by Brett Larner
Japanese teams performed strongly at the 10th Asian Cross Country Championships in Bahrain on Mar. 1, bringing home three individual medals and team medals in three of the four team categories. Running against teams of African mercenaries masquerading as national teams belonging to Qatar and Bahrain, the Japanese senior women's team brought home the gold medal led by Aya Nagata's individual bronze medal performance, with Tomoka Inadomi and Risa Shigetomo rounding out the scoring positions in 4th and 5th.
The junior men's scorers placed identically, Shota Hattori earning a bronze medal and his teammates Yuki Oshikawa and Kyohei Nishi coming 4th and 5th, but the team received only the silver medal as they were beaten by one point by a Bahraini team made up of two Kenyans and one Ethiopian.
The junior women's team also won silver, again with a bronze medal run from Aki Odagiri followed by team scoring 4th and 5th placings by Rei Ohara and Sairi Maeda. Like the junior men, the team was narrowly beaten by the Bahrainis, whose junior women's team featured two Ethiopians and one Kenyan.
Only the senior men came up empty handed, as top finisher Satoru Kitamura finished 7th behind four Qataris and one Bahraini and the team lost the bronze by one point to India behind Qatar and Bahrain's squads. Remaining scorers Naoki Okamoto and Hideaki Date were 9th and 14th.
Many of the team members from the Asian Cross Country Championships will take part in this Saturday's Fukuoka International Cross Country Meet in a bid to make the national team for this month's World Cross Country Championships. The Fukuoka meet will be broadcast nationwide on TBS at 3:30 p.m. on Mar. 7. International viewers should be able to watch online through one of the links listed here.
Click one of the following categories for complete results for the 2009 Asian Cross Country Championships.
Individuals ・ Senior Men ・ Senior Women ・ Junior Men ・ Junior Women
(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved