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2011 Japanese Nationals - Day One and Two Results

by Brett Larner

On the first two days of this weekend's Japanese National Track & Field Championships in Kumagaya, Saitama, five athletes secured guaranteed places on the Japanese national team for this summer's Daegu World Championships. Eight more had the right combination of placing and time to stand a chance of being selected for the team. Below is a summary of results from all event finals held on Day One and Day Two.

In noteworthy performances apart from the men's and women's 10000 m:

-The men's 200 m lived up to expectations as one of the best events of the meet. Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) came back from a long injury setback to win the final in 20.49. 2nd and 3rd place Hitoshi Saito (Team Sunmesse) and Yuichi Kobayashi (Hosei Univ.) were both timed at 20.62 and are very likely to join Takahira in Daegu. 2010 world junior champion Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) was 4th in 20.64, just missing a place on the team but with the outside chance of being picked up as alternate.

-High-schooler Mika Kobayashi (Suma Gakuen H.S.) won the women's 1500 m, the first high school national champion in the event since 2005 when future national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi, also of Suma Gakuen, won.

-Defending men's and women's steeplechase champions Tsuyoshi Takeda (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) both repeated, although neither was able to meet the Daegu B-standard. 4th-placer Kanako Ushirogata (Juntendo Univ.) set a new national collegiate record of 10:08.41.

-Two-time World Championships men's 400 mH medalist Dai Tamesue (a-meme AC), running in his first National Championships since pre-Beijing, finished only 6th in the final, nearly a second and a half off winner Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) who won in 49.28 to pick up a national team spot.

-Masumi Aya (Maruzen Kogyo Co.) set a women's hammer throw meet record of 66.32 m for the win but missed clearing the B-standard of 69.00.

Reader Bruce Carrick sent in this video on the women's 1500 m. This youtube user also has an exhaustive collection of videos of the track events.

2011 Japanese National Track & Field Championships
Kumagaya Dome, Kumagaya, Saitama, June 10-12
Athletes in bold have secured places on the Daegu World Championships team.
Athletes in italics have possibility of being selected for a place on the Japanese team.

Men's 10000 m
1. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:10.87
2. Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:15.63
3. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 28:20.40

Women's 10000 m
1. Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) - 32:18.79
2. Remi Nakazato (Team Daihatsu) - 32:20.81*
3. Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 32:25.77

*Nakazato is running the marathon at the Daegu World Championships.

Men's 3000 m SC
1. Tsuyoshi Takeda (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 8:37.14
2. Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 8:37.69
3. Jun Shinoto (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 8:41.80

Women's 3000 m SC
1. Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) - 9:52.98
2. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 10:02.24
3. Azusa Saito (Niigata Albirex AC) - 10:05.40
4. Kanako Ushirogata (Juntendo Univ.) - 10:08.41 - NUR

Men's 1500 m
1. Hiroshi Ino (Team Fujitsu) - 3:48.59
2. Yuya Konishi (Team Toyota) - 3:48.92
3. Toshiki Imazaki (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 3:49.18

Women's 1500 m
1. Mika Kobayashi (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 4:20.41
2. Akane Yabushita (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 4:20.54
3. Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 4:20.55

Men's 400 mH
1. Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) - 49.28
2. Yuta Imazeki (Team Aima) - 49.61
3. Takatoshi Abe (Chukyo Univ.) - 49.81
6. Dai Tamesue (a-meme AC) - 50.55

Women's 400 m
1. Miho Shingu (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 54.16
2. Chisato Tanaka (Team Kyudenko) - 54.27
3. Sayaka Aoki (Team Toho Ginko) - 54.35

Men's 200 m
1. Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) - 20.49
2. Hitoshi Saito (Team Sunmesse) - 20.62
3. Yuichi Kobayashi (Hosei Univ.) - 20.62
4. Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - 20.64

Men's 110 mH
1. Wataru Yazawa (Hosei Univ.) - 13.86
2. Kenji Yahata (Team Monteroza) - 13.88
3. Yuji Ohashi (Team Mizuno) - 13.89

Women's 100 m
1. Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido HiTec AC) - 11.39
2. Hanna Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.) - 11.61
3. Nao Okabe (Team Mizuno) - 11.74

Men's Pole Vault
1. Daichi Sawano (Chiba T&F Assoc.) - 5.40 m

Men's Triple Jump
1. Shinya Sogame (Sagamihara T&F Assoc.) - 16.42 m

Men's Long Jump
1. Yohei Sugai (Team Mizuno) - 7.94 m

Men's Hammer Throw
1. Koji Murofushi (Team Mizuno) - 77.01 m

Men's Discus
1. Shiro Kobayashi (Niigata Nippo Co.) - 55.42 m

Women's Pole Vault
1. Tomomi Abiko (Shiga Lake Stars AC) - 4.20 m

Women's High Jump
1. Miyuki Fukumoto (Konan Gakuen AC) - 1.79 m

Women's Triple Jump
1. Sayuri Takeda (Hokkaido Taiku Univ.) - 13.12 m

Women's Hammer Throw
1. Masumi Aya (Maruzen Kogyo Co.) - 66.32 m - MR

Women's Shot Put
1. Yukino Otani (Kokushikan Univ.) - 15.44 m

Women's Javelin
1. Risa Miyashita (Osaka Taiku Univ.) - 60.08 m
2. Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 59.98 m

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Bruce said…
Video of Women's 1500m finals (apologies, a bit bumpy)
http://www.flotrack.org/video/495673-Japan-National-Open-Championships-Womens-1500m-Final-Saturday-June-11
TokyoRacer said…
What IS the problem with Japanese middle distance running? Yes, i know the Japanese obsession is with long distance, but shouldn't there be a few decent runners? If not world class, at least near world class?
Frankly, it's an embarrassment.
The women's 1500 was won by a high school kid in 4:20. A high school kid! In the NCAA 1500, 14 women broke 4:20 - in the preliminary round! Not even pros, collegiate runners.
The men's 1500 was won in 3:48. Yesterday, Lukas Verzbicas, an American high school kid, ran a 3:59 mile - his 1500 split was 3:43.
So again, what is the problem? Is it body type, is it training, is it coaching, is it motivation (i.e., you only have to run 4:20 to be the national champion, so why aim for 4:10?)?
Maybe the solution is to take some promising high school sophomores and send them to the US to finish HS and attend college.
Brett Larner said…
Yeah, this year was a bit extreme. I would guess that most of the people who would be middle-distance runners somewhere else are pushed into doing the shorter ekiden stages and so are focusing more on 5-10 km. There have been a lot of talented men and women at that level who never succeeded at the marathon. The ones who do focus on middle distances might be the ones who can't handle longer distance, so the overall level is lower than what you would expect based on the level of sprinting and long distance.

Despite the results at Nationals this year I think there is more attention being paid the last two years or so to 1500 m and 5000 m, but maybe handicapped by the lack of a knowledge base about training at that level. Just speculation, but that's how it looks to me.
Bruce said…
TokyoRacer - At the very elite of the elite Olympic level, I agree Japanese racers are conspicuously absent. But when you look at elite high schoolers in middle distance, Japan has the advantage, particularly on the girls side at 1500m and 3000m. Using Dyestat`s guidelines for top 100 Americans, you will find over 500 Japanese girls with the same marks. On the boys side, the two countries are fairly similar at 1500m. Unfortunately for purposes of comparison, American boys only run 3000m, while Japanese boys run the 3000m steeplechase and 5000m. But American collegiates run 5000m; and the top 30 or so Japanese high school squads are much stronger at 5000m than most American universities, even NCAA D1.
Brett Larner said…
Bruce--I tried emailing you a few days ago. If you didn't receive it, please email me at the address in my profile.

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