• Kyodo

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Hitomi Niiya won her first title in the women’s cross country event at the Fukuoka International Cross Country meet on Saturday.

Niiya, winner of the Chiba International Cross Country meet earlier this month, timed 19 minutes, 9 seconds on the 6-km course at Uminonakamichi Seaside Park.

Ai Igarashi came second 19 seconds behind, while third place went to Hiromi Koga in 19:36.

On the men’s side, Bitan Karoki led a 1-2-3 finish for a Kenyan contingent, clocking 27:52 with Nicholas Makau and Wanjuki Jakob in second and third, in 28:50 and 28:53, respectively.

Karoki also won the men’s event in Chiba.

Akinobu Murasawa, the fourth-place finisher, had the best finish among Japanese runners with a time of 28:58.

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