Japanese runner takes first gold

Updated: 2013-10-07 11:41


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Japanese runner takes first gold

Japanese runner Riko Matsuzaki runs during the women's 5,000 race. [Photo/Xinhua]

TIANJIN - Japanese runner Riko Matsuzaki snatched the first gold medal at the 6th East Asian Games after winning the women's 5,000 race here on Monday.

The 20-year-old Japanese, whose personal best is 15 minutes, 26.05 seconds, took the lead with five laps to go and went on to extend the advantage before claiming the title in 16:09.72.

Kim Chun Mi of DPR Korea, the ninth placer at the 2013 Asian Championships in Pune, India, finished a far second with a personal best of 16:35.79. China's Fu Yanlian, 21, grabbed the bronze in 16:40.52.

"After the National Games I felt very tired and failed to tune to my best form today," said Fu, referring to her lackluster performance.

Fu's teammate Xiao Huimin, the sixth finisher in the Chinese National Games last month, was also below bar as she only settled for fourth in the five-athlete event.