by Brett Larner
The second day of the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships was dominated by women, with a national record in the 200 m, a junior national record in the 100 m hurdles, and a National Championships meet record in the 3000 m steeplechase. Several athletes, both male and female, unexpectedly qualified for the Berlin World Championships team and a number of defending champions repeated, but the biggest news of the hot and sunny day was Chisato Fukushima's national record in the women's 200 m.
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC), Japan's first female track Olympian in 56 years after making the 100 m in Beijing, set her third national record of the season, smashing her own 200 m national record of 23.14 with a World Championships A-standard 23.00 on the second day of the 2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships.
Conditions at Hiroshima's Big Arch Stadium were hot and sunny, but a legal tailwind of 1.7 m/sec helped push Fukushima to her mark as she claimed her first 200 m national title. Finishing in the runner-up position yet again was Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.), whose mark of 23.19 was under the World Championships B-standard and just off her PB of 23.15 set in the same race in which Fukushima had set her previous national record. The pair will meet again in Sunday's 100 m final before they travel together to the Berlin World Championships in August.
Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC scored big in the women's 100 m hurdles as well, with defending champion Asuka Terada setting a National Championships meet record and junior national record of 13.05 to take her second national title. Terada's mark also broke the World Championships B-standard, meaning that she will join her teammate Fukushima in Berlin. In a tearful post-race interview Terada said she will go for Japan's first sub-13 mark when she runs at the World Championships.
Two-time champion Miho Ishino (Team Hasegawa) was 2nd in a season best 13.15. Five of the eight runners in the final set PB marks thanks in part to the day's generous tailwind.
Women's 3000 m steeplechase national record holder Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) took her fourth straight national title, having swept the event since its introduction. Already in possession of a World Championships A-standard from setting the national record of 9:33.93 last summer, Hayakari nevertheless took the race out fast. At halfway she looked to be on track to break the A-standard for the first time this season, but she instead settled for clearing the B-standard with a winning time of 9:45.05, a new National Championships meet record. 2009 Tokyo Marathon winner Mizuho Nasukawa (Team Aruze) did not start in the steeplechase after her surprise appearance on the entry list.
Beijing Olympics men's 4x100 m relay bronze medalist and three-time 200 m national champion Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) took another 200 m national title, setting his second PB of the season in 20.22 and officially joining the World Championships team. Takahira was weak on the curve, coming into the straight even with Tsukuba University's Hitoshi Saito and Mitsuhiro Abiko but pulling away over the second half.
2nd and 3rd place finishers Saito and Kenji Fujimitsu (Team Seren) also cleared the World Championships A-standard, meaning Japan will be sending a full squad to the 200 m. Tsukuba University ace Abiko, the favorite to make the World Championships team after Takahira, faltered in the final steps and finished 4th. Takahira is next scheduled to run Sunday's 100 m final.
In other track events, Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) ran unchallenged in the women's 1500 m to pick up her fourth-straight national championship win in 4:15.89. National record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki), also on the entry list for the 5000 m and on the mend from a recent injury, did not start. Masato Yokota (Keio Univ.) won a third men's 800 m national title, but his time of 1:48.53 was well short of the World Championships B-standard. Last year's winner Takeshi Kuchino (Team Fujitsu) was 3rd in 1:49.94.
In the field events, third-ranked Daisuke Ikeda (Team WUA) scored a PB of 7753 in the men's decathlon to take his first national title while five-time defending champion Hiromasa Tanaka (Team Monterosa) had an off day and finished 2nd. Ikeda's score also just broke the World Championships B-standard, meaning he is automatically selected for the national team. Joining him on the national team is men's long jump champion Daisuke Arakawa (Osaka T&F Assoc.), who won with a mark of 8.0. In the women's discus throw, defending champion Yuka Murofushi (Team Mizuno) won for the tenth time, while 3rd place finisher Miya Itoman (Naha Nishi H.S.) set a national high school record of 49.48.
2009 Japanese National Track and Field Championships - Top Finishers
click event header for complete results
Women's 3000 mSC
1. Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) - 9:45.05 - MR
2. Yoshika Tatsumi (Team Deodeo) - 9:58.64
3. Chisa Nishio (Team Starts) - 10:13.96
4. Tomoko Izumi (Team Hokuren) - 10:24.94 - PB
5. Miho Notagashira (Team Wacoal) - 10:26.99
Women's 1500 m - click here for video
1. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 4:15.89
2. Nami Tani (Team Aruze) - 4:20.66
3. Maki Arai (Team Uniqlo) - 4:21.39
4. Akane Sebushita (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 4:21.62
5. Misako Suguro (Team Shiseido) - 4:23.27
Men's 800 m - click here for video
1. Masato Yokota (Keio Univ.) - 1:48.53
2. Hisato Suzuki (SDF Sports Academy) - 1:49.92
3. Takeshi Kuchino (Team Fujitsu) - 1:49.94
4. Takanori Matsumoto (SDF Sports Academy) - 1:50.42
5. Masaharu Nakano (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:50.93
6. Ryosuke Akuji (Meiji Univ.) - 1:51.63
7. Yasunori Koshizuka (New Mode AC) - 1:52.48
8. Yoshihiro Shimodaira (Team Fujitsu) - 1:52.48
Women's 200 m
1. Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 23.00 - NR
2. Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 23.19
3. Kaoru Matsuda (Team Natureal) - 24.03
4. Maki Wada (Team Mizuno) - 24.08
5. Shiori Ishikawa (Chuo Univ.) - 24.09 - PB
6. Yuka Nagakura (Tsuru Univ.) - 24.21
7. Saori Imai (Chukyo Univ.) - 24.24
8. Kana Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.) - 24.26
Men's 200 m
1. Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) - 20.22 - PB
2. Hitoshi Saito Tsukuba Univ.) - 20.42 - PB
3. Kenji Fujimitsu (Team Seren) - 20.55
4. Mitsuhiro Abiko (Tsukuba Univ.) - 20.65
5. Sota Kawatsura (Chuo Univ.) - 20.74 - PB
6. Yuichi Kobayashi (Hosei Univ.) - 20.79 - PB
7. Mitsuru Hasegawa (Niigata Albirex AC) - 21.09
8. Hirokazu Taoka (Team STC) - 23.01
Women's 100 mH
1. Asuka Terada (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 13.05 - MR, Jr. NR
2. Mami Ishino (Team Hasegawa) - 13.15
3. Rena Joshita (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13.26 - PB
4. Fumiko Kumagai (Team M&K) - 13.37 - PB
5. Hitomi Shimura (Waseda Univ.) - 13.59 - PB
6. Sayuri Kawakami (Ibaraki AC) - 13.76
7. Risa Shiba (SMS AC) - 13.76
8. Riho Nakamura (Hachiman Jugyo H.S.) - 13.85 - PB
Men's Long Jump
1. Daisuke Arakawa (Osaka T&F Assoc.) - 8.00
2. Yohei Sugai (Team Mizuno) - 8.00 - PB
3. Rikiya Saruyama (Team Monterosa) - 7.91 - PB
Women's Discus Throw
1. Yuka Murofushi (Team Mizuno) - 54.80
2. Tsuruyo Suzuki (Kokushikan Univ.) - 49.89
3. Miya Itoman (Naha Nishi H.S.) - 49.48 - H.S. NR
Men's Decathlon - click here for video
1. Daisuke Ikeda (Team WUA) - 7753 - PB
2. Hiromasa Tanaka (Team Monterosa) - 7575
3. Yuki Someya (Juntendo Univ.) - 7301 - PB
4. Makoto Kaneko (Team Nihon Wellness) - 7123 - PB
5. Yotaro Higashinaka (Chukyo Univ.) - 7106 - PB
(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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