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Toda Misses 1500 m NR by 0.48 at Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet

The second meet in the 2019 Hokuren Distance Challenge series took place July 9 in Fukagawa, Hokkaido. Masaki Toda (Sunbelx) ran an all-time Japanese #2 mark of 3:37.90 to win the men's 1500 m A-heat, a solid performance to follow up his 1500 m national title at last month's National Championships. But, missing the Japanese national record for 1500 m by just 0.48 seconds he couldn't help being disappointed, saying, "I was optimistic about how close I could get. I guess this is just the limit of my ability right now."

After former New Year Ekiden national champion Nissin Shokuhin scaled back its team this season Toda moved to the up-and-coming Sunbelx corporate team. In the middle of this twist of fate Toda has found his way. "I've been thinking a lot about how to change myself," he said. "It looks like I'm finally on the right path."

Translator's note: A few hours after Toda's run, National Championships 3rd-placer Nanami Arai (Honda) took over 3 seconds off his PB to give the national record another scare, running 3:38.18 for 11th at the Azusa Pacific University Sunset Tour meet in the U.S.A. Arai now sits at all-time Japanese #5, with three of the top five marks having been set in the last six weeks. Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) is 4th with a 3:38.12 on June 1 at the Nittai University Time Trials meet.

source article:
translated and edited by Brett Larner
photo © 2019 @stilts777, all rights reserved

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