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Weekend Track Roundup



As regional corporate track meets wound themselves down, the weekend's biggest results came at the Golden Grand Prix meet in Osaka. A quick women's 3000 m saw 10 of the 11 starters go under 9 minutes, six in PB times. Japan-based Ethiopian Shuru Bulo (Toto) led the way in 8:47.24, with the Pre Classic-bound Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) running 8:51.72 to land 4th both overall and on the Japanese all-time rankings. First-year Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Meijo Univ.) ran 8:58.63 for 8th overall, just missing the 1994-era national collegiate record by 0.31 seconds.

The men's 3000 m was also solid, with seven men breaking 8 minutes, six of them Japanese and five in PB times. Kenyan Evans Keitany (Toyota Boshoku) won in 7:54.05 with Hazuma Hattori (Toenec) just behind in a best of 7:54.73. Shota Onizuka (Tokai Univ.) broke into the all-time Japanese collegiate top ten, running 7:57.56 for 6th. Australian Ryan Gregson won the men's 1500 m in 3:37.72 over American Patrick Casey. Indoor mile Japanese national record holder Ryoji Tatezawa (Tokai Univ.) just missed becoming only the fifth Japanese collegian to ever break 3:40, taking 5th in a PB of 3:40.49.

In corporate league regional action, arguably the best mark came in the men's 10000 m at the Kyushu region meet, where Daniel Kipkemoi (Nishitetsu) won in 27:45.11 by more than 17 seconds over Joel Mwaura (Kurosaki Harima). Already the fastest Japanese man so far this year for 10000 m, Shuho Dairokuno was 3rd in 28:12.19. On a roll this season, marathoner Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) won the 10000 m in a PB of 32:07.70 over the interesting Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera), who returned the next day to win the 5000 m in 15:44.31.

Japan based-Kenyans won the major events at the East Japan region corporate meet, where Rosemary Wanjiru (Starts) took the women's 10000 min 31:57.66, lapping top Japanese woman Yuka Hori (Panasonic) who was 4th in 33:24.25. Runner-up in the 10000 m, Wanjiru's teammate Grace Kimanzi (Starts) won the 5000 m in 15:21.84. In the men's 10000 m Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) was the  fastest at 28:38.11, top Japanese man Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Konica Minolta) running only 29:03.80. Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) had a busy day on the second day of the meet, winning the 3000 m SC in 8:41.80 at 11:35 a.m. and then returning six hours later to take 2nd in the 5000 m in 13:28.89 behind teammate Richard Kimunyan, winner in 13:28.21. The fastest Japanese man of the day, Kazuki Onishi (Kanebo) took 13th in 13:49.39.

At the Chugoku region meet, Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) returned from a DNF at the Boston Marathon to win the men's 10000 m in 28:28.73 over 5000 m winner Yudai Okamoto (JFE Steel). Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) continued her comeback from running 2:23:46 in Osaka in January, winning the women's 10000 m in 32:30.39 by more than 30 seconds over teammate Mizuki Tanimoto. Usually holding its championship events together with Chugoku, the tiny Hokuriku region's only noteworthy result in its separate meet this year was a 28:56.00 winning time in the men's 10000 m by Japan-based Kenyan Alex Mwangi (YKK).

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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