Athletes from the host nation took the individual senior honours while Japan swept the four team titles on offer at the 14th Asian Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China, on Thursday (15).
Competing at the host venue of the 2015 IAAF World Championships, Peng Jianhua and Li Dan took narrow individual victories, Peng clocking 38:22 in the men's 12km race and Li 28:03 in the women's 8km.
But behind them, Japan's depth was too strong in the team competition. In the men's race Kazuya Nishiyama was second, four seconds behind Peng, with Siihunsuke Imanishi third, another two seconds back. Kosei Yamaguchi was fourth in 38:37 to combine for Japan's nine-point total.
Further back, Ciwang Danmuzhen was fifth and Lui Hongliang 10th to combine for China's 16 points.
In the women's race, Li edged Japan's Yukari Abe by three seconds for individual bragging rights but with three finishers in the top-six --Nayami Watanabe in fourth and Yuka Hori in sixth-- Japan edged China 12-14 in the team race.
India, paced by Sanjivani Jadhav’s third place finish in 28:19, was third in the team battle.
Suolang Cairen won the men's 8km U20 race in 25:35, with the next four across the line all Japanese, led by Yuhi Nakaya. That gave Japan nine points in the team title hunt, ahead of the hosts who tallied 19.
Japan was even more dominant in the women's 6km U20 event. Yuna Wada took the title in 20:43, leading a top-four sweep for her country, with Ririka Hironaka second, two seconds behind. Japan produced a perfect six point score well ahead of China which tallied 20.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF