Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Weekend Road Racing in Review

by Brett Larner
Sakamoto photo c/o Yichen Ding

The 100th Japanese National Track and Field Championships were the weekend's main event, but there was no shortage of road racing action at home and abroad.  The Hakodate Half Marathon was the most major, this year featuring the addition of a full marathon division for the first time.  2015 Marugame Half Marathon winner Paul Kuira (Konica Minolta) took another Japanese half title, pushing through rain and winds for the win in 1:03:14 over a small pack including Charles Ndungu (Komori Corp.), defending champion Michael Githae (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and Tomohiro Tanigawa (Konica Minolta).  Just a week after setting the 50 km national record, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) pushed up through the field late in the race to pass ten people in the last 5 km for 5th overall in 1:04:24.  Sayo Nomura (Daiichi Seimei) took the women's half in 1:13:02, while Tokyo-based amateur Takehiko Gyoba became Hakodate's first marathon champ in 2:26:54.

Across the island of Hokkaido the Lake Saroma Ultramarathon was also going down in similarly tough conditions.  Tatsuya Inagaki (Mishima RC) took the men's 100 km title in 6:37:05, with Hisayo Matsumoto (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) outrunning Mai Fujisawa (Sapporo Excel AC) by less than three minutes for the women's 100 km win in 7:39:51.

Nearby in northeastern China, 2015 Zurich Marathon winner Yoshiko Sakamoto (Y.W.C.) ran in the first edition of the Jilin International Marathon with support from JRN.  Following up on a season that saw her DNS at January's Osaka International Women's Marathon when her children came down with the flu, DNS a few weeks later in Tokyo when she herself came down with the flu, and DNF in freezing rain while leading during her title defense in Zurich in April, Sakamoto finally put it all together to take 4th in 2:37:57.  Kenyans Agnes Barsosio and Sylvester Teimet won in 2:34:15 and 2:14:23.

In Europe, 2015 Gold Coast Airport Marathon winner Risa Takenaka replicated Sakamoto's result with a 4th-place finish in 1:12:53 in hot conditions at the Czech Republic's Olomouc Half Marathon.  The great Mary Keitany (Kenya) won in 1:08:53, while Kenyan Olympic marathoner Stanley Biwott won the men's race in a solid 1:00:46.

Sakamoto photo © 2016 Yichen Ding, all rights reserved
text © 2016 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Monday, June 27, 2016

Japan Announces Rio Olympic Team

by Brett Larner

Following the weekend's National Championships, earlier today the JAAF announced the preliminary 56-member lineup for its team for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.  The list follows the earlier marathon and race walk team announcements and is still pending additions as athletes chase standards up to the July 11 deadline, but based on the results at Nationals there were virtually no surprises or controversial calls.  The only possibly controversial decision was the omission of Shota Hara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), with a 20.33 PB for 3rd in the men's 200 m final, in favor of Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) who was only 6th in 20.77.  However, having met the tougher 20.28 JAAF standard earlier in the qualifying window Fujimitsu's top 8 finish meant the JAAF was within its latitude to pick him under the published selection protocol.  More surprising were the selection of Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) in the women's 5000 m, 5th at Nationals but the third-fastest finisher with the Rio standard, and Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Seiyaku), who had the men's 400 m Rio standard but failed to make it past the opening round of heats at Nationals

Three athletes on the team set national records within the Rio qualifying window.  Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) set a women's 200 m national record of 22.88 yesterday on the last day of the National Championships.  Kota Murayama (Asahi Kasei) broke the longstanding 10000 m national record in 27:29.69 last November, while more distantly Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) set a 5000 m national record of 13:08.40 last summer.  Other national record holders on the team include Fukushima in the women's 100 m, Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex RC) in the women's 400 mH, Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) in the women's javelin throw and Keisuke Ushiro (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) in the men's decathlon.

The Japanese Rio Olympic team as it currently stands.  Times listed are the athletes' best within the Rio qualifying window.

Women - 22 athletes

Sprints
Chisako Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) - 100 m: 11.23     200 m: 22.88 - NR

Long Distance
Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 5000 m: 15:08.29     10000 m: 31:18.16
Misaki Onishi (Sekisui Kagaku) - 5000 m: 15:16.82
Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 5000 m: 15:21.40
Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) - 10000 m: 31:22.92
Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) - 10000 m: 31:35.76
Anju Takamizawa (Matsuyama Univ.) - 3000 mSC: 9:44.22

Hurdles
Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex RC) - 400 mH: 56.14

Jumps
Konomi Kai (Volver) - Long Jump: 6.84 m

Throws
Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - Javelin Throw: 63.80 m

Relays
4x100 m 
Nodoka Seko (Crane Horse Club) - 100 m: 11.57
Ami Saito (Kurashika Chuo H.S.) - 100 m: 11.64
Iyoba Edobah (Nihon Univ.) - 100 m: 11.66
Kana Ichikawa (Mizuno) - 200 m: 23.60

4x400 m
Seika Aoyama (Osaka Seikei Univ.) - 53.04
Haruko Ishizuka (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 53.22
Rin Aoki (Soyo H.S.) - 53.44
Manami Kira (Art Home) - 53.83

Marathon
Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal) - 2:22:17
Tomomi Tanaka (Daiichi Seimei) - 2:23:19
Mai Ito (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 2:24:42

Race Walks
Kumiko Okada (Bic Camera) - 20 kmRW - 1:29:40

Men - 34 athletes

Sprints
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 100 m: 10.01
Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) - 100 m: 10.06
Asuka Cambridge (Dome) - 100 m: 10.10
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 200 m: 20.11
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 200 m: 20.13
Kei Takase (Fujitsu) - 200 m: 20.14
Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 400 m: 45.22
Julian Walsh (Toyo Univ.) - 400 m: 45.35

Long Distance
Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) - 5000 m: 13:08.40 - NR     10000 m: 27:45.24
Kota Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 5000 m: 13:19.62     10000 m: 27:29.69 - NR
Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 10000 m: 27:42.71

Hurdles
Wataru Yazawa (Descente) - 110 mH: 13.47
Keisuke Nozawa (Mizuno) - 400 mH: 48.67
Yuki Matsushita (Mizuno) - 400 mH: 49.10

Jumps
Daigo Hasegawa (Hitachi ICT) - Triple Jump: 16.88 m
Takashi Eto (AGF) - High Jump: 2.29 m
Seito Yamashita (Toyota) - Pole Vault: 5.77 m
Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno) - Pole Vault: 5.70 m

Throws
Ryohei Arai (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 84.66 m

Decathlon
Akihiko Nakamura (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 8180
Keisuke Ushiro (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 8160

Relays
4x400 m
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 400 m: 45.52
Kentaro Sato (Josai Univ.) - 400 m: 45.58
Nobuya Kato (Waseda Univ.) - 400 m: 45.71
Tomoya Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) - 400 m: 46.07

Marathon
Satoru Sasaki (Asahi Kasei) - 2:08:56
Hisanori Kitajima (Yasukawa Denki) - 2:09:16
Suehiro Ishikawa (Honda) - 2:09:25

Race Walks
Eiki Takahashi (Fujitsu) - 20 kmRW: 1:18:03
Isamu Fujisawa (Alsok) - 20 kmRW: 1:18:45
Daisuke Matsunaga (Toyo Univ.) - 20 kmRW: 1:18:53
Hirooki Arai (SDF Academy) - 50 kmRW: 3:40:20
Takayuki Tanii (SDF Academy) - 50 kmRW: 3:42:01
Koichiro Morioka (Fujitsu) - 50 kmRW: 3:44:27

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Fukushima Breaks 200 m National Record - 100th National Championships Day Three

by Brett Larner
videos c/o JAAF
click here for Day One results, video and report
click here for Day Two results, video and report




With over 16,000 fans in attendance Japan celebrated the end of its 100th National Track and Field Championships with a new national record in the second-to-last event of the day Sunday at Nagoya's Paloma Mizuho Stadium, sunshine and temperatures near 30 degrees following two days of rain.  Taking advantage of a strong but legal 1.8 m/s tailwind, national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) shaved 0.01 off her 6-year-old 200 m national record with a 22.88 win, adding the 200 m to her schedule for August's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.  Two more records came from runner-up Ami Saito (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.), whose 23.46 broke both the national junior and high school records if short of the 23.20 Rio standard.



The men's 200 m, the final event of the championships, also came up fast with the same 1.8 m/s tailwind.  2010 World Junior Championships gold medalist Shota Iizuka (Mizuno), ranked #1 in the semis, looked easy as he took 0.1 off his PB with a 20.11 win under the JAAF standard, guaranteeing himself a place on the Rio team.  One of the two athletes already holding the JAAF standard, Kei Takase (Fujitsu) was 2nd in 20.31, unexpectedly bumped into provisional status by Iizuka's triumph.  The other man with the JAAF standard, Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) was off his game with what may have been a mid-race injury at 6th in 20.77.  Shota Hara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) took 3rd in a PB of 20.33, staking a solid claim to Rio legitimacy over Fujimitsu.  The JAAF's complicated selection criteria seem to suggest that Fujimitsu will be picked over Hara, but the final outcome remains to be seen at Monday's Olympic team announcement.



One of the day's other two standout performances came in the men's high jump.  Naoto Tobe (Ando Zaidan), the only athlete to have cleared the 2.29 m Rio standard, faltered with a jump of just 2.20 m, but in his place Takashi Eto (AGF) came up with a PB 2.29 m on his second attempt for the win, hitting the Rio standard to score a place on the Olympic team.



The other big performance of the day came in the men's 110 mH.  Wataru Yazawa (Descente) was the only man who arrived at Nationals with the 13.47 Rio standard, but in the first round he was only 4th with a time of 13.79.  Genta Masuno (Monteroza) brought a PB of 13.59 in the heats to start the final ranked #1.  Masuno led most of the way, but with a miracle finish Yazawa caught him just before the line to win in 13.48 +2.4 m/s, the combination of the Rio standard and the win putting him on the Rio team.



In the women's 5000 m, 10000 m top two Ayuko Suzuki and Hanami Sekine of the Japan Post corporate team again worked together to try to get Sekine the Rio standard.  This time they had support from 10000 m 6th-placer Hisami Ishii (Yamada Denki), who took a turn leading to try to keep the pace on track for sub-15:24.  Not so for three-time defending champ Misaki Onishi (Sekisui Kagaku), the only one of the four not to have run Friday's 10000 m and who sat on the others the entire way without taking a turn in the front.  Not until her last kick over the last lap, where she dusted the fatigued Suzuki and Sekine to win a fourth-straight title in 15:19.37 and a place on the Rio team.  Suzuki and Sekine were together to the end, both just over the 15:24.00 standard in 2nd and 3rd.  With a Rio standard already to her name Suzuki is likely to have the 5000 m added to her guaranteed spot in the 10000 m.  Without a standard Sekine's Olympics are most likely limited to the 10000 m should her 31:22.92 runner-up finish Friday be good enough to impress the old hats.



In the absence of defending champion Kota Murayama (Asahi Kasei), like Onishi the Alberto Salazar-powered 10000 m champ Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project), exerted minimum effort to score the win, sitting back as a rotating cast including Ageo City Half-NYC Half alumni Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) and Yuta Shitara (Honda), Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) and 2009 national champion Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA) took turns trying to push the pace close to the 13:25.00 Rio standard.  Things slowed out of Olympic range, and as in the 10000 m Osako went for an easy long kick to pick up another national title, his 13:08.40 national record from last summer scoring him a double spot on the Rio roster.  Ueno closed on Osako over the last 200 m but came up short in 2nd in 13:39.23.  Dairokuno looked set for 3rd, but a challenge from top university man Tadashi Isshiki (Aoyama Gakuin University) brought things to a photo finish that delayed results before Dairokuno was declared the 3rd man by 0.13 in 13:39.52.



The final day's addition to the Rio team came in the women's 400 mH, where Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex RC) scored her millionth consecutive national title in 56.62.  Already under the Rio standard, Kubokura added a trip to Rio to her summer plans.  On hold, however, was men's triple jump runner-up Daigo Hasegawa (Hitachi ICT), a Rio standard holder but whose 16.41 m +0.0 m/s jump was only good for 2nd behind national champion Ryoma Yamamoto (Juntendo University).  Yamamoto came up short of the 16.85 m Rio standard at 16.52 m +1.7 m/s.  Like the winners of many of the weekend's other events, Yamamoto has until July 11 to try to get the standard.  Hasegawa has to wait for the official team announcement to find out his fate.



Among those short of the Rio standard, the best duel came in the men's 3000 m steeplechase.  Juntendo University second-year Kazuya Shiojiri went out fast to try to hit the 8:30.00 Rio standard.  Defending champ Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu), whose 8:32.89 win last year put him closest to making the grade, initially stuck with the young Shiojiri before letting go.  Over the last lap Shiojiri closed, but going into the home straight Shiojiri still had a lead.  Kicking hard, Shiojiri inexplicably cut a diagonal toward lane 8 as he went to the line.  Going straight down the home stretch, Tsuetaki beat Shiojiri home by just 0.06 to defend his title in 8:36.39.  Shiojiri scored a PB of 8:36.45, but with a little better sense in the home straight a national title might have been his.



100th National Track & Field Championships Day Three
doubling as Rio de Janeiro Olympic Trials

Paloma Mizuho Stadium, Nagoya, 6/26/16
click here for complete results
athletes in bold earned place on Rio Olympics team
athletes in italics qualified for place on Rio team

Sprints

Women's 200 m Final +1.8 m/s
1. Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) - 22.88 - NR
2. Ami Saito (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) - 23.46 - NJR, NHSR
3. Kana Ichikawa (Mizuno) - 23.86
4. Saori Imai (Iida Byoin) - 23.92
5. Mariko Nagano (Konan Univ.) - 23.96
6. Rio Banno (Nanajunana Ginko) - 24.07
7. Miyu Maeyama (Niigata Iryo Fukushi Univ.) - 24.26
8. Maki Wada (Mizuno) - 24.39

Men's 200 m Final +1.8 m/s
1. Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 20.11 - PB
2. Kei Takase (Fujitsu) - 20.31
3. Shota Hara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 20.33 - PB
4. Takanori Kawase (Nittai Univ.) - 20.65 - PB
5. Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) - 20.72
6. Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 20.77
7. Kotaro Taniguchi (Chuo Univ.) - 20.81

Middle Distance

Women's 800 m Final
1. Shoko Fukuda (Matsue Kita H.S.) - 2:05.92
2. Hana Yamada (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 2:06.83
3. Fumika Omori (Lotte) - 2:06.83
4. Yuki Hirota (Akita Univ.) - 2:07.43
5. Atsumi Totani (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) - 2:07.71
6. Ayano Shiomi (Kyoto Bunko H.S.) - 2:07.72
7. Ran Urabe (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 2:07.88
8. Ayako Hirano (Tsukuba Univ.) - 2:09.13

Long Distance

Women's 5000 m
1. Misaki Onishi (Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:19.37
2. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 15:24.47
3. Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) - 15:24.74 - PB
4. Hisami Ishii (Yamada Denki) - 15:29.12 - PB
5. Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 15:33.49
6. Natsuki Omori (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:36.10
7. Riko Matsuzaki (Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:37.82
8. Moeno Nakamura (Universal Entertainment) - 15:37.85
9. Risa Yokoe (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:42.58
10. Yukari Abe (Shimamura) - 15:45.04

Men's 5000 m
1. Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) - 13:37.13
2. Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA) - 13:39.23
3. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 13:39.52
4. Tadashi Isshiki (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13:39.65 - PB
5. Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:46.98
6. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 13:48.52
7. Takanori Ichikawa (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 13:48.55
8. Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 13:48.71
9. Aritaka Kajiwara (Atsugi T&F Assoc.) - 13:49.66
10. Hazuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 13:52.90

Hurdles

Women's 100 mH Final +2.1 m/s
1. Ayako Kimura (Edion) - 13.23
2. Haruka Abe (Fukushima Univ.) - 13.38
3. Masumi Aoki (International Pacific Univ.) - 13:38
4. Hitomi Shimura (Toho Ginko) - 13.43
5. Eriko Aiba (Starts) - 13.43
6. Yumi Tanaka (Kansai Prep Daiichi H.S.) - 13.45
7. Sayaka Kobayashi (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) - 13.49
8. Chisato Kiyoyama (Miyako City) - 13.65

Men's 110 mH Final +2.4 m/s
1. Wataru Yazawa (Descente) - 13.48
2. Genta Masuno (Monteroza) - 13.51
3. Taio Kanai (Tsukuba Univ.) - 13.61
4. Hideki Omura (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 13.66
5. Takumu Furuya (Waseda Univ.) - 13.71
6. Masahiro Kagimoto (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 13.78
7. Taishi Sato (Hitachi Kasei) - 14.61
DQ - Hiroki Fudaba (Monteroza)

Women's 400 mH Final
1. Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex RC) - 56.62
2. Aimi Yoshinara (Art Home) - 57.26
3. Haruko Ishizuka (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 57.88
4. Moe Oshiden (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 57.89
5. Haruka Shibata (Mizuno) - 58.02
6. Kana Koyama (Funabashi Municipal H.S.) - 58.79
7. Satsuki Umehara (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 58.92
8. Saki Kodama (Waseda Univ.) - 58.95

Men's 3000 mSC
1. Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) - 8:36.39
2. Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) - 8:36.45 - PB
3. Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) - 8:41.90
4. Aoi Matsumoto (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 8:41.95
5. Taisei Ogino (Kanagawa Univ.) - 8:44.39

Jumps

Men's High Jump
1. Takashi Eto (AGF) - 2.29 m - PB
2. Ryo Sato (Tokai Univ.) - 2.25 m - PB
3. Hiromi Takahari (Hitachi ICT) - 2.20 m

Men's Triple Jump
1. Ryoma Yamamoto (Juntendo Univ.) - 16.52 m +1.7 m/s
2. Daigo Hasegawa (Hitachi ICT) - 16.41 m +0.0 m/s
3. Kazuyoshi Ishikawa (Nagano Yoshida AC) - 16.27 m +2.0 m/s

Throws

Men's Shot Put
1. Satoshi Hatase (Alsok) - 18.53 m
2. Taichi Nakamura (Mizuno) - 17.81 m
3. Reiji Takeda (Nihon Univ.) - 17.50 m

Women's Discus Throw
1. Ayumi Sakaguchi (S.T.T.) - 53.89 m
2. Eriko Nakata (Shikoku Univ.) - 53.21 m - PB
3. Natsumi Fujimori (Juntendo Univ.) - 50.46 m

Men's Discus Throw
1. Yuji Tsutsumi (Alsok) - 60.00 m - PB
2. Go Chinen (Zenrin) - 58.36 m - PB
3. Masateru Yugami (Toyota) - 56.66 m - PB

Paralympics

1500 m T54
1. Masaru Watanabe (Toppan) - 3:06.69
2. Masayuki Higuchi (Puma) - 3:06.79
3. Tomoki Suzuki (Kanto Paraathletics) - 3:07.07

100 m T44/47
1. Tomoki Tagawa (AC-Kita) - 11.32 (T47)
2. Keita Sato (Toyota) - 11.83 (T44)
3. Mikio Tanaka (Chukyo Univ.) - 12.19 (T44)

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Takamizawa and Walsh Go Beyond to Find Way to Rio - 100th National Championships Day Two


by Brett Larner
videos c/o JAAF
click here for Day One results, video and report
click here for Day Three results, video and report

The prospect of seeing Japan's first sub-10 100 m packed the house on the second day of the Japanese National Championships, an almost sold-out crowd of over 26,000 braving rain to fill Nagoya's mostly uncovered Paloma Mizuho Stadium.  Athletes in the other events responded to the energy, and two university students went beyond themselves to find what it took to make it to Rio.



The race of the day was the women's 3000 m steeplechase.  Right from the gun collegiate and junior national record holder Anju Takamizawa (Matsuyama Univ.) was out fast, going through 1000 m in 3:08 with a sizable lead over a chase group of four.  Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku), winner of last month's East Japan Corporate Championships 3000 mSC, dropped the pack to chase Takamizawa down over the next 1000 m, making contact right at 2000 m in 6:24.  The 9:45.00 Rio standard in sight as the rain picked up, the pair ran together over the next lap, Mori a step ahead and Takamizawa tailing.  With a lap and half to go Takamizawa clipped her foot going over the back straight barrier, landing on both knees with her legs folded under her.  Sliding forward, she bounced up and was right after Mori, 4 seconds down.  A lap later 3 seconds, 3 seconds that would put her outside the Rio standard.

At the final water jump Mori shied, pulling up and jumping awkwardly.  It was just what Takamizawa needed to close the gap.  Into the home straight side-by-side as the clock ticked down.  With her last kick Takamizawa broke free, leaning across the line to score the win with a new National Championships and national collegiate record of 9:44.22 and landing herself on the Rio team.  Mori couldn't follow, 2nd in 9:45.27 just a fraction of a second from qualifying for the Olympics.  The pair's times made them the second and third-fastest Japanese women ever, with the fast times going down through the field to make it the greatest women's steeplechase race in Japanese history.



More history came in the men's 400 m.  With the departure of 11-time national champion Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Seiyaku) in the first round heats the door was open for a new national champion.  Julian Walsh (Toyo Univ.) came up as the main contender with a 45.54 PB to lead the heats, 0.14 off the Rio standard.  In the final he went out hard, alone over the first 200 m, looking spent at 300 m, and finding the strength in the home straight to take another 0.19 off his best, under the Rio standard in an all-time Japanese 7th-best 45.35 to take over from Kanemaru as a new and unexpected addition to the Olympic team.



The rain and slick track surface lowered the chances of history in the day's main event, where Walsh's teammate Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) and young pros Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) and Asuka Cambridge (Dome) lined up to go for a number starting with 9.  This season Kiryu had run 10.01, Yamagata 10.06 and Cambridge 10.10, but in the semis their order was inverted with Cambridge dropping the fastest time and Yamagata getting the better of Kiryu.  A quick start put Yamagata ahead.  Cambridge lagged behind, but overtaking Kiryu he bore down and, with a perfectly timed lean got Yamagata on the line to win by 0.01 in 10.16.  Kiryu was 3rd in 10.31, looking tired over the second half with none of his usual finishing strength after a minor cramp.

In the complex logic of the JAAF's Olympic qualifying policy Cambridge and Kiryu are guaranteed places on the Rio team, Cambridge with the Rio standard and the win, Kiryu with the faster JAAF standard this season at top 8 at Nationals.  Yamagata, with the Rio standard and top 3 at Nationals, is a likely addition to the team but not guaranteed until Monday's team announcement.  It's unthinkable that he wouldn't be named to the team, especially with what looks like a solid 4x100 m team in the makings.  Either way, Cambridge's win over the two favorites ups the game in Japanese men's sprinting, his sponsor Dome's million dollar bonus for Japan's first sub-10 driving him to get there before Kiryu and Yamagata.  Combined with Walsh's 400 m title it's indicative of the changing face not just of Japanese athletics but of its society as a whole.



Three other events saw athletes join the Rio team.  In the men's javelin throw, Ryohei Arai (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) threw a meet record 84.54 m for the win, surpassing the JAAF standard of 84.32 m.  Women's javelin national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) had an off day, 2nd in 57.88 m behind winner Risa Miyashita (Osaka Taiiku Univ.), but while Miyashita was short of the Rio qualifying mark at 58.35 m Ebihara had already thrown over the 63.34 m standard this season and makes the Rio team on her top 8 finish.  Miyashita has until July 11 to hit the 62.00 m Rio standard, almost 3 m beyond her best.  Women's 100 m national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC), already under the Rio standard in 11.23, won the 100 m final in 11.45 -0.2 m/s and will look to do the same in Sunday's 200 m final for an Olympic double.



Other events' winners came up short of qualifying Rio but, like Miyashita, have a short window to chase the standards.  Men's 800 m winner Sho Kawamoto (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) came closest, 0.22 off in 1:46.22 and giving a painfully gutted post-race interview.   Women's 400 m winner Seika Aoyama (Osaka Seikei Univ.), women's 1500 m winner Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment), women's triple champ champion Kaede Miyasaka (Nippatsu) and women's shot put winner Aya Ota (Fukuoka Univ.) all delivered PB performances but were well short of making the Rio team.  One other noteworthy performance came in the women's 1500 m, where high school second-year Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.), daughter of sub-2:30 amateur marathoner Chihiro Tanaka, ran a smart race to take 2nd with a PB 4:15.43.  Tanaka will be on the Japanese team at next month's World U-20 Championships in Poland.

The 100th Japanese National Track and Field Championships wrap up Sunday.

100th National Track and Field Championships Day Two
doubling as Rio de Janeiro Olympic Trials

Paloma Mizuho Stadium, Nagoya, 6/25/16
click here for complete results
athletes in bold earned place on Rio Olympics team
athletes in italics provisionally qualified for place on Rio team

Sprints

Men's 100 m Final -0.3 m/s
1. Asuka Cambridge (Dome) - 10.16
2. Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) - 10.17
3. Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 10.31
4. Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) - 10.41
5. Takuya Nagata (Hosei Univ.) - 10.45
6. Tomoya Baba (Lall AC) - 10.48
7. Shuji Takahashi (Aichi Ika Univ.) - 10.49
8. Takumi Kuki (NTN) - 10.53

Women's 100 m Final -0.2 m/s
1. Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) - 11.45
2. Ami Saito (Tottori Chuo H.S.) - 11.74
3. Nodoka Seko (Crane) - 11.75
4. Iyoba Edobah (Nihon Univ.) - 11.88
4. Miyu Maeyama (Niigata Iryo Fukushi Univ.) - 11.88
6. Anna Fujimori (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 11.92
7. Maki Wada (Mizuno) - 12.07
8. Mai Fukuda (Tokyo H.S.) - 12.13

Men's 400 m Final
1. Julian Walsh (Toyo Univ.) - 45.35 - PB
2. Nobuya Kato (Waseda Univ.) - 45.71
3. Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 45.93
4. Tomoya Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) - 46.15
5. Kentaro Sato (Josai Univ.) - 46.30
6. Takeshi Fujiwara (Yumeo Mirai) - 46.41
7. Kosuke Horii (Josai Univ.) - 46.52
8. Hideyuki Hirose (Fujitsu) - 46.54

Women's 400 m Final
1. Seika Aoyama (Osaka Seikei Univ.) - 53.04 - PB
2. Rin Aoki (Soyo H.S.) - 53.66
3. Kaede Kashiyama (Shigakkan Univ.) - 53.76
4. Nanako Matsumoto (Tsukuba Univ.) - 54.67
4. Haruko Ishizuka (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 54.67
6. Minami Yoshinara (Art Home) - 54.80
7. Aki Odagaki (Akaishi T&F Assoc.) - 55.01
8. Yuna Shimada (Tsuruga H.S.) - 55.02

Men's 200 m Final Qualifiers
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 20.41 -0.1 m/s (1st, H.1)
Shota Hara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 20.45 -0.1 m/s (2nd, H.1)
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 20.49 -0.1 m/s (1st, H.2)
Kei Takase (Fujitsu) - 20.49 -0.1 m/s (3rd, H.1)
Takanori Kawase (Nittai Univ.) - 20.67 -0.1 m/s (2nd, H.2)
Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) - 20.75 -0.1 m/s (3rd, H.2)
Takuya Nagata (Hosei Univ.) - 20.77 -0.1 m/s (4th, H.2)
Kotaro Taniguchi (Chuo Univ.) - 20.84 -0.1 m/s (5th, H.2)

Women's 200 m Final Qualifiers
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) - 23.27 -0.2 m/s (1st, H.1)
Ami Saito (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) - 23.69 -0.3 m/s (1st, H.2)
Kana Ichikawa (Mizuno) - 24.02 -0.3 m/s (2nd, H.2)
Mariko Nagano (Konan Univ.) - 24.18 -0.2 m/s (2nd, H.1)
Saori Imai (Iida Byoin) - 24.22 -0.3 m/s (3rd, H.2)
Miyu Maeyama (Niigata Iryo Fukushi Univ.) - 24.27 -0.8 m/s (1st, H.3)
Maki Wada (Mizuno) - 24.37 -0.2 m/s (3rd, H.1)
Rio Banno (Junanaju Ginko) - 24.42 -0.8 m/s (2nd, H.3)

Middle Distance

Men's 1500 m Final
1. Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) - 3:46.66
2. Mitsutaka Tomita (Nishitetsu) - 3:47.10
3. Hikaru Kato (JR Higashi Nihon) - 3:47.49
4. Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 3:48.28
5. Koki Takada (Sumitomo Denko) - 3:48.53

Women's 1500 m Final
1. Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 4:14.67 - PB
2. Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 4:15.43 - PB
3. Maya Iino (Daiichi Seimei) - 4:16.61 - PB
4. Yuna Wada (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 4:18.95
5. Mina Ueda (Josai Univ.) - 4:19.56

Men's 800 m Final
1. Sho Kawamoto (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:46.22
2. Masato Yokota (Fujitsu) - 1:47.45
3. Jun Mitake (Nihon Univ.) - 1:48.99
4. Tatsuya Nishikubo (Waseda Univ.) - 1:49.80
5. Manabu Oki (Chiba Univ.) - 1:50.76
6. Takaomi Watanabe (Nittai Univ.) - 1:51.02
7. Tomonori Tanaka (AGF) - 1:51.55
8. Shoei Tanaka (Morioka City Hall) - 1:59.59

Women's 800 m Final Qualifiers
Shoko Fukuda (Matsue Kita H.S.) - 2:05.02 (1st, H.1)
Yuki Hirota (Akita Univ.) - 2:05.63 (2nd, H.1)
Ran Urabe (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 2:06.00 (3rd, H.1)
Hana Yamada (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 2:06.76 (1st, H.2)
Fumika Omori (Lotte) - 2:06.97 (1st, H.3)
Ayako Hirano (Tsukuba Univ.) - 2:07.02 (2nd, H.2)
Atsumi Totani (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) - 2:07.14 (4th, H.1)
Ayano Shiomi (Kyoto Bunkyo H.S.) - 2:07.54 (2nd, H.3)

Hurdles

Women's 3000 mSC
1. Anju Takamizawa (Matsuyama Univ.) - 9:44.22 - MR, NUR, PB
2. Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) - 9:45.27 - PB
3. Misaki Sango (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 9:54.21
4. Maki Izumida (Rikkyo Univ.) - 9:59.35 - PB
5. Chika Mukai (Meijo Univ.) - 10:04.23 - PB

Women's 400 mH Final Qualifiers
Aimi Yoshinara (Art Home) - 57.51 (1st, H.1)
Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex RC) - 57.83 (1st, H.3)
Moe Oshiden (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 58.03 (2nd, H.1)
Kana Koyama (Funabashi Municipal H.S.) - 58.03 (3rd, H.1)
Haruka Shibata (Mizuno) - 58.29 (2nd, H.3)
Haruko Ishizuka (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 58.43 (1st, H.2)
Saki Kodama (Waseda Univ.) - 58.65 (4th, H.1)
Satsuki Umehara (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 58.74 (2nd, H.2)

Men's 110 mH Final Qualifiers
Genta Masuno (Monteroza) - 13.59 -0.5 m/s (1st, SF.1)
Hideki Omuro (Otsuka Seiyaku 0 13.65 -0.4 m/s (1st, SF.2)
Takumu Furuya (Waseda Univ.) - 13.77 -0.5 m/s (2nd, SF.1)
Wataru Yazawa (Descente) - 13.79 -0.5 m/s (3rd, SF.1)
Taio Kanai (Tsukuba Univ.) - 13.80 -0.4 m/s (2nd, SF.2)
Hiroki Fudaba (Monteroza) - 13.81 -0.4 m/s (3rd, SF.2)
Taishi Sato (Hitachi Kasei) - 13.84 -0.5 m/s (4th, SF.1)
Masahiro Kagimoto (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 13.91 -0.4 m/s (4th, SF.2)

Women's 100 mH Final Qualifiers
Ayako Kimura (Edion) - 13.37 +0.2 m/s (1st, SF.2)
Masumi Aoki (International Pacific Univ.) - 13.43 +0.2 m/s (2nd, SF.2)
Haruka Abe (Fukushima Univ.) - 13.45 +0.0 m/s (1st, SF.1)
Eriko Aiba (Starts) - 13.49 +0.0 m/s (2nd, SF.1)
Hitomi Shimura (Toho Ginko) - 13.52 +0.0 m/s (3rd, SF.1)
Yumi Tanaka (Kansai Prep Daiichi H.S.) - 13.58 +0.0 m/s (4th, SF.1)
Sayaka Kobayashi (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) - 13.64 +0.2 m/s (3rd, SF.2)
Chisato Kiyoyama (Miyako City) - 13.69 +0.2 m/s (4th, SF.2)

Jumps

Women's Pole Vault
1. Ayako Aoshima (Niigata Albirex AC) - 4.10 m
2. Miho Imano (Toelle) - 4.00 m
3. Tomomi Abiko (Shiga Lake Stars) - 4.00 m

Men's Long Jump
1. Kota Minemura (Monteroza) - 7.93 m -0.1 m/s
2. Shotaro Shiroyama (Tokai Univ. Hokkaido) - 7.83 m +0.3 m/s
3. Hiroshi Tebira (Okuwa) - 7.72 m -0.3 m/s

Women's Triple Jump
1. Kaede Miyasaka (Nippatsu) - 13:44 m +0.1 m/s - PB
2. Mayu Kogin (Ayumu Athletics) - 12.95 m +0.1 m/s
3. Nahoko Okano (Yumeo Mirai) - 12.89 m +0.4 m/s

Throws

Women's Shot Put
1. Aya Ota (Fukuoka Univ.) - 15.88 m - PB
2. Nanaka Kori (Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ.) - 15.33 m
3. Chiaki Yoshino (Saitama T&F Assoc.) - 15.20 m

Women's Javelin Throw
1. Risa Miyashita (Osaka Taiiku Univ.) - 58.35 m
2. Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 57.88 m
3. Haruka Kitaguchi (Nihon Univ.) - 57.23 m

Men's Javelin Throw
1. Ryohei Arai (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 84.54 m - MR
2. Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 78.10 m
3. Kohei Hasegawa (Fukui T&F Assoc.) - 76.50 m

photo and text © 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, June 24, 2016

Suzuki, Osako and Murayama Score Places on Rio Olympic Team - 100th National Championships Day One

by Brett Larner
videos c/o JAAF
click here for Day Two results, video and report 
click here for Day Three results, video and report

The 100th edition of the Japanese National Track and Field Championships kicked off Friday at Nagoya's Paloma Mizuho Stadium amid on and off rain, the chance to make the Rio de Janeiro Olympic team there for the top end of the field.



The race of the day was the women's 10000 m, where Japan Post teammates Ayuko Suzuki and Hanami Sekine worked together to both break the JAAF's tough selection standards.  The only woman in the field to have already broken the JAAF's 31:23.17 standard, Suzuki pushed the pace just under JAAF standard territory from the start.  Sekine, with a 31:48.90 best, alternated the lead, the two of them keeping it skimming just under standard pace and taking over when the other slowed.  The rest of the field disappeared one by one, 31:37.32 runner Yuka Takashima, in her debut in the Shiseido team uniform, the last to hang on before the Japan Post pair was free.

In the last 1000 m Suzuki surged away, missing her PB by less than a second but taking the win in 31:18.73.  Sekine went deep on the last lap and came through, clearing the JAAF standard by 0.25 seconds in 31:22.92, a PB by almost 30 seconds.  Takashima cut 2 seconds off her own PB for 3rd in 31:35.76.  Under the complex algebra of the JAAF selection process only Suzuki earned a place on the Rio team, Sekine and Takashima very likely additions but forced to wait until Monday's official team announcement for confirmation.



In the men's 10000 m two men, national record holder Kota Murayama and his Asahi Kasei teammate Tetsuya Yoroizaka, went into Nationals with the JAAF standard of 27:31.43, with eight other men on the entry list having cleared the 28:00.00 Rio standard.  The early going saw a handful of runners yet to qualify lead the way at 2:47/km pace, exactly on target to break 28:00, but when the pace began to slip the field settled back as it became a race among the ones who had already done the work.

Yuta Shitara (Honda), one of the men with the Rio standard, made the first break from the lead pack after 7000 m, pulling away with only Murayama and Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) in tow.  Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei), this year's national XC champion and the top Japanese man in most of this season's main track 10000 m, tried to close the gap but was still out of range when Osako went for a long kick over the last 600 m.  Murayama, still on the mend from injury, waited until 300 m to go before trying to chase him down but it was too little too late as Osako sailed on for the win in 28:07.44.  Murayama gave up chasing him at the top of the home straight and actually slowed almost to a stop, looking back over his shoulder to check on Shitara and jogging in with the minimum effort he needed to hang on to 2nd in 28:16.54.  Saving it for Sunday's 5000 m?  Shitara took 3rd in 28:17.51, easily holding off Ichida who was 4th in 28:22.13.

As the winner with a Rio standard Osako scored an assured place on the Rio team.  Likewise, having the JAAF standard and making the top 8 Murayama also met the criteria for a guaranteed place on the team.  Shitara, top 3 with the Rio standard, found himself in the same boat as Sekine and Takashima, his future on hold until the official team announcement.



Other additions to the Rio team came in the women's long jump and men's pole vault.  In the women's long jump Konomi Kai (Volver) won in 6.36 m +0.5 m/s, sealing her trip to Rio after having already hit the JAAF standard of 6.84 m.  The rain prevented quality marks in the men's pole vault but couldn't hold back an exciting battle between national record holder Daichi Sawano (Fujitsu) and rivals Seito Yamamoto (Toyota) and Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno).  Not holding a Rio-qualifying mark of 5.70 m or greater, Sawano cleared 5.60 m on his second try.  Yamamoto and Ogita, both having met the JAAF standard, likewise cleared 5.60 m on their second tries, but with Sawano having cleared 5.50 m on his first attempt he took the win, Yamamoto and Ogita tying for 2nd.  With a Rio standard mark Sawano has until July 11 to get one.  Under the JAAF selection criteria, the top placer in the top 8 to hold a JAAF standard mark would be guaranteed a place on the Rio team.  Yamamoto and Ogita both hold JAAF standard marks and tied for 2nd.  With no evident provision for a tie it would appear that both are in.



In other events with finals on the first day of Nationals, Moeka Kyoya (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) won the women's high jump in 1.78 m, Akane Watanabe (Maruwa Unyukikan) the women's hammer throw in 65.33 m and Ryota Kashimura (Monteroza) the men's hammer in 70.81 m.  None qualified for the Rio team but hypothetically have until July 11 to earn qualifying marks.  The once-mighty Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) made a return to the men's hammer, but with a throw of only 64.74 m placed just 12th.



Notable action in qualifying heats and semifinals:
  • High schooler Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.), daughter of sub-2:30 amateur marathoner Chihiro Tanaka, ran the fastest time in the women's 1500 m heats, 4:19.05.
  • #1 ranked high school boy Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) ran the all-time #4 Japanese high school time of 3:45.58 to make the men's 1500 m final, taking 2nd in his heat with the 5th-fastest time overall.
  • The only Japanese man with a 400 m Rio qualifying mark, 11-time national champion Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Seiyaku) crapped out in his heat, last in 47.96.  In his place, Asuka Cambridge (Toyo Univ.) stepped up with a 45.54 PB to lead the qualifiers, 0.14 short of the Rio standard.
  • Women's 100 m national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC), the only Japanese woman to have qualified for Rio so far, had a minor upset in the heats, taking only 2nd overall in 11.85 after some bad luck with a -2.1 m/s headwind.  Nodoka Seko (Crane) took the top seeding for the final in 11.80 with just a -1.1 m/s headwind.  Fukushima must win the final to be assured a place on the Rio team.
  • 10.09 man Kei Takase (Fujitsu) was a scratch in the men's 100 m, leaving it up to favorites Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.), Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) and Asuka Cambridge (Dome).  After uneventful opening round heats Cambridge won Semi-Final 1 in 10.25 with a -0.3 headwind.  Kiryu and Yamagata faced a -1.4 headwind.  To the surprise of fans Yamagata, 10.06 this season outran 10.01 man Kiryu to win Semi-Final 2 in 10.26 to 10.29.  It may not come in Saturday's final, but Japan's hopes for its first sub-10 clocking rest with these three.



100th National Track and Field Championships Day One
doubling as Rio de Janeiro Olympic Trials

Paloma Mizuho Stadium, Nagoya, 6/24/16
click here for complete results
athletes in bold earned place on Rio Olympics team
athletes in italics provisionally qualified for place on Rio team

Long Distance

Women's 10000 m
1. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 31:18.73
2. Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) -31:22.92 - PB
3. Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) - 31:35.76 - PB
4. Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 32:06.04 - PB
5. Riko Matsuzaki (Sekisui Kagaku) - 32:10.48
6. Hisami Ishii (Yamada Denki) - 32:10.96 - PB
7. Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 32:18.09
8. Shiho Takechi (Yamada Denki) - 32:20.94 - PB
9. Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 32:26.44
10. Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) - 32:30.66

Men's 10000 m
1. Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) - 28:07.44
2. Kota Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 28:16.54
3. Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 28:17.51
4. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 28:22.13
5. Keijiro Mogi (Asahi Kasei) - 28:25.52 - PB
6. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 28:26.53
7. Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Konica Minolta) - 28:26.92
8. Akinobu Murasawa (Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:29.10
9. Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 28:37.13
10. Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) - 28:39.97

Middle Distance

Women's 1500 m Final Qualifiers
Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 4:19.05 (1st, H.1)
Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 4:19.15 (2nd, H.1)
Maya Iino (Daiichi Seimei) - 4:19.26 (3rd, H.1)
Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S..) - 4:21.52 (4th, H.1)
Karin Yasumoto (Nittai Univ.) - 4:22.31 (5th, H.1)
Mina Ueda (Josai Univ.) - 4:22.59 (1st, H.2)
Ayako Jinnouchi (Kyudenko) - 4:22.80 (2nd, H.2)
Chihiro Sunaga (Shiseido) - 4:22.84 (3rd, H.2)
Yuna Wada (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 4:22.94 (4th, H.2)
Mai Nishiwaki (Tenmaya) - 4:22.94 (6th, H.1)
Chiaki Morikawa (Uniqlo) - 4:23.22 (5th, H.2)
Nana Kuraoka (Denso) - 4:23.39 (6th, H.2)

Men's 1500 m Final Qualifiers
Yuki Muta (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 3:45.22 (1st, H.1)
Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) - 3:45.31 (1st, H.2)
Chiharu Nakagawa (Toenec) - 3:45.39 (2nd, H.1)
Koki Takada (Sumitomo Denko) - 3:45.44 (3rd, H.1)
Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 3:45.58 (2nd, H.2) - PB
Yuki Akimoto (Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 3:45.64 (4th, H.1)
Naoki Nakamura (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 3:45.65 (3rd, H.2)
Toshiki Imazaki (Osaka Gas) - 3:45.78 (1st, H.3)
Kyosuke Nishioka (Chudenko) - 3:45.87 (4th, H.2)
Mitsutaka Tomita (Nishitetsu) - 3:45.88 (2nd, H.3)
Hikaru Kato (JR Higashi Nihon) - 3:46.05 (3rd, H.3)
Shogo Hata (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 3:46.07 (5th, H.1)

Men's 800 m Final Qualifiers
Sho Kawamoto (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:49.72 (1st, H.1)
Masato Yokota (Fujitsu) - 1:50.39 (1st, H.3)
Jun Mitake (Nihon Univ.) - 1:50.10 (2nd, H.1)
Shoei Tanaka (Morioka City Hall) - 1:50.58 (1st, H.2)
Tatsuya Nishikubo (Waseda Univ.) - 1:50.59 (2nd, H.2)
Manabu Oki (Chiba Univ.) - 1:50.73 (2nd, H.3)
Tomonori Tanaka (AGF) - 1:50.75 (3rd, H.2)
Takaomi Watanabe (Nittai Univ.) - 1:50.84 (3rd, H.3)

Sprints

Women's 400 m Final Qualifiers
Seika Aoyama (Osaka Seikei Univ.) - 53.28 (1st, H.3)
Rin Aoki (Soyo H.S.) - 53.44 (1st, H.1) - PB
Minami Yoshinara (Art Home) - 53.83 (1st, H.2)
Haruko Ishizuka (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 54.23 (2nd, H.1)
Kaede Kashiyama (Shigakkan Univ.) - 54.44 (3rd, H.1)
Aki Odagaki (Akaishi T&F Assoc.) - 54.51 (2nd, H.2)
Yuna Shimada (Tsuruga H.S.) - 54.59 (2nd, H.3)
Nanako Matsumoto (Tsukuba Univ.) - 54.68 (3rd, H.3)

Men's 400 m Final Qualifiers
Julian Walsh (Toyo Univ.) - 45.54 (1st, H.3) - PB
Nobuya Kato (Waseda Univ.) - 46.17 (1st, H.1)
Takeshi Fujiwara (Yumeo Mirai) - 46.17 (2nd, H.3)
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 46.55 (1st, H.2)
Kosuke Horii (Josai Univ.) - 46.62 (2nd, H.1)
Kentaro Sato (Josai Univ.) - 46.70 (2nd, H.2)
Hideyuki Hirose (Fujitsu) - 46.70 (3rd, H.3)
Tomoya Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) - 46.76 (3rd, H.3)

Women's 100 m Final Qualifiers
Nodoka Seko (Crane) - 11.80 -1.1 m/s (1st, H.2)
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) - 11.85 -2.1 m/s (1st, H.3)
Ami Saito (Tottori Chuo H.S.) - 11.86 -2.1 m/s (2nd, H.3)
Miyu Maeyama (Niigata Iryo Fukushi Univ.) - 11.88 -1.7 m/s (1st, H.1)
Maki Wada (Mizuno) - 11.92 -1.1 m/s (2nd, H.2)
Iyoba Edobah (Nihon Univ.) - 11.94 -1.1 m/s (3rd, H.2)
Mai Fukuda (Tokyo H.S.) - 12.02 -1.7 m/s (2nd, H.1)

Men's 100 m Final Qualifiers
Asuka Cambridge (Dome) - 10.25 -0.3 m/s (1st, SF.1)
Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) - 10.26 -1.4 m/s (1st, SF.2)
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 10.29 -1.4 m/s (2nd, SF.2)
Shuji Takahashi (Aichi Ika Univ.) - 10.38 -0.3 m/s (2nd, SF.1)
Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) - 10.39 -0.3 m/s/ (3rd, SF.1)
Takumi Kuki (NTN) - 10.39 -0.3 m/s (4th, SF.1)
Takuya Nagata (Hosei Univ.) - 10.42 -1.4 m/s (3rd, SF.2)
Tomoya Baba (Lall AC) - 10.49 -1.4 m/s (4th, SF.2)

Hurdles

Men's 400 mH Final Qualifiers
Keisuke Nozawa (Mizuno) - 49.22 (1st, SF.2)
Yuki Matsushita (Mizuno) - 50.03 (1st, SF.1)
Yuta Konishi (Sumitomo Denko) - 50.35 (2nd, SF.2)
Naoya Nakano (Waseda Univ.) - 50.24 (4th, SF.1)
Atsushi Yamada (OPC) - 50.66 (5th, SF.1)
Kazuaki Yoshida (Osaka Gas) - 50.03 (2nd, SF.1)
Naoto Noguchi (Juntendo Univ.) - 50.20 (3rd, SF.1)
Shotaro Tanabe (Chuo Univ.) - 50.78 (3rd, SF.2)

Jumps

Women's High Jump
1. Moeka Kyoya (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) - 1.78 m
2. Haruka Hirayama (Hokubu Shidosha Club) - 1.75 m
3. Miyuki Fukumoto (Konan Gakuen AC) - 1.70 m

Women's Long Jump
1. Konomi Kai (Volver) - 6.36 m (+0.5 m/s)
2. Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.) - 6.28 m (+1.4 m/s) - PB
3. Tamaka Shimizu (Shinkin) - 6.23 m (+0.4 m/s) - PB

Men's Pole Vault
1. Daichi Sawano (Fujitsu) - 5.60 m
2. Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno) - 5.60 m
2. Seito Yamamoto (Toyota) - 5.60 m

Throws

Women's Hammer Throw
1. Akane Watanabe (Maruwa Unyukikan) - 65.33 m
2. Masumi Aya (Maruzen Kogyo) - 64.37 m
3. Hiromi Katsuyama (Tsukuba Univ.) - 62.37 m

Men's Hammer Throw
1. Ryota Kashimura (Monteroza) - 70.81 m - PB
2. Naoki Uematsu (Chukyo Univ.) - 69.48 m - PB
3. Hiroki Akaho (Tottori T&F Assoc.) - 67.67 m - PB
-----
12. Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) - 64.74 m

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, June 23, 2016

100th National Championships Schedule and Highlights

Paloma Mizuho Stadium, Nagoya, June 24-26
click here for complete timetable
click here for entry list highlights
events in bold include athletes with Rio Olympic standard marks

The 100th National Track and Field Championships, Japan's primary Olympic Trials, will be broadcast live on NHK Sogo and BS1.  Follow @JRNHeadlines and @JRNLive for live coverage.

Friday, June 24
14:30 - Women's High Jump Final
15:00 - Women's Hammer Throw Final
17:00 - Men's Pole Vault Final
18:20 - Women's Long Jump Final 
18:30 - Men's Hammer Throw Final
18:45 - Women's 10000 m Final
19:48 - Men's 10000 m Final

Saturday, June 25
14:15 - Women's Triple Jump Final
14:30 - Women's Javelin Throw Final
14:45 - Women's Shot Put Final
17:30 - Women's Pole Vault Final
17:45 - Women's 3000 mSC Final
18:00 - Men's Long Jump Final
18:05 - Women's 1500 m Final
18:20 - Men's 1500 m Final
18:30 - Men's Javelin Throw Final
19:10 - Men's 800 m Final
19:20 - Women's 400 m Final
19:37 - Men's 400 m Final
19:50 - Men's 400 mH Final
20:20 - Women's 100 m Final
20:35 - Men's 100 m Final

Sunday, June 26
13:30 - Women's Discus Throw Final
13:40 - Men's Shot Put Final
14:30 - Men's High Jump Final
14:40 - Men's Paralympic 1500 m T54 Final
15:00 - Men's Paralympic 100 m T44/47 Final
15:15 - Men's 3000 mSC Final
15:30 - Men's Triple Jump Final
15:35 - Women's 800 m Final
15:50 - Men's 110 mH Final
16:10 - Women's 100 mH Final
16:20 - Men's Discus Throw Final
16:25 - Women's 400 mH Final
16:40 - Women's 5000 m Final
17:05 - Men's 5000 m Final
17:30 - Women's 200 m Final
17:45 - Men's 200 m Final

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rio Olympics Marathoner Fukushi Pulls Out of Sunday's Hakodate Half With Foot Pain, Coach Denies Stress Fracture (updated)

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASJ6Q3JD3J6QKTQ2006.html

translated by Brett Larner

On June 22 the organizers of the June 26 Hakodate Half Marathon announced that Rio Olympics women's marathon team member Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) has pulled out of Sunday's race due to pain in her right foot.  After returning mid-month from a training camp in the U.S.A. Fukushi went to the hospital to undergo examination before making the decision to withdraw.

The details are not clear, but there is a possibility of a stress fracture and the team has opted to take it seriously.  Wacoal head coach Tadayuki Nagayama was cautious looking toward August's main event, commenting, "We really have to watch our step here, but training will continue."  He indicated that Fukushi plans to race abroad in July as a tuneup for Rio.

Update:

http://www.daily.co.jp/newsflash/general/2016/06/22/0009212045.shtml

In response to reports that Rio de Janeiro Olympics women's marathon team member Kayoko Fukushi (34, Team Wacoal) may have sustained a stress fracture, Wacoal head coach Tadayuki Nagayama, 56, denied the news, telling the press, "It is not broken."  He said that she has some inflammation of the fourth metatarsal in her right foot that led them to pull out of the June 26 Hakodate Half Marathon, that there is no fracture, that they are making necessary adjustments to her training and continuing to prepare for the Olympics.

Regarding Fukushi's condition coach Nagayama said, "She can train, but it's possible some problems may surface during the Olympics.  She can really take a lot of pain, so if we overdo it now there's a potential danger [of a stress fracture], yes.  Rest is critical to a quick recovery."

According to coach Nagayama, Fukushi's right foot started to hurt around the time of the May 15 Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, but she continued with her training after that.  This month she underwent two medical examinations at her training base in the U.S. and after returning to Japan on the 18th, but although inflammation of the fourth metatarsal on her right foot was found neither examination discovered a stress fracture.

Currently Fukushi is doing 20-30 km training runs.  "The goal is August 14, so we can't take unnecessary risks now," Nagayama said of the decision to pull out of Hakodate.  She will not race again before Rio, stepping onto the biggest stage with no dry run, but, said coach Nagayama, "She's doing race pace in training, so we'll see how she looks during practice."  Emphasizing that there was no problem, he said, "Although there are some changes to the pace of her workouts in the 50 days left [until the Olympic marathon] we don't plan any major changes.  We'll proceed with preparations at that pace.  As long as she doesn't fall during the race I think she'll be fine."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Kawauchi Takes Over Three Minutes Off Own 50 km National Record at Okinoshima Ultra

by Brett Larner

Continuing a season that seems to show him returning to his best form, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) took over three minutes off his own national record as he won the hilly Okinoshima Ultramarathon's 50 km division in 2:44:07.  Run on the island where Kawauchi's late father was born, the Okinoshima Ultra is a Father's Day fixture on Kawauchi's calendar.  The course features a relatively flat first 10 km, three 100 m+ tall ups and downs between 10 and 30 km, and an undulating last 20 km capped by one more major hill with 5 km to go.


"The weather conditions were better than usual, so I decided to go for the course record," Kawauchi told JRN post-race.  Where he has typically opened the first 10 km in 33-34 minutes in past years, this year he went out red-hot, splitting 31:07, 2:11 marathon pace, before hitting the hills.  Over the next 20 km he was slightly slower than in the last two years, but even so with a 1:38:21 split at 30 km projecting to a 2:43:55 finish he was just off pace to hit the world record of 2:43:38.  "Mid-race it got sunny and the wind came up, so it got much tougher," Kawauchi said.


The hills and weather kept the world record just out of reach, but Kawauchi's 2:44:07, 2:18:30 marathon pace, still marked a massive improvement on his 2:47:27 national record two years ago in Okinoshima.  Only two people have ever run faster, South Africa's Thompson Magawana with a 2:43:38 split in the 56 km Two Oceans ultra and American Josh Cox with a 2:43:45 at the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon where Cox ran to a local track after finishing the marathon and ran laps until he had covered 50 km, a mark recognized by USATF as a national record but not considered by others to have been run in a bona fide competition.  "To be honest, it would be very hard to get the world record on this course," Kawauchi said.  "I think I'd like to go for it at Lake Saroma."


At last year's Okinoshima Kawauchi's younger brother Yoshiki Kawauchi made his 100 km debut, suffering home mightily in 11:21:52.  A year older and wiser, Yoshiki returned this year to win the 100 km division in 7:20:31.  It's not every day that you get to run a four-hour PB.  Given the toughness of the 100 km course's hills it's a time that puts him close to national team level if he ever decides to run the fast Lake Saroma course where both the current men's and women's 100 km world records were set.

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved