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


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Japan Dominates Asian Cross Country Championships

Japan dominated the 14th Asian Cross Country Championships Thursday in Guiyang, China, winning all four team gold medals to hold the hosts China back to silver in every race.

Japan's only individual gold came in the Junior Women's race, one of its usual areas of strength. Yuna Wada led a Japanese sweep of the top four positions to win the 6 km race in 20:43 with scoring teammates Ririka Hironaka and Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu just behind.

Wada Yuna of Japan wins Junior Women’s 6km cross country race of 14th Asian Cross Country Championship . Japan also won Team championship — Asian Athletics (@asianathletics) March 15, 2018
With the meet also serving as China's National Championships Chinese athletes won the individual gold in the other three races, Dan Li, Cairen Suolong and Jianhua Peng all showing better closing speed to beat their Japanese rivals by 3~4 seconds. Li won the Senior Women's 8 km by 3 seconds over Japan's Yukari Abe, leadi…