Skip to main content

Rio de Janeiro Olympics Athletics Day Five Japanese Results

by Brett Larner

20-year-old Miyuki Uehara (Team Daiichi Seimei) became only the second Japanese woman ever to qualify for an Olympic 5000 m final, boldly fruntrunning her heat to make it through on the fifth day of athletics competition at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.  Just 6th at June's National Championships, her 15:21.40 PB was enough to put her on the Olympic team over three athletes ahead of her without the Olympic standard.  Pre-race her coach Sachiko Yamashita, the 1991 Tokyo World Championships marathon silver medalist and 1992 Barcelona Olympics marathon 4th-placer, told her simply, "Be aggressive."  Uehara took that to heart.

Rocketing out at sub-15 pace close to the Japanese national record while the rest of the field completely ignored her, she quickly had a lead of at least 50 m. It's been relatively common in recent years to see Japanese runners frontrun on the track at world-level championships but rarely so dramatically.  Leading past 3000 m without ever looking back Uehara was inevitably caught late in the race, but where the field has always sailed by Japanese runners in her position she repeatedly surged to stay with it.  7th in 15:23.41 just two seconds off her PB she unexpectedly made it through to the final on time.  The only other time a Japanese woman has ever made it, Michiko Shimizu in Atlanta, Uehara was eight months old.  "I wanted to be assertive," she said post-race.  "I didn't pay any attention to what was going on behind me."

Four-time national champion Misaki Onishi and all-time Japanese #5 Ayuko Suzuki both ran in the second 5000 m heat.  Suffering a recent injury that kept her out of the 10000 m, Suzuki was clearly not her regular self, leading the first 1000 m at a conservative 3:07 before sliding back toward the rear of the pack where she finished.  Onishi ran up to expectations, staying in the middle of the field and finishing 9th in 15:29.17 out of contention for the final. But Uehara was the revelation of the day.  In the last year or so she ran the fastest-ever Japanese women's road 5 km outside Japan at the Carlsbad 5000, ran a 10000 m PB at Payton Jordan, and scored the best-ever Japanese placing at the Bolder Boulder 10 km when she took 2nd.  The message seems clear but is one almost entirely lost on the collective mind of the Japanese corporate system: when you race seriously overseas it prepares you to race seriously overseas when you really need to.

There is a lot of hope for the future of Japanese men's sprinting, but in the 200 m realization of that hope was not to be found.  All-time Japanese #2 Shota Iizuka (Mizuno), #3 Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) and #4 Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) all got stopped in the opening round despite being ranked near the tops of their heats.  400 m hurdles national champion Keisuke Nozawa (Mizuno) was likewise eliminated in the semi-final, in 2nd until the last hurdle but dropping to 6th.  Women's long jump national champion Konomi Kai (Volver) and women's javelin national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) were both far from their bests, finishing near the bottom of their events in the qualification round and missing out on their finals.

Rio de Janeiro Olympics
Aug. 16, 2016
click here for complete results

Men's 200 m Heat Three +0.3 m/s
1. Salem Eid Yaqoob (Bahrain) - 20.19 - Q, NR
2. Ramil Guliyev (Turkey) - 20.23 - Q
3. Aaron Brown (Canada) - 20.23
-----
4. Shota Iizuka (Japan) - 20.49

Men's 200 m Heat Five -1.5 m/s
1. Justin Gatlin (U.S.A.) - 20.42 - Q
2. Matteo Galvan (Italy) - 20.58 - Q
3. Ramon Gittens (Barbados) - 20.58
-----
6. Kenji Fujimitsu (Japan) - 20.86

Men's 200 m Heat Nine +0.6 m/s
1. Usain Bolt (Jamaica) - 20.28 - Q
2. Ejowvokogene Oduduru (Nigeria) - 20.34 - Q
3. Solomon Bockarie (Netherlands) - 20.42
-----
6. Kei Takase (Japan) - 20.71

Women's 5000 m Heat One
1. Hellen Onsando Obiri (Kenya) - 15:19.38 - Q
2. Yasemin Can (Turkey) - 15:19.50 - Q
3. Mercy Cherono (Kenya) - 15:19.56 - Q
4. Shelby Houlihan (U.S.A.) - 15:19.76 - Q
5. Susan Kuijken (Netherlands) - 15:19.96 Q
-----
7. Miyuki Uehara (Japan) - 15:23.41 - q

Women's 5000 m Heat Two
1. Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia) - 15:04.35 - Q
2. Senbere Teferi (Ethiopia) - 15:17.43 - Q
3. Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 15:17.74 - Q
4. Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal (Norway) - 15:17.83 - Q
5. Eilish McColgan (Great Britain) - 15:18.20 - Q
-----
9. Misaki Onishi (Japan) - 15:29.17
12. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan) - 15:41.81

Men's 400 m Hurdles Semi-Final One
1. Kerron Clement (U.S.A.) - 48.26 - Q
2. Boniface Mucheru Tumuti (Kenya) - 48.84 - Q
3. Sergio Fernandez (Spain) - 48.87
-----
6. Keisuke Nozawa (Japan) - 49.20

Women's Long Jump Qualification Group B
1. Brittney Reese (U.S.A.) - 6.78 m -0.1 m/s - Q
2. Ksenija Balta (Estonia) - 6.71 m +0.0 m/s - q
3. Ese Brume (Nigeria) - 6.67 m -0.1 m/s - q
-----
19. Konomi Kai (Japan) - 5.87 m +0.3 m/s

Women's Javelin Throw Qualification Group B
1. Maria Andrejczyk (Poland) - 67.11 m - Q, NR
2. Barbora Spotakova (Czech Republic) - 64.65 - Q
3. Linda Stahl (Germany) - 63.95 m - Q
-----
10. Yuki Ebihara (Japan) - 57.68 m

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

JAAF Announces Preliminary Team for London World Championships

A day after the end of the 2017 Japanese National Track and Field Championships, the JAAF announced its preliminary team for August's London World Championships. No men made the team in long distance, while no women were named in any event except long distance. Top-placing athletes at the National Championships have until July 23 to chase standards in hope of being added to the team, but excluding the marathon and race walk, the team as announced on June 26:

Women's Long Distance
Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 5000 m
Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 5000 m / 10000 m
Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 10000 m
Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 10000 m

Men's Sprints
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 100 m / 200 m
Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 100 m
Aska Cambridge (Nike) - 100 m
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 200 m
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 400 m

Additional Relay Members
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 4x100 m
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 4x100 m
Kentaro Sato (Fujitsu) -…