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Endo Runs JPN #2 5000 m Time, Sato Hits U20 NR in Nobeoka

The Golden Games in Nobeoka meet lived up to hopes, with indoor 5000 m NR holder Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko) kicking for the win in the toughest 5000 m heat of the day. Conservative early on, Endo moved up mid-race past U20 1500 m and 3000 m NR holder Keita Sato (Komazawa Univ.) and U20 5000 m NR holder Yamato Yoshii (Chuo Univ.) to position himself in a lead group that included Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu), Benard Koech (Kyudenko), Evans Keitany (Toyota Boshoku) and other top Japan-based Kenyans.

With one lap to go Endo kicked hard enough to bring Suguru Osako's NR into range, and improbably he held off Keitany and the rest of the competition over the last 200 m to win in a meet record 13:10.69. That was enough to move him up to all-time #2 on the Japanese charts, just 2.59 seconds off Osako's record and well inside the qualifying time for this summer's Oregon World Championships. And that was enough to bring him to instant tears in his post-race interview after having missed the Olympic team last year.

Keitany and 3rd-placer Emmanuel Kiplagat (Mitsubishi Juko) were both under the MR too, and behind them the hits kept coming. In 15th, Sato clipped almost 3 seconds off Yoshii's U20 record in 13:22.91 to add another line to his resume of records. Yoshii was 18th in 13:29.35, the 2nd-best time of his career. And in the other heats too. In the final heat, Emmanuel Kipchirchir (Kurashiki H.S.) won in 13:27.89. Taishi Ito (Waseda Univ.) ran an U20 #9 13:35.70. In the C-heat Sonata Nagashima (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) ran an all-time Japanese high schooler #5 13:37.46 for 2nd behind Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei).

The women's 5000 m A-heat didn't make it under 15 minutes, but it did have an even better last lap than Endo's. Kipchirchir's teammate Janet Nyiva (Kurashiki H.S.) tried to make a break for it, but right there with her was Judy Jepngetich (Shiseido). It was close enough that neither was 100% sure who got it, but when the board came up Jepngetich had the win by a tiny margin, 15:03.23 to 15:03.34. The top 6, all Kenyan, were under the Oregon standard, with the top Japanese spot going to Yuma Yamamoto (Meijo Univ.) in 15:23.30.

All around it was a stellar return for one of Japan's most classic meets, and with the 10000 m National Championships and Golden Grand Prix meet happening Saturday and Sunday in Tokyo there's a lot more to come.

33rd Golden Games in Nobeoka

Nobeoka, Miyazaki, 4 April, 2022

Men's 5000 m B-heat
1. Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko) - 13:10.69 - MR
2. Evans Keitany (Toyota Boshoku) - 13:11.25 (MR)
3. Emmanuel Kiplagat (Mitsubishi Juko) - 13:11.73 (MR)
4. Benard Koech (Kyudenko) - 13:13.38
5. Joseph Karanja (Aichi Seiko) - 13:14.20
6. Benson Kiplangat (Subaru) - 13:14.85
7. Justus Soget (Honda) - 13:15.33
8. Gideon Ronoh (GMO) - 13:16.51
9. Jackson Kavesa (Honda) - 13:16.81
10. Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:19.44
15. Keita Sato (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:22.91 - U20 NR
18. Yamato Yoshii (Chuo Univ.) - 13:29.35

Women's 5000 m A-heat
1. Judy Jepngetich (Shiseido) - 15:03.23
2. Janet Nyiva (Kurashiki H.S.) - 15:03.34
3. Agnes Mwikali (Kyocera) - 15:04.26
4. Karoline Wanjiku Karaba (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 15:05.66
5. Joan Kipkemoi (Kyudenko) - 15:07.49
6. Naomi Muthoni Kariuki (Univ. Ent.) - 15:08.81
7. Yuma Yamamoto (Meijo Univ.) - 15:23.30
8. Cynthia Mbaire (Hitachi) - 15:40.95
9. Yuki Nakamura (Panasonic) - 15:41.42
10. Kazuna Kanetomo (Kyocera) - 15:47.24

Men's 5000 m A-heat
1. Emmanuel Kipchirchir (Kurashiki H.S.) - 13:27.89
2. Takato Suzuki (SG Holdings) - 13:29.80
3. Ken Yokote (Fujitsu) - 13:31.59
4. Allan Biwott (Mazda) - 13:32.80
5. Hiroki Abe (Sumitomo Denko) - 13:33.74
6. Emmanuel Maru (Toyota Boshoku) - 13:34.21
7. Kotaro Shinohara (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:34.28
8. Taishi Ito (Waseda Univ.) - 13:35.70
9. Daiki Ando (Asahi Kasei) - 13:36.70
10. James Muoki (Konica Minolta) - 13:39.66
12. Shunsuke Yoshii (Chuo Univ.) - 13:43.22

Men's 5000 m C-heat
1. Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 13:36.84
2. Sonata Nagashima (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 13:37.46
3. Tomoya Nakamura (Osaka Gas) - 13:38.66
4. Jonson Mugeni (Yugakkan H.S.) - 13:39.78
5. Hiroshi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 13:41.38
6. Yuya Ueda (Hiramatsu Byoin) - 13:43.14
7. Kento Nishi (Osaka Gas) - 13:43.66
8. Akito Terui (Subaru) - 13:44.04
9. Ryoma Takeuchi (ND Software) - 13:46.49
10. Masaki Kodama (Meiji Univ.) - 13:47.10

© 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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RigaJags said…
Fantastic run by Endo!
He was amazing the last few laps. Absolutely deserved win for the way he ran, last month he had a great race at the 1500m against Miura but today he was even more impressive.
Keita Sato had a solid debut in the college 5000m.
He's aiming to go under 13 minutes in this distance before he finishes college, let's see if he can do it. Encouraging start.
Yoshii had a good time in the end though he wasn't really up front after a couple of laps.
His brother had a good outing as well.

Komazawa's Shinohara is putting in solid performance after solid performance since January.

Now onto the 10000 nationals and the Tokyo meeting with Miura going back to the 3000SC against a very competitive field.

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