Friday, June 8, 2012

Murofushi and Yoshikawa Make London Team - Japanese Olympic Trials Day One

by Brett Larner

Post-typhoon rain brought in the first day of the 96th Japanese National Track & Field Championships, doubling as the 2012 Olympic Trials, June 8th at Osaka's Nagai Stadium.  The women's 10000 m was the highlight of the day, as five-time 1500 m national champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) tailed favorite Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) all the way to 9000 m before dropping a 2:57 final km to break the 31:45.00 Olympic A-standard for the first time and knock 27 seconds off her PB with a new best of 31:28.71.  Prior to the Trials the Japanese federation indicated that any athlete holding an A-standard mark who won their event would be guaranteed a place on the London team, meaning Yoshikawa became the first athlete to secure her place.  2nd in 31:43.25 just below the A-standard, Fukushi is sure to join her.  A distant 3rd in 32:20.34 as she recovers from wintertime injury, 10000 m junior NR holder Megumi Kinukawa (Mizuno) has a chance of picking up the third spot thanks to a 31:10.02 A-standard mark last season within the London-qualifying window.



2011 Daegu World Championships men's hammer throw gold medalist Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) was the only other athlete to earn himself a sure spot in London as he won in a casual 72.85 m, far off his A-standard 81.24 SB but good enough for the win and the Olympic berth.  Only one other athlete stood to pick up a provisional spot, as barely B-standard men's pole vaulter Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.) outdid veteran Daichi Sawano (Team Fujitsu) for the win in 5.42 m.  With a 5.60 m season best dead on the B-standard, Yamamoto joins Fukushi and Kinukawa in the wait until the complete team announcement on Monday following the conclusion of the Trials.



In other events, the men's 5000 m was largely a disappointment following the withdrawal of the only athlete holding a valid Olympic-qualifying mark, defending champion Kazuya Watanabe (Team Shikoku Denryoku) with a still-lingering Achilles injury he sustained last summer.  Kazuharu Takai (Team Kyudenko) tried to take the race out on suitable pace for a B-standard mark but ended up running alone as the rest of the field, including athletes such as past 5000 m national champions Kensuke Takezawa  (Team S&B) and Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) who had previously recorded Olympic-eligible marks, immediately gave up on even trying for the B.  Takai had a lead of around 10 seconds at one stage but was run down in the final km and ended up ultimately disqualified after stepping inside the track.  The race came down to a last sprint beteen Takezawa, Yoshihiro Wakamatsu (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and former Nittai University ace Kazuya Deguchi (Team Asahi Kasei), with Deguchi getting the win in 13:47.17, a full 20 seconds plus off the B-standard.



The steeplers, likewise starting sans Olympic-qualified athletes, put up a braver effort.  Defending national champion and season-leader Tsuyoshi Takeda (Suzuki Hamamatsu), rival Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) and the only man to have cleared the 8:32.00 Olympic B-standard in his career, Aoi Matsumoto (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) largely controlled the race, but confusion ensued when Umegae's unknown junior teammate Minato Yamashita (Team NTN) passed him late in the race to challenge Takeda over the final lap.  Pushing last year's champ to a slim PB, Yamashita took the win in 8:34.95, a PB by over 10 seconds but just short of the B-standard he needed to have a chance for London.  Stadium announcers missed Yamashita's move to the fore, with the initial results listing Umegae as the winner and apologetic confusion when Yamashita was celebrating his unexpected win on the track.



Among the many rounds of heats in the sprint and hurdle events, most of the expected big names advanced to the next round, one notable exception being two-time World Championships bronze medalist Dai Tamesue (Chaski AC) in the men's 400 mH.  2010 World Junior men's 200 m gold medalist Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) clocked a slim 100 m PB of 10.35 to advance to the final round but was far behind the leading time of 10.22 set by favorite Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.).  High schooler Anna Doi (Saitama Sakae H.S.) was the top seed in the women's 100 m ahead of national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC), winning Heat 3 in 11.47 to Fukushima's 11.51 in Heat 2.



The 2012 Japanese Olympic Trials continue June 9 and 10.  Check back for video updates and for JRN's ongoing exclusive coverage.

2012 Japanese Olympic Trials - 96th National Track & Field Championships
Day One Results
Nagai Stadium, Osaka, 6/8/12
click here for complete results
Athletes in bold have qualified for the London Olympics team.
Athletes in italics have provisionally qualified pending confirmation on Monday.

Women's 10000 m
1. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 31:28.71 - PB
2. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 31:43.25
3. Megumi Kinukawa (Mizuno) - 32:20.34
4. Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) - 32:32.89
5. Yuko Shimizu (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 32:33.61
6. Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 32:33.83
7. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 32:54.00
8. Hikari Yoshimoto (Team Yamada Denki) - 33:03.50
9. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 33:11.37
10. Miho Ihara (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 33:11.37

Men's 5000 m
1. Kazuya Deguchi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:47.17
2. Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) - 13:47.54
3. Yoshihiro Wakamatsu (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:47.75
4. Takaya Iwasaki (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:49.97
5. Keiji Akutsu (Team Subaru) - 13:51.06
6. Hayato Saito (Team Honda) - 13:51.11
7. Wataru Ueno (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:51.30
8. Kenta Matsumoto (Team Toyota) - 13:51.63
9. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:53.47
10. Yuta Takahashi (Team S&B) - 13:54.21
DQ - Kazuharu Takai (Team Kyudenko) - stepping inside inner boundary

Men's 3000 mSC
1. Minato Yamashita (Team NTN) - 8:34.95 - PB
2. Tsuyoshi Takeda (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 8:35.27 - PB
3. Aoi Matsumoto (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 8:37.06
4. Takafumi Sueyama (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 8:40.23 - PB
5. Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 8:42.15

Women's 400 m Heats Final qualifiers
Mayu Sato (Team Toho Ginko) - 53.53
Miho Shingu (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 53.66 - PB
Megumi Kageyama (Waseda Univ.) - 53.83 - PB
Saki Torihara (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 54.58
Misato Hasegawa (Nittai Univ.) - 54.60
Chisato Tanaka (Team Kyudenko) - 55.30
Misaki Ueyama (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 55.43
Haruka Shibata (Ryukoku Univ.) - 55.45

Men's 400 m Heats Final qualifiers
Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 45.99
Hiroyuki Nakano (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) - 46.49
Shogo Momiki (Chukyo Univ.) - 46.56
Ryo Motoshio (Josai Univ.) - 46.63 - PB
Kazuki Yasui (Chukyo Univ.) - 46.64
Kazuya Watanabe (Tohoku Fukushi Univ.) - 46.72
Yoshihiro Azuma (Kansai Univ.) - 46.94
Hideyuki Hirose (Team Fujitsu) - 47.07

Women's 100 m Heats Final Qualifiers
Anna Doi (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 11.47
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 11.51
Saori Imai (Shigakkan Univ.) - 11.71
Tomoko Ishida (Hasegawa AC) - 11.71
Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - 11.71
Maki Wada (Mizuno) - 11.72
Yumeka Sano (Tsuru Bunka Univ.) - 11.74
Mayumi Watanabe (Team Toho Ginko) - 11.74

Men's 100 m Heats Final Qualifiers
Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - 10.22
Takumi Kuki (Waseda Univ.) - 10.23 - PB
Shintaro Kimura (Asics) - 10.34
Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - 10.35 - PB
Yusuke Kotani (Sumitomo Denko AC) - 10.40
Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas) - 10.45
Daiki Goto (Team Osaka Gas) - 10.46
Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) - 10.48

Women's 400 mH Heats Semifinal qualifiers
Miyabi Tago (J.Vic AC) - 57.15
Sayaka Aoki (Team Toho Ginko) - 57.67
Tomomi Yoneda (Chuo Univ.) - 58.02
Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) - 58.78
Miki Sawada (Japan Royal Jelly AC) - 58.82
Manami Kira (Chuo Univ.) - 58.84
Eri Matsuda (Tsukuba Univ.) - 58.84
Shiori Miki (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 58.97
Haruka Shibata (Ryukoku Univ.) - 59.09
Airi Nishino (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 59.43
Chiaki Ueda (Mizuno) - 59.95
Makiko Yoshida (Team Toho Ginko) - 1:00.01
Aya Miyahara (Tsuegen AC) - 1:00.15
Kayoko Asaoka (Team Toyota) - 1:00.16
Aya Takizawa (Nagano H.S.) - 1:00.20
Minori Tanaka (Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 1:00.46

Men's 400 mH Heats Semifinal qualifiers
Keisuke Nozawa (Waseda Univ.) - 49.65 - PB
Takatoshi Abe (Chukyo Univ.) - 50.15
Takayuki Iwamoto (Hosei Univ.) - 50.35
Tetsuya Tateno (Chuo Univ.) - 50.45
Tomoharu Kino (Fukuoka Univ.) - 50.50
Naohiro Kawakita (Rattle AC) - 50.53
Yasuhiro Fueki (Team Aima) - 50.57
Yuta Konishi (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 50.59
Yuta Amano (Shigakkan Univ.) - 50.66
Akihiko Nakamura (Chukyo Univ.) - 50.67
Tatsuhiko Mizuno (Nittai Univ.) - 50.78
Junya Imai (Select AC) - 50.78
Takaoki Hashimoto (Nihon Univ.) - 50.82
Naoki Ihara (Monteroza AC) - 50.84
Yuta Imazeki (Shibuya H.S.) - 50.89
Noriyuki Ideura (Team Aima) - 51.29

Women's 100 mH Heats Semifinal qualifiers
Tomomi Shimura (Waseda Univ.) - 13.42
Ayako Kimura (Team Edion) - 13.44
Fumiko Kumagai (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 13.53
Reiko Shirai (Nohhi AC) - 13.57
Airi Ito (Sumitomo Denko AC) - 13.62
Eriko Soma (Tsukuba Univ.) - 13.65
Misuzu Ueda (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13.66
Mako Fukube (Hiroshima Minami H.S.) - 13.67 - PB
Risa Shiba (SMS AC) - 13.70
Yuka Nomura (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 13.71
Fumie Takehara (Hasegawa AC) - 13.74 - PB
Chie Kiryama (Chukyo Univ.) - 13.84
Hiromi Shimizu (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 13.84
Mizuki Kugai (Tsukuba Univ.) - 13.87
Mami Takahashi (Chuo Univ.) - 13.87
Mami Ishino (Hasegawa AC) - 13.91

Men's Pole Vault
1. Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.) - 5.42 m
2. Daichi Sawano (Team Fujitsu) - 5.42 m
3. Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno) - 5.32 m

Women's Long Jump
1. Saeko Okayama (Bosar AC) - 6.55 m
2. Sachiko Masumi (Team Kyudenko) - 6.35 m
3. Kumiko Imura (Team iDear) - 6.25 m

Women's Triple Jump
1. Fumiyo Yoshida (Narita Airport AC) - 12.98 m
2. Waka Maeda (Tsukuba Univ.) - 12.91 m
3. Mei Yamane (Amagasaki Civic T&F Assoc.) - 12.73 m

Women's Discus
1. Ai Shikimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) - 52.74 m
2. Yuka Murofushi (Mizuno) - 52.37 m
3. Ayumi Takahashi (Tsukuba Univ.) - 51.63 m

Men's Discus
1. Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) - 72.85 m
2. Hiroshi Noguchi (Gunma Alsok AC) - 71.22 m
3. Hiroaki Doi (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 69.80 m

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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