Skip to main content

World Championships Day Four

Click here to enter JRN's World Championships marathon prediction contest for a chance to win a 2009 Japanese national team singlet.

by Brett Larner

Barring a repeat of the Beijing Olympics marathons, 2009 national champion Yuzo Kanemaru's performance in the men's 400 m will be the biggest disappointment of this year's World Championships for Japanese fans. A legitimate contender for the final, despite setting a PB of 45.16 in May and being reliably under 46 seconds all season Kanemaru, who sustained a minor injury to his left thigh on the final day of training for Berlin, failed to make it out of the first round heats after delivering only a 46.83. Hideyuki Hirose actually ran faster in his heat, clocking 46.80, but likewise failed to advance.

The men's 200 m squad fared better, with Beijing Olympics 4x100 m relay bronze medalist Shinji Takahira and the young Kenji Fujimitsu leaving teammate Hitoshi Saito behind to advance to the quarterfinal. However, both Takahira and Fujimitsu were eliminated in the quarter, Takahira missing the semifinal by less than 0.01 of a second. Women's 100 m hurdles national champion Asuka Terada joined in the off day festivities as she likewise did not advance to the second round.

The only bright spot of the day came from Team Honda's Japan-based Ethiopian Yacob Jarso. Jarso set the Ethiopian national record in the men's 3000 mSC while finishing 4th at last year's Beijing Olympics. Having lost the national record last month to fellow World Championships team member Roba Gary, Jarso came to Berlin determined to get a medal. The extremely competitive quality of the race kept the hardware out of his range, but Jarso finished a credible 5th in a new PB of 8:12.13, 0.10 seconds short of Gary's record but beating the man himself by 0.27 seconds.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Men's Marathon Rout - JAAF Executives Announce Resignation

http://www.nikkansports.com/olympic/rio2016/athletics/news/1698472.html

translated by Brett Larner

In the Rio de Janeiro Olympics men's marathon on Aug. 21, Satoru Sasaki (30) was the top Japanese man at 16th in 2:13:57.  Suehiro Ishikawa (36) was 36th, with Hisanori Kitajima (31) placing 94th.

At the end of athletics competition Japan's total was two medals and two top eight finishes, a total exceeding the JAAF's target one medal but falling short of its goal of five top eight finishes.  JAAF strengthening committee chairman Kazunori Asaba (55) announced that he intends to resign his position following the Rio Olympics.  Strengthening committee vice-chairman Katsumi Sakai (56) and director of men's marathoning Takeshi Soh (63) are also expected to join the exodus of resignations.  Japanese athletics will be forced to make a fresh start before the Tokyo Olympics.

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Kawauchi Leaves for Oslo After Trying 100 m Time Trial

The civil servant runner admits to being shocked. 2017 London World Championships marathoner and men's captain Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) left from Tokyo's Narita Airport for Norway the evening of Sept. 13 to run the Sept. 16 BMW Oslo Marathon.

On Sept. 9 at the National University Track and Field Championships, Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) became the first Japanese man to break 10 seconds in the 100 m when he set a new national record of 9.98. The news has been the talk of the nation ever since. Kawauchi said, "It's pretty amazing. It took up the front page of every newspaper." What can he run for 100 m? "My PB is 13.1, but right now, 13.9," he admitted.

Kawauchi ran that time, "in the morning the day before yesterday," he said. "I did two time trials. I even wore spikes. I ran them for real and only did 13.9. To be honest, it was pretty shocking." Although short sprints are well outside his area of expertise it seemed…