by Brett Larner
video by ekiden news
This weekend's National University Individual Championships, held annually at Shonan BMW Stadium in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa south of Tokyo are an anomaly on the Japanese collegiate calendar, no relays or team competition, just individual competition from universities across the country, occupying the place where you would expect the equivalent of NCAAs but relatively minor compared to both May's Kanto Regionals and Kansai Regionals meets and September's National University Championships. Especially in the distance events, top talent rarely competes there. Not so this year.
Men's 100 m junior national record holder Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) whipped up a storm of excitement when he tied his legal best in the semi-final, running a collegiate national record 10.01 with a +1.8 m/s tailwind. Kiryu's time broke the existing meet record by 0.18 seconds and met the JAAF's selection standard for the Rio Olympics, giving him some breathing room at the upcoming National Championships. Hopes were high of seeing Japan's first sub-10 clocking in the final, especially with rival Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) tying the old meet record when he ran 10.19 +1.7 to win his semi, but an unlucky shift to a -0.3 headwind in the final knocked Kiryu back to a 10.10 for the win.
Ten other athletes broke or tied records at the meet, most notably Kiryu's second-year Toyo teammate Julian Walsh who ran a strong 45.64 to win the men's 400 m final. Six men's records and five women's records in total across sprints, hurdles, jumps and throws, building on the eight meet records set last year. The growth in quality in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020 isn't limited just to distance.
Records Set at 2016 National University Individual Championships
Shonan BMW Stadium, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, June 11-12, 2016
click here for complete results
Men's 100 m: Yoshihide Kiryu (3rd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 10.01 +1.8 - Univ. NR, MR
Men's 400 m: Julian Walsh (2nd yr., Toyo Univ.) - 45.64 - MR
Men's 3000 mSC: Issei Miyagi (4th yr., Tokai Univ.) - 8:51.79 - MR
Men's Pole Vault: Ryo Sato (4th yr., Tokai Univ.) - 2.20 m - MR
Men's Hammer Throw: Naoki Uematsu (4th yr. Chukyo Univ.) - 68.05 m - MR
Men's Javelin Throw: Katsuya Nakamura (3rd yr., Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ.) - 75.02 m - MR
Women's 100 mH: Masumi Aoki (4th yr., Int'l Pacific Univ.) - 13.33 +1.9 - MR
Women's 3000 mSC: Anju Takamizawa (3rd yr., Matsuyama Univ.) - 9:57.69 - MR
Women's 10000 mW: Rena Goto (3rd yr., Chubu Gakuin Univ.) - 45:57.22 - MR
Women's Shot Put: Nanaka Kori (1st yr., Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ.) - 15.94 m - MR
Women's Javelin Throw: Hiroko Kitagawa (4th yr., Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 56.79 m - MR
© 2016 Brett Larner
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