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Australia and Kenya Dominate at Fst in Fukuoka Mile and 5k


After a day of heavy rain conditions were pretty close to ideal for the 2nd edition of The Fst in Fukuoka road mile and 5 km, an appetizer event ahead of Sunday's mass participation Fukuoka Marathon. In her Japanese debut Australia's Sarah Billings had an easy win in the women's mile, outclassing Mami Yamaguchi (Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ) 4:48 to 4:59. Stewart McSweyn made it an Aussie double with a win in the men's mile in a much closer race, running 4:02 with domestic favorites Masato Saiki (Fujisan no Meisui) and Yusuke Takahashi (Hokkaido Univ.) going 2-3 in 4:04 and 4:08.

The women's 5 km was the most competitive of the day, with a tight pack of 5 Japan-based Kenyans that whittled down to just last year's winner Teresiah Muthoni (Daiso), corporate half marathon champ Dolphine Omare (U.S.E.) and 2023 World XC relay gold medalist Mirriam Cherop (Shin Nihon Jusetsu) with a km to go. Muthoni kicked away over the last 200 m to take the win in 15:35, with Omare just edging Cherop by a second for 2nd, 15:40 to 15:41. Post-race Muthoni did her winning interview on the podium in extremely impressive Japanese.

The men's 5 km saw a similar pack, in its case including former half marathon and marathon Japanese NR holder Yuta Shitara (Nishitetsu). That shook down to just 10 mile world best holder Benard Koech (Kyudenko) and newcomer Edwin Kisalsak, 9th on the competitive 2nd leg at last weekend's East Japan Corporate Ekiden to help the Fujisan no Meisui team qualify for the New Year Ekiden in its first appearance. It came down to a photo finish, both men clocking 13:28 but Kisalsak scoring the win. Shitara ended up 6th in 14:19.

2nd The Fst in Fukuoka

Fukuoka, 11 Nov., 2023

Women's Mile
1. Sarah Billings (Australia) - 4:48
2. Mami Yamaguchi (Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ.) - 4:59
3. Kaede Oya (Kentaku Partners) - 5:02
4. Eina Tokura (Fukuoka Univ.) - 5:14
5. Honoka Kajiya (Fukuoka Univ.) - 5:26

Men's Mile
1. Stewart McSweyn (Australia) - 4:02
2. Masato Saiki (Fujisan no Meisui) - 4:04
3. Yusuke Takahashi (Hokkaido Univ.) - 4:08
4. Naoto Katayama (Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 4:10
5. Riku Miyase (Hokkaido Univ.) - 4:15

Women's 5 km
1. Teresiah Muthoni (Kenya/Daiso) - 15:35
2. Dolphine Omare (Kenya/U.S.E.) - 15:40
3. Mirriam Cherop (Kenya/Shin Nihon Jusetsu) - 15:41
4. Eva Cherono (Kenya/Toto) - 15:45
5. Rebecca Mwangi (Kenya/Daiso) - 16:09

Men's 5 km
1. Edwin Kisalsak (Kenya/Fujisan no Meisui) - 13:28
2. Benard Koech (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 13:28
3. Nickson Lesiyia (Kenya/Nishitetsu) - 13:48
4. Nelson Mandela (Kenya/Obirin Univ.) - 13:54
5. Takumi Yokokawa (Tokyo T&F Assoc.). 14:03
6. Yuta Shitara (Nishitetsu) - 14:19

text and photos © 2023 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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