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Japan Sweeps Half Marathon and Men's 20 km Race Walk Medals at Napoli Universiade

Japan pulled off three medal sweeps in the last two days of track and field competition at the 2019 Napoli Universiade, taking all three individual medals and the team gold medals in the men's 20 km race walk and both the women's and men's half marathons.

Koki Ikeda kicked off the medal rush Friday with a 1:22:49 win in the men's 20 km race walk, opening more than 30 seconds on teammates Masatora Kawano and Yuta Koga. The next morning the Japanese women followed the walkers' lead, waiting until the third time around the three-lap course to drop the competition. Just 19, 2019 National University Half Marathon champion Yuka Suzuki (Daito Bunka Univ.) was really impressive over the last two kilometers, seeming to be going at an all-out sprint and opening more than 20 seconds on Rika Kaseda (Meijo Univ.) and Yuki Tagawa (Matsuyama Univ.) for the win in 1:14:10.

The men followed the identical race plan, letting Australian Edward Goddard do all the work over the first two laps before men's 2019 National University Half Marathon champion Akira Aizawa (Toyo Univ.) got things into gear on the last lap. While the Japanese women pulled away as a unit, this time Tatsuhiko Ito (Tokyo Kousai Univ.) struggled to go with Aizawa and Taisei Nakamura (Komazawa Univ.), falling back alongside China's Jian Hua Peng and seeing his place in the lead trio taken by another Chinese runner, Bu Jie Duo. Aizawa easily took the win in 1:05:15 with Nakamura 2nd in 1:05:27. Duo faded badly in the final kilometer, both Ito and Peng bearing down on him in the home straight. Duo crossed the line in 3rd with Ito 4 seconds back and Peng another 2 seconds back, but a post-race protest resulted in both Chinese runners being disqualified for receiving aid outside the designated aid stations. Their DQ elevated Ito to 3rd to give the Japanese men a clean sweep, early leader Goddard advancing to 4th.

Almost as predictably as with the half marathon medals, Japan scored gold in the men's 4x100 m relay, the only team to go under 39 seconds with a 38.92 ahead of silver and bronze medalists China and South Korea.  Gold also came in the men's long jump, where national champion Yuki Hashioka (Nihon Univ.) was the only man over 8 m, just, at 8.01 m. Men's 110 m hurdles national record co-holder Shunsuke Izumiya (Juntendo Univ.) picked up the other medal of the last two days, clocking 13.49 (+0.1 m/s) to take bronze. Yuna Wada (Meijo Univ.) had a near-miss in the women's 5000 m at 4th in 15:56.94, with a 4th-place finish also coming in the men's 4x400 m relay and 5th-place finishes in the men's 5000 m, women's 4x100 m relay and men's pole vault.

All told Japan picked up eight gold medals, six silver medals and five bronze medals in track and field competition at the Napoli Universiade, one of its best-ever tallies and a major part of Japan leading Russia, China and the U.S.A. to top the overall medal count with one day to go.

Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade Japanese Results

Napoli, Italy, July 8-13
complete results

Women's 5000 m Final  - July 12
1. Jessica May Judd (Great Britain) - 15:45.82
2. Nicole Hutchinson (Canada) - 15:48.06
3. Juia Van Velthoven (Netherdlands) - 15:51.75
4. Yuna Wada (Japan) - 15:56.94
5. Katarzyna Jankowska (Poland) - 15:57.76
7. Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Japan) - 16:03.57

Men's 5000 m Final  - July 13
1. Jonas Raess (Switzerland) - 14:03.10
2. Yann Schrub (France) - 14:03.24
3. Robin Hendrix (Belgium) - 14:04.06
4. Kieran Lumb (Canada) - 14:06.08
5. Ryoji Tatezawa (Japan) - 14:16.63

Women's Half Marathon Final - July 13
1. Yuka Suzuki (Japan) - 1:14:10
2. Rika Kaseda (Japan) - 1:14:32
3. Yuki Tagawa (Japan) - 1:14:36
4. Deborah Schoneborn (Germany) - 1:15:03
5. Zhi Xuan Li (China) - 1:15:14
6. Citlali Cristian Mascote (Mexico) - 1:15:28
7. Rebecca Louise Murray (Great Britain) - 1:15:50
8. Anna Kelly (Australia) - 1:16:06
9. Anne-Marie Comeau (Canada) - 1:16:18
10. Fatma Demir (Turkey) - 1:17:35

Team Scoring
1. Japan - 3:43:18
2. China - 3:52:40
3. South Africa - 4:19:15

Men's Half Marathon Final
1. Akira Aizawa (Japan) - 1:05:15
2. Taisei Nakamura (Japan) - 1:05:27
3. Tatsuhiko Ito (Japan) - 1:05:48
4. Edward Goddard (Australia) - 1:06:20
5. Iliass Aouani (Italy) - 1:06:52
6. Shokhrukh Davlatov (Uzbekistan) - 1:07:06
7. Saffet Elkatmis (Turkey) - 1:07:07
8. Alessandro Giacobazzi (Italy) - 1:07:56
DQ - Bu Jie Duo (China)
DQ - Jian Hua Peng (China)
DNF - Lachlan Cook (Australia)

Team Scoring
1. Japan - 3:16:30
2. Turkey - 3:24:47
3. Denmark - 3:30:29

Men's 110 m Hurdles Final - July 12 +0.1 m/s
1. Gabriel Constantino (Brazil) - 13.22
2. Wilhem Belocian (France) - 13.30
3. Shunsuke Izumiya (Japan) - 13.49

Men's 3000 m Steeplechase Final  - July 12
1. Mounaime Sassioui (Morocco) - 8:30.24
2. Rantso Alfred Mokopane (South Africa) - 8:30.37
3. Ashley Fergus Smith (South Africa) - 8:33.60
6. Ryohei Sakaguchi (Japan) - 8:41.64

Women's 4x100 m Relay Final - July 13
1. Switzerland - 43.72
2. Australia - 43.97
3. New Zealand - 44.24
5. Japan - 44.91

Men's 4x100 m Relay Final - July 13
1. Japan - 38.92
2. China - 39.01
3. South Korea - 39.31

Men's 4x400 m Relay Final - July 13
1. Mexico - 3:02.89
2. South Africa - 3:03.23
3. Poland - 3:03.35
4. Japan - 3:04.34

Men's Pole Vault Final  - July 12
1. Ernest John Obiena (Phillippines) - 5.76 m
2. Torben Blech (Germany) - 5.76 m
3. Ben Joren Broeders (Belgium) - 5.51 m
5. Kosei Takekawa (Japan) - 5.31 m
7. Masaki Ejima (Japan) - 5.21 m

Men's Long Jump Final - July 13
1. Yuki Hashioka (Japan) - 8.01 m
2. Yann Randriansolo (France) - 7.95 m
3. Darcy Roper (Australia) - 7.90 m

Men's 20 km Racewalk Final  - July 12
1. Koki Ikeda (Japan) - 1:22:49
2. Masatora Kawano (Japan) - 1:23:20
3. Yuta Koga (Japan) - 1:23:35

Team Scoring
1. Japan - 4:09:44
2. South Korea - 4:46:21

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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