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Akari Ota Holds Off Kenyan Sweep of Distance Titles at National Corporate Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner

Following the 10000 m victories of Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) and Doricah Obare (Team Hitachi) a day earlier, two-time world junior steeplechase champion Jonathan Ndiku (Team Hitachi Butsuryu) and Grace Kimanzi (Team Starts) added to the Kenyan haul with 5000 m wins on the second day of the 2013 National Corporate Track and Field Championships.  In the men's race, 2010 World Cross-Country silver medalist Clement Langat (Team Subaru) took things out at a desultory pace, splitting 2:48 and 2:51 for the first two km, trailed by Ndiku, fellow Kenyans Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel), Daniel Gitau (Team Fujitsu) and Patrick Muwaka (Team Aisan Kogyo) and just one Japanese man, Meiji University graduate Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei).

Former Sera H.S. standout Ndirangu quickly lost patience with the state of things and took over with a 2:39 split for the third km, dropping all but Ndiku.  Ndirangu kept up the pressure with a 2:37 fourth km, but over the last lap he could not match Ndiku's closing speed as Ndiku hammered down to win in 13:29.08.  Ndirangu essentially gave up, losing a full ten seconds over the last lap and was very nearly caught by Langat and Yoroizaka who battled for 3rd, Langat landing on the podium in 13:41.66 with Yoroizaka just over a second behind him.

A day later Ndiku was back in the 3000 m steeplechase, easily winning by a margin of almost 20 seconds in 8:27.89.  Gitau also returned to take the 1500 m in 3:44.10, giving Kenyan men the sweep of every distance event from 1500 m up.

In the women's 5000 m Grace Kimanzi (Team Starts) led start to finish, pushing an initial lead pack of five including Kenyans Susan Wairimu (Team Denso) and Felista Wanjugu (Team Univ. Ent.) with Japanese runners Risa Kikuchi (Team Hitachi) and Shiho Takechi (Team Yamada Denki).  After a slow 3:07 opening split Kimanzi took things down with a 3:02, killing off Wanjugu who dropped out of the race.  Kikuchi and Takechi could not stay with her and fell back together, leaving Wairimu to take a shot at the win. Several times she tried to pass Kimanzi, but each time Kimanzi refused to let her pass.  A 2:58 closing split was too much for Wairimu to handle, and Kimanzi was free in front as she crossed the line in 15:17.43.  Wairimu was three seconds back in 15:20.49.  In the second pair Kikuchi continued to do much of the leading, but late in the race Takechi took over and pulled away to score 3rd in 15:33.60.

The junior women's 3000 m final saw the lone Japanese winner in the distance events at this year's National Corporate meet.  Akari Ota (Team Tenmaya) continued to add to her resume as she soloed a 9:03.52 win, more than 9 seconds ahead of nearest competition Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshokki).  Close behind Murugi, Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) took 3rd in 9:15.13.  All told, the top nine junior women all cleared 9:30.  National record holder Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) won the 3000 mSC in 10:00.75, with Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) easily claiming the women's 1500 m title in 4:18.11.

61st National Corporate Track and Field Championships
Kumagaya Sports Park Field, Kumagaya, Saitama, 9/20~22/13
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m Final
1. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 15:17.43
2. Susan Wairimu (Kenya/Team Denso) - 15:20.49
3. Shiho Takechi (Team Yamada Denki) - 15:33.60
4. Risa Kikuchi (Team Hitachi) - 15:36.28
5. Eina Yokosawa (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 15:43.14
6. Chiaki Morikawa (Team Starts) - 15:43.81
7. Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 15:52.53
8. Yuko Aoki (Canon AC Kyushu) - 15:53.29
9. Madoka Mitsueda (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 15:54.02
10. Kaho Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 15:55.29
DNF - Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Univ. Ent.)

Men's 5000 m Final
1. Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya/Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:29.08
2. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) - 13:39.06
3. Clement Langat (Kenya/Team Subaru) - 13:41.66
4. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:42.99
5. Patrick Muwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 13:43.73
6. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 13:44.77
7. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:54.58
8. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:54.72
9. Ryo Kiname (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 13:54.84
10. Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 13:56.17

Junior Women's 3000 m Final
1. Akari Ota (Team Tenmaya) - 9:03.52
2. Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 9:12.55
3. Reia Iwade (Team Noritz) - 9:15.13
4. Nene Kawanishi (Team Wacoal) - 9:17.64
5. Tomoyo Yamamoto (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 9:20.77
6. Sakiko Naito (Team Panasonic) - 9:22.67
7. Misato Okubo (Team Sysmex) - 9:22.87
8. Sayaka Murakami (Team Daihatsu) - 9:24.60
9. Asahi Takeuchi (Team Uniqlo) - 9:25.96
10. Miyuki Oka (Team Denso) - 9:30.19

Men's 3000 mSC
1. Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya/Team Hitachi Butsuryu) - 8:27.89
2. Aoi Matsumoto (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 8:47.52
3. Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 8:48.83
4. Kota Otani (Team JFE Steel) - 8:49.96
5. Shun Yamaryo (Team Nishitetsu) - 8:51.96

Women's 3000 mSC
1. Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) - 10:00.75
2. Kanako Ushirogawa (Team Shiseido) - 10:05.57
3. Kumiko Kamei (Team Denso) - 10:21.74
4. Mayumi Nagai (Team Kojima Press) - 10:48.70
5. Aiko Katori (Team Aichi Denki) - 10:51.54

Men's 1500 m Final
1. Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu) - 3:44.10
2. Toshihiro Kenmotsu (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 3:45.00
3. Keisuke Tanaka (Team Fujitsu) - 3:47.27
4. Yasunari Kusu (Team Komori Corp.) - 3:49.15
5. Tatsuro Okazaki (Team Osaka Gas) - 3:49.38

Women's 1500 m Final
1. Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) - 4:18.11
2. Haruka Mochizuki (Team Yutaka Giken) - 4:21.45
3. Ayano Ikemitsu (Team Kagoshima Ginko) - 4:23.95
4. Chihiro Sunaga (Team Shiseido) - 4:24.81
5. Machiko Iwakawa (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 4:25.46

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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