Kayoko Fukushi (JPN) takes runaway victory in Fukuoka XC (Kazutaka Eguchi/Agence SHOT) © Copyright
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Fukushi takes runaway win far ahead of Ndereba - Fukuoka XC - UPDATED

Kayoko Fukushi, a multiple national record holder at 3000m, 5000m and half marathon, run away from the field in the women’s 6Km race at the Fukuoka International Cross Country - IAAF permit meeting - today.

Fukushi, who was 15th in the 2002 World Cross Country Championships, was a most convincing winner. She took the lead immediately and only Mureithi Wangari, a Kenyan who runs for the corporate team Denso, followed her.“Because the first incline is quite narrow, I wanted to take the lead before the incline,” said Fukushi.  Fukushi kept on pushing the pace and 1Km later she was alone.  She ran the rest of the race alone.

She was followed home by Yoshimi Ozaki, who has a 10,000m best of 31:47.23 and Ruth Wanjiru, a Kenyan who runs for the corporate track team sponsored by Hitachi.  Megumi Oshima, who was tenth at 5000m in the 1999 World Championships and also tenth at the marathon in the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, was fourth, while Kenya’s Catherine Ndereba, 2003 World champion and 2005 silver medallist at the marathon was sixth.

“I don’t have my speed back after Osaka Marathon,” explained Ndereba.  “It is a good course with nice ups and downs. I think it has a great lay out."

Minori Hayakari, national 3000mSC record holder finished further down in 13th. 

Tokumoto takes men’s 10km win

Kazuyoshi Tokumoto, who was 5th at 5000m and 3rd at 10,000m in the 2001 World University Games, won the men’s 10Km from Mika Jeru, a Kenyan high school student in Japan. 

The race started with a huge pack but this reduced to 10 runners with one lap to go. When Jeru surged, only Tokumoto and Hideaki Date went with him.  With one Km to go, Date lost contact with the leaders and then with 100m to go, Tokumoto sprinted away. Tokumoto is the first Japanese to win the Fukuoka cross country in five years.

“Because I was not an invited runner, I ran with a vengeance. I was going show them,"said the winner. "I think I made the World Cross team. I look forward to running with the world's best on this course.” Tokumoto, who won the junior race of the Fukuoka Cross Country in 1998 also said: “I think the course is actually easier than before.” 

Yuki Sato, defending collegiate 10,000m champion and a high school 10,000m record holder finished sixth, while his rival Hidekazu Sato, high school 5000m record holder was only 19th.  Other notable finished further down in the field.  Toshinari Suwa, who was sixth at the Olympic marathon, was 41st, and Terukazu Omori, who ran the 10,000m in Helsinki, was 29th, for example.

Gitau and Kinukawa take Junior races

Joseph Gitau, another Kenyan who attends high school in Japan led from 'gun to tape' to win the junior men’s 8Km race.  Harutomo Kawano and Tsuyoshi Ugachi who ran in the World Cross Country Championships last year were third and fourth, respectively but Yusuke Mita, the first high school freshman in 13 years to record the stage best in the inter-high school ekiden championships, was only 11th.   Kodai Matsumoto, who also recorded a stage best in the fifth stage in the inter-prefectural ekiden, was sixth while Takehiro Mori, who was fourth fastest in the most prestigious stage one in the Inter-high school ekiden championships, finished 9th in Fukuoka Cross Country. 

Surging away from the competitions with 1Km to go, Megumi Kinukawa won the junior women’s 6Km, followed by Yuko Nohara, a bronze medallist at the 3000m in the 2003 World Youth Championships.  Akane Wakita, Yuri Suzuki, Kazue Kojima and May Iino, the member of a bronze winning junior women’s team at the World Cross Country last year, finished 8th, 10th, 11th and 23rd respectively.

Ken Nakamura for the IAAF


Men’s 10Km
1) Kazuyoshi Tokumoto  30:27
2) Mika Jeru (KEN)  30:29
3) Kensuke Takezawa  30:33
4) Hideaki Date  30:33
5) Masato Imai  30:33
6) Yuki Sato  30:35
7) Koichiro Nagata  30:38
8) Makoto Tobimatsu  30:41
Women’s 6Km
1) Kayoko Fukushi  19:38
2) Yoshimi Ozaki  20:11
3) Ruth Wanjiru  20:13
4) Megumi Oshima  20:14
5) Kayo Sugihara  20:14
6) Catherine Ndereba  20:24
 13) Minori Hayakari
Junior men’s 8Km
7) Joseph Gitau (KEN)  24:46
8) Takuya Fukatsu  24:49
9) Harutomo Kawano  24:52
10) Tsuyoshi Ugachi  24:55
11) Kazuya Watanabe  24:57
12) Kodai Matsumoto  24:57 
9) Takahiro Mori

11)  Yusuke Mita

Junior women’s 6Km
1) Megumi Kinukawa  20:41
2) Yuko Nohara  20:50
3) Chisato Osaki  20:53
4) Aimi Horikoshi  20:54
5) Yuka Takashima  21:01 
6) Atsuko Kano  21:02
7) Miu Munemasa  21:05
8) Akane Wakita  21:08 

10) Yuri Suzuki
11) Kazue Kojima

23) Maya Iino