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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 deepening puddle midway down the runway out of the way before each throw. Over the first three rounds many athletes slipped, Ayumu Ishiyama (Tiradrik) falling badly on his first throw to be knocked out of the competition. Over the first two or three rounds few throws went over 70 m, many falling shorter than Kitaguchi's winning mark in the women's javelin. But as the rain let up over the second half things got moving, and in the end favorite Ryohei Arai (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) took the win with a throw of 79.42 m on his final attempt.

The rain also had an effect on the women's pole vault for everyone except winner Mayu Nasu (Run Journey). Right near the rain's peak Nasu somehow went near her PB, clearing 4.20 m with a scream of delight that could be heard at the opposite end of the stadium. Women's long jump winner Sumire Hata (Shibata Kogyo) also seemed unfazed by the conditions, jumping a PB 6.43 m (+0.3 m/s) to take the national title.

In the first of the first of the evening's track finals, last year's women's 1500 m runner-up Ran Urabe (Nike Tokyo TC) moved up to the winner's position, outsprinting #1-ranked Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki TC) in the home straight to win the national title for the first time in 4:15.79. Last year's winner Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Meijo Univ.) ran a PB of 4:16.52 but finished only 4th. Urabe will race next month in Belgium in prep for a potential spot on the World Championships team.

One of the biggest stories of the day came in the men's 800 m. National record holder Sho Kawamoto (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) led virtually the entire way, but in the home straight 17-year-old Allon Tatsunami Clay (Soyo H.S.) drew even, then went ahead, Kawamoto responded, but Clay got him in the end, breaking the high school, U20 and U18 national records in 1:46.59 to Kawamoto's 1:46.78.

The women's 400 m final nearly saw another high schooler score a national title. Clay's teammate Saki Takashima (Soyo H.S.) led the entire way, but in the final meters Seika Aoyama (Osaka Seikei AC) and Nanako Matsumoto (Toho Ginko) moved up to challenge her. Matsumoto was just short, but for Takashima and Aoyama it went to a photo finish, both clocking 53.68 and Aoyama declared the winner.

But there one more high schooler did pull it off. In the women's 100 m Midori Mikase (Eniwa Kita H.S.) barely got to the front of a blanket finish, bettering favorite Anna Doi (JAL) to win in 11.67 (+0.6 m/s). Three other high schoolers made the final, Hanae Aoyama (Osaka H.S.) taking 3rd in 11.73, which says something about the current state of Japanese women's sprinting.

The standing room-only attendance for the night's final event said even more about the state of Japanese men's sprinting. The track was too wet to produce the kinds of times people hoped to see in the men's 100 m final, but national record holder Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Univ. of Florida) still gave people what they wanted, running a meet record 10.02 (-0.3  m/s) to beat Yoshihide Kiryu (Nihon Seimei) and Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) for the win.

Sani Brown was disappointed with his time, saying afterward that while the second half of the race had been good he didn't know what went wrong with his slow start. All the same, with the Doha standard already under his belt the national title guaranteed Sani Brown his spot on the national team. Kiryu and Koike also have the standard, and while they won't be officially named until the final team lineup announcement in September their 2nd and 3rd-place finishes make it pretty well 100% that they will make up the 100 m squad.

The 4x100 m lineup is less certain. 200 m specialist Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) beat team regulars Shuhei Tada (Sumitomo Denko) and Aska Cambridge (Nike) for 4th in the final, and current Japanese #2 Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) was out of nationals with illness. Who ends up on the relay squad alongside the top three remains to be seen, but it's reassuring this distance out from the Tokyo Olympics that there are enough capable people for that to be a question.

The National Track and Field Championships continue through Sunday.

103rd National Track and Field Championships Day Two

Hakatanomori Field, Fukuoka, 6/28/2019
complete results


Women's 100 m +0.6 m/s
1. Midori Mikase (Eniwa Kita H.S.) - 11.67
2. Anna Doi (JAL) - 11.72
3. Hanae Aoyama (Osaka H.S.) - 11.73
4. Mei Kodama (Fukuoka Univ.) - 11.74 - PB
5. Yuna Miura (Shibata H.S.) - 11.75 - PB
6. Tomomi Yanagiya (Osaka Seikei Univ.) - 11.88
7. Maki Wada (Mizuno) - 11.89
8. Hina Ishido (Ritsumeikan Keisho H.S.) - 11.89

Men's 100 m -0.3 m/s
1. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Univ. of Florida) - 10.02 - MR
2. Yoshihide Kiryu (Nihon Seimei) - 10.16
3. Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) - 10.19
4. Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 10.24
5. Shuhei Tada (Sumitomo Denko) - 10.29
6. Ruichiro Sakai (Kansai Univ.) - 10.31
7. Takuya Kawakami (Osaka Gas) - 10.31
8. Aska Cambridge (Nike) - 10.33

Women's 400 m
1. Seika Aoyama (Osaka Seikei AC) - 53.68
2. Saki Takashima (Soyo H.S.) - 53.68
3. Nanako Matsumoto (Toho Ginko) - 53.70
4. Konomi Takeishi (Toho Ginko) - 54.19
5. Yuna Iwata (Chuo Univ.) - 54.31
6. Mami Kawasaki (Soyo H.S.) - 54.54 - PB
7. Rina Yoshioka (Saikyo H.S.) - 55.04
8. Asami Shintaku (Art Home) - 55.20

Men's 400 m
1. Julian Walsh (Fujitsu) - 45.80
2. Mizuki Obuchi (Torihei AC) - 46.18
3. Kentaro Sato (Fujitsu) - 46.19
4. Mitsuki Kawachi (Kinki Univ.) - 46.26
5. Kota Wakabayashi (Surugadai Univ.) - 46.34
6. Rikuya Ito (Waseda Univ.) - 46.78
7. Kazuki Matsukiyo (Fukuoka Univ.) - 46.82
8. Taichi Suzuki (Nihon Univ.) - 47.12

Men's 800 m
1. Allon Tatsunami Clay (Soyo H.S.) - 1:46.59 - HS NR, U20 NR, U18 NR
2. Sho Kawamoto (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:46.78
3. Tatsuya Nishikubo (Waseda Univ.) - 1:48.32
4. Daichi Setoguchi (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 1:49.17
5. Taichi Ichino (Roble) - 1:49.23
6. Takuto Hanamura (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 1:49.76
7. Kenta Umetani (Sunbelx) - 1:50.56
8. Junya Matsumoto (Hosei Univ.) - 1:54.71

Women's 1500 m
1. Ran Urabe (Nike Tokyo TC) - 4:15.79
2. Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki TC) - 4:16.23
3. Kaede Hagitani (Edion) - 4:16.45 - PB
4. Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Meijo Univ.) - 4:16.52 - PB
5. Yume Goto (Toyota Jidoshokki TC) - 4:17.46

Women's Pole Vault
1. Mayu Nasu (Run Journey) - 4.20 m
2. Reina Tanaka (Kagawa Univ.) - 4.10 m
3. Misaki Morita (Chuo Univ.) - 3.80 m
4. Ayako Aoshima (Niigata Albirex RC) - 3.80 m
5. Jun Maekawa (Nittai Univ.) - 3.80 m

Women's Long Jump
1. Sumire Hata (Shibata Kogyo) - 6.43 m +0.3 m/s - PB
2. Sachiko Matsumi (Kyudenko) - 6.15 m +0.6 m/s
3. Ayaka Kora (Tsukuba Univ.) - 6.14 m +1.0 m/s
4. Minaho Murakami (Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ.) - 6.07 m +0.9 m/s
5. Maya Takeuchi (Nihon Joshi Taiiku Univ.) - 6.02 m -0.2 m/s

Women's Javelin Throw
1. Haruka Kitaguchi (Nihon Univ.) - 63.68 m - MR
2. Yuka Mori (Nikoniko Nori) - 62.88 m - PB (MR)
3. Ai Yamauchi (Hasegawa Sports Club) - 56.67 m
4. Mikako Yamashita (Kyushu Kyoritsu Univ.) - 56.58 m
5. Risa Miyashita (MPE) - 56.35 m

Men's Javelin Throw
1. Ryohei Arai (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 79.42 m
2. Kenji Ogura (Nittai AC) - 76.19 m
3. Takuto Kominami (Tsukuba Ginko) - 73.82 m
4. Yuta Sakiyama (Ehime T&F Assoc.) - 73.70 m
5. Genki Dean (Mizuno) - 73.31 m

Final Qualifiers

Women's 100 m Hurdles
Asuka Terada (Pasona Group) - 13.15
Ayako Kimura (Edion) - 13.24
Masumi Aoki (Nanajunana Ginko) - 13.31
Mako Fukube (Nikkenko) - 13.32
Hitomi Shimura (Toho Ginko) - 13.34
Miho Suzuki (Hasegawa Sports Club) - 13.40
Chisato Kiyoyama (Ichigo) - 13.41
Nana Fujimori (Meiji Univ.) - 13.43

Men's 400 m Hurdles
Keisuke Nozawa (Mizuno) - 49.54
Masaki Toyoda (Hosei Univ.) - 49.64
Yuki Matsushita (Mizuno) - 49.87
Yutaro Mano (Nagoya Univ.) - 49.93
Masaya Oda (Nagoya Univ.) - 50.03
Mitsuru Suga (Niigata Albirex RC) - 50.03
Toyoyuki Abe (Yamada Denki) - 50.08
Kohei Miyako (Doshisha Univ.) - 50.23

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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