Tokyo, July 16 (IANS) Kenya’s Rosemary Wanjiru, the fourth-placed finisher over the distance at the World Championships, won 10,000m race at the third meeting in the Hokuren Distance Challenge series in Abashiri, Japan.
Ten days after opening her 2020 campaign with a 5,000m win in Fukagawa, the 25-year-old stormed to victory on Wednesday as she finished 45 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Japan’s Mao Ichiyama, to win in 30:38.18, just three seconds shy of the personal best she set when finishing fourth over the distance at last year’s World Championships in Doha, according to the World Athletics website.
Wanjiru led from the outset and after just a couple of laps had only two other women for company: Japan’s Mao Ichiyama and Mizuki Matsuda. After covering the first kilometre in 3:08, Wanjiru started to gradually increase the pace.
Ichiyama, who earned selection for Japan’s Olympic team after winning this year’s Nagoya Marathon in 2:20:29, started to lose contact with Wanjiru about 10-and-a-half minutes into the race. Wanjiru, meanwhile, was locked into 3:04-3:05 kilometre pace, reaching the half-way point in 15:24.
She covered the second half even quicker and, increasing her winning margin with each lap, crossed the finish line in 30:38.18.
Elsewhere in Abashiri, world U20 champion Nozomi Tanaka won the women’s 5000m in 15:02.62, beating Kenya’s Hellen Ekarare (15:03.09). Benard Kibet Koech, meanwhile, won the men’s 5000m in 13:11.77.