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Iizuka and Kishimoto Set Places on Moscow Team on Final Day of Japanese National Championships

by Brett Larner

2010 World Junior Championships men's 200 m gold medalist Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) and London 400 m hurdles Olympian Takayuki Kishimoto (Team Fujitsu) joined the small ranks of athletes to earn guaranteed places on the Japanese team for the Moscow World Championships, winning their events with A-standard times on the final day of the 2013 Japanese National Track and Field Championships.

Iizuka led five men under the 20.52 A-standard, winning in 20.31 (+0.9) to secure his position.  Yuichi Kobayashi (Team NTN) ran a PB 20.46 in 2nd and Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) clocked 20.48 for 3rd, both putting themselves into solid consideration for the team.  Kishimoto had a mid-race scare from the ascendant Yasuhiro Fueki (Team Aima) who overtook him on the back curve only to fall victim to Kishimoto's closing speed.  Kishimoto took 1st in 49.08 with Fueki 2nd in an A-standard PB 49.31, like Kobayashi and Takase getting onto the shortlist for Moscow team membership.

Three other events saw athletes win with B-standard times, putting them into team contention pending consideration by the Federation bureaucratic machine.  In the women's 5000 m, Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) took the national title after finishing 2nd to Kenyan pacer (yes, Kenyan pacers in a National Championship race) Felista Wanjugu (Team Univ. Ent.), her 15:21.73 getting her under 15:24.00 B-standard for the first time.  Wanjugu was a step ahead in 15:21.57, while the top four Japanese women all recorded new bests. Onishi's teammate Riko Matsuzaki, the fastest Japanese woman of 2013 heading into nationals, took 3rd after taking over the lead position when Wanjugu and secondary Kenyan pacer Grace Kimanzi (Team Starts) fell behind the target pace in the third km.

National record holders Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) and Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) took their events unchallenged, Fukushima running 23.25 in the women's 200 m and Murofushi throwing 76.42 in the men's hammer.  For Murofushi it was an almost unthinkable 19th-straight national title.  Here's to number 20.

Noteworthy for not making the team was men's 800 m national record holder Masato Yokote (Team Fujitsu), the only Japanese man holding the B-standard.  Yokote fell victim to teamwork from Nihon University's Jun Mitake and Sho Kawamoto, Mitake pushing the pace early before Kawamoto took over at halfway.  Yokote waited until the final curve to kick past Kawamoto, but the younger collegiate held on to cross the line over a half-second ahead of Yokote, all but certainly eliminating Yokote from national team consideration.  Also noteworthy was the women's 3000 mSC, where national record holder Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC) suffered a bad fall face-first into a barrier late in the race and was a DNF.  Yoshika Arai (Team Edion) took the national title in 9:58.22.

The most exciting finish of the day came in the men's 5000 m, where all-but-forgotten former Komazawa University ace Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) held off 10000 m collegiate record holder Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) by just 0.06 for the win in 13:49.57.  Hoshi pushed a long surge to the finish, Yoroizaka closing only in the final 50 m with a stunning sprint.  Both runners almost fell as they leaned from several strides out, Hoshi's momentum carrying him across the line first.  Former national champion Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA RC) was two seconds back in 3rd, doubling a day after finishing 8th in the 10000 m.

A complete World Championships team lineup announcement is due up from the Federation shortly.  Check back soon for more details.

97th Japanese National Track and Field Championships Day Three
Ajinomoto Stadium, Chofu, Tokyo, 6/9/13
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m
1. Felista Wanjugu (Kenya/Team Univ. Ent.) - 15:21.57
2. Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:21.73 - PB
3. Riko Matsuzaki (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:26.05 - PB
4. Shiho Takechi (Team Yamada Denki) - 15:29.85 - PB
5. Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) - 15:31.45 - PB
6. Miyuki Uehara (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 15:35.44
7. Mai Ishibashi (Team Denso) - 15:39.45
8. Chieko Kido (Canon AC Kyushu) - 15:45.56
9. Yukari Abe (Team Shimamura) - 15:46.38
10. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 15:49.47

Men's 5000 m
1. Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) - 13:49.57
2. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:49.63
3. Yuichiro Ueno (DeNA RC) - 13:51.13
4. Masato Kikuchi (Team Konica Minolta) - 13:52.02
5. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:54.06
6. Wataru Ueno (Team Honda) - 13:54.60
7. Aritaka Kajiwara (Team Press Kogyo) - 13:54.75
8. Takaya Iwasaki (DeNA RC) - 13:54.89
9. Yusuke Takabayashi (Team Toyota) - 13:57.43
10. Ryo Kiname (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) - 13:58.10

Women's 3000 mSC
1. Yoshika Arai (Team Edion) - 9:58.22
2. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 10.04.07
3. Misaki Sango (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 10:06.22
DNF - Minori Hayakari (Kyoto Koka AC)

Men's 1500 m Final
1. Yuki Akimoto (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 4:02.32
2. Yasunari Kusu (Team Komori Corp.) - 4:02.89
3. Tsukasa Anzai (Juntendo Univ.) - 4:03.09

Women's 1500 m Final
1. Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) - 4:16.17
2. Chikako Mori (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 4:17.76 - PB
3. Maya Iino (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) - 4:18.08 - PB

Men's 800 m Final
1. Sho Kawamoto (Nihon Univ.) - 1:47.43
2. Masato Yokote (Team Fujitsu) - 1:47.96
3. Takeshi Kuchino (Team Fujitsu) - 1:48.72

Women's 800 m Final
1. Miho Ito (Juntendo Univ.) - 2:05.30
2. Miho Tanaka (Nittai Univ.) - 2:05.38
3. Akari Kishikawa (Team Hasegawa) - 2:06.01

Men's 400 mH Final
1. Takayuki Kishimoto (Team Fujitsu) - 49.08
2. Yasuhiro Fueki (Team Aima) - 49.31 - PB
3. Takatoshi Abe (Chukyo Univ.) - 49.57

Women's 400 mH Final
1. Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex RC) - 56.62
2. Manami Kira (Chuo Univ.) - 57.15 - PB
3. Sayaka Aoki (Team Toho Ginko) - 57.28

Men's 200 m Final (+0.9)
1. Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - 20.31
2. Yuichi Kobayashi (Team NTN) - 20.46 - PB
3. Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) - 20.48

Women's 200 m Final (+0.5)
1. Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 23.25
2. Mayumi Watanabe (Team Toho Ginko) - 24.02
3. Yuki Tamura (Iwate Univ.) - 24.06

Men's 110 mH (+1.3)
1. Wataru Yazawa (Hosei Univ.) - 13.59
2. Hiroyuki Sato (Team Hitachi Kasei) - 13.61
3. Yutaro Furukawa (Team Kojima Press) - 13.66

Men's Hammer Throw
1. Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) - 76.42 m
2. Hiroshi Noguchi (Team Gunma Alsok Guard) - 70.11 m
3. Ryota Kashimura (Nihon Univ.) - 67.07 m

text and photos (c) 2013 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

yuza said…
The Men's 5000m was one of the strangest races I have ever seen, which made it very entertaining. Excluding the winner I am not sure anybody knew what they were doing.

The sprinters look good this year, even Fukushima seems to have found some form, though still some way off her best.

I feel for Kiryu, because I think it is going to take him a while before he can run relaxed again.

The Yoshida positive still worries me.

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