Skip to main content

London Olympics Athletics Day One - Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

Niiya, Yoshikawa and Fukushi set the tone of the women's 10000 m.

Photo courtesy Martin Lever, www.one-man-running-club.com







The highlights of the first day of track and field competition at the London Olympics on the Japanese team came courtesy of two of the best people returning from the Daegu World Championships team. In the women's 10000 m, Japanese runners Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) and Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) would have none of the slow pace the rest of the field set, breaking away as a trio to lead a 3:06 opening km, joined by Ireland's Fionnuala Britton.  Niiya, the 5000 m national champion and the greatest credit to the Japanese track contingent in Daegu, took over the lead from Fukushi after 1000 m and, showing no signs of it being only her second track 10000 m, held position until nearly 5000 m even after the Kenyan and Ethiopian contingents took the Japanese challenge seriously and moved to stay in touch.  Although 10000 m national champion Yoshikawa fell away early when the race really got moving in the second half, Niiya and Fukushi held steady as the pace shifted around them.  Niiya finished 9th in 30:59.19, almost dead on her opening split pace, becoming only the third Japanese woman to ever break 31 minutes.  Fukushi was just behind her in 31:10.35, taking 10th in her best-ever Olympic 10000 m placing.  Yoshikawa faded to 16th but held on for sub-32 with a 31:47.67 final time.

Amply demonstrating his fully operational status, Daegu men's hammer throw gold medalist Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) led Group A in the qualification round with a season-best 78.48 m on his second throw, one of only three men in both groups to clear the 78.00 m automatic qualifying mark. Only Group B leader Krisztian Pars (Hungary) threw further, with a 79.37 m, putting Murofushi in good stead for the medals.

Another of Japan's best medal hopes, Hosei University's 400 mH national champion Takayuki Kishimoto, had trouble living up to the pressure of being ranked 4th in his Olympic debut and failed to advance out of his heat.  His fellow collegiate hurdlers Akihiko Nakamura (Chukyo Univ.) and Tetsuya Tateno (Chuo Univ.) and women's 100 m national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) likewise did not advance beyond the opening round.

2012 London Olympics Athletics Day One
London, England, 8/3/12
click here for complete results

Women's 10000 m
1. Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) - 30:20.75
2. Sally Kipyego (Kenya) - 30:26.37 - PB
3. Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 30:30.44 - PB
4. Werknesh Kidane (Ethiopia) - 30:39.38
5. Beleynesh Oljira (Ethiopia) - 30:45.56
6. Shitaye Eshete (Bahrain) - 30:47.25 - NR
7. Joanne Pavey (U.K.) - 30:53.20 - PB
8. Julia Bleasdale (U.K.) - 30:55.63 - PB
9. Hitomi Niiya (Japan) - 30:59.19 - PB
10. Kayoko Fukushi (Japan) - 31:10.35
-----
16. Mika Yoshikawa (Japan) - 31:47.67
DNF - Joyce Chepkirui (Kenya)

Women's 100 m Heat 5
1. Allyson Felix (U.S.A.) - 11.01 - Q
2. Rosangela Santos (Brazil) - 11.07 - Q
3. Ruddy Zang Milama (Gabon) - 11.14 - Q
-----
5. Chisato Fukushima (Japan) - 11.41

Men's 400 mH Heat 1
1. Amaurys R. Valle (Cuba) - 49.19 - Q, PB
2. Brendan Cole (Australia) - 49.24 - Q, PB
3. Amaechi Morton (Nigeria) - 49.34 - Q
-----
DQ - Takayuki Kishimoto (Japan)

Men's 400 mH Heat 2
1. Michael Tinsley (U.S.A.) - 49.13 - Q
2. Leford Green (Jamaica) - 49.30 - Q
3. Kurt Couto (Mozambique) - 49.31 - Q
-----
DQ - Akihiko Nakamura (Japan)

Men's 400 mH Heat 6
1. Felix Sanchez (Dominican Republic) - 49.24 - Q
2. Jack Green (U.K.) - 49.49 - Q
3. Mamadou Kasse Hanne (Senegal) - 49.63 - Q
4. Tetsuya Tateno (Japan) - 49.95

Men's Hammer Throw Qualification Round Group A
1. Koji Murofushi (Japan) - 78.48 - Q
2. Primoz Kozmus (Slovenia) - 78.12 - Q
3. Olexiy Sokyrskiyy (Ukraine) - 77.65 - q

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

photo (c) 2012 Martin Lever
all rights reserved

Comments

yuza said…
It was great to see all the Japanese women have a go. Also great to see Niiya crack 31 minutes; she continues to improve.

I did not see the 400m hurdles, so how did both Japanese get disqualified?

Most-Read This Week

Kisaisa Wins Second-Straight Yosenkai Half Marathon in 1:00:44, Komazawa University Averages Ten Men Under 1:03

The Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai is the qualifying race for Japan's most prestigious road race, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. University men's teams in the Tokyo area that didn't make the top ten at Hakone the year before square off in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park with teams of up to twelve. The top ten score, their cumulative times determining the team's placing with the top eleven teams advancing and high-placing individuals from schools that don't make the cut rounded up to form a select team.

The Yosenkai has long been the world's #1 20 km road race by a wide margin, with winning times among the fastest in the world for the distance and the same kind of incredible depth seen at November's Ageo City Half Marathon and March's National University Men's Half Marathon. In light of changes in the IAAF's ranking system and the level of performance at the Yosenkai, this year organizers took the historic step of changing it from its traditional distance to …

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Osako Brings Japanese National Record Back to Chicago

Just over seven months since Yuta Shitara broke Toshinari Takaoka's longstanding 2:06:16 national record from the 2002 Chicago Marathon with a 2:06:11 in Tokyo in February, U.S.-based Suguru Osako brought the record back home to Chicago with a 3rd-place finish in 2:05:50.

Running the same pattern as in his first two marathons, Osako sat back in the lead men's pack, never exerting himself as it whittled down to the core members. Just past the turn into Chinatown near 35 km his Nike Oregon Project teammate and 2017 Chicago winner Galen Rupp fell off the front group to leave Osako in contention with former NOP member Mo Farah, 2:04 Ethiopian Mosinet Gemerew, former Asahi Kasei runner Kenneth Kipkemoi and 2017 world champion Geoffrey Kirui.

As in Boston and Fukuoka last year, when the real move came, this time in the form of a surge by Farah and Gemerew, Osako was left behind to battle it out for 3rd. While Farah kicked away for the win by 13 seconds in a European record 2:05:11,…