Saturday, September 11, 2010

Juntendo and Shigakkan Score Surprise 4x100 m Wins - Japanese National University Champs Day Two

by Brett Larner

Sprints were the main attraction on the second day of the 2010 Japanese National University Track and Field Championships on Sept. 11 at Tokyo's National Stadium. 2009 women's 100 m open national champion Momoko Takahashi (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) took 0.07 seconds off her own meet record, winning in 11.55 and announcing that she will join Team Fujitsu following her graduation next March. Two-time men's 100 m open national champion Masashi Eriguchi (Waseda University) had no trouble picking up the university title, coasting to the win in 10.62. It was his fourth straight year winning the 100 m at national university championship, making Eriguchi only the second Japanese man and the first in 77 years to accompish the feat.

Both champions returned a few hours later for the 4x100 m relays. Takahashi ran a solid anchor leg but was outdone by the virtually unknown Shigakkan University's Saori Imai, who brought Shigakkan home for an unexpected win in 45.45. Shigakkan finished 0.12 ahead of the Heisei Kokusai squad despite Imai losing to Takahashi by 0.22 earlier in the day in the 100 m.

Eriguchi's Waseda University was the three-time defending champion in the men's 4x100 m but was heavily expected to lose to the Chuo University team, which features 200 m World Junior Champion Shota Iizuka on anchor and set the national collegiate record of 38.54 while beating Waseda at May's Kanto Regionals. Chuo did beat Waseda, but thanks to several flubbed exchanges including Iizuka's anchor run both schools were trounced by the venerable Juntendo University. Juntendo took the national university title in 39.32 versus 39.62 for Chuo and 39.63 for Waseda.

For complete results from these and other events, click here.

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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