 - PB

Women's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Shuru Bulo (Ethiopia/Toto) - 15:18.54 - PB
2. Pauline Kamulu (Kenya/Route Inn Hotels) - 15:30.10
3. Mariam Waithira Mururi (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 15:31.24
4. Sakie Arai (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 15:42.29
5. Ai Inoue (Noritz) - 15:44.07

Men's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Toshiyuki Yanagi (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:42.10 - PB
2. Kazuya Deguchi (Asahi Kasei) - 13:50.84
3. Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) - 13:51.27
4. Yusuke Nishiyama (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:53.80
5. Ryunosuke Hayashi (Tokai Univ.) - 13:56.69

Men's 5000 m B-Heat
1. Hiroshi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 13:50.45 - PB
2. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/YKK) - 13:56.04
3. Masaru Aoki (Kanebo) - 13:56.22
4. Shin Kimura (Honda) - 13:56.92
5. Shohei Otsuka (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:57.29

© 2016 Brett Larner
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