Four out of five corporate regional championship meets went off as schedule this weekend, with the 51st Hokuriku Region meet in Ishikawa the only one to cancel amid the latest COVID-19 wave hitting Japan.
The 63rd East Japan Region meet in Saitama was the biggest and fastest of those that did happen. The biggest news was in the T11-T13 men's 5000 m, where T11-class Kenya Karasawa (GSWC) won in 15:09.94, going a second and a half under the previous world record for his class. Sitonki Kiprono (Komori Corp.) turned in the only sub-28 men's 10000 m of the weekend, winning Saturday's A-heat in 27:47.69. Justus Soget (Honda) was likewise the only one to go sub-3:40 for 1500 m, winning Saturday's A-heat in 3:39:12. Soget doubled to win Sunday's men's 5000 m A-heat in 13:29.43 going close to 55 seconds for the final lap and ending up the only man under 13:30 for the weekend.
Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels) won the East Japan women's 10000 m in 32:15.27 on Saturday. Tabitha Njeri Kamau (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) won Sunday's 5000 m A-heat in 15:17.94 in a close race that saw the top four finish within less than 0.9 seconds of each other. Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post) set a meet record 8:56.65 to win the 3000 m A-heat, the fastest 3000 m of the weekend. Cynthia Mbaire (Hitachi) won the 1500 m A-heat in 4:13.45, leading Naomi Muthoni Kariuki (Univ. Ent.) and Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) under 4:15. Mori doubled Sunday in the 3000 mSC, running a 9:50.67 meet record for the win.
At the 65th Chubu Region meet in Gifu, Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) took the men's 10000 m A-heat in 28:09.99 by almost 10 seconds. His teammates Philemon Kiplagat and Kosei Yamaguchi went 1-2 in Saturday's 3000 mSC, Kiplagat in a meet record 8:26.50, then did it again in Sunday's 5000 m, Kiplagat running 13:31.10 and Yamaguchi 13:31.24. Kazuki Kawamura (Toenec) won the 1500 m A-heat in 3:42.67.
The women's races were mostly low-key, with Naoko Koizumi (Denso) winning the 10000 m in 34:06.71 and Momoka Kawaguchi (Toyota Jidoshokki) the 5000 m in 15:45.63. Kawaguchi's teammates Nozomi Tanaka and Yume Goto won the 3000 m and 1500 m in 8:58.54 and 4:14.29, with Ayano Ikeuchi (Denso) soloing a 10:21.79 meet record to win the 3000 mSC.
At the 65th Kansai Region meet in Osaka, two weeks after securing her place on the Tokyo Olympics 10000 m squad Yuka Ando (Wacoal) won the distance double, taking Friday's 10000 m in 31:58.55 and Sunday's 5000 m in 15:30.30. Olympic marathoner Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) was 3rd in the 10000 m and 2nd in the 5000 m just a week and a half after running a PB 1:08:28 to win the Olympic marathon test event half marathon.
In Kansai it was the men's races that were relatively low-key, Katsuhiko Suzuki (SGH Group) winning the 10000 m in 28:45.19, Ayumu Kobayashi (NTT Nishi Nihon) the 5000 m in 13:44.16, Yuki Ishii (NTT Nishi Nihon) the 1500 m in 3:45.30, and Jun Shinoto (Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) the 3000 mSC in 8:48.13.
The 60th Chugoku Region meet in Hiroshima rounded out the weekend's action, having already held its 5000 m races last weekend. 5000 m winners Ai Hosoda (Edion) and Dan Kiplangat (JFE Steel) were back, Hosoda taking the women's 10000 m in 32:13.45 and Kiplangat the men's in a meet record 28:01.19. After finishing in the top Japanese spot at last weekend's Olympic test event 5000 m just outside the Olympic qualifying time, Kaede Hagitani (Edion) set a meet record 8:58.67 in the 3000 m, while Donald Mitei (Chugoku Denryoku) took the men's 1500 m in 3:46.06.
Corporate regional action wraps up next weekend with the 64th Kyushu Region meet.
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