Sato beaten by Osako in Fukuoka

Sato beaten by Osako in Fukuoka

Provided by IAAF

The 26th annual Fukuoka International Cross Country, Fukuoka, Japan, was held today (25) on the course that was used for the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

The Fukuoka Cross Country was the Japanese national qualifying race for the Asian Cross Country Championships and World University Cross Country Championships.

The best race of the day the men’s 10km featured young and upcoming college runners like Akinobu Murasawa and Suguru Osako, along with best runners from corporate teams. In the second lap over the ‘camel hills’ (three consecutive up and down hills) Akinobu Murasawa started pushing the pace, and by the end of three laps (6Km) the lead pack was reduced to four runners – Murasawa, Daichi Motomura, Osako and Yuki Sato.

Over the ‘camel hills’ in the fourth lap, with Murasawa always in the lead Motomura drifted back, leaving three runners in front.

Finally over the hills for the final time, Osako and Sato battled hard leaving Murasawa in their wake. Osako came off the Hills in front followed by Sato in close pursuit. The battle between Osako, World University Games gold medallist, and Sato, the fastest active 10,000m runner in Japan, came down to the last metres. They recorded the same time of 30:27 but Osako was declared the winner.

“I had to go for the win because I was really close,” said 20-year-old Osako. Akinobu Murasawa who had led the race almost from the start finished a distant third.

The women’s 6Km was billed as a race between Hitomi Niiya, third at 3000m in 2005 World Youth Championships, and Megumi Kinukawa, who ran the 10,000m at 2007 World Championships as a 18 years old. However, less than 2 minutes into the race Grace Kimanzi of Kenya and Niiya broke away from their competitions, while Kinukawa struggled to stay close to them. Nine minutes into the race, Niiya started to push the pace hard and broke away from Kimanzi and the race for the first was over. Niiya won convincingly, while Kinukawa finished only third. Kimanzi finished second.

Junior races

Just before the end of the second lap of the junior men’s 8km, Jeremiah Karemi, a Kenyan running for Japanese high school Toyokawa broke away and started to extend his lead with every step. He won convincingly. Out of the chase pack of six runners, at 6Km into the race, Kazuma Kubota broke away from his competition to move into lone second place. He finished second. “This is my last race as a high school runner. So it is encouraging sign to be the first Japanese in the race.”

After two laps (4Km) of the junior women’s 6km, Miyuki Uehara and Shiori Yano broke away from their competitors with Uehara in the lead. But over the ‘camel hills’ for the final time Uehara slowly broke away from Yano and won convincingly.

Ken Nakamura for the IAAF

Temperature 13C; Humidty:45%


Men’s 10Km

1) Suguru Osako 30:27

2) Yuki Sato 30:27

3) Akinobu Murasawa 30:32

4) Daichi Motomura 30:40

5) Yuya Konishi 30:47

6) Yu Mitsuya 30:50

7) Hiroyoshi Umegae 30:56

8) Shinobu Kubota 30:58

9) Yuichiro Ueno 31:00

Women’s 6Km

1) Hitomi Niiya 20:18

2) Grace Kimanzi (KEN) 20:38

3) Megumi Kinukawa 20:49

4) Ayumi Suzuki 20:56

5) Sachi Tanaka 21:09

6) Hanae Tanaka 21:12

7) Izumi Nakajima 21:19

8) Hiroko Shoi 21:21

Junior Women 6Km

1) Miyuki Uehara 20:45

2) Shiori Yano 20:54

3) Momoko Akiyama 20:58

4) Yuki Maekawa 20:59

5) Nanami Aoki 20:59

6) Nanako Kanno 21:01

Junior men 8km

1) Jeremiah Karemi (KEN) 24:27

2) Kazuma Kubota 25:01

3) Yudai Yamamoto 25:04

4) Kazuo Uemura 25:08

5) Yasutaka Ishibashi 25:09

6) Shota Baba 25:09