Skip to main content

2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships - Field Preview

by Brett Larner

The field events at the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships begin at 1:00 p.m. on June 25 with the women's high jump. With one exception Japan is not really known for its strength in field events, but nevertheless a fair number of athletes stand a chance of making the national team for this summer's World Championships in Berlin. To be guaranteed a place on the team athletes must hold a World Championships A or B standard mark and win their event at Nationals, and in the majority of the field events there is at least one contender.

Japan's strongest field athlete is of course its two-time Olympic medalist in the men's hammer throw, the half-Japanese Koji Murofushi (Team Mizuno). Murofushi will be making his 15th straight National Championships appearance and on the strength of his medal-winning performance at last summer's Beijing Olympics he is in all likelihood already assured a spot on the team. His nearest competitor Hiroaki Doi (Chiba T&F Assoc.) has at his best not thrown within 7 m of Murofushi's most recent championship performances, so even a perfunctory performance should be good for the win.

Men's pole vaulter Daichi Sawano (Chiba T&F Assoc.) is the only other field athlete currently holding an A-standard mark and is the favorite to win. Students Hiroki Ogita (Kansai Gakuin Univ.) and Takafumi Suzuki (Tokai Univ.) each hold the B-standard, and while it's unlikely either can win whichever of them comes out ahead may pick up a Berlin spot alongside Sawano.

Women's long jumper Kumiko Imura (Sunnyside Up), men's high jumper Naoyuki Daigo (Team Fujitsu) and Yukifumi Murakami (Team Suzuki) in the men's javelin throw all hold PBs better than the A-standard but currently have only valid B-standard marks. Although Maho Hanaoka (Narita Kokusai H.S.) has also broken the women's long jump A-standard before, her current best is nowhere near the B-standard and Imura is likely to be competing unchallenged. Daigo will also be competing unchallenged, but short of meeting the A-standard Murakami will face B-standard holder Ken Arai (Team Nanajunana Ginko) for the lone B-standard spot on the national team.

Yuki Ebihara (Team Suzuki) in the women's javelin throw, Daisuke Arakawa (Osaka T&F Assoc.) in the men's long jump and Kazuyoshi Ishikawa (Team Ishikawa Foods) in the men's triple jump are all the only athletes in their disciplines to hold valid B-standard marks and should both win and be named to the Berlin team with ease.

Eight athletes spread across eight different events have also at one time broken the B-standard in their events but do not hold current marks valid for the Berlin World Championships, among them women's hammer and discus thrower Yuka Murofushi (Team Mizuno), the younger sister of men's hammer throw champion Koji Murofushi. In most cases the members of this group are the only athletes in their event to have ever broken the B-standard mark, but regardless they will need to bring their best to have a chance of being picked for the team.

Three events do not feature any athletes who have ever met the World Championships. Men's discus thrower Shigeo Hatakeyama (Team Zenrin), women's triple jumper Fumiyo Yoshida (Team Narita Airport) and both Sotaro Yamada (Hosei Univ.) and Satoshi Hatase (Team Gunma Alsok) in the men's shot put stand good chances of winning but would need to significantly step up their game to break into the pool for Berlin.

A complete timetable and list of field event entrants in available here. JRN will be on-hand to provide video coverage of the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships. Click here to make a donation to help cover the costs of providing this coverage.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay with Kazami, high-volume marathoner Hayasaka dropped Gyoba afte…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved