Saturday night saw another round of mid-season track time trial meets across the country. Leading the way, Saku Chosei High School's Yuhi Nakaya ran the 5th-fastest time ever by a Japanese high schooler, 13:47.22, to take 4th as the top Japanese man behind Ethiopian duo Abiyot Abinet and Yeneblo Biyazen of the Yachiyo Kogyo corporate team and unattached Kenyan James Bunuka Ndiwa in the Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials men's 5000 m A-heat.
Former World Youth and World Junior Championships medalist William Malel (Honda) won the Heisei Kokusai 10000 m A-heat in 28:24.46, with Komazawa University grad Shun Inoura (Yachiyo Kogyo) 2nd in 28:28.49. Two Japanese men in the A-heat, Toshinori Watanabe (GMO) and Kazuki Muramoto (Sumitomo Denki) doubled after running in earlier heats of 10000 m.
Far to the south, the national champion Asahi Kasei corporate team ran almost its entire team in the 10000 m at the Miyazaki Time Trials meet. 2016 national XC champ Takashi Ichida took 1st in 28:27.54, beating teammates Abraham Kipyatich and Shuho Dairokuno by just over a second.
Nearby in Oita, women's distance races were the focus at the Challenge Games in Oita Ginko Dome meet. Local high schooler Marta Mokaya (Oita Tomei H.S.) set a meet record 15:31.13 in the 5000 m A-heat to beat national champion Japan Post's three big guns, Ayuko Suzuki, Rina Nabeshima and Hanami Sekine. Tabitha Kamau (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) ran 9:07.84 to easily win the 3000 m A-heat.
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