The thirteen events of the 74th National Sports Festival track and field competition took place Oct. 4th through 8th in Ibaraki prefecture. Representing Tokyo, Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post) won the senior women's 5000 m in 15:34.38. In the race, the pace stayed slow through 3000 m. Hironaka held back around the 3rd-place and 4th-place position before surging at that point, covering the remaining 2000 m in six minutes flat. "I ran exactly the way I'd envisioned," she said with the same kind of enthusiastic smile she had in high school.
Hironaka still wore the Nagasaki uniform when she was the top Japanese woman and 3rd overall in the junior women's 3000 m last year. She joined the Tokyo-based Japan Post team after graduating from Nagasaki Shogyo H.S. this spring, finishing 3rd in the National Championships 5000 m. Her assertive win here capped a successful track season. She had thought about running in the Nagasaki uniform again this time, but, she said, "Tokyo is where I'm at now, so I wore its colors this time. Nagasaki is always on my mind, though. I can't wait to represent it next time."
Along with Hironaka's win, standout performances included a 2.28 m meet record in the men's high jump by Tomohiro Shinno (Kyudenko), a 16.85 m (+1.9 m/s) triple jump meet record by Ryoma Yamamoto (JAL), a meet record-tying 4.20 m win in the women's pole vault by Mayu Nasu (Run Journey), Aimi Yamamoto (Kyoto Tachibana) leading the top four under the junior women's 400 m hurdles meet record in 57.77, a 13:57.15 win by Duncan Kisaisa (Oita Tomei H.S.) in the junior men's 5000 m, and an 8:51.77 win in the junior women's 3000 m by Tricia Muthoni (Sera H.S.) Complete results here.
translated and edited by Brett Larner