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Kariuki Breaks Ndambiri's 10000 m Meet Record, Kiryu Back on Track - Kanto Regionals Day One Highlights

by Brett Larner
with contributing material by Chris Cullen


Japan's best meet, the Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, kicked off Thursday at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium. Rio Olympics men's 4x100 m silver medalist Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) was one of the stars of the day, leading the opening round of men's 100 m heats in 10.42 (-0.6 m/s) and anchoring Toyo University's 4x100 m into the final, taking the team from last to 4th in his heat.


The men's 1500 m Division 1 race was solid by Japanese standards. Tokai University second year Ryoji Tatezawa won his heat in 3:44.61 before going on to take the final in 3:46.25, 2nd and 3rd-placers Kazuki Kawamura (Meiji Univ.) and Ko Kobayashi (Tsukuba Univ.) both clearing 3:48. Division 2, by comparison, was more business-as-usual, Hiroya Inoue (Jobu Univ.) winning in 3:51.84 after finishing 2nd in his heat in 3:53.03.


The balance of power between divisions was reversed in the men's 10000 m. Third-year Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) led the D2 race in 28:00.66, taking 17 seconds off the D2 meet record set in 2004 by future sub-27 man Josphat Ndambiri (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.). Kenyans second-years Ledama Kisaisa (Obirin Univ.) and Titus Wambua (Musashino Univ.) took 2nd and 3rd in 28:21.61 and 28:28.91. Interestingly, all three Kenyans run for relatively minor universities that have never qualified for the Hakone Ekiden, a sign of how things continue to shift on the Hakone circuit. This year's winner of Hakone's most competitive stage, Kengo Suzuki (Kanagawa Univ.), was the top Japanese man at 4th in 28:40.61.

JRN reader Chris Cullen was at Day One of the meet and described the D2 race this way:

Divison 2:
After the gun the pack became spread out relatively early with 65 second laps quickly unfolding. Aoyama Gakuin University's Homare Morita went with three Africans for the first kilometer, and they quickly dropped the field. However only after about one kilometer Morita floated back over the next two kilometers to be absorbed by the second group, five runners led by an Ethiopian Workneh Derese of Takushoku University. Morita didn't manage to stay with this group either. 
With the lead alternating only a few times during the race, the front three went though 5K together in 13:48, opening up a 200m gap on the second group. With seven laps to go, Titus Wambua of Musashino University fell off, even with the pace beginning to slow slightly to 68 second laps the last 4km. At about 9km, Ledama Kisaisa of Obirin University finally fell off due to the relentless pace maintained by the leader. 28:00 was the winning time. 


In the D1 race, rival third-years Patrick Wambui (Nihon Univ.) and Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) were back at it. Last year Wambui beat Nyairo 28:21.69 to 28:22.50 for the Kanto title. This year he did it again, running 28:21.65 to Nyairo's 28:23.90 despite an untied shoe. The pair had company until late in the race from Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.), a Rio Olympian in the 3000 mSC, but Shiojiri was unable to keep with Wambui's race-making move and faded to 3rd in 28:35.44 just off his PB. In 4th, Hiroyuki Sakaguchi (Meiji Univ.) ran a 22-second PB of 28:40.13, just eclipsing Suzuki's time in the D2 race.

Cullen on the D1 race:

Division 1:
This race was more closely bunched for the first half of the race. A group of fifteen runners up front made it tough to decipher who was keen on taking it out hard. However a battle between the front two eventually emerged. The leader for most of the second half, Dominic Nyairo of Yamanashi Gakuin University, who, checking his splits every lap, clearly trying to run an even pace, was overtaken at the bell. New leader Patrick Wambui of Nihon University quickly opened up a second on his rival, kicking in a hard final lap. Nyairo ran tough, refusing to settle for second place. He dragged himself along with Wambui, holding the one second gap until the final 50m when Wambui unleashed an impressive final kick, more suited to a 1500m runner. A 58 second final lap for Wambui. A good final battle between top two for the win.


Women's competition on day one was mostly on the field. In the women's pole vault, Misaki Morota (Chuo Univ.) tied the meet record of 4.00 m for the win. The only major track final was an exciting 1500 m, where Kyoka Kudo (Nittai Univ.) won in 4:26.88 by 0.08 over Ran Urabe (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.). The women's 3000 mSC and 5000 m happen Friday, with a day off before Sunday's 10000 m.

96th Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships
Day One Highlights
Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, 5/25/17
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m - Division 1
1. Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) - 28:21.65
2. Dominic Nyairo (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:23.90
3. Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) - 28:35.44
4. Hiroyuki Sakaguchi (Meiji Univ.) - 28:40.13
5. Yuta Bando (Hosei Univ.) - 28:44.87
6. Wataru Tochigi (Juntendo Univ.) - 28:45.80
7. Shuji Yamamoto (Toyo Univ.) - 28:50.64
8. Junnosuke Matsuo (Tokai Univ.) - 29:02.86
9. Tomoki Ota (Waseda Univ.) - 29:17.37
10. Sho Nagato (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:18.32

Men's 10000 m - Division 2
1. Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 28:00.66 - MR
2. Ledama Kisaisa (Obirin Univ.) - 28:21.61
3. Titus Wambua (Musashino Univ.) - 28:28.91
4. Kengo Suzuki (Kanagawa Univ.) - 28:40.61
5. Workneh Derese (Takushoku Univ.) - 28:45.07
6. Taisei Hashizume (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 28:56.06
7. Atsushi Yamato (Kanagawa Univ.) - 29:00.30
8. Yuhei Urano (Kokushikan Univ.) - 29:08.68
9. Homare Morita (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 29:09.85
10. Naoki Kudo (Komazawa Univ.) - 29:10.56

Men's 1500 m Final - Divison 1
1. Ryoji Tatezawa (Tokai Univ.) - 3:46.25
2. Kazuki Kawamura (Meiji Univ.) - 3:47.14
3. Ko Kobayashi (Tsukuba Univ.) - 3:47.43
4. Keisuke Morita (Tsukuba  Univ.) - 3:48.26
5. Kiseki Shiozawa (Tokai Univ.) - 3:48.78

Men's 1500 m Final - Division 2
1. Hiroya Inoue (Jobu Univ.) - 3:51.84
2. Takumi Watanabe (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 3:52.71
3. Kaito Komayama (Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 3:52.74
4. Atsuya Ubukata (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 3:53.38
5. Katsutoshi Moeno (Komazawa Univ.) - 3:53.78

Women's 1500 m Final
1. Kyoka Kudo (Nittai Univ.) - 4:26.88
2. Ran Urabe (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 4:26.96
3. Minami Sato (Juntendo Univ.) - 4:27.26
4. Wakana Kabasawa (Keio Univ.) - 4:27.31
5. Tomoka Nakahata (Tamagawa Univ.) - 4:28.24

Women's Pole Vault
1. Misaki Morota (Chuo Univ.) - 4.00 m - MR
2. Aki Kabuno (Seiwa Univ.) - 3.85 m
3. Rina Suzuki (Nittai Univ.) - 3.80 m

Women's Long Jump Final
1. Ayane Kamiyama (Nittai Univ.) - 6.07 m
2. Yume Asazuma (Chuo Univ.) - 6.04 m
3. Yukino Tanaka (Nihon Univ.) - 6.02 m

Men's Javelin Throw - Division 1
1. Junya Sado (Tokai Univ.) - 76.36 m
2. Kenji Ogura (Nihon Univ.) - 75.79 m
3. Shu Mori (Nihon Univ.) - 75.21 m

Men's Shot Put - Division 2/3
1. Koichi Ishii (Wellness Univ.) - 15.85 m
2. Yuta Kon (Saitama Daigakuin) - 14.70 m
3. Yuya Sakamoto (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) -14.61 m

Women's Discus Throw
1. Minori Tsujikawa (Tsukuba Univ.) - 50.27 m
2. Asuka Ishii (Tokyo Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 50.07 m
3. Manami Nuri (Tokyo Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 48.93 m

© 2017 Brett Larner
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