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Fukuda Fronts Another Women's Middle Distance Breakthrough - National High School Championships Day Four Results

click here for five-channel live streaming of the 69th Japanese National High School Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner
videos by aoshin0507 and Ekiden News

Sunday's Japanese National High School Track and Field Championships girls' 1500 m saw a breakthrough with three women running all-time Japanese high school top ten marks.  Another middle distance breakthrough came on day four of the championships in the girls' 800 m.  2016 national champion Shoko Fukuda (Matsue Kita H.S.) ran the second-fastest time ever by a Japanese high schooler, 2:04.29, to lead four girls into the all-time high school top ten.  Both Fukuda and Airi Ikezaki (Funairi H.S.), 2nd in 2:04.85, also made the all-time Japanese junior top ten, with 3rd placer Ayaka Kawata (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) clocking the fastest-ever time by a Japanese high school second-year, 2:05.03 and 4th placer Ayano Shiomi (Kyoto Bunkyo Gakuen H.S.) squeezing into the all-tiime top ten in 2:05.36.  None of the top four girls was among the top three in the 1500 m.  Their times may still be unimpressive by international standards but with middle distances traditionally being the weakest link in Japanese track the step forward in overall level this year is a very welcome development.

3rd in the 1500 m on Sunday, Yume Goto (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) took 6th in the 800 m.  Her teammate Nozomi Tanaka, 2nd in the 1500 m, opted to double in the 3000 m, where she won her qualifying heat in 9:16.78 to move on to Tuesday's final.  On the boys' side, Charles Nijioka (Kurashiki H.S.) won a 5000 m final that went out fast through the first half.  Most of the field faded off the early sub-13:40 pace but Nijioka pushed on for the national title in 13:54.86 after dropping Lawrence Gure (Sapporo Yamanote H.S.).  Off his best form lately, Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) was 3rd overall and top Japanese for the second year in a row in 14:07.87.

69th National High School Track and Field Championships 
Day Four Highlights
City Lights Stadium, Okayama, 8/1/16
click here for complete results

Girls' 200 m Final -1.2 m/s
1. Ami Saito (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) - 23.60
2. Azusa Sasaki (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) - 24.00
3. Noe Shibata (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 24.41

Boys' 200 m Final -0.1 m/s
1. Yuma Saito (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 20.97
2. Yoshihiro Someya (Tsukuba Shuei H.S.) - 21.02
3. Yoshinobu Imoto (Rakunan H.S.) - 21.10

Girls' 800 m Final
1. Shoko Fukuda (Matsue Kita H.S.) - 2:04.29
2. Airi Ikezaki (Funairi H.S.) - 2:04.85
3. Ayaka Kawata (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) - 2:05.03
4. Ayano Shiomi (Kyoto Bunkyo Gakuen H.S.) - 2:05.36
5. Atsumi Totani (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) - 2:06.93

Boys' 800 m Final
1. Shoga Yamada (Aichi H.S.) - 1:50.55
2. Yugo Shikata (Nishinomiya H.S.) - 1:50.85
3. Kengo Kato (Yoshikan H.S.) - 1:51.10

Boys' 5000 m Final
1. Charles Nijioka (Kurashiki H.S.) - 13:54.86
2. Lawrence Gure (Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) - 14:01.84
3. Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 14:07.87
4. Yuta Kanbayashi (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 14:07.96
5. Ryo Saito (Akita Kogyo H.S.) - 14:08.31
6. Atsushi Kato (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 14:09.08

Boys' High Jump Final
1. Toshihide Fujimori (Okazaki Kita H.S.) - 2.10 m
2. Kensuke Onishi (Otsuka H.S.) - 2.07 m
3. Ryuki Takahashi (Tokyo Gakukan Funabashi H.S.) - 2.04 m

Girls' Long Jump Final
1. Ayaka Kora (Sonoda Gakuen H.S.) - 6.00 m -0.5 m/s
2. Yumeka Furuya (Yamakita H.S.) - 5.98 m +0.5 m/s
3. Riho Noguchi (Kurashiki Chuo H.S.) - 5.95 m -0.2 m/s

Boys' Javelin Throw Final
1. Hiroshi Ikegawa (Takigawa Daini H.S.) - 67.91 m
2. Ikoi Tani (Yao H.S.) - 66.90 m
3. Junichiro Aizawa (Seibudai H.S.) - 66.22 m

Girls' Heptathlon
1. Maya Shurester (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) - 5299
2. Ayane Okumura (Seibo Gakuen H.S.) - 5211
3. Yui Ono (Shiraume Gakuen H.S.) - 5174

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Bruce said…
I wouldn't be too hard on the Japanese high school girl 800 runners. These top 4 are among the best 7 if we include all of USA and Canada; seven in the top 24. And no high school race on the North American continent had 7 girls under 2:08. Not even close. And those top N.A. invitationals did not subject the athletes to a prelims, semifinals, and finals death march. Not too bad for a small island with less than 1/4 the high school population of North America.
Brett Larner said…
Pretty great race indeed. Only ups intended.

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