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Weekend Track Highlights

The IAAF World Relays in Yokohama were the weekend's main track action, but the first round of regional corporate championships and a few other meets brought distance action across the country.

The women's 10000 m was the highlight at the Kansai Region Corporate Championships, with Wacoal teammates Yuka Ando and Mao Ichiyama recovering from decent runs at the London Marathon last month to go 1st and 5th, Ando the fastest in 32:43.18. Their fellow MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials qualifier Madoka Nakano (Noritz) was 2nd in 32:50.18, doubling the next day in the 5000 m where she was 5th in 16:07.24. Former Hakone Ekiden rivals and now teammates at NTT Nishi Nihon, Kenyans Patrick Wambui and Dominic Nyairo went 1-2 in the men's 10000 m in 28:41.84 and 28:43.86. Ryota Motegi (Sumitomo Denko) just missed the meet record in the men's 1500 m, winning in 3:44.12.

At the Chubu Region Corporate Championships Kenyans Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and Macharia Ndirangu (Aichi Seiko) raced to the line, Kwemoi getting the top spot in 27:55.27 to Ndirangu's 27:55.73. Ndirangu returned the next day to win the 5000 m in 13:35.00. Helen Ekarare (Toyota Jidoshokki) led the women's action with a 4:11.52 win in the women's 1500 m, taking more than 3 seconds off the foreign-born athlete meet record.

The Chugoku Region Corporate Championships only held its 5000 m this weekend, the rest of the meet scheduled for next. Jun Nobuto (Mazda) was the only man to break 14 minutes with a 13:58.71, but the bigger news was a 14:06.79  for 4th by last year's Hokkaido Marathon winner Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku), another step along the road to recovery from a fall at February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon that resulted in a broken elbow. Sara Miyake (Tenmaya) was the only woman to break 16 minutes, finishing 1st of five in 15:58.83.

Not much happened at the Hokuriku Region Corporate Championships, where a 29:19.88 win in the men's 10000 m by Hiroki Suzuki (YKK) was probably the performance of the meet.

In university action, the first half of the Kansai Region University Championships went down at Kyoto's Nishi-Kyogoku Field. The men's 4x100 m saw a 39.05 region and meet record by Kinki University, a 66.44 m meet record in the men's hammer throw by Kentaro Yoshino (Osaka Taiiku Univ.), a 15.62 m men's triple jump D2 meet record from Seiji Kobayashi (Setsunan Univ.), a 60.98 m D2 men's hammer throw meet record by Keito Tamura (Meiji Kokusai Iryo Univ.), and double women's triple jump meet records of 13.03 m +1.8 and 12.70 m -0.4 by Hina Tagami (Kansai Univ.) and Karin Era (Mukogawa Joshi Univ.).  The top distance mark was in the women's 10000 m, where Natsu Hashimoto (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) won in 33:36.85.

The weekend's other main meet was the latest edition of the Nittai University Time Trials series in Yokohama. Japan's two best candidates for the women's 5000 m at this year's Doha World Championships Tomoka Kimura (Shiseido) and Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki TC) went 1-2 in the 1500 m, Kimura in a PB of 4:12.06 and Tanaka 0.07 off hers in 4:13.75. Tabitha Kamau (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) won the lone women's 5000 m heat in 15:48.49. Top men's marks went to Kazuki Kawamura (Meiji Univ.) with a 3:44.96 in the men's 1500 m A-heat, Kenya Sonota (JR Higashi Nihon) at 13:58.50 for 5000 m, and Kento Nishi (Tsukuba Univ.) with 29:52.34 for 10000 m.

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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