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2012 Japanese Olympic Trials - Sprints, Hurdles and Field Events Preview

by Brett Larner

Click here for JRN's middle and long distance preview.

Marathon team medals aside, Japan's only medals at the last Olympics and subsequent two World Championships came in events outside distance running, with the men's 4x100 m relay team winning bronze in Beijing, Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) taking men's javelin bronze in Berlin in 2009 and 2004 Athens Olympics men's hammer throw gold medalist Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) making a comeback for gold last summer in Daegu.  Half of the Beijing relay team, Murakami and Murofushi all return this year to the 96th Japanese National Track & Field Championships, doubling as the Olympic Trials June 8-10 at Nagai Stadium in Osaka, where they earn places on the London Olympic team if they win their events and hold an A-standard mark.

Beijing relay team member Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) leads the way in the men's 200 m, where three men hold Olympic A-standard times.  His training partner Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) and Hitoshi Saito (Sunmesse AC) are his strongest competition, but among the four men with B-standard times is 2010 World Junior 200 m gold medalist Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.), who comes to the Trials fresh from a win at the Kanto Regional University Track & Field Championships after having missed the Daegu team.

In the javelin Murakami threw a PB 83.53 m earlier this season, but unexpected competition has emerged in the form of 20-year-old Genki Dean (Waseda Univ.), who threw 84.28 m in late April and won twice in May with throws over 81 m.  Dean's mark puts him at #8 in the world, a possible medal contender, while medalist Murakami is ranked only 30th despite a PB.  The pair's battle could make the men's javelin one of the highlights of this year's Trials.

Murofushi is, needless to say, the heavy favorite in the men's hammer.  With no other athletes close to the B-standard it will take only a perfunctory performance to put Murofushi onto the London team.  Having announced that he plans to retire following the London Olympics, fans will look forward to seeing him throw at the National Championships for the last time.

Takahira's Beijing relay teammate Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) is entered in the 100 m, but with a season best outside the B-standard and two A-standard men on the list he will need a return to form to repeat in London.  Two-time defending national champion Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas) is one of the two men with the A-standard and with a best of 10.07 holds the fastest PB in the field, but 19-year-old Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) ran 10.08 earlier this season to come in as the #1 seed.

Along with the men's 200 m, the men's 400 mH looks like the most competitive for making the London team, featuring three A-standard men, two B-standards, and six other men with PBs under the A-standard.  Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) is the favorite, his best of 48.88 the only mark under 49 this season.  Among the six men hoping for a comeback to A-standard territory is two-time World Championships bronze medalist Dai Tamesue (Chaski AC).

National record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) is a shoo-in in both the 100 m and 200 m, but the women's 400 mH and 100 mH will both feature battles for what will likely end up as a single Olympic spot.  Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) and Ayako Kimura (Team Edion) are the favorites, respectively.  There is little doubt that defending national champion Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) will make the team in the men's 400 m, but B-standard men Hiroyuki Nakano (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) and Hideyuki Hirose (Team Fujitsu) both have PB marks just off the A-standard this season and could join Kanemaru if they run well at the Trials.

In the women's javelin, Murakami's teammate Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) holds the A-standard but will have to fend off B-standard collegiates Risa Miyashita (Osaka Taiku Univ.) and Yuka Sato (Higashi Osaka Univ.) to make the London team.  Likewise in the men's pole vault, where A-standard defending national champ Daichi Sawano (Team Fujitsu) faces a challenge from B-standard men Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno) and Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.).

JRN will be on-site in Osaka to cover the Olympic Trials.  Follow @JRNHeadlines and @JRNLive for live coverage and check back regularly throughout the weekend for video of all the key races.  Entry list highlights are listed below.

96th Japanese National Track & Field Championships - 2012 Olympic Trials 
Nagai Stadium, Osaka, 6/8-10/12
click here for complete entry lists

Men's 400 m Heats 6/8/12, 5:55 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 7:40 p.m.
A-standard (45.30)
Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - SB: 45.23   PB: 45.16

B-standard (45.90)
Hiroyuki Nakano (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) - SB/PB: 45.81
Hideyuki Hirose (Team Fujitsu) - SB/PB: 45.84

Other Notables
Yuki Yamaguchi (Team Osaka Gas) - SB: 46.77   PB: 45.18
Yoshihiro Horigome (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 46.87   PB: 45.77

Women's 400 m Heats 6/8/12, 5:30 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 6:40 p.m.
Notables
Asami Chiba (Team Toho Ginko) - SB: 55.30   PB: 51.75
Mayu Sato (Team Toho Ginko) - SB: 54.05   PB: 53.05
Mayu Tsutsumi (Team Aima) - SB: 55.12   PB: 53.10
Sayaka Aoki (Team Toho Ginko) - SB: 53.72   PB: 53.40
Chisato Tanaka (Team Kyudenko) - SB: 54.05   PB: 53.47

Men's 200 m Heats 6/9/12, 4:05 p.m., Final 6/10/12, 5:40 p.m.
A-standard (20.55)
Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 20.49   PB: 20.22
Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) - SB/PB: 20.53
Hitoshi Saito (Sunmesse AC) - SB: 20.55   PB: 20.42

B-standard (20.65)
Sota Kawatsura (Mizuno) - SB/PB: 20.56
Yuichi Kobayashi (Team NTN) - SB/PB: 20.59
Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - SB/PB: 20.62
Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - SB: 20.64   PB: 20.58

Other Notables
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin AC) - SB: 20.89   PB: 20.38
Mitsuhiro Abiko (Mizuno) - SB: 21.07   PB: 20.48

Women's 200 m Heats 6/9/12, 3:45 p.m., Final 6/10/12, 5:50 p.m.
B-standard (23.30)
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 23.12   PB: 22.89

Other Notables
Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 23.70   PB: 23.15
Sakie Nobuoka (Mizuno) - SB: 24.10   PB: 23.33
Kana Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 23.62
Maki Wada (Mizuno) - SB: 24.10   PB: 23.67
Saori Imai (Shigakkan Univ.) - SB: 23.77   PB: 23.68

Men's 100 m Heats 6/8/12, 7:45 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 8:30 p.m.
A-standard (10.18)
Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - SB/PB: 10.08
Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas) - SB: 10.14   PB: 10.07

B-standard (10.24)
Yusuke Kotani (Sumitomo Denko AC) - SB/PB: 10.21
Sota Kawatsura (Mizuno) - SB/PB: 10.22

Other Notables
Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 10.25   PB: 10.09
Shintaro Kimura (Asics) - SB: 10.27   PB: 10.21

Women's 100 m Heats 6/8/12, 7:30 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 8:15 p.m.
A-standard (11.29)
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 11.24   PB: 11.21

Other Notables
Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 11.51   PB: 11.32
Saori Kitakaze (Hokkaio Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 11.61   PB: 11.42
Anna Doi (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - SB/PB: 11.43
Kana Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.l) - SB/PB: 11.43
Mayumi Watanabe (Team Toho Ginko) - SB/PB: 11.44

Men's 400 mH Heats 6/8/12, 5:00 p.m., Semifinal 6/9/12, 3:00 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 7:50 p.m.
A-standard (49.50)
Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) - SB/PB: 48.88
Yuta Imazeki (Shibuya Kyoiku Gakuen Makuhari H.S.) - SB/PB: 49.27
Yuta Konishi (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 49.41

B-standard (49.80)
Takatoshi Abe (Chukyo Univ.) - SB: 49.64   PB: 49.46
Tetsuya Tateno (Chukyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 49.77

Other Notables
Dai Tamesue (Chaski AC) - SB: 50.32   PB: 47.89
Kenji Narisako (Mizuno) - SB: 50.57   PB: 47.93
Masahira Yoshitaka (Vantech Supply AC) - SB: 50.46   PB: 48.66
Naohiro Kawakita (Rattle AC) - SB: 50.12   PB: 49.04
Takayuki Koike (Mizuno) - SB: 50.42   PB: 49.23
Kazuaki Yoshida (Team Osaka Gas) - SB: 50.26   PB: 49.45

Women's 400 mH Heats 6/8/12, 3:00 p.m., Semifinal 6/9/12, 3:20 p.m., Final 6/10/12, 4:05 p.m.
A-standard (55.50)
Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) - SB/PB: 55.34

B-standard (56.65)
Sayaka Aoki (Team Toho Ginko) - SB: 56.62   PB: 55.94
Miyabi Tago (J. Vic AC) - SB: 56.65   PB: 55.99

Other Notables
Tomomi Yoneda (Chuo Univ.) - SB/PB: 56.80
Shiori Miki (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - SB/PB: 56.92

Men's 110 mH Heats 6/9/12, 4:35 p.m., Semifinal 6/10/12, 2:55 p.m., Final 6/10/12, 4:55 p.m.
Notables
Masato Naito (Mizuno) - SB: 13.98   PB: 13.43
Yuji Ohashi (Mizuno) - SB: 13.68   PB: 13.55
Tasuku Tanonaka (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 13.70   PB: 13.55
Kenji Yahata (Monteroza AC) - SB: 13.77   PB: 13.58
Hiroyuki Sato (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - SB/PB: 13.62

Women's 100 mH Heats 6/8/12, 6:15 p.m., Semifinal 6/9/12, 5:30 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 8:00 p.m.
B-standard (13.15)
Ayako Kimura (Team Edion) - SB/PB: 13.04
Tomomi Shimura (Waseda Univ.) - SB/PB: 13.15

Other Notables
Asuka Terada (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 13.52   PB: 13.05
Mami Ishino (Hasegawa AC) - SB: 13.33   PB: 13.08

Men's High Jump 6/10/12, 3:30 p.m.
Notables
Naoyuki Daigo (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 2.16 m   PB: 2.33 m
Hikaru Tsuchiya (Monteroza AC) - SB: 2.20 m   PB: 2.25 m
Takashi Ito (Suzuka Kogyo H.S.) - SB/PB: 2.24 m
Naoto Tobe (Hosei Univ.) - SB: 2.22 m   PB: 2.24 m
Hiromi Takahari (Hitachi ICT AC) - SB: 2.20 m   PB: 2.24 m

Women's High Jump 6/10/12, 12:30 p.m.
Notables
Miyuki Fukumoto (Konan Gakuen AC) - SB: 1.87 m   PB: 1.92 m
Yuki Mimura (Mizuno) - SB: 1.78 m   PB: 1.82 m
Midori Kamijima (Hanazono H.S.) - SB/PB: 1.81 m
Asumi Matsumoto (Chukyo Univ.) - SB: 1.75 m   PB: 1.81 m

Men's Pole Vault 6/8/12, 6:00 p.m.
A-standard (5.72 m)
Daichi Sawano (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 5.72 m   PB: 5.83 m

B-standard (5.60 m)
Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno) - SB/PB: 5.65 m
Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 5.60 m

Other Notables
Takafumi Suzuki (Mizuno) - SB: 5.40 m   PB: 5.55 m
Hiroki Sasase (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB: 5.40 m   PB: 5.50 m

Women's Pole Vault 6/9/12, 2:30 p.m.
Notables
Mami Nakano (Imabari Shipbuilding AC) - SB/PB: 4.32 m
Tomomi Abiko (Shiga Lake Stars AC) - SB: 4.20 m   PB: 4.25 m
Megumi Nakada (Hosei Univ.) - SB: 4.20 m   PB: 4.23 m

Men's Long Jump 6/9/12, 6:30 p.m.
Notables
Yohei Sugai (Mizuno) - SB: 8.09 m   PB: 8.10 m
Daisuke Arakawa (Noby AC) - SB: 7.80 m   PB: 8.09 m
Rikiya Saruyama (Monteroza AC) - SB/PB: 8.05 m

Women's Long Jump 6/8/12, 7:00 p.m.
Notables
Kumiko Imura (iDEAR AC) - SB: 6.39 m   PB: 6.86 m
Sachiko Masumi (Team Kyudenko) - SB: 6.46 m   PB: 6.65 m
Saeko Okayama (Bosar AC) - SB/PB: 6.56 m

Men's Triple Jump 6/10/12, 3:30 p.m.
Notables
Kazuyoshi Ishikawa (Shimo Takaigun T&F Assoc.) - SB: 16.54 m  PB: 16.98 m
Shinya Sogame (Ichimiya Group AC) - SB/PB: 16.59 m
Yuma Okabe (Fukuoka Univ.) - SB/PB: 16.50 m

Women's Triple Jump 6/8/12, 4:00 p.m.
Notables
Fumiyo Yoshida (Narita Airport AC) - SB: 12.93 m   PB: 13.50 m
Yuka Sato (Mizuno) - SB: 12.77 m   PB: 13.39 m
Sayuri Takada (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 13.12 m   PB: 13.16 m

Men's Shot Put 6/10/12, 1:00 p.m.
Notables
Sotaro Yamada (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 18.32 m   PB: 18.64 m
Satoshi Hatase (Gunma Alsok AC) - SB: 18.15 m   PB: 18.56 m
Yohei Murakawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB: 18.35 m   PB: 18.43 m

Women's Shot Put 6/9/12, 3:30 p.m.
Notables
Yukiko Shirai (Shiga T&F Assoc.) - SB/PB: 15.47 m
Chiaki Yokomizo (Saitama T&F Assoc.) - SB/PB: 15.37 m
Shoko Matsuda (Kokushikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 15.04 m

Men's Discus Throw 6/9/12, 3:00 p.m.
Notables
Shigeo Hatakeyama (Zenrin AC) - SB: 58.52 m  PB: 60.10 m
Shiro Kobayashi (Niigata Albirex AC) - SB: 56.05 m   PB: 57.18 m
Yuji Tsutsumi (Kokushikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 55.89 m

Women's Discus Throw 6/8/12, 3:30 p.m.
Notables
Yuka Murofushi (Mizuno) - SB: 53.51 m   PB: 58.62 m
Ai Shikimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 53.42 m
Ayumi Takahashi (Hosei Univ.) - SB/PB: 52.87 m

Men's Hammer Throw 6/8/12, 7:00 p.m.
A-standard (78.00)
Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) - SB: 81.24 m   PB: 84.86 m

Other Notables
Hiroaki Doi (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - SB: 70.69 m   PB: 74.08 m
Hiroshi Noguchi (Gunma Alsok AC) - SB: 70.89 m   PB: 71.58 m

Women's Hammer Throw 6/10/12, 12:30 p.m.
Notables
Yuka Murofushi (Mizuno) - SB: 64.79 m   PB: 67.77 m
Asumi Aya (Maruzen Kogyo AC) - SB: 67.19 m   PB: 67.26 m
Mika Takekawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB/PB: 59.81 m

Men's Javelin Throw 6/9/12, 6:30 p.m.
A-standard (82.00 m)
Genki Dean (Waseda Univ.) - SB/PB: 84.28 m
Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB/PB: 83.53 m

B-standard (79.50 m)
Ken Arai (Shichiju Shichi Ginko AC) - SB/PB: 79.90 m

Other Notables
Ryohei Arai (Kokushikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 78.21
Kazuki Yamamoto (Monteroza AC) - SB/PB: 78.17

Women's Javelin Throw 6/10/12, 4:00 p.m.
A-standard (61.00 m)
Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB: 61.14 m   PB: 61.56 m

B-standard (59.00 m)
Risa Miyashita (Osaka Taiku Univ.) - SB/PB: 60.08 m
Yuka Sato (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - SB/PB: 59.22 m

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
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