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Waithera Breaks 3000 m Meet Record at National Sports Festival

by Brett Larner

Despite a year that has seen her coach and most of her teammates depart Sendai Ikuei H.S., Kenyan Mary Waithera brought the highlight of the meet to the final day of the National Sports Festival in Gifu.  The favorite in the junior women's 3000 m, Waithera obliterated rival Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.) and all Japanese competitors with a meet record 8:48.16, a four-second PB and one of the upper-echelon times of the year worldwide.  Wanjiru was nearly twenty seconds back in 9:06.99, with Shiori Yano (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) the top Japanese finisher at 3rd overall in 9:12.91, outkicking a tight pack of four other Japanese athletes.  As she steadily improves Waithera looks set to become another in the lineage of Kenyan greats to have passed through Sendai Ikuei, most notably including the late Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru.

2012 National Sports Festival Day Four
Nagaragawa Field, Gifu Memorial Center, Gifu, 10/9/12
click here for complete results

Junior Women's 3000 m Final
1. Mary Waithera (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 8:48.16 - PB, MR
2. Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 9:06.99
3. Shiori Yano (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) - 9:12.91
4. Maki Izumida (Hakuoh Joshi H.S.) - 9:13.30
5. Sakurako Yamoto (Kojokan H.S.) - 9:13.34
6. Yuki Maekawa (Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S.) - 9:13.38
7. Miyuki Uehara (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 9:13.47
8. Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:15.12
9. Chihiro Kato (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:18.34
10. Honoka Yuzawa (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:19.43

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
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