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CHIBA (Kyodo) Japan-based Kenyan runner Karoki Muchiri led a 1-2 finish with compatriot Julius Gitahi and Makoto Fukui had the best finish by a Japanese runner in taking third place in the men’s 12-km race at the Chiba international cross country meet Sunday.

Muchiri crossed the finish line at Showa-no-Mori park in Chiba in 34 minutes 40 seconds, with Gitahi clocking 35:16 and Fukui coming home in 35:19.

Yuko Shimizu edged out Risa Takanaka by a second to top the women’s 6-km race in 19:38 while Kazuka Wakatsuki was third in 19:43. Veteran Harumi Hiroyama, who has said she will retire this spring, could only manage 19th with a time of 20:19.

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