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Kuira and Karoki Top Road and Track Action

by Brett Larner
Karoki photo by Tsukasa Kawarai


Marathons and ekidens aside, this weekend also saw high-level half marathon and track action.  At Tokyo's Setagaya 246 Half Marathon Japan based-Kenyan Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta) scored the third win in four half marathons in his career to date, setting a course record 1:02:27.  Kuira and university runners Takato Suzuki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) and Yusuke Nishiyama (Komazawa Univ.) went out fast, ahead of the pack within the first few km and staying together through 15 km before Kuira put them away.  For Kuira it was a solid tuneup for his marathon debut in three weeks at the Fukuoka International Marathon.  For Suzuki, 2nd in 1:02:55, it was his first time breaking 1:03 in the half marathon, a result sure to elevate his position on the deep roster of Hakone Ekiden favorite Aoyama Gakuin University.  Nishiyama, who ran this year's United Airlines NYC Half with support from JRN, took 3rd in 1:03:08.


Across the Tamagawa river, the Nittai University Time Trials meet saw Tokyo-based Rio Olympian and World XC and World Half Marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC) deliver a spectacular double.  Running Saturday night's 10000 m A-heat Karoki ran 27:07.30, his best since last year's Beijing World Championships, beating two-time World Junior Championships 3000 mSC gold medalist Jonathan Ndiku (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) and John Maina (Team Fujitsu), both of whom went under 27:30 for the first time.  24 hours later Karoki returned to take down Rio 1500 m runner Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and a deep field over 5000 m, winning in 13:25.64.  The top 19 all broke 14 minutes, including Kenyan high schoolers Luka Musembi (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) and Peter Mwangi (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) and Japanese high schoolers Ryota Natori (Saku Chosei H.S.), Yuhi Nakaya (Saku Chosei H.S.) and Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.).  Of particular interest was Kenyan Nganga Waweru, 5th in 13:39.69.  Photographer Tsukasa Kawarai reports that Waweru is 15 years old and trains with support from the Young Champs program, in Japan for experience before returning to Kenya.

11th Setagaya 246 Half Marathon
Tokyo, 11/13/16

1. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 1:02:27 - CR
2. Takato Suzuki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ) - 1:02:55
3. Yusuke Nishiyama (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:03:08
4. Ryusei Yoshinaga (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:36
5. Keisuke Hayashi (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:52
6. Kinari Ikeda (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:53
7. Yuya Yoshida (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:03:55
8. Fuminori Shimo (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:04:01
9. Kosuke Yamada (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:04:04
10. Takumi Hirose (Komazawa Univ.) - 1:04:47

254th Nittai University Time Trials
Yokohama, Kanagawa, 11/12-13/16
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m Heat 6
1. Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA) - 27:07.30
2. Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya/Hitachi Butsuryu) - 27:11.23
3. John Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) - 27:21.97
4. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/ND Software) - 28:25.93
5. Shohei Kurata (GMO Athletes) - 28:32.91

Men's 5000 m Heat 41
1. Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA) - 13:25.64
2. Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya/Komori Corp.) - 13:27.77
3. Kassa Mekashaw (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 13:31.08
4. Tonosa Hiko (Ethiopia/Kurosaki Harima) - 13:31.09
5. Nganga Waweru (Kenya) - 13:39.69
6. Samuel Mwangi (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 13:40.86
7. Ezekiel Chebotibin (Kenya/Toho Refining) - 13:43.45
8. Luka Musembi (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 13:46.08
9. Peter Mwangi (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 13:47.28
10. Alfred Ngeno (Kenya/Nissin Shokuhin) - 113:50.27
-----
13. Ryota Natori (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 13:52.61
15. Yuhi Nakaya (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 13:54.65
17. Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 13:57.57

text © 2016 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
Karoki photo © 2016 Tsukasa Kawarai, all rights reserved

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