Japan's Trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games wrapped Sunday in Osaka at the 105th National Track and Field Championships and National U20 Track and Field Championships. A day after his Juntendo University teammate Ryuji Miura set a NR in the men's 3000 mSC, Shunsuke Izumiya stunned with a 13.06 (+1.2) NR to win the men's 110 mH. After Shuhei Ishikawa and another Juntendo runner, Rachid Muratake, false started Izumiya was left with empty lanes on either side, but already holding the standard all he had to do was make the top 3 alongside NR holder Taio Kanai and #2-ranked Shunya Takayama and a spot on the Olympic team was his.
Instead of playing it safe, he cut 0.24 off his best and 0.10 off Kanai's record for the win. How good was that? It ranks him #5 worldwide among Olympic qualifiers. Kanai was 2nd in 13.22 and Takayama just making it in 13.37 by 0.01 over Shuhei Nomoto, giving Japan a full squad for the 110 mH. It's too soon to call Izumiya a medal contender, but with a jump like that and a strong squad overall the 110 mH just got a lot more interesting for the home crowd. A shame Muratake was DQ'd after clearing the Olympic standard with the third-fastest U20 mark ever in the heats.
The men's long jump almost equaled the 110 mH, with Yuki Hashioka coming just 4 cm short of the NR. Already in the lead, Hashioka jumped a meet record 8.36 m (+0.6) on his final attempt, a PB that moved him up to all-time Japanese #2 and #9 among Olympic qualifiers worldwide. Hibiki Tsuha took 2nd with an opening jump of 7.91 m (-0.6) and NR holder Shotaro Shiroyama 3rd with a 7.90 m (+0.1) on his fourth attempt, both already holding the standard and sealing up their places next to Hashioka.
In the women's 5000 m, Kaede Hagitani came up short in trying to repeat the Olympic standard-breaking time she ran last fall during the blackout on Olympic qualifying, running standard pace as long as she could but fading to 4th in 15:24.50. 10000 m team members Ririka Hironaka and Hitomi Niiya went 1-2 in 15:05.69 and 15:13.73, both already holding Olympic standard marks and setting themselves up for the double even if fitness looked to be an issue in Niiya's case. Already named to the Olympic team in the 5000 m, defending national champ Nozomi Tanaka was 3rd in a perfunctory 15:18.25 after doubling in the 800 m. Pacer Naomi Muthoni Kariuki deserves special credit for an impressive 66-second last lap to cross the line first in 14:57.77.
In the men's 200 m Yuki Koike took 1st in 20.46 (+1.0), the only man in the race with the Olympic standard and guaranteeing himself a place in the 200 m along with his probable spot in the 100 m. Collegiate runners Bruno Dede and Ryota Suzuki ran PBs of 20.63 and 20.73 for 2nd and 3rd, shutting out quota occupants Jun Yamashita and Shota Iizuka. With the only other Japanese man with the Olympic standard, Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, having pulled out of the 200 m after injury concerns in the 100 m final, some tough decisions await for the JAAF.
In the men's javelin throw, Takuto Kominami won with a fifth-round throw of 80.88 m, likely enough to improve his current position of 29th of 32 in the Olympic quota. No such luck for the other three men on the edge of the quota, 2nd and 3rd placers Roderick Genki Dean and Kenji Ogura both coming painfully close and Ryohei Arai far short in 13th.
Among track events that didn't see any Olympic qualifiers, Mei Kodama scored the women's 200 m title in 23.46 (-1.0) after two starts were called back and separate athletes warned. Women's 1500 m runner-up Ran Urabe won the 800 m in 2:03.71. Kazuyoshi Tamogami took the men's 800 m title in a PB 1:46.88. Ami Yamamoto ran a PB 57.30 for the national title in the women's 400 mH.
On the field, Reina Takeyama won the women's high jump, clearing 1.78 m on her second attempt. Nanaka Kori took the women's shot put with a final attempt of 16.01 m, with Reiji Takeda throwing a PB of 18.64 m on his final attempt for the men's shot put title.
In U20 events, powerhouse Sendai Ikuei H.S.' Kokone Sugimori won the women's 3000 m in 9:10.01. Tokai University's Shunsuke Kiso won the U20 men's 3000 m in 8:16.20, the only runner in the top 6 not to PB.
All told, 17 athletes picked up guaranteed Olympic team spots over the four days of the National Championships, the women's 5000 m, men's 110 mH, men's 3000 mSC and men's long jump all with full squads to go with the ones already named earlier in the season. The complete Japanese Olympic team roster with additions from athletes still in the quota in their events is due out following the end of the qualifying period on Tuesday and WA's confirmation of quota spots.
Complete results from Nationals are available here. Coverage of the meet's first three days: Day One, Day Two, Day Three.
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