In cold conditions for the mid-afternoon Corporate Women's Time Trials meet at Yamaguchi's Ishin Me-Life Stadium the women's 10000 m A-heat went out strong and steady, 15:45 through halfway before the lead group began to splinter. Just two weeks after a season-worst performance at the National Corporate Women's Ekiden the Atsushi Sato-coached Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera) roared back into form with a 31:16.48 meet record for the win, outkicking Kenyan Grace Kimanzi (Starts) to land at #2 in the world so far this year and #8 on the all-time Japanese list. Yamanouchi and Kimanzi were the only two to clear 31:20, but all told six women made it under the 31:50 Doha standard, making the race the year's deepest worldwide.
Having fully recovered from her blackout at the National Corporate Women's Ekiden qualifying race in October, Harumi Okamoto (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) just beat out Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) 31:28.20 to 31:28.81, both making the all-time Japanese top 25 and coming in at #4 and #5 worldwide this year. Shiori Yano (Canon AC Kyushu) and Yuka Hori (Panasonic) rounded out the Doha qualifiers, with 7th-placer Natsuka Sekiya (Daito Bunka Univ.) missing out by an agonizing 0.17.
Half marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) was 14th in 32:26.32, just lapped by Yamanouchi in the home straight, while Nabeshima's marathoner teammate Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) was off her game at 21st in 33:18.37. Rio Olympian Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei), one of only two Japanese women to make an OLympic 5000 m final, dropped out mid-race. Two more chances remain this year for Japanese women to record qualifying marks for Doha, next week's Zatopek:10 featuring the resurgent Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC) and the final Nittai University Time Trials meet later in the month.
Corporate Women's Time TrialsIshin Me-Life Stadium, Yamaguchi, 12/8/18
Women's 10000 m Heat 2
1. Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera) - 31:16.48 - MR
2. Grace Kimanzi (Starts) - 31:17.28
3. Harumi Okamoto (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) - 31:28.20
4. Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 31:28.81
5. Shiori Yano (Canon AC Kyushu) - 31:44.13
6. Yuka Hori (Panasonic) - 31:48.93
7. Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 31:50.17
8. Kaori Morita (Panasonic) - 31:57.95
9. Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) - 32:14.86
10. Ai Hosoda (Daihatsu) - 32:21.11
11. Mai Shoji (Denso) - 32:22.82
12. Ayumi Hagiwara (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:25.90
13. Misaki Hayashida (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:26.65
14. Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) - 32:36.32
15. Ayano Ikenuchi (Denso) - 32:50.25
DNF - Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei)
photo © 2018 M.Kawaguchi, all rights reserved
text © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved