Skip to main content

Muia Wins Japanese Debut in Setagaya

by Brett Larner

2017 Kenyan Prisons XC champion Bernard Muia (Team Toyota Boshoku) made a strong Japanese debut at Saturday's Setagaya Time Trials meet in western Tokyo, outrunning teammate Amos Kirui to win the 3000 m A-heat in a PB 7:50.68.  Kirui also set a PB, running 7:51.48.  Taking 3rd, former 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA RC) was a fraction of a section of his university-era PB dating back to 2006 as he ran 7:58.03.

Kenyan teammates also went 1-2 in the women's 3000 m A-heat.  Rosemary Wanjiru (Team Starts) ran one of the better times of her career to win in 8:51.61.  Her teammate Grace Kimanzi was well back in 2nd in 9:12.45, with high schooler Shuri Ogasawara (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) not far behind in 3rd in 9:18.37.

The men's 5000 m A-heat turned out to be a Kenya-Ethiopia duel.  Up front, Alfred Ngeno (Team Nissin Shokuhin) took 1st in 13:35.29 less than half a second ahead of Abiyot Abinet (Team Yachiyo Kogyo).  Futher back, Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Team Aisan Kogyo) edged Kassa Mekashaw (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) by a similar margin for 3rd in 13:40.25.  Continuing an apparent return to the track after a stalled transition to the marathon, former national champion Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) was the top Japanese man at 5th in 13:43.44.

Setagaya Time Trials
Kinuta Park Field, Setagaya, Tokyo, 4/8/17
click here for complete results

Men's 3000 m Heat 5
1. Bernard Muia (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 7:50.68 - PB
2. Amos Kirui (Kenya/Toyota Boshoku) - 7:51.48
3. Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA RC) - 7:58.03
4. Kei Fumimoto (Kanebo) - 8:07.96
5. Victor Mutai (Kenya/Kanebo) - 8:09.18

Women's 3000 m Heat 3
1. Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Starts) - 8:51.61
2. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Starts) - 9:12.45
3. Shuri Ogasawara (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 9:18.37
4. Nana Sato (Starts) - 9:18.95
5. Kyoka Nakagawa (Japan Post Group) - 9:21.75

Men's 5000 m Heat 16
1. Alfred Ngeno (Kenya/Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:35.29
2. Abiyot Abinet (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 13:35.74
3. Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Kenya/Aisan Kogyo) - 13:40.25
4. Kassa Mekashaw (Ethiopia/Yachiyo Kogyo) - 13:41.05
5. Yuki Sato (Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:43.44

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Tokai University Outruns Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin to Win First Izumo Ekiden Title in Ten Years

Kanagawa's Tokai University outran two-time defending champion Aoyama Gakuin University to win the 2017 Izumo Ekiden, its first win at one of the Big Three university men's ekidens under head coach Hayashi Morozumi and Tokai's first Izumo title since 2007.

Formerly head coach at Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. where he produced the fastest-ever all-Japanese high school team and standout Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) on a cross-country based training regimen, since taking over at Tokai in 2011 Morozumi has set about systematically developing the Tokai program into one with the greatest depth in Japanese university running. On paper AGU had a slight advantage over Tokai over the first half of Izumo's six stages, but with Tokai's second half runners, including its top two men Shota Onizuka and Hayato Seki, ranked at the top of their stages AGU needed a decent lead by halfway to stand a chance.

From the start it wasn't to be. In hot and sunny conditions Tokai&#…

From Madarao to the World - Tokai University's Hayato Seki

Long-awaited by university ekiden fans, the 2017 ekiden season is underway. The Izumo Ekiden was held Monday, with Tokai University living up to expectations to score the win. The athlete who broke the finish line tape as Tokai's anchor was second-year Hayato Seki. This year Seki has run PBs of 13:35.81 for 5000 m and 28:23.37 for 10000 m, marking his growth into one of the unquestionable stars of the university ekiden scene.

A week earlier, the Madarao Forest Trails race was held on Oct. 1. Flashback to the 2012 edition of the race five years ago. The winner in the 16 km Beginner Class men's race was none other than Seki, then in his third year of junior high school. The picture below is of his win at the 2012 Madarao Forest Trails race. Even though he was only a junior high school student Seki ran brilliantly, opening up a huge lead of well over four minutes over the 2nd-placer.


After that Seki entereed Nagano's ekiden powerhouse Saku Chosei H.S. and has now grown into …

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…