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Yabuta and Yamaguchi Break Steeplechase National Records in Abashiri


Most of Japan's distance runners retreat north to Hokkaido for the summer to escape the heat and put in mileage for ekiden season. The four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series gives them the chance to add some quality into the mix, whether for chasing standards, padding their resumes, or general development.

The main focus of the first part of the 2018 series, held in the town of Abashiri, was on 10000 m for women and 5000 m for men. In cold and rain times weren't especially fast, Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera) continuing a solid first season in the corporate leagues with a win in the women's 10000 m A-heat in 32:35.74 and Sayaka Sato (Sekisui Kagaku) taking the B-heat in 32:55.13. Women also had the option for 3000 m, with Marta Mokaya (Oita Tomei H.S.) beating Ann Karindi (Toyota Jidoshokki) 8:56.40 to 8:59.12.

Kenyan Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) fronted the men's 5000 m A-heat in 13:33.97, with Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) taking the top Japanese spot at 8th in 13:44.94. Guess which one of them organizers interviewed on the podium post-race. Former Komazawa University captain Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Konica Minolta) had his best race in a long time, easily winning the B-heat in 13:49.91 and duly announcing that he's ready to go back to the marathon.

Apart from the main distances, Abashiri also featured a series of national record shots at seldom-raced off distances. Yui Yabuta (Otsuka Seiyaku)  and Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) went home with 2000 mSC national records in their pockets,  Yabuta winning the women's race in 6:30.68 and Yamaguchi the men's in 5:32.32. Ayako Jinnouchi (Kyudenko) and Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Chuo Univ.) each came up 2~3 seconds short in the women's and men's 1000 m, Jinnouchi taking 1st in  2:44.51 and Tamogami in 2:21.56.  Tatsuya Nishikubo (Waseda Univ.) missed the men's 600 m national record by just 0.29 seconds, winning in 1:17.03.

The Hokuren Distance Challenge series continues Saturday in Kitami. The entire meet will be streamed live on the JAAF site.

Hokuren Distance Challenge Abashiri Meet

Abashiri, Hokkaido, 7/4/18
complete results

Women's 10000 m A-Heat
1. Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera) - 32:35.74
2. Ayumi Hagiwara (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 32:40.08
3. Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 32:43.22
4. Natsuki Omori (Daihatsu) - 32:45.87
5. Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 32:57.62
6. Misaki Nishida (Edion) - 33:06.86
7. Seul Ki An (South Korea) - 33:07.39
8. Madoka Nakano (Noritz) - 33:08.95
9. Honoka Tanoike (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 33:24.08
10. Hitomi Mizuguchi (Osaka Gakuin Univ.) - 33:24.92

Women's 10000 m B-Heat
1. Sayaka Sato (Sekisui Kagaku) - 32:55.13
2. Eri Utsunomiya (Japan Post) - 32:57.61
3. Ayano Ikeuchi (Denso) - 33:23.64
4. Yukari Wada (Sekisui Kagaku) - 33:30.87
5. Natsumi Ozawa (Hitachi) - 33:42.50

Men's 5000 m A-Heat
1. Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) - 13:33.97
2. Abiyot Abinet (Yachiyo Kogyo) - 13:37.23
3. Bernard Kimeli (Fujitsu) - 13:37.86
4. Kiprono Sitonik (Kenya) - 13:39.46
5. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kanebo) - 13:43.06
6. Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Toyota Kyushu)  13:44.11
7. Benuel Mogeni (Oita Tomei H.S.) - 13:44.57
8. Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) - 13:44.94
9. Robert Kipchirchir Mwei (Asahi Kasei) - 13:51.47
10. Evans Yego (Sunbelx) - 13:52.24

Men's 5000 m B-Heat
1. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Konica Minolta) - 13:49.91
2. Takato Suzuki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:56.25
3. Takumi Komatsu (NTT Nishi Nihon) - 13:57.29
4. Keita Yoshida (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:59.21
5. Atsuya Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 14:00.13

Women's 3000 m A-Heat
1. Marta Mokaya (Oita Tomei H.S.) - 8:56.40
2. Ann Karindi (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 8:59.12
3. Miho Shimizu (Yamada Denki) - 9:09.19
4. Sakiho Tsutsui (Yamada Denki) - 9:12.07
5. Zeidona Fusan (Denso) - 9:14.32

Women's 2000 mSC
1. Yui Yabuta (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 6:30.68 - NR
2. Manami Nishiyama (Matsuyama Univ.) - 6:35.84
3. Yumi Yoshikawa (Shiseido) - 6:35.98

Men's 2000 mSC
1. Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) - 5:32.32 - NR
2. Ryohei Sakaguchi (Tokai Univ.) - 5:33.15
3. Aoi Matsumoto (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 5:40.54

Women's 1000 m
1. Ayako Jinnouchi (Kyudenko) - 2:44.51
2. Ran Urabe (Nike Tokyo TC) - 2:45.68
3. Mami Yamaguchi (Kita Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 2:49.59

Men's 1000 m
1. Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Chuo Univ.) - 2:21.56
2. Shoma Funatsu (Chuo Univ.) - 2:23.18
3. Yasunari Kusu (Ami AC) - 2:23.91

Women's 600 m
1. Erina Hosoi (Chukyo H.S.) - 1:30.40
2. Miho Shingu (Toho Ginko) - 1:30.93
3. Hana Yamada (Warabeya Nichiyo) - 1:31.82

Men's 600 m A-Heat
1. Tatsuya Nishikubo (Waseda Univ.) - 1:17.03
2. Naoto Arayasu (Fujitsu) - 1:17.43
3. Takuto Hanamura (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 1:17.77

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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