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Suzuki Impresses at Payton Jordan

by Brett Larner


Virtually the only bright spot on the Japanese team at last year's Beijing World Championships, Ayuko Suzuki (Team Japan Post) delivered again with the best Japanese performance of this year's Payton Jordan Invitational.  With her 15:08.29 in the Beijing 5000 m final having put her at #5 on the all-time Japanese lists, Suzuki ran a 30-second PB of 31:18.16 for 3rd at Payton Jordan, landing at #8 all-time among Japanese women.  Four other Japanese women went under the 32:15.00 Olympic standard, three of them breaking 32.  Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) was the only Japanese man to clear the 28:00.00 men's Olympic standard, easily outdistancing Japanese year leader Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) for 2nd in 27:50.27.

Last year's 5000 m national champion Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) came up just short of the 15:24.00 Olympic standard, running 15:24.10 for 9th in the fastest women's 5000 m heat, but with a valid time from last year the impact on her chances of making the Rio team wasn't major.  More so for past 3000 m steeplechase national champion Jun Shinoto (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko), who came up short of the 8:30.00 standard when he ran 8:34.81 for 3rd in the second heat of the men's steeple.  The next big chance for Japanese athletes to score fast times ahead of June's National Championships, where much of the Rio lineup will be decided, comes at Saturday's Golden Games in Nobeoka, the best meet on the Japanese calendar.

Payton Jordan Invitational
Stanford University, California, U.S.A., 5/1/16
click here for complete results

Women's 10000 m Heat 1
1. Irene Cheptai (Kenya) - 31:15.38
2. Caroline Chepkoech (Kenya) - 31:16.38
3. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan/Japan Post) - 31:18.16 - all-time JPN #8
4. Marielle Hall (U.S.A.) - 31:37.45
5. Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal (Norway) - 31:37.91
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7. Miyuki Uehara (Japan/Daiichi Seimei) - 31:38.80
12. Hanami Sekine (Japan/Japan Post) - 31:48.90
14. Riko Matsuzaki (Japan/Sekisui Kagaku) - 31:55.26
20. Kasumi Nishihara (Japan/Yamada Denki) - 32:07.77
24. Yuka Miyazaki (Japan/Kyudenko) - 32:24.07
29. Rei Ohara (Japan/Tenmaya) - 33:31.47

Men's 10000 m Heat 1
1. Bernard Lagat (U.S.A.) - 27:49.35 - 40+ WR
2. Suguru Osako (Japan/Nike Oregon Project) - 27:50.27
3. Futsum Zienasellassie (U.S.A.) - 27:52.70
4. Abraham Habte Ghebrezghiabher (Eritrea) - 27:53.38
5. Sam Chelanga (U.S.A.) - 27:54.57
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7. William Malel (Kenya/Honda) - 27:56.23
22. Yuta Shitara (Kenya/Honda) - 28:51.21

Women's 10000 m Heat 2
1. Sarah Lahti (Sweden) - 31:54.87 - NR
2. Margarita Hernandez Flores (Mexico) - 32:11.04
3. Sara Slattery (U.S.A.) - 32:13.03
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17. Kotomi Takayama (Japan/Sysmex) - 33:34.86

Women's 5000 m Heat 1
1. Sally Kipyego (Kenya) - 14:58.60
2. Nicole Tully (U.S.A.) - 15:04.08
3. Maureen Koster (Netherlands) - 15:07.20
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9. Misaki Onishi (Japan/Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:24.10

Men's 3000 mSC Heat 2
1. Ole Hesselbjerg (Denmark) - 8:30.51
2. Caleb Hoover (U.S.A.) - 8:34.23
3. Jun Shinoto (Japan/Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 8:34.81
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13. Aoi Matsumoto (Japan/Otsuka Seiyaku) - 9:07.57

© 2016 Brett Larner
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