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Outdoor Track Season Kicks Off at Kanaguri Memorial

by Brett Larner

With the start of the fiscal and academic year on April 1 Japan's outdoor track season wasted no time getting started at Saturday's Kanaguri Memorial Meet in Kumamoto.  With five heats of senior men's 5000 m on the menu 1500 m junior world record holder Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) led the way, winning the A-heat in 13:24.42.  Newcomer Abayneh Degu (Team Yasukawa Denki) wasn't far off that in the B-heat, running a 30-second PB of 13:25.55 for the win.

Hiroki Matsueda (Team Fujitsu) led the Japanese results, clearing 13:30 for the first time with a 13:28.61 for 3rd in the Kwemoi-led A-heat.  Just 34 days after his 1:01:55-first-half 2:09:27 marathon debut, Yuta Shitara (Team Honda) was only 0.12 seconds off his PB in 13:34.80 for 8th in the same heat. In the B-heat, Matsueda's teammate Ken Yokote (Team Fujitsu) ran a 10-second PB of 13:31.35 for top Japanese honors at 5th overall.  Behind him, Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.), a Rio Olympian in the 3000 m steeplechase, took 22 seconds off his best, running 13:33.14 for 7th.  The three slower heats all featured Japanese winners, all three breaking 14:00.

Kenyans delivered solid times to win both of the main women's races.  In the 5000 m A-heat, Rosemary Wanjiru (Team Starts) ran a 2-second PB of 15:13.39 to win by almost 25 seconds over Mariam Waithera (Team Kyudenko).  Ann Karindi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) took the 1500 m A-heat in 4:12.39 by 7 seconds over Tomoka Kimura (Team Universal Entertainment.  Yumika Katayama (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) won the high school girls' 3000 m A-heat in 9:20.42.

2017 Kanaguri Memorial Meet
Kumamoto Sports Park Field, Kumamoto, 4/1/17
click here for complete results

Men's 5000 m Heat 5
1. Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya/Komori Corp.) - 13:24.42
2. Alexander Mutiso (Kenya/ND Software) - 13:28.59
3. Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) - 13:28.61 - PB
4. John Maina (Kenya/Fujitsu) - 13:30.99
5. Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 13:32.01
6. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 13:32.56
7. Cyrus Kingori (Kenya/SGH Group) - 13:32.64 - PB
8. Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 13:34.80
9. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei) - 13:38.72
10. Mamiyo Nigusse (Ethiopia/Yasukawa Denki) - 13:43.98

Men's 5000 m Heat 4
1. Abayneh Degu (Ethiopia/Yasukawa Denki) - 13:25.55 - PB
2. Daniel Kipkemoi (Kenya/Nishitetsu) - 13:26.38 - PB
3. Joel Mwaura (Kenya/Kurosaki Harima) - 13:27.52 - PB
4. Edward Waweru (Kenya/NTN) - 13:31.30
5. Ken Yokote (Fujitsu) - 13:31.35 - PB
6. John Kariuki (Kenya/Sekino Kosan) - 13:32.87 - PB
7. Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) - 13:33.14 - PB
8. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/JFE Steel) - 13:33.85
9. Patrick Muendo Mwaka (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 13:43.48
10. Samuel Mwangi (Kenya/Konica Minolta) - 13:43.49

Men's 5000 m Heat 3
1. Yuma Higashi (Kyudenko) - 13:54.90
2. Ryunosuke Omori (Toyo Univ.) - 13:59.28
3. Daichi Takeuchi (Chuo Univ.) - 14:01.10

Men's 5000 m Heat 2
1. Noriyasu Ikeda (Press Kogyo) - 13:59.34 - PB
2. Shohei Morikawa (Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 14:01.10
3. Shinji Yoshimoto (Kurosaki Harima) - 14:01.66

Men's 5000 m Heat 1
1. Taisei Hashizume (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:58.00 - PB
2. Yohei Koyama (NTN) - 13:59.37
3. Naoya Takahashi (Yasukawa Denki) - 14:00.29

Men's 1500 m Heat 2
1. Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) - 3:46.69
2. Ryoji Tatezawa (Tokai Univ.) - 3:47.49
3. Mitsutaka Tomita (Nishitetsu) - 3:47.89

Women's 5000 m Heat 2
1. Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Starts) - 15:13.39 - PB
2. Mariam Waithera (Kenya/Kyudenko) - 15:37.66
3. Yuka Miyazaki (Kyudenko) - 15:50.22
4. Ryo Koido (Hitachi) - 15:52.73
5. Susan Wairimu (Denso) - 15:55.76

High School Girls 3000 m Heat 4
1. Yumika Katayama (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:20.42
2. Mai Misaki (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 9:22.56
3. Misaki Hayashida (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) - 9:22.65
4. Matsuri Harada (Shonan H.S.) - 9:26.40
5. Shiori Yoshizono (Kobayashi H.S.) - 9:28.15

Women's 1500 m Heat 2
1. Ann Karindi (Kenya/Toyota Jidoshokki) - 4:12.36
2. Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 4:19.53
3. Maya Iino (Daiichi Seimei) - 4:20.55

© 2017 Brett Larner
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