Skip to main content

Shota Iizuka Lives Up to Expectations With First-ever Japanese World Junior 200 m Gold

by Brett Larner

click here for photos of Iizuka winning gold

In May Japan Running News introduced the world to Chuo University freshman Shota Iizuka with a video of his stunning anchor run in the Kanto Regionals 4 x 100 m relay. Now he's holding Japan's first-ever World Junior Championships gold medal, taking the men's 200 m in 20.67 by a margin of 0.22 after winning both the heats and semi-finals. Iizuka also delivered another solid 4 x 100 m anchor leg earlier in the afternoon to move the Japanese team on to the final with a win in its heat. Whether he can single-handedly carry the relay team to another gold medal is questionable, but his 200 m gold secures his place as the man to watch in Japanese sprinting.

Overall it was the best day of World Juniors so far for the Japanese team. Men's 400 m hurdler Takatoshi Abe brought his best, running a PB 49.46 for silver after leading the heats and semi-finals with season-best times. Abe missed gold by only 0.16 behind Trinidad and Tobago's powerful Jehue Gordon. Ranked only 6th going into competition, Genki Dean continued Japan's surprising men's javelin renaissance with an unexpected silver medal thanks to a PB throw of 76.44. Men's high jumper Naoto Tobe won bronze with a season-best jump of 2.21 to bring Japan's current medal count to five.

The only Japanese athlete of the day to walk away empty-handed was women's 200 m finalist Kana Ichikawa, who finished last in 24.09. Among athletes running qualifying heats, Kosei Yamaguchi was 2nd in heat 1 of the men's 3000 mSC. Japan-based Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya) and Desta Alemu (Ethiopia) went 2-3 in heat 2, Alemu delivering a PB of 8:38.04. Men's 110 m hurdler Wataru Yazawa was 2nd in heat 5 with a season-best 13.76, advancing to the semi-finals. Akane Yabushita ran a PB of 4:19.72 in heat 2 of the women's 1500 m but failed to advance. Men's discus thrower Takumi Inubushi also delivered a PB of 50.35 but did not move past the qualification round. Ryota Kashimura threw a season-best 58.91 in the men's hammer throw but likewise did not clear the qualification round. Lastly, the women's 4 x 100 m relay ran a season-best 45.78 but did not make the semi-final round.

2010 World Junior Championships Top Results
click here for complete results
Men's 200 m Final
1. Shota Iizuka (JPN) - 20.67
2. Aliaksandr Linnik (BLR) - 20.89
3. Aaron Brown (CAN) - 21.00 - PB

Men's 400 mH Final
1. Jehue Gordon (TRI) - 49.30
2. Takatoshi Abe (JPN) - 49.46 - PB
3. Leslie Murray (ISV) - 50.22

Men's Javelin Throw Final
1. Till Woschler (GER) - 82.52
2. Genki Dean (JPN) - 76.44 - PB
3. Dmitri Tarabin (RUS) - 76.42

Men's High Jump Final
1. Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT) - 2.30
2. David Smith (USA) - 2.24 - PB
3. Naoto Tobe (JPN) - 2.21

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…