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Showing posts from June, 2019

Takayama and Izumiya Tie 110 m Hurdles NR in Heavy Rain - National Track and Field Championships Day Four Highlights

On the final day of the 2019 National Track and Field ChampionshipsShunya Takayama (Zenrin) and Kensuke Izumiya (Juntendo Univ.) raced each other to a men's 110 m hurdles national record-tying 13.36. With one of the favorites, Taio Kanai (Mizuno) out after a false start in the semis, Takayama and Izumiya were side by side. In the middle of the heaviest rain of the day they went right to the line together. Izumiya looked as though he had it, but on review Takayama was timed at 13.354 and Izumiya at 13.356, both tying Takayama's national record on official time. Having cleared the Doha standard Takayama earned a place on the national team for this fall's Doha World Championships.

The rain also impacted the women's and men's 200 m. Local collegian Mei Kodama (Fukuoka Univ.) won the women's 200 m in 23.80 (-0.4 m/s), a PB but on the slow side for a national championship. Favorite Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Univ. of Florida) fought off Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) and

Kimura and Abe Take Hurdle Titles, Yoshimura Breaks Steeplechase Junior NR - National Track and Field Championships Day Three Highlights

Day three of the National Track and Field Championships saw a few of the expected favorites prevail and a few unexpectedly fall short. In the women's 100 m hurdles 2019 Asian champion Ayako Kimura (Edion) won a very close race over Masumi Aoki (Nanajunana Ginko) and Asuka Terada (Pasona Group) in 13.14 (+0.6 m/s) to secure her spot back in Doha this fall. In the men's 400 m hurdles Takatoshi Abe (Yamada Denki) came back from a weak semi-final to win in 48.80, likewise guaranteeing himself a place on Japan's World Championships team. 2nd-place Masaki Toyoda (Hosei Univ.) was also under the Doha standard in 49.05, making himself a likely addition to the final team roster to be announced in September.

The women's 3000 m steeplechase saw an under-20 national record as Reimi Yoshimura (Daito Bunka Univ.) broke away from defending champion Yukari Ishizawa (Edion) and the rest of the lead pack after 2000 m to win in 9:50.44. In the race of the day, Ryohei Sakaguchi (Tokai Un…

Sani Brown and Kitaguchi Set Meet Records, Clay Breaks High School NR - National Track and Field Championships Day Two Highlights

Day two of the 2019 Japanese National Track and Field Championships saw heavy rain hit the roofless Hakatanomori Field midway through the desultory late afternoon schedule, impacting the men's javelin throw, women's pole vault and women's long jump and leaving the track slick for the evening's main events.

Just before the first wave of rain struck, Haruka Kitaguchi (Nihon Univ.), the only woman in the javelin throw to have cleared the Doha World Championships standard, opened with a national championships record 62.68 m that pretty much wrapped up her win. On her fourth throw Kitaguchi extended the record to 63.68 m, her final winning mark and securing her a place in Doha. In the final round of throws Yuka Mori (Nikoniko Nori) unexpectedly bettered Kitaguchi's first-round record with a PB of 62.88 m as the first few drops began to fall.

By the time the men's javelin got started it was a full on downpour, with race officials desperately trying to push a deepeni…

Tobe Seals Up Place in Doha - National Track and Field Championships Day One Highlights

The 2019 Japanese National Track and Field Championships got rolling Thursday at Fukuoka's Hakatanomori Field. Men's high jump national record holder Naoto Tobe (JAL) became the first athlete at Nationals to secure a place on the Doha World Championships team, clearing 2.27 m on his first attempt while his three remaining competitors including last year's national champ Takashi Eto (Ajinomoto) all maxed out at 2.24 m. Tobe attempted 2.30 m after securing the win but missed all three attempts.

Naoto Tobe very smooth in winning men’s high jump at Nationals. pic.twitter.com/UbqxexzFNE — Japan Running News (@JRNHeadlines) June 28, 2019
Japan's year leader in the 1500 m Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) outkicked half marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda) over the last lap to take the men's 5000 m final with a season best 13:41.27. Shitara's fellow 2:06 marathoner Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) led the chase pack behind breakaway leader Keijiro Mogi (Asahi Kasei) mid-r…

National Track and Field Championships Preview - Sprints and Hurdles

The sprints and hurdles are where Japan is at its strongest outside the marathon. With everything pointing toward next year's Tokyo Olympics it's an interesting repetition of history that the two most exciting events right now are the same ones that saw Japan's first-ever Olympians back in 1912, the men's marathon and the men's 100 m.

And all hail the new king in the 100 m. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Univ. of Florida) is the national record holder and heavy-duty favorite to take the win at this weekend's National Track and Field Championships. If he wins he's guaranteed a spot at the Doha World Championships. Likewise for his predecessor as NR holder, Yoshihide Kiryu (Nissay) and the newest addition to the top level of Japanese sprinting, Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko). The currently #2-ranked Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) is sadly a DNS, leaving it pretty much up to these three guys. But there's so much depth these days that even if one of them craps out Japan sho…

National Track and Field Championships Preview - Middle and Long Distance

The 2019 National Track and Field Championships start Thursday. With the 10000 m having been held last month in hopes of maximizing people's chances of hitting the standards for the Doha World Championships instead of doubling in the 5000 m, from 800 m to 5000 m, including the 3000 m steeplechase, the only event that has people already with the Doha standard set to toe the starting line is the women's 5000 m. It's also the only event that has African pacers lined up. Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki TC), Tomoka Kimura (Shiseido) and Harumi Okamoto (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) have all cleared the 15:22 Doha standard inside the window, and if any of them wins she'll be named to the team. Others will have to wait until September for the JAAF's final decision. 10000 m national champion Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) is the one who could ruin it for them, not holding the standard but having run 15:10.91 last year. Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera) and Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post) s…

National Track and Field Championships Preview - Throws

Continuing on from yesterday's National Track and Field Championships jumps preview, today we look at throws. It's Japan's relatively weakest area, with the only real contenders to make the Doha World Championships coming in the women's and men's javelin throw.

In the women's javelin, Haruka Kitaguchi (Nihon Univ.) is the only athlete in the throws, female or male, to have cleared the Doha standard, her 64.36 m in May ranking her #9 worldwide as of this writing. A win at Nationals will be good enough to guarantee her a spot on the national team. Two other women, last year's 3rd-placer Risa Miyashita (MPE) and Orie Ushiro (Niigata Albirex RC), are just outside the worldwide top 32 and could break through if they can deliver PB performances. Last year's top two Marina Saito (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) and Yuka Mori (Nikoniko Nori) are also in range, making the women's javelin one of the best events at this year's Nationals.

Defending men's champion…

Tokyo Kokusai University Qualifies for Its First-Ever National University Ekiden With Kanto Region Win

Tokyo Kokusai University made history Sunday night at Kanagawa’s Sagamihara Gion Stadium, winning the Kanto Region Qualifier for November’s National University Ekiden to make the national championship ekiden for the first time.

One of the wave of new programs to break onto the Hakone scene in recent years, won by a margin of just 13 seconds for the combined times of its eight runners in four heats of 10000 m, downing major established schools like Meiji University, Waseda University and Nittai University to take the top spot. A big part of that was first-year Vincent Yegon, who won the most competitive heat in 28:04.56 to give Tokyo Kokusai an edge on cumulative time. But with a margin of more than 2:40 over the final qualifying team, 5th-place Chuo Gakuin University, the rest of the team pulled its weight and would have almost certainly qualified even without the boost from Yegon.

Chuo University was the unlucky 6th-placer at less than 18 seconds behind Chuo Gakuin, about 2 seconds p…

National Track and Field Championships Preview - Jumps

Japan's National Track and Field Championships kick off this Thursday in Fukuoka. It's the start of an important cycle for Japan, with national representation at this fall's Doha World Championships on the line in the lead-up to next year's Tokyo Olympics. Anyone who has cleared the Doha standard in their event will make the team if they win at Nationals, with other qualifiers and hgh-ranked athletes having to wait until mid-September to learn their fates. Over the next four days JRN will break down the favorites in each event.

In the jumps, not a single athlete in any event on the women's side looks to have a realistic chance of making it to Doha without a big PB in the next couple of months. All four of last year's women's national champions, Haruka Nakano (Nippatsu) in the high jump, Juri Nanbu (Chukyo Univ.) in the pole vault, Ayaka Kora (Tsukuba Univ.) in the long jump and Eri Sakamoto (Nihon Shitsunai TC) in the triple jump, return. Of them only Kora…

Nikkan Sports Reports Olympic Ticket Lottery Success Rate of 2.95% Within Company

The Nikkan Sports newspaper company conducted a survey of its employees' success rate at scoring tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the ticket lottery drawing following the announcement of the lottery's results on June 20. Including the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field, gymnastics, tennis, badminton, baseball, softball and medal sessions in other major sports, out of the 1288 sessions for which Nikkan employees applied they won tickets to a total of 38 sessions. The success rate among survey respondents was just 2.95%, an indication of how hard it was to get tickets to Japan's home soil Olympics.

Translator's note: Of the 28 sessions I applied for I won tickets to three, two in athletics and one in archery. Including only medal sessions, I got tickets to two of the 22 to which I applied, both in athletics. Interestingly, one of the ones I didn't get was stadium seating for the men's marathon finish, showing what a hot ticket that is going be.

A…

'Ai Ueda Strides to Another Brilliant World Cup Gold in Nur-Sultan'

Kohei Arai Returns to Racing Five Months After Falling 29 Seconds Into Hakone Ekiden

On Jan. 2 Kohei Arai ran the Hakone Ekiden's 21.3 km First Stage for the final time before his graduation from Daito Bunka University. Right after the start he sprained his left ankle and fell, but somehow still managed to complete the stage and hand off his team's tasuki. Now recovered from the injury, Arai is running again. Exactly five months on from that nightmare moment, he returned to racing in the 5000 m at the June 2 Nittai University Time Trials meet. In an interview with Sports Hochi he talked about that day and his desire to make a full comeback.

It was the final Hakone Ekiden of the Heisei Era. As Daito Bunka's star runner Arai was taking on the First Stage for the third time. "I was in good shape and feeling like I'd be able to do something in the race," he said. "I was a senior and had run that stage twice before, so I wanted to put the team into good position by placing near the top on the stage."

But.  Disaster struck just 29 second…

17-Year-Old Ryuji Miura Breaks 3000 m Steeplechase High School Record in World-Leading Time

At the Kinki Region High School Track and Field Championships Saturday in Osaka’s Nagai Stadium, 17-year-old Ryuji Miura of Rakunan H.S. took down one of the oldest records in Japanese athletics, breaking the 30-year-old 3000 m steeplechase high school record by 5 seconds to win in 8:39.49.

Running in heavy rain after clocking the fastest time in the qualifying rounds, Miura went straight to the front in the final and was on his own within 200 m. From the start the record was in reach as he went through 1000 m in 2:49 and 2000 m in 5:43, building up a lead of about 200 m over the rest of the field.

Miura’s final time of 8:39.49 was the fastest in the world this year by an U18 athlete and 6th-best among U20 men, a new Japanese U18 record and all-time #2 for the U20 category. He came short of the outright Japanese high school record of 8:19.21 held by future marathon great Daniel Njenga, but took 5 seconds off the Japanese citizen high school record of 8:44.77 set back in 1989 by futu…

National Track and Field Championships Entry Lists

The JAAF has released the entry lists for the 2019 National Track and Field Championships to be held June 27-30 in Fukuoka. Anyone who has the standard for this fall's Doha World Championships and wins their event will be guaranteed a place on the Doha team, with most others having to wait until the IAAF's September deadline to find out if the JAAF will add them based on qualifying standard or world ranking. Fifteen athletes on the Nationals entry list across nine events currently have the standard and stand to firm up their fall schedules in Fukuoka, with another twenty in range of making the final cut based on current world rankings. Entry list highlights below.
103rd National Track and Field ChampionshipsEntry List Highlights
Fukuoka, June 27-30, 2019
marks listed are best in last two years except where noted
athletes in bold have cleared 2019 Doha World Championships standard
athletes in italics are currently ranked inside Doha field size without standard
complete entry lists
M…