Skip to main content

Japan Sends Team of Thirteen to Nanjing Youth Olympics

by Brett Larner

Amid concerns for athletes' safety in a city with strong resentment of Japanese denial of the Nanking Massacre, with delegation head Yosuke Fujiwara directing team members not to wear their uniforms outside the athletes' village and boos greeting the Japanese delegation during the opening ceremonies, Japan sends a team of only thirteen to compete in athletics at the second Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.

4th in the girls' 3000 m at last month's World Junior Championships in Eugene, U.S.A., Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) is the lone distance runner on the team, a sure medal contender after her 9:02.85 in Eugene.  Other prominent members include Hina Takahashi (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) in the girls' 800 m, Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.) in the boys' 100 m, Sayori Matsumoto (Nara Ikuei H.S.) in the girls' 5000 m race walk and Yuji Hiramatsu (Shijoyo H.S.) in the boys' high jump, all national title winners at the National High School Track and Field Championships earlier this month, along with boys' discus youth national record holder Yume Ando (Tokyo H.S.).  Below is a complete breakdown of the team roster.

2nd Youth Olympics
Japanese National Team in Athletics
Nanjing, China, Aug. 20-26, 2014
click here for detailed English-language bios of each team member

Boys' 100 m - Kenta Oshima (Tokyo H.S.) - P.B.: 10:37 (+1.9)
1st, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' 200 m - Jun Yamashita (Fukushima H.S.) - P.B.: 21.23 (-0.2)
3rd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' 110 m Hurdles - Nao Kanai (Tachibana H.S.) - P.B.: 13.77 (-0.1)
3rd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' High Jump - Yuji Hiramatsu (Shijoyo H.S.) - P.B.: 2.19 m
1st, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' Discus Throw - Yume Ando (Tokyo H.S.) - P.B.: 59.48 m - Youth NR
2nd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Boys' Race Walk - Minoru Onogawa (Tokyo Jitsugyo H.S.) - P.B.: 46:06.83
2nd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' 200 m - Tomomi Kawamura (Morioka Daiichi H.S.) - P.B.: 24.29 (-0.3)
4th, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' 800 m - Hina Takahashi (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - P.B.: 2:07.19
1st, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' 3000 m - Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - P.B.: 9:02.85
4th, 2014 World Junior Track and Field Championships

Girls' 100 m Hurdles - Nana Fujimori (Hamamatsu Municipal H.S.) - P.B.: 13.84 (+0.2)
3rd, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' Pole Vault - Misaki Morota (Ota Joshi H.S.) - P.B.: 3.50 m

Girls' Javelin Throw - Nagisa Mori (Meijo Prep Fuzoku H.S.) - P.B.: 49.03 m
5th, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

Girls' Race Walk - Sayori Matsumoto (Nara Ikuei H.S.) - P.B.: 24:13.13
1st, 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge's world record and Gladys Cherono's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005.

A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average wildcard opt…

Nittai University Head Coach Masaaki Watanabe Fired Over Abuse Scandal

On Sept. 12 Nittai University announced that it will fire ekiden team head coach Masaaki Watanabe, 55, over the current power harassment scandal surrounding him. According to the university's public relations office, interviews by the alumni association with five current and one former team member reported multiple acts of violence by Watanabe including kicking athletes' legs and grabbing them by the chest.

The interviews also reported that Watanabe verbally abused and threatened student athletes and attacked their character. When runners fell off pace during workouts he was reported to have shouted, "Get the hell out of this university!" and, following the runners in a car, "I am going to f*cking run you over and kill you." Injured team members were also reported to have been subject to verbal humiliation by Watanabe, including, "Look at this f*cking cripple," and "You f*cking deserve it." Watanabe admitted the accusations but said tha…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…