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Kanaguri Memorial Meet Entry Lists Published

by Brett Larner

After most of its spring road season was cancelled in the wake of the Mar. 11 disasters to strike its northeastern region, a sign came that Japan's running community has started to get back on its feet in the form of the release of the entry lists for the first major domestic track meet of the season, the Apr. 9 Kanaguri Memorial Meet in Kumamoto on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu.

The A-heats of the men's and women's 5000 m promise much of the best action. In the men's 5000 m, along with Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.), Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia/Team Honda) and a host of other top Japan-based African talent, two runners will receive special focus. Hakone Ekiden star Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.) kicks off his senior year with the stress of his home prefecture Fukushima being the site of Japan's ongoing nuclear troubles. Having run 28:23 for 10000 m last fall as a high school student in earthquake and tsunami-hit Sendai, Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.) will begin his university career at the meet after having lived through the disasters.

Also in the men's 5000 m is 2011 World Championships men's marathon team member Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Konica Minolta) in his first appearance since his 2:09:25 PB at the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon in early March. Two other contenders for the World Championships marathon squad, Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) and 5000 m national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) are also on the entry list.

The women's 5000 m includes a number of athletes who were to run the cancelled Mar. 20 National Jitsugyodan Half Marathon Championships along with a number of more track-focused runners. 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) has the fastest PB in the field and is scheduled to double at both 1500 m and 5000 m. Her best competition in the 5000 m comes from Ethiopian Betelhem Moges (Team Denso) and Kenyan Sally Chepyego (Team Kyudenko). Also noteworthy is 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno), still struggling to make a comeback after years lost to injury and illness. Other top contenders include Kobayashi's teammate Kazue Kojima (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) and her former university teammate Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.)

2011 Kanaguri Memorial Track & Field Meet
Entry List Highlights

Men's 5000 m A-Heat Highlights
Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.)
Daniel Gitau (Kenya/Team Fujitsu)
Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Konica Minolta)
Ibrahim Jeilan (Ethiopia/Team Honda)
Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.)
John Maina (Kenya/Takushoku Univ.)
Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta)
Kenta Murayama (Komazawa Univ.)
Duncan Muthee (Kenya/Takushoku Univ.)
Patrick Mwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo)
Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK)
Josephat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.)
Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota)
Cosmas Ondiba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.)
Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.)
Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin)
Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota)
Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta)
Titus Waroru (Kenya/Chinzai H.S.)
Edward Waweru (Kenya/Team NTN)
Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.)

Women's 5000 m A-Heat Highlights
Sally Chepyego (Kenya/Team Kyudenko)
Mayumi Fujita (Team Juhachi Ginko)
Ai Igarashi (Team Sysmex)
Ann Karindi (Kenya/Team Toyota Jidoshoki)
Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno)
Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki)
Kazue Kojima (Team Toyota Jidoshoki)
Nanae Kuwashiro (Team Toto)
Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera)
Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera)
Betelhem Moges (Ethiopia/Team Denso)
Seika Nishikawa (Team Sysmex)
Michi Numata (Ritsumeikan Univ.)
Mika Okunaga (Team Kyudenko)

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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