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

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …