Skip to main content

Shota Iizuka's Big Day? World Junior Championships Preview

by Brett Larner

The 2010 World Junior Championships in athletics begin tomorrow, July 19, in Moncton, Canada and Japan is sending a solid team with more realistic medal chances than its senior teams typically have at the World Championships level. Japan's best chance for a gold medal may be in the women's 10000 m race walk, where Kumiko Okada's PB of 45:23.83 is well over a minute better than her closest rival Chiaki Asada. Be this as it may, the lion's share of the attention is likely to be on Japan's other legitimate gold medal contender, sprinter Shota Iizuka in the men's 200 m.

Iizuka, a first-year at Chuo University, gained international attention in May thanks to a Youtube video of his stunning anchor leg for Chuo in the men's 4 x 100 m relay at the Kanto Regional University Championships. In that world-class performance Iizuka singlehandedly gave Chuo a one-second margin of victory and the national collegiate record of 38.54. Iizuka went on to win the 200 m at the Kanto Regionals, displaying a weak start but strong closing speed. With the fastest time this season in the World Juniors field, 20.58, Iizuka is the favorite for the gold by a slim margin over Thailand's Suppachai Chimdee. Iizuka is also on the list for Japan's 4 x 100 m relay team where it is only to be hoped that he anchors again.

With full Ethiopian and Kenya long-distance squads in the Junior Championships the Japanese team will be hard-pressed to medal in those events, but perhaps its best chance comes in the men's 10000 m, where Waseda University first-years Suguru Osako and Fuminori Shikata have the third and fifth-best PBs. Osako's former Saku Chosei H.S. teammate Akinobu Murasawa has a distance chance in the men's 5000 m where he comes in with the sixth-best PB, but his lack of closing speed is likely to be a major factor against him if the race proves tactical. Likewise in the women's 3000 m and 5000 m, where no Japanese athletes are ranked better than seventh. Japan's other realistic medal chances come in the men's and women's 400 m hurdles, men's high jump and men's 4 x 100 m and 4 x 400 m relays, making for a total potential medal count of seven to nine.

Below is a listing of the best of the Japanese team, those ranked in the top ten in their event, along with their major competion ranked by pre-Championships qualifying time. For a complete listing of entrants by event, click here.

Men

Men's 100 m
1. Jimmy Vicaut (FRA) - 10.16
2. Dexter Lee (JAM) - 10.20
3. Gook-Young Kim (KOR) - 10.23
-----
7. Takumi Kuki (JPN) - 10.34

Men's 200 m
1. Shota Iizuka (JPN) - 20.58
2. Suppachai Chimdee (THA) - 20.68
3. Shekeim Greaves (BAR) - 20.75

Men's 5000 m
1. Belete Assefa (ETH) - 13:18.40
2. David Kiprotich Bett (KEN) - 13:20.63
3. Moses Kibet (UGA) - 13:21.81
-----
6. Akinobu Murasawa (JPN) - 13:38.68

Men's 10000 m
1. Paul Kipchumba Lonyangata (KEN) - 28:21.0
2. Dennis Chepkongin Masai (KEN) - 28:25.0
3. Suguru Osako (JPN) - 28:35.75
-----
5. Fuminori Shikata (JPN) - 28:38.46

Men's 3000 mSC
1. Jonathan Muia Ndiku (KEN) - 8:19.25
2. Birhan Getahun (ETH) - 8:21.20
3. Abdelaziz Merzougui (ESP) - 8:33.29
-----
9. Kosei Yamaguchi (JPN) - 8:47.94

Men's 400 mH
1. Leslie Murray (ISV) - 49.83
2. Takatoshi Abe (JPN) - 50.11
3. Hederson Estefani (BRA) - 50.44

Men's High Jump
1. Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT) - 2.25
1. Erik Kynard (USA) - 2.25
3. Qichao Jin (CHN) - 2.24
-----
4. Naoto Tobe (JPN) - 2.23

Men's Javelin Throw
1. Till Woschler (GER) - 78.64
2. Dmitri Tarabin (RUS) - 77.65
3. Dean Goosen (RSA) - 75.28
-----
6. Genki Dean (JPN) - 74.06

Men's 4 x 100 m Relay
1. USA - 39.06
2. Germany - 39.33
3. Czech Republic - 39.57
-----
4. Japan - 39.61

Men's 4 x 400 m Relay
1. USA - 3:03.25
2. Japan - 3:07.04
3. Trinidad and Tobago - 3:07.70

Women

Women's 3000 m
1. Mercy Cherono (KEN) - 8:44.67
2. Layes Abdullayeva (AZE) - 8:49.65
3. Purity Cherotich Rionoripo (KEN) - 9:03.7
-----
7. Haruka Kyuma (JPN) - 9:12.63
9. Kanako Fujishi (JPN) - 9:18.83

Women's 5000 m
1. Mercy Cherono (KEN) - 14:47.13
2. Genzebe Dibaba (ETH) - 14:55.52
3. Go-Eun Youm (KOR) - 15:38.60
-----
7. Nanaka Izawa (JPN) - 15:50.06

Women's 400 mH
1. Katsiaryna Artyukh (BLR) - 56.88
2. Shiori Miki (JPN) - 57.53
3. Evonne Britton (USA) - 57.61

Women's 10000 mRW
1. Kumiko Okada (JPN) - 45:23.83
2. Chiaki Asada (JPN) - 46:46.94
3. Antonella Palmisano (ITA) - 46:59.47

Women's 4 x 400 m Relay
1. Jamaica - 3:34.41
2. Russia - 3:36.25
3. USA - 3:36.34
-----
9. Japan - 3:41.78

(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…

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…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…