Saturday, June 30, 2012

Omwamba Leads Yamanashi Gakuin Back to National University Ekiden

by Brett Larner

A year after ending its 24-year streak of National University Men's Ekiden Championships appearances, Yamanashi Gakuin University returned to the fold with a win at the Championships' Kanto Region Qualifer June 30 at Tokyo's National Stadium.  A meet consisting of four 10000 m heats each with two men from each of the twenty entered universities, team scores are calculated by the combined times of all eight of a school's entered runners.  The five teams with the fastest cumulative time go on to November's National Championships.

Nittai University held a 17-second lead over Yamanashi Gakuin coming into the fourth and fastest heat, where Yamanashi Gakuin's new Kenyan recruit Enock Omwamba led start to finish to take the individual win in 28:39.13 and, together with his teammate Hiroto Inoue's 29:01.28 PB, give Yamanashi Gakuin a 15-second win over Nittai in the final scoring.  Omwamba was accompanied for a large part of the race by Josai University's Kota Murayama, who despited fading and being caught by a chasing pack rallied to hold on to 2nd in a PB of 28:53.33. Daito Bunka University's Hiroshi Ichida took 3rd a step behind in a PB 28:53.98 with his identical twin brother Takashi Ichida 10th in 29:12.01. Curiously, Murayama also has an identical twin brother, Komazawa University ace Kenta Murayama.

Last year's winner Aoyama Gakuin University came up short when its two leaders, last year's Heat 3 and Heat 4 winners Ryotaro Otani and Takehiro Deki, both ran poorly.  Aoyama Gakuin was 14th of twenty in 4:02:42.38.  Had both Otani and Deki, who has had a rough recovery from his 2:10:02 marathon debut at Lake Biwa in March, run up to last year's level it would have meant around three minutes off Aoyama Gakuin's time, enough for a shot at top five and a Nationals place. Top seed Juntendo University was the other big breakdown of the day, only 7th after lackluster performances from its Heat 4 men Yuki Matsumura and Hideyuki Tanaka.

Top five-seeded Teikyo University and Tokai University came through as expected, Tokai without stars Tsubasa Hayakawa and Akinobu Murasawa, but the big surprise of the day came from 17th-seeded Kanagawa University which somehow mustered up a 4th-place finish ahead of Tokai in 3:59:10.21.  It was a solid team performance in the absence of many standout individual runs, with only Heat 1's Hiroki Akamatsu and Heat 2's Ryo Yoshikawa cracking the top five in their heats for Kanagawa.

The five qualifying schools join big names Toyo University, Komazawa University, Waseda University and others from within Kanto and across Japan in the lineup for this fall's National Championships.  With their last big race of the summer out of the way all the teams will now shift focus to their intensive summer training in Hokkaido and elsewhere.

2012 National University Ekiden Championships Kanto Region Qualifier
National Stadium, Tokyo, 6/30/12

Team Scores (eight men total, two per four heats)
click here for complete team results

1. Yamanashi Gakuin University - 3:57:28.32
2. Nittai University - 3:57:43.48
3. Teikyo University - 3:58:38.53
4. Kanagawa University - 3:59:10.21
5. Tokai University - 3:59:35.81
----- (top five teams qualify for championships)
6. Daito Bunka University - 3:59:48.10
7. Juntendo University - 3:59:55.93
8. Chuo Gakuin Univeristy - 4:00:01.93
9. Josai University - 4:00:16.05
10. Koku Gakuin University - 4:01:04.39

Individual Results
click here for complete individual results

Heat 4
1. Enock Omwamba (1st yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ./Kenya) - 28:39.13
2. Kota Murayama (2nd yr., Josai Univ.) - 28:53.33 - PB
3. Hiroshi Ichida (2nd yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) - 28:53.98 - PB
4. Ryo Nakagawa (2nd yr., Tokai Univ.) - 28:57.66 - PB
5. Hiroto Inoue (2nd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:01.28 - PB
6. Toshikatsu Ebina (3rd yr., Teikyo Univ.) - 29:03.28 - PB
7. Shota Hattori (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 29:05.77
8. Keisuke Fujii (4th yr., Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 29:06.97
9. Takumi Honda (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 29:08.38
10. Takashi Ichida (2nd yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) - 29:12.01
36. Takehiro Deki (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 31:13.01

Heat 3
1. Tatsuya Oike (3rd yr., Juntendo Univ.) - 29:20.19
2. Yuji Murota (4th yr., Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 29:20.29 - PB
3. Keigo Yano (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 29:22.44
4. Kiyoshi Ota (4th yr., Soka Univ.) - 29:24.33 - PB
5. Yuta Obitsu (2nd yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:24.89 - PB

Heat 2
1. Toshinori Tsuchida (4th yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:53.25
2. Kiichi Yoshimura (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 29:55.15
3. Ryo Yoshikawa (4th yr., Kanagawa Univ.) - 29:55.49
4. Norihiko Matsuda (3rd yr., Hosei Univ.) - 29:56.45
5. Manabu Yamada (2nd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 29:56.50 - PB

Heat 1
1. Ryo Shirayoshi (1st yr., Tokai Univ.) - 29:52.42 - PB
2. Hiroki Akamatsu (2nd yr., Kanagawa Univ.) - 29:53.54 - PB
3. Shohei Hayakawa (2nd yr., Teikyo Univ.) - 29:58.59
4. Takashi Mino (2nd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 29:58.87 - PB
5. Shota Kai (3rd yr., Nittai Univ.) - 30:02.46

Heat 5 (reserves)
1. Yutaro Fukushi (4th yr., Nittai Univ.) - 29:48.32
2. Ryota Sakurai (2nd yr., Kokushikan Univ.) - 29:54.73 - PB
3. Fumiaki Goto (4th yr., Teikyo Univ.) - 29:55.99 - PB

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, June 29, 2012

Watch the Sapporo International Half Marathon Live Online

By Brett Larner

The 2012 Sapporo International Half Marathon will take place this Sunday, July 1.  The 1:30 p.m. start time in recent years has meant slower times, but Sapporo remains Japan's deepest summer road race and always delivers.  Nihon TV will broadcast the race live, and international viewers should be able to pick up the broadcast via Keyhole TV.  JRN will do additional live race coverage as usual via Twitter @JRNLive.

At the top of the men's field is Kenyan great Martin Mathathi (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), who set a searing course record of 58.56 on the aided Great North Run course last fall.  Sapporo will be Mathathi's next step along a course to a planned marathon debut at this December's Fukuoka International Marathon.  Alongside him are 2011 Fukuoka winner Josphat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.), national record holder Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku), and London Olympic marathoners Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) and Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express), both of whom set half marathon bests at February's Marugame International Half Marathon.  While Yamamoto's recent results, including a 29:16.55 for 23rd in the Olympic Trials 10000 m earlier this month, have been somewhat lackluster, Fujiwara appears to be in good shape after two solid track performances in the last week, including a 2 x 10000 m workout with less than six minutes recovery, both within 30 seconds of his PB.

London Olympics women's marathon alternate Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) tops the women's list, where she will face the likes of 2012 National University Half Marathon champion Ayame Takagi (Meijo Univ.), 2012 Sendai International Half Marathon winner Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) and 2011 Ichinoseki International Half Marathon winner Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC).  Kato, on the team for this fall's World Half Marathon Championships after her Sendai win, ran poorly in the 5000 m at the first Hokuren Distance Challenge meet last weekend in Shibetsu, Hokkaido.  Look for additional noteworthy names to surface unexpectedly in both the men's and women's general elite field.

55th Sapporo International Half Marathon
Sapporo, Hokkaido, 7/1/12

Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 58:56a (Great North Run 2011)
Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:00:25 (World Half 2007)
Josphat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 1:01:07 (Ras Al Khaimah 2010)
Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) - 1:01:34 (Marugame 2012)
Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 1:01:41 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2009)
Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) - 1:01:54 (Marugame 2012)
Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) - 1:02:17 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2009)
Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda) - 1:02:32 (Marugame 2002)

Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 1:08:11 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2008)
Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:09:23 (Sanyo Women's 2011)
Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:10:03 (Sanyo Women's  2011)
Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 1:10:50 (Marugame 2011)
Ayame Takagi (Meijo Univ.) - 1:11:10 (Nat'l Univ. Women's Half 2012)
Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) - 1:11:21 (Sendai 2012)
Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) - 1:11:22 (Ichinoseki 2011)
Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) - 1:11:43 (Miyazaki Women's 2010)

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ndungu Continues to Impress at Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet

by Brett Larner

Kenyan first-year Charles Ndungu (Sapporo Yamanote H.S.), the first-ever Kenyan at a high school on Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, continued his rapid improvement since arriving in Japan this spring, running 13:35.54 in the June 27 Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet 5000 m A-heat, a PB by over 20 seconds, to finish just behind past Kenyan national XC champion Gideon Ngatuny (Team Nissin Shokuhin).  A month ago Ndungu's coach Kazuki Kajiyama promised him an MP3 player for breaking 14 for the first time.  What will he get now?  Ndungu's remarkable run catapults him to the top level of the Japan-based Kenyan high school contingent and makes him a solid contender for the win at next month's National High School Track and Field Championships.

University-level competition was thick, with Hakone Ekiden powerhouses Toyo University, Komazawa University and Waseda University all recording multiple sub-29 performances in the men's 10000 m A and B-heats.  Komazawa's Shinobu Kubota was the fastest collegiate of the day with a 28:10.02 for 8th in the national record-bid A-heat, while his teammate Shogo Nakamura won the B-heat in 28:22.59.  Komazawa's Kensuke Gotoda was also under 29 in the B-heat, running 28:56.59 for 10th.  Waseda likewise had three men sub-29, second-year Shuhei Yamamoto moving up aggressively in the second half of the A-heat after starting in the second pack to finish 28:14.49, teammate Shota Hiraga running 28:50.49 for 25th.  Waseda's Hiroyuki Sasaki, like Hiraga a graduate of Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S., was slightly faster in the B-heat with a 28:49.61 for 5th.

Hakone Ekiden course record holder and 2012 champion Toyo only had two men sub-29, but the pair, identical twin brothers Yuta Shitara and Keita Shitara, both went out in the A-heat front pack on national record pace and held on for sub-28:20 clockings.  Yuta was the faster of the two, 9th in a roughly twenty-second PB of 28:12.82, while Keita was 13th in 28:19.78, less than five seconds off his best.  With Keita traditionally the stronger of the two, this race is believed to have marked the first time that Yuta has broken one of Keita's PBs and the first time he has beaten him in a major race.  Tokai University's Tsubasa Hayakawa also contributed to the collegiate sub-29 haul.  The buildup to the 2013 Hakone Ekiden is underway.

The top pro in the 10000 m, 2011's top-ranked Japanese man Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta), was the only Japanese man of the day to break 28, 5th in 27:56.77 behind Japan-resident Kenyans Edward Waweru (Team NTN), Patrick Mwikya (Team Toyota Boshoku), John Thuo (Team Toyota) and Daniel Gitau (Team Fujitsu).  Waweru took the win in 27:29.10.  Ugachi's perpetual rival Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) was somewhat off his game, 7th in 28:07.30 after having beaten Ugachi two and a half weeks ago at the Olympic Trials.

The women's 10000 m was lacking in big names but saw strong performances from the top three.  Little-known Yoko Aizu (Team Shikoku Denryoku) won in 32:18.40, faster than the 3rd-placer at the Olympic Trials and just ahead of past marathon great Mari Ozaki (Team Noritz) who continued her long comeback from childbirth with a 32:20.98.  Aizu's teammate Miho Ihara (Team Shikoku Denryoku) was another couple of steps back in 32:21.80, while her identical twin sister Kyoko Aizu (Team Shikoku Denryoku) was much further back in 11th with a time of 33:36.34.

The women's 3000 m A-heat had a great run from national champion Team Daiichi Seimei's Eina Yokosawa, who won easily in 9:05.97 over Sayuri Sendo (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) and Yokosawa's teammate Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei), who clocked 9:11.38 and 9:12.61 respectively.

The Hokuren Distance Challenge continues July 4 with the third of the series' four meets, this time in Kitami, Hokkaido.

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Marathoner Shimahara Expecting First Child

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On June 27 the management company of Hokkaido Marathon course record holder Kiyoko Shimahara, 35, who retired following January's Osaka International Women's Marathon, announced that she is expecting her first child.  The baby is due in December, following which Shimahara hopes to make a return to competition.  Shimahara is married to 2008 Hokkaido Marathon winner Masaru Takamizawa, the head coach at Nagano's famed Saku Chosei High School.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Katayama Runs World-Leader at Lake Saroma 100 km; Women's Champ Mochizuki Wins 50 km Overall

by Brett Larner

Japan's premier ultramarathon, the Lake Saroma 100 km and 50 km, saw its 27th running on Sunday, June 24. The 100 km was largely a battle of familiar faces on both the men's and women's sides, as national team stalwart and 2011 4th-placer Yoshikazu Hara moved up to take the win over last year's runner-up Hideo Nojo in 6:33:32.  Nojo improved on last year's mark but was still over two minutes behind Hara, running 6:35:52.

In the women's race defending champion Naomi Ochiai was only 4th in 7:56:42, but 2011 runner-up  Shiho Katayama took over 20 minutes off her time from last year to win in a world-leading 7:33:38.  Last year's 50 km division winner and former corporate marathoner Yuka Ezaki made a good transition to the 100 km distance, finishing 5th in 8:04:02.

The most surprising action came in the 50 km, where 25-year-old Chiyuki Mochizuki (Canon AC Kyushu), the two-time Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon women's division winner, outran men's division newcomer Fumito Matsuda for the overall win by less than a minute, clocking 3:25:43 to Matsuda's 3:26:42.

27th Lake Saroma Ultramarathon
Lake Saroma, Hokkaido, 6/24/12

Men's 100 km
1. Yoshikazu Hara - 6:33:32
2. Hideo Nojo - 6:35:52
3. Takayoshi Shigemi - 6:43:55
4. Takahiro Shimamoto - 6:49:15
5. Masakazu Takahashi - 6:58:19

Women's 100 km
1. Shiho Katayama - 7:33:38
2. Mai Fujisawa - 7:53:31
3. Yukiko Oda - 7:54:24
4. Naomi Ochiai - 7:56:42
5. Yuka Ezaki - 8:04:02

Men's 50 km
1. Fumito Matsuda - 3:26:42
2. Yoji Takahashi - 3:49:29
3. Hiroki Murakami - 3:57:19

Women's 50 km
1. Chiyuki Mochizuki - 3:25:43
2. Yuko Kikui - 4:13:30
3. Tae Kawano - 4:16:38

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Monday, June 25, 2012

Complicated Personnel Problems Ensnare Tokyo Marathon Foundation Chair Succession

translated by Mika Tokairin and Brett Larner

At a special meeting of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation last week at Tokyo City Hall, complexities arose which prevented the selection of a new chairperson alongside the election of other board members.  The Foundation, which came into existence in 2010, has been headed by Japanese Federation advisor Hiroaki Chosa in a position with a term of two years.

The Federation and Tokyo Metropolitan Government each recommended nine different candidates to succeed Chosa in his position, all of whom were rejected by the selection committee.  The twenty-one Foundation board members who were not among those nominated for the chairperson's position did succeed in determining the new temporary vice-chairperson.

It appears that this exceptional perplexity was the result of a power struggle within the Foundation between the Federation and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.  Tokyo Marathon Foundation secretary general Eiji Ando commented, "We want to normalize this abnormal situation as soon as possible."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fujiwara 29:08.00 and 29:00.98 in Shibetsu

by Brett Larner

Somewhat usually, all of Japan's major track action this weekend took place on Saturday.  The biggest meet of the day was the first in the Hokuren Distance Challenge series, held in Shibetsu, Hokkaido.  London Olympics men's marathon team member Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) made news by running both the A and B heats of the men's 10000 m with less than six minutes in between.  Fujiwara won the B-heat in 29:08.00, then ran 29:00.98 in the A-heat where he placed 5th.  With new half marathon and marathon PBs of 1:01:34 and 2:07:48 behind him earlier this year, Fujiwara's three-year-old 10000 m PB of 28:41.05 is no doubt up for renewal whenever he wants it.  Fujiwara will run next weekend's Sapporo International Half Marathon as another tuneup for the London Olympics.

Kenyan Alex Mwangi (Team YKK) won the 10000 m A-heat in 28:12.47 over 2011 World Championships marathoner Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota), who took the runner-up position in 28:40.19.  Kenyans Edward Waweru (Team NTN) and Johnson Kiumbani (Team Konica Minolta) went 1-2 in the 5000 m A-heat in 13:27.61 and 13:36.92.  Something of a surprise in 3rd was a resurgent Ryuji Ono (Team Asahi Kasei), famed for making the Athens Olympics on the track while still in his teens.  Ono ran 13:47.22, the fastest time of the day by a Japanese man and bettering B-heat winner Seungho Haku of South Korea, who ran 13:54.17.

Kenyans Beatrice Wainaina Murugi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) and Susan Wairimu (Team Denso) also went 1-2 in the women's 3000 m in 9:04.16 and 9:06.25, well ahead of Wairimu's new teammate Mai Ishibashi (Team Denso) who clocked 9:18.66.  Another Denso runner, Yuka Takashima, had a narrow win in the 5000 m A-heat, running 15:43.51 over Yoko Aizu (Team Shikoku Denryoku) and Yuki Mitsunobu (Team Kyocera) in 15:43.85 and 15:44.07.  Aizu's identical twin sister Kyoko Aizu (Team Shikoku Denryoku) was 2nd in the 5000 m B-heat in 16:14.79, well behind winner Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo).

Some noteworthy results also came at the Shizuoka Long-Distance Time Trials meet, where newcomers Agat Yashin Hassan (Team Chuo Spring) and Miliyon Zewdie (Ethiopia/ Team Yachiyo Kogyo), top-ranked Kenyan high schooler Jeremiah Karemi (Toyokawa H.S.) and Kenyan pro Dishon Karukuwa Maina (Team Aisan Kogyo) turned in time rivaling those in Shibetsu, Hassan running 13:34.10 and all four under 13:40.  In the women's 5000 m, Hachioji H.S. junior Shiho Yahagi turned heads with a 15:58.75 winning performance.  Four high school girls also went under 9:30 in the 3000 m, led by Eda H.S. junior Kaori Morita's 9:28.46.

Closer to Tokyo, the National University Individual Track and Field Championships, a relatively minor meet which rarely sees top competition, ventured into new territory with meet records in both the women's and men's 5000 m.  Rina Nabeshima (Kanoya Taiku Univ.) outran two-time double 5000 m and 10000 m Kanto Region champion Mai Shinozuka (Chuo Univ.) to win in a meet record 15:52.95.  Shinozuka ran 15:57.40, ten seconds better than the old record, to join Nabeshima as the only two women to break 16 in meet history.  3rd-place Mai Shoji (Chukyo Univ.) was far back in 16:10.34 but just missed also breaking the previous record.  In the men's 5000 m, Takuro Nakanishi (Fukuoka Univ.) became the first man to break 14 in the history of the meet, running 13:59.34 to take almost eleven seconds off the old record held by Samuel Ganga (Kenya/ Hiroshima Keizai Univ.).

One other significant result came at the 21st Oita Nighter Time Trials meet, where Masato Imai (Team Toyota Kyushu), the former Hakone Ekiden star who memorably battled Yuki Kawauchi (Saitamai Pref.) for an Olympic marathon berth at last year's Fukuoka International Marathon, won the 5000 m in 14:05.31 over teammate Yuya Konishi (Team Toyota Kyushu).

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, June 23, 2012

All Three Olympic Marathon Women Share Altitude Training With "A Feeling of Tension"

translated by Brett Larner

The three members of the London Olympics women's marathon team, Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya), Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) and Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) held a joint workout open to the media at 2100 m altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona on June 22.  "We ran with a healthy feeling of tension," said Shigetomo, her satisfaction with the workout evident.

On this day the women ran 30 km on a one-way 5 km loop around a lake, covering the distance in around two hours.  Her corporate team regularly using Flagstaff as an altitude training base, Kizaki commented, "With three of us here we can really focus well," giving a favorable evaluation of the joint Olympic training camp's worth.  Ozaki said, "I hope we all target the top positions [at the Olympics]."

All three women's marathon Olympians will be making their Olympic debuts, and likewise the joint Flagstaff training camp, organized by the Japanese federation Rikuren in conjunction with each athlete's corporate team, is a first.  The training camp will run through July 1.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Shota Iizuka Ready for Olympic Debut

translated by Brett Larner

Shota Iizuka's big breakthrough, anchoring Chuo University to a 4x100 m national collegiate record 38.54 as a first-year at the 2010 Kanto Regional University Track & Field Championships.

Chuo University held a send-off party for its three Olympic team members in Hachioji, Tokyo on June 22.  200 m World Junior Champion Shota Iizuka (20) told the audience, "I want to show how competitive I can be internationally, and I'm going to set a new PB," showing his passion and enthusiasm for the sport.

All three of Chuo's athletes will be making their Olympic debuts.  400 m hurdler Tetsuya Tateno (20) showed his apprehension as he said, "I think it's going to be more stressful than I can imagine right now, but I want to show how focused I can be under tough circumstances."  Freestyle swimmer Chiaki Ishibashi (21) commented, "Everyone there will be really good, but I think I have what it takes to hang in all the way to the end."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ndungu With Two Meet Records in 22 Hours at Hokkaido H.S. Regionals

by Brett Larner

First-year Charles Ndungu (Sapporo Yamanote H.S.), the first-ever Kenyan to grace the Hokkaido high school regional circuit, continues to carve a place for himself in the record books.  Running in typhoon conditions June 20 he set a six-second meet record of 14:27.98 in the qualifying heats of the 5000 m at the Hokkaido Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships, winning his heat by well over a minute.  Twenty-two hours later he returned to take another thirty seconds off his own record with a new mark of 13:57.81 in the final.  Second through fifth succeeded in getting within a minute of Ndungu, led by senior Fusanosuke Araya (Otani Muroran H.S.) in 14:51.08.

Next month Ndungu will travel to the National H.S. Championships, where he will face his first real competition since arriving in Japan this spring, including fellow Kenyans Jeremiah Karemi (Toyokawa H.S.), John Gathaiya (Sera H.S.), John Maina (Aomori Yamada H.S.) and Hiram Ngatia (Sendai Ikuei H.S.).

2012 Hokkaido Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Men's 5000 m Final
Hokkaido, 6/21/12
click here for complete meet results

1. Charles Ndungu (1st yr., Kenya/Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) - 13:57.81 - MR
2. Fusanosuke Araya (3rd yr., Otani Muroran H.S.) - 14:51.08
3. Daiki Suzaki (2nd yr., Otani Muroran H.S.) - 14:52.19
4. Shotaro Shimaguchi (3rd yr., Takikawa Nishi H.S.) - 14:54.02
5. Shuhei Tsukidate (3rd yr., Otani Muroran H.S.) - 14:54.23

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mathathi Headlines 2012 Sapporo International Half Marathon Elite Field

By Brett Larner

The organizers of the 2012 Sapporo International Half Marathon have released the elite invited field of eight men and eight women for this year's 55th running, scheduled for July 1.  The 1:30 p.m. start time in recent years has meant slower times, but Sapporo remains Japan's deepest summer road race and always delivers.

At the top of the men's field is Kenyan great Martin Mathathi (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), who set a searing course record of 58.56 on the aided Great North Run course last fall.  Sapporo will be Mathathi's next step along a course to a planned marathon debut at this December's Fukuoka International Marathon.  Alongside him are 2011 Fukuoka winner Josphat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.), national record holder Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku), and London Olympic marathoners Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) and Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express), both of whom set half marathon bests at February's Marugame International Half Marathon.

London Olympics women's marathon alternate Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) tops the women's list, where she will face the likes of 2012 National University Half Marathon champion Ayame Takagi (Meijo Univ.), 2012 Sendai International Half Marathon winner Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) and 2011 Ichinoseki International Half Marathon winner Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC).

Look for additional noteworthy names to surface unexpectedly in both the men's and women's general elite field, typically not announced prior to the race.  Check back closer to race date for more information on live coverage of this year's Sapporo International Half Marathon.

55th Sapporo International Half Marathon
Sapporo, Hokkaido, 7/1/12

Martin Mathathi (Kenya/Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 58:56a (Great North Run 2011)
Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 1:00:25 (World Half 2007)
Josphat Ndambiri (Kenya/Team Komori Corp.) - 1:01:07 (Ras Al Khaimah 2010)
Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) - 1:01:34 (Marugame 2012)
Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 1:01:41 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2009)
Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) - 1:01:54 (Marugame 2012)
Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) - 1:02:17 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2009)
Takashi Horiguchi (Team Honda) - 1:02:32 (Marugame 2002)

Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - 1:08:11 (Nat'l Corp. Half 2008)
Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 1:09:23 (Sanyo Women's 2011)
Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 1:10:03 (Sanyo Women's  2011)
Rei Ohara (Team Tenmaya) - 1:10:50 (Marugame 2011)
Ayame Takagi (Meijo Univ.) - 1:11:10 (Nat'l Univ. Women's Half 2012)
Asami Kato (Team Panasonic) - 1:11:21 (Sendai 2012)
Eri Okubo (Second Wind AC) - 1:11:22 (Ichinoseki 2011)
Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) - 1:11:43 (Miyazaki Women's 2010)

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Monday, June 18, 2012

Kawauchi 2:51:45 CR at Okinoshima 50 km Ultra

complete results coming soon

by Brett Larner

Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) ran 2:51:45 at the hot and hilly Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on June 17, taking more than half an hour off the CR.  Last year Kawauchi led Okinoshima on a slightly faster course record pace before collapsing shortly before the finish line and being taken to a hospital.  Kawauchi, whose father was born on the island of Okinoshima, told JRN after the race, "It was hotter than last year, but I finished."

Update: Click here for a photo of the start via the Asahi Shimbun Digital site.

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

High School Regional Track Championships Results - 33 Girls Under 9:30

by Brett Larner 

 High school track continued along the road to next month's National Championships with a nationwide round of regional championships this weekend.  Thirty-three girls across the country broke the 9:30 mark over 3000 m, with the fastest time of the weekend going to Kenyan Mary Waithira (Sendai Ikuei H.S.), who set an impressive meet record of 9:00.85 at the Tohoku Regionals meet over Kenyan rival Rosemary Wanjiru (Aomori Yamada H.S.), who ran 9:07.44.  The fastest performance by a Japanese girl came at the South Kanto Regionals meet, where Maki Izumida (Hakuoh Joshi H.S.) won in 9:17.74.  All but three regions featured winning times under 9:30.

Boys' performances were less noteworthy, but in the Tokai Region 5000 m Kenyan Jeremiah Karemi (Toyokawa H.S.) set a meet record of 13:52.51.  Charles Ndungu (Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) also set a meet record in the Hokkaido Region 5000 m, running 13:57.81.  Both boys' and girls' results were somewhat diminished by the absence of the suspended group of star athletes who transferred from Sendai Ikuei H.S. to Toyokawa H.S. this spring following the resignation of Sendai Ikuei head coach Junichi Seino.

Tohoku Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Iwate, 6/18/2012
1. Mary Waithira (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 9:00.85
2. Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 9:07.44
3. Natsumi Ozawa (Tamura H.S.) - 9:21.46
4. Misaki Tanabe (Tamura H.S.) - 9:21.99
5. Rina Koeda (Tamura H.S.) - 9:26.59
6. Yuki Kodama (Omagari H.S.) - 9:31.82
7. Kaho Sasaki (Hanawa H.S.) - 9:32.87

Boys' 5000 m
Iwate, 6/17/2012
1. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 14:01.99
2. John Maina (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 14:08.34
3. Issei Takahashi (Omagari Kogyo H.S.) - 14:26.86

South Kanto Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Gunma, 6/18/2012
1. Maki Izumida (Hakuoh Joshi H.S.) - 9:17.74
2. Sakiko Naito (Funabashi Municipal H.S.) - 9:17.93
3. Shiho Yahagi (Hachioji H.S.) - 9:19.38
4. Megumi Aoba (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 9:21.14
5. Saori Imamura (Kibogaoka H.S.) - 9:22.53
6. Asahi Takeuchi (Hadano H.S.) - 9:22.78
7. Yomogi Akasaka (Moto Ishikawa H.S.) - 9:29.43

Kita-Kyushu Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Saga, 6/17/2012
1. Nozomi Yamashita (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 9:20.00
2. Miki Hirai (Shiraishi H.S.) - 9:20.30
3. Nanami Kondo (Yanagawa H.S.) - 9:22.38
4. Shoko Sonoda (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 9:22.65
5. Shiori Yano (Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 9:25.24
6. Yuki Yokoishi (Shiraishi H.S.) - 9:25.56
7. Kanade Takahashi (Yanagawa H.S.) - 9:31.73

Kita-Shinetsu Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Kanazawa, 6/17/2012
1. Honoka Yuzawa (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:20.85
2. Saki Fukui (Toyama Shogyo H.S.) - 9:23.11
3. Ami Hirose (Seiryo H.S.) - 9:26.54

Kinki Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Shiga, 6/17/2012
1. Mika Kobayashi (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 9:26.36
2. Mizuho Matsuda (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:27.38
3. Misaki Hayashida (Himeji Shogyo H.S.) - 9:27.50
4. Risa Miyanaga (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 9:27.61
5. Nanae Kanno (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:27.67
6. Kotona Ota (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 9:27.69
7. Natsuki Omori Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:31.40

Tokai Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Gifu, 6/17/2012
1. Karin Nishikawa (Chukyo Prep H.S.) - 9:27.65
2. Tomoyo Yamamoto (Tokoha Gakuen Kikugawa H.S.) - 9:27.94
3. Kanae Kamizono (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:29.08
4. Nanako Kajiya (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:29.12
5. Nodoka Aoki (Mashita Seifu H.S.) - 9:31.37

Boys' 5000 m
Gifu, 6/17/2012
1. Jeremiah Karemi (Kenya/Toyokawa H.S.) - 13:52.51 - MR
2. Yusuke Nishiyama (Iga Hakuho H.S.) - 14:23.99
3. Kazuma Taira (Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.) - 14:27.38

Chugoku Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Hiroshima, 6/16/2012
1. Yuki Maekawa (Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S.) - 9:29.36
2. Rie Kawauchi Kojokan H.S.) - 9:29.74
3. Saki Ochiai Hirata H.S.) - 9:30.65
4. Junna Fujii (Kojokan H.S.) - 9:31.94
5. Suzuna Seiyama (Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S.) - 9:33.07

North Kanto Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Gunma, 6/18/2012
1. Shiho Takeda (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:31.52
2. Naoka Akutsu (Nasu Shiobara H.S.) - 9:35.33
3. Akane Higashimura (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 9:35.69

Shikoku Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Kochi, 6/18/2012
1. Ai Ikemoto (Nakamura H.S.) - 9:33.77
2. Akari Kageura (Saibi Gakuen H.S.) - 9:46.30
3. Ami Ishikawa (Yawatahama H.S.) - 9:47.55

Hokkaido Regional H.S. Track & Field Championships Girls' 3000 m
Hokkaido, 6/22/2012
1. Nagisa Morinaga (Sapporo Seishu H.S.) - 9:43.48
2. Momoko Onuma (Otani Muroran H.S.) - 10:02.44
3. Minori Matsuura (Sapporo Seishu H.S.) - 10:04.14

Boys' 5000 m
Hokkaido, 6/21/2012
1. Charles Ndungu (Kenya/Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) - 13:57.81 - MR
2. Fusanosuke Araya (Otani Muroran H.S.) - 14:51.08
3. Daiki Suzaki (Otani Muroran H.S.) - 14:52.19

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, June 15, 2012

Olympic Marathoner Nakamoto Aiming to Be "Top Japanese Man"

translated by Brett Larner

London Olympics marathon team member Kentaro Nakamoto held a public practice session June 15 near his sponsor Yasukawa Denki's headquarters in Kita-Kyushu.  With his training going very smoothly, Nakamoto spoke enthusiastically as he said his goal for August's main event is, "To be the top Japanese man.  Making top eight is also a goal."

In late May Nakamoto ran a 10 km race in London along parts of the same course the Olympic Marathon will follow.  The course is loaded with sharp curves and cobblestones and is definitely tough, but, he said with confidence, "Every summer I train somewhere with a lot of hills, so if I train the way I do every year it'll be fine."  This summer Nakamoto will do much of his training in Hokkaido and Oita to get ready for the Olympic marathon.

Translator's note: Nakamoto was a college teammate of the fastest man on the Japanese Olympic marathon squad, Arata Fujiwara (Miki House).  Nakamoto has run a PB every year since debuting in 2008, most recently a 2:08:53 at March's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon to make the Olympic team, and in eight marathons including last summer's Daegu World Championships he has never finished outside the top ten.  Last month he ran a 10000 m PB, breaking 29 minutes for the first time.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Olympic Marathon Women's "Team Japan" Leaves for Flagstaff

translated by Brett Larner

London Olympic marathoners Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) and Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) left from Tokyo's Narita Airport on June 14 for group training in Flagstaff, Arizona.  The third team member, Ryoko Kizaki(Team Daihatsu) met them after flying up from Osaka's Itami Airport.  It will be the first time all three members of an Olympic team have trained together prior to the Olympics.

Ozaki, the senior member of the team, said, "We're going into this Olympics as Team Japan, and we're going to be competitive.  Having this opportunity to work together is going to motivate us as we get in some great training."  Shigetomo added, "It's the same people I'll be racing with, so I think it's going to be a good training camp."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Federation Announces Strict Qualifying Times for 2013 World Championships Team

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Rikuren, the Japanese athletics federation, announced on June 12 the criteria for selection for Japan's team for next year's Moscow World Championships.  To encourage Japanese athletes to get faster, the qualification times announced for the marathon are far higher than in previous years, while track and field events will see their first-ever specific qualifying marks.

Five men and five women can run the marathon in Moscow.  To make the team, men must run 2:07:59 or better and women 2:23:59 or better at any of the three major domestic men's and women's marathons.  Any athlete who clears these times at one of five specified overseas races will also be a candidate for the team.

The domestic races for men are the Fukuoka International Marathon, the Tokyo Marathon and the Biwako Mainichi Marathon, while for women the races are the Yokohama International Women's Marathon, the Osaka International Women's Marathon and the Nagoya Women's Marathon.  The five international races are the World Marathon Majors, Berlin, Chicago, New York, Boston and London.  If no athletes clear the criteria, the top three Japanese finishers at the above domestic races as well as the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon  for men and the Hokkaido Marathon for women will be considered.

In each track and field event the criteria will be: 1. Any athlete who clears the A-standard mark specified by Rikuren and wins their event at the National Championships, or 2. Any athlete who has cleared Rikuren's qualification mark and makes the top eight at the National Championships.  The qualification marks will be announced at a later date, but according to Rikuren official Mitsugi Ogata, "The Federation will base the marks on the world top twelve rankings.  For track events this will be faster than the A-standard, while for field events it will be around the same as the A-standard."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kyuma Twins Go 1-2 at Asian Junior Championships

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On the first day of the 15th Asian Junior Track & Field Championships, June 9-12 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Haruka Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.) set a meet record of 16:07.74 to win the women's 5000 m, with her twin sister Moe Kyuma (Tsukuba Univ.) taking silver.

On the second day of competition Daichi Kamino (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) and Soshi Takahashi (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) took silver and bronze in the men's 10000 m while Saki Yoshimizu (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) claimed bronze in the women's 1500 m, Mai Nishiwaki taking 4th.

On the final day of the Championships, Kotomi Takayama won the gold medal in the women's 3000 m, Moe Kyuma returning to take 4th.  In the men's 5000 m Kota Murayama (Josai Univ.) missed gold by only 0.07 s, 2nd in 14:33.67 with Keisuke Nakatani winning bronze.

The Kyuma twins are in pale blue near the rear of the pack in the title photo above.
Click below for complete results from all events at the Asian Junior Championships:

Day One   *   Day Two   *   Day Three   *   Day Four

Monday, June 11, 2012

Japan Announces Complete London Olympics Athletics Team

by Brett Larner

Click here for JRN's complete video coverage of the 2012 Japanese Olympic Trials, 27 videos making up nearly three hours of footage.

The Japanese Federation and Olympic Committee announced the complete lineup of Japan's team of 48 athletes for this summer's London Olympics track and field events at a press conference on June 11.  The team features 11 national record holders and 18 current national champions and is young overall, with a heavy preponderance of first-time Olympians including a World Junior gold medalist, 13 collegiates and one high schooler.  The Fujitsu corporate team is overwhelmingly the best-represented, boasting 8 Olympic team members, while Chukyo University tops the collegiate list with 3 athletes on the team.  Suzuki, whose Suzuki Hamamatsu AC club team exists outside the corporate league, also has 3 Olympians.

No Olympic team selection process is free of controversial decisions, and the omission of women's 10000 m Jr. NR holder Megumi Kinukawa (Mizuno) is the biggest question mark this time around.  Kinukawa held the 2nd-fastest 10000 m qualifying time, 31:10.02, and the fastest 5000 m qualifying time, 15:09.96 run while winning the 2011 National Championships, among all the Japanese women entered at the Olympic Trials.  Recovering from winter-season injuries, she finished 3rd in the Olympic Trials 10000 m but sat the 5000 m out.  Named to the team today were only three women with valid A-standard marks at both 5000 and 10000, Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic), 1st in the 10000 m and 5th in the 5000 m, Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), 2nd in both the 5 and 10, and Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.), 1st in the 5000 m but a DNS in the 10000 m, suggesting that the Federation is giving Niiya the chance to double despite not having run the 10000 m and having a significantly slower Olympic qualifying time at that distance than Kinukawa.  Similarly, Yoshikawa will have the opportunity to double despite running far more poorly in the 5000 m than Kinukawa did in the 10000 m.  At the same time, the fastest seed in the men's 100 m, Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) with an A-standard 10.08 SB, finished 3rd in the Olympic Trials in only 10.35, well off the Olympic B-standard, but was still named to the team.

Less controversial but still something of a letdown for Japanese men's distance running was the selection of B-standard Olympic Trials 10000 m winner Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) over A-standard 3rd and 4th placers Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) and Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) after a Trials run in which he sat mid-pack without engaging the race, waiting and kicking his way past Miyawaki and Ugachi for the win.  Similarly, B-standard pole vaulter Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.) made the team over A-standard Trials runner-up and national record holder Daichi Sawano (Team Fujitsu).  Sato did not run the 5000 m but holds a valid B-standard mark, meaning he will likely double.

Men's Sprints
100 m: Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - SB/PB: 10.08
100 m: Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas) - SB: 10.14   PB: 10.07
200 m: Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) - SB/PB: 20.42
200 m: Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - SB/PB: 20.45
200 m: Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 20:49   PB: 20.22
400 m: Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - SB: 45.23   PB: 45.16
Relays (pending qualification):
4x100 m: Takumi Kuki (Waseda Univ.) - SB/PB: 10.25
4x400 m: Hiroyuki Nakano (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) - SB/PB: 45.81
4x400 m: Yoshihiro Azuma (Kansai Univ.) - SB/PB: 46.26

Women's Sprints
100 m: Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 11.24   PB: 11.21 (NR)
200 m: Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 23.12   PB: 22.89 (NR)
Relays (pending qualification):
4x100 m: Anna Doi (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - SB/PB: 11.43
4x100 m: Kana Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 11.43
4x100 m: Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 11.51   PB: 11.32
4x100 m: Yumeka Sano (Tsuru Bunka Univ.) - SB: 11.62   PB: 11.59

Men's Middle Distance
800 m: Masato Yokota (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 1:46.19   PB: 1.46.16 (NR)

Men's Long Distance
5000 m: Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - SB: 13:25.53   PB: 13:23.57
10000 m: Yuki Sato (Tean Nissin Shokuhin) - SB: 27:57.07   PB: 27:38.25

Women's Long Distance
5000 m: Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) - SB/PB: 15:13.12
5000 m: Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - SB/PB: 15:15.33
5000 m: Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - SB: 15:18.46   PB: 14:53.22 (NR)
10000 m: Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - SB: 30:54.29   PB: 30:51.81
10000 m: Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) - PB/SB: 31:28.26
10000 m: Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - SB/PB: 31:28.71

Men's Hurdles
400 mH: Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) - SB/PB: 48.41
400 mH: Akihiko Nakamura (Chukyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 49.38
400 mH: Tetsuya Tateno (Chuo Univ.) - SB/PB: 49.49

Women's Hurdles
100 mH: Ayako Kimura (Team Edion) - SB/PB: 13.04
400 mH: Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) - SB/PB: 55.34 (NR)

Men's Jumps
Pole Vault: Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 5.60 m

Women's Jumps
Pole Vault: Tomomi Abiko (Shiga Lake Stars AC) - SB/PB: 4.40 m (NR)

Men's Throws
Hammer: Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) - SB: 81.24 m   PB: 84.86 (NR)
Javelin: Genki Dean (Waseda Univ.) - SB/PB: 84.28 m
Javelin: Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB/PB: 83.95

Women's Throws
Javelin: Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hammatsu AC) - SB/PB: 62.36 (NR)

Men's Decathlon
Keisuke Ushiro (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB/PB: 8073 (NR)

Men's Marathon
Arata Fujiwara (Miki House) - SB/PB: 2:07:48
Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) - SB/PB: 2:08:44
Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) - SB/PB: 2:08:53
Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) - SB/PB: 2:09:25

Women's Marathon
Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya) - SB/PB: 2:23:23
Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) - SB/PB: 2:23:56   PB: 2:23:30
Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - SB/PB: 2:26:32
Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) - SB/PB: 2:24:09

Men's Walks
20 km: Isamu Fujisawa (Team Alsok) - SB: 1:20:38   PB: 1:20:12
20 km: Takumi Saito (Toyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 1:21:01
20 km: Yusuke Suzuki (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 1:21:13   PB: 1:20:06
50 km: Yuki Yamazaki (SDF Academy) - SB: 3:41:47   PB: 3:40:12 (NR)
50 km: Takayuki Tanii (Team Sagawa Express) - SB/PB: 3:43:56
50 km: Koichiro Morioka (Team Fujitsu) - SB/PB: 3:44:45

Women's Walks
20 km: Kumi Otoshi (Team Fujitsu) - SB/PB: 1:29:11
20 km: Mayumi Kawasaki (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 1:30:25   PB: 1:28:49
20 km: Masumi Fuchise (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - SB: 1:31:52   PB: 1:28:03 (NR)

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reerved

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ebihara Gets Javelin NR, 200 m Jr. World Champ Iizuka Hits A-Standard - Japanese Olympic Trials Day Three

by Brett Larner

As with the great showdown between Genki Dean (Waseda Univ.) and Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) yesterday, the biggest show on the final day of the 2012 Japanese Olympic Trials came in the javelin.  Murakami's teammate Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) unexpectedly came up with a big throw in the middle of the women's javelin competition, adding 80 cm on to her own national record to score a new NR of 62.36 m.  An A-standard mark, Ebihara led the day's haul of people meeting the Federation's standards for an assured London Olympic position.

In the men's 200 m Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) likewise earned himself an Olympic spot, running an A-standard PB of 20.42 to take the win.  For a moment it looked as though 2012 Jr. World Champion Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.)  might take the win, but Takase succeeded in easing past into 1st.  Iizuka took 2nd in a large PB of 20.45 and should find himself in London.  Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) was 3rd, over the A-standard in 20.56 behind his younger rivals, but with an A-standard 20.49 behind him earlier this season he should round out a full complement.

Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.), runner-up in last year's Nationals women's 5000 m, was another to join the London team.  Known for frontrunning and pushing the pace, Niiya unexpectedly sat back through a slow 3:06 first km and was one of only two to follow the move of national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) at the start of the next km.  10000 m national champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) showed signs of fatigue and swiftly fell away, but Niiya put the pressure on Fukushi and went by as the pair entered the second half of the race.  Fukushi likewise looked tired from the 10000 m, and when Niiya surged to keep the pace on sub-A-standard track she found herself pulling away from the NR holder.  Niiya, who did not run the 10000 m despite holding the A-standard, took the win in 15:17.92 to join the London fold, with Fukushi 2nd in 15:25.74.  Second in both the 5 and 10 with A-standard marks at both distances on the books, Fukushi is a virtual certainty for the Olympic team but must wait for the official team announcement on Monday.

Yoshikawa faded to 5th in 15:37.67, run down by little-known Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) who came up with a PB of 15:32.89 for 3rd, and 1500 m NR holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki).  Despite the relatively poor showing, she is already on the team in the 10000 m and, holding a 5000 m A-standard, could take the third 5000 m spot along with Niiya and Fukushi.  Alternatively, last year's 5000 m national champion Megumi Kinukawa (Mizuno), who holds the fastest 5000 m A-standard time among the Japanese women and the 2nd-fastest 10000 m time and who finished 3rd in the 10000 m, could be named to the 5000 m despite not running it this year.  As still another alternatively, Niiya could be put in the 10000 m over Kinukawa even though she sat it out on Friday.  Although all four could reasonably be on the Olympic team, Yoshikawa, Fukushi, Kinukawa and Niiya will have to wait until Monday to find out their fates.

Three other athletes, men's 800 m NR holder Masato Yokota (Team Fujitsu), women's 200 m NR holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) and women's 400 mH NR holder Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC), won their events nd have clocked B-standard times within the London qualifying period.  They are likely to swell the ranks of Japan's Olympic team once the Federation announces the final team roster Monday afternoon.

2012 Japanese Olympic Trials - 96th National T&F Championships
Day Three Results
Nagai Stadium, Osaka, 6/10/12
click here for complete results
Athletes in bold have qualified for the London Olympics team.
Athletes in italics have provisionally qualified pending confirmation on Monday.

Click event headers for complete video.

Women's 5000 m
1. Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) - 15:17.92
2. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 15:25.74
3. Misaki Onishi (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 15:32.89 - PB
4. Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 15:33.21
5. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 15:37.67
6. Misaki Katsumata (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 15:38.39
7. Ryoko Kizaki (Team Daihatsu) - 15:38.88
8. Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) - 15:41.36
9. Grace Kimanzi (Kenya/Team Starts) - 15:48.47
10. Ayuko Suzuki (Nagoya Univ.) - 15:50.16

Women's 1500 m Final
1. Ayako Jinnouchi (Team Kyudenko) - 4:16.42
2. Chikako Mori (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 4:18.53 - PB
3. Satoe Kikuchi (Matsuyama Univ.) - 4:19.04 - PB

Men's 1500 m Final
1. Keisuke Tanaka (Team Fujitsu) - 3:45.49
2. Hiroshi Ino (Team Fujitsu) - 3:45.84
3. Tasuku Arai (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 3:46.03 - PB

Women's 800 m Final
1. Ruriko Kubo (Team Edion) - 2:04.18
2. Manami Mashita (Tsukuba Univ.) - 2:04.78
3. Chihiro Sunaga (Team Shiseido) - 2:04.86 - PB

Men's 800 m Final
1. Masato Yokota (Team Fujitsu) - 1:48.12
2. Takeshi Kuchino (Team Fujitsu) - 1:48.36
3. Shohei Oka (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:48.51

Women's 200 m Final
1. Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 23.35
2. Kana Ichikawa (Chuo Univ.) - 23.62 - PB
3. Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - 23.74

Men's 200 m Final
1. Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) - 20.42 - PB
2. Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - 20.45 - PB
3. Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) - 20.56

Women's 3000 mSC
1. Yoshika Arai (Team Edion) - 9:55.93
2. Hitomi Nakamura (Team Panasonic) - 9:57.55 - PB
3. Misato Horie (Team Noritz) - 10:05.40

Women's 400 mH Final
1. Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) - 55.98
2. Tomomi Yoneda (Chuo Univ.) - 56.62 - PB
3. Shiori Miki (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 57.15

Men's 110 mH Final
1. Kenji Yahata (Monteroza AC) - 13.72
2. Yuto Aoki (Messias AC) - 13.85
3. Masanori Nishizawa (Tottori Kyoiku Univ.) - 13.87

Women's High Jump
1. Azumi Maeda (Juntendo Univ.) - 1.80 m - PB
2. Moeko Kyoya (Hokkaido Kyoiku Univ.) - 1.75 m - PB
3. Miyuki Fukumoto (Konan Gakuen AC) - 1.75 m

Men's High Jump
1. Hiromi Takahari (Hitachi ICT AC) - 2.20 m
2. Takashi Eto (Suzuka Kogyo H.S.) - 2.20 m
3. Satoru Kubota (Monteroza AC) - 2.15 m

Men's Triple Jump
1. Yuma Okabe (Fukuoka Univ.) - 16.54 m - PB
2. Daigo Hasegawa (Hitachi ICT AC) - 16.17 m
3. Yohei Kajikawa (Tsukuba Univ.) - 16.10 m

Women's Hammer Throw
1. Asumi Aya (Maruzen Kogyo AC) - 64.91 m
2. Mika Takekawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 58.09 m
3. Wakana Sato (Miyagi Teachers' Club) - 56.81 m

Men's Shot Put
1. Satoshi Hatase (Gunma Alsok AC) - 17.91 m
2. Yohei Murakawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 17.86 m
3. Takanao Suzuki (Nittai Univ.) - 17.25 m - PB

Women's Javelin Throw
1. Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 62.36 m - NR
2. Haruka Matoba (Osaka Taiku Univ.) - 58.93 m - PB
3. Risa Miyashita (Osaka Taiku Univ.) - 58.27 m

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Abiko Gets NR, Five More Secure Olympic Spots - Japanese Olympic Trials Day Two

by Brett Larner

Day Two of the 2012 Japanese Olympic Trials was bracketed by two classic performances, one an Olympic-qualifying national record and the other an unforgettable duel between a World Championships medalist and the best of the next generation.  Five athletes altogether met the Federation's requirement of a win and an Olympic A-standard mark to secure their places on the London team, while another half-dozen stand a good chance of joining them.

The national record came without warning in the women's pole vault, where Tomomi Abiko (Shiga Lake Stars AC) executed a large PB to unexpectedly clear 4.40 m, a new NR by 4 cm and the first-ever Japanese woman's mark hitting the Olympic B-standard.  Abiko was short of the A-standard mark, but with no other Japanese woman qualified for the Olympics in the pole vault it is hard to see her staying home.  Less certain is the fate of women's 100 mH champion Ayako Kimura (Team Edion), who like Abiko only holds a B-standard time but without the cachet of a national record to back it up.

Defending men's 100 m national champion Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas), women's 100 m national champion Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) and 400 m national champion Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) all took matter-of-fact wins, each well off the Olympic A-standard but guaranteed a place thanks to earlier marks.  Men's 400 mH favorite Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) came through with an A-standard PB of 48.41 to pick up his place, but more noteworthy were the A-standard PBs by Akihiro Nakamura (Chukyo Univ.) and Tetsuya Tateno (Chuo Univ.) in 2nd and 3rd.  With the top three placers all running A-standard PB times it is quite likely that the 400 mH will be one of the few events outside the marathon to feature a complete three-athlete Japanese squad in London.

Defending men's 10000 m national champion Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) through a wrench into the works of the Olympic selection procedure, winning a tense and turbulent, if considerably slower than was needed, 10000 m.  Only a B-standard holder despite the fastest PB in the field, Sato took down all three A-standard men for the win, barely holding off his fellow Saku Chosei H.S. grad and B-standard holder Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) for the win in 28:18.15.  A-standard favorites Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) and Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) lost touch with Sato and Osako over the last 1000 m and finished 3rd and 4th a few seconds back, meaning that their Olympic hopes are all but through in light of Sato's presumptive selection.  The third A-standard man, newly-pro Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei), was a distant 20th in 29:08.00, confirming that he is far from recovered from mid-winter injury problems.

The competition of the day, however, came in the men's javelin, where the hoped-for duel between suddenly-maturing junior NR holder Genki Dean (Waseda Univ.) and Berlin World Championships bronze medalist Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) delivered.  Early on Murakami threw long to break the meet record of 82.75 m, then broke the record again with a PB 83.95 m.  Dean struggled through the early rounds but following Murakami's second record brought himself into focus with a meet record of his own, 84.03 m to take the win and his Olympic position.  Murakami will no doubt be joining him for another round in their growing and engrossing rivalry but must wait until Monday for the final word from the powers that be.

The 2012 Japanese Olympic Trials wrap up June 10.  Check back for video updates and JRN's exclusive English-language coverage.

2012 Japanese Olympic Trials - 96th National Track & Field Championships 
Day Two Results
Nagai Stadium, Osaka, 6/9/12
click here for complete results
Athletes in bold have qualified for the London Olympics team.
Athletes in italics have provisionally qualified pending confirmation on Monday.

click event header for complete video

Men's 10000 m
1. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:18.15
2. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 28:18.53
3. Chihiro Miyawaki (Team Toyota) - 28:20.76
4. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 28:23.01
5. Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:29.45
6. Takuya Ishikawa (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 28:30.36
7. Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 28:31.50
8. Hisanori Kitajima (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 28:31.97
9. Masato Kihara (Team Kanebo) - 28:32.54
10. Akinobu Murasawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:32.78
20. Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Team Asahi Kasei) - 29:08.00
23. Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) - 29:16.55

Men's 1500 m Heats Final qualifiers
Hiroshi Ino (Team Fujitsu) - 3.45.81
Toshiki Imazaki (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 3:46.10
Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) - 3:46.33
Yasuhiro Tago (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 3:46.47
Shota Shinjo (Chuo Univ.) - 3:46.49
Yusuke Uchikoshi (Kugayama Kokugain Prep H.S.) - 3:46.74 - PB
Masaki Sekido (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 3:46.76 - PB
Keisuke Tanaka (Team Fujitsu) - 3:52.33
Masahiro Takaya (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 3:52.68
Tasuku Arai (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 3:52.68
Takahiko Onishi (Team NTN) - 3:53.01
Toshihiro Kenmotsu (Kantei Heiyo Univ.) - 3:53.13

Women's 800 m Heats Final qualifiers
Manami Mashita (Tsukuba Univ.) - 2:06.67
Ruriko Kubo (Team Edion) - 2:06.71
Ayaka Yoshizawa (Odawara T&F Assoc.) - 2:06.97
Akari Kishikawa (Hasegawa AC) - 2:07.30
Akiho Fukuzato (Kawawa H.S.) - 2:07.41
Yukina Tanimoto (Tsukuba Univ.) - 2:07.56 - PB
Chihiro Sunaga (Team Shiseido) - 2:08.08
Miho Tanaka (Nishimiya Pref. H.S.) - 2:09.02

Men's 800 m Heats Final qualifiers
Shohei Oka (Juntendo Univ.) - 1:50.11
Masato Yokota (Team Fujitsu) - 1:50.20
Yasuhiro Makino (Yutic AC) - 1:50.28
Yasuhiro Nakamura (Tsukuba Univ.) - 1:50.59
Alexander Kuga (Gifu Keizai Univ.) - 1.50.72 - PB
Taiki Tsutsumi (SDF Academy) - 1:50.78
Takeshi Noguchi (Team Fujitsu) - 1:51.41
Toshiki Imazaki (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 1:51.47

Women's 400 m
1. Mayu Sato (Team Toho Ginko) - 53.86
2. Miho Shingu (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 54.12
3. Megumi Kageyama (Waseda Univ.) - 54.27

Men's 400 m
1. Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 46.18
2. Hiroyuki Nakano (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) - 46.23
3. Yoshihiro Azuma (Kansai Univ.) - 46.26 - PB

Women's 200 m Heats Final qualifiers
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 23.43
Kana Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.) - 23.51 - PB
Saori Imai (Shigakkan Univ.) - 24.00
Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - 24.02
Maki Wada (Mizuno) - 24.02
Rio Banno (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 24.05
Nao Okabe (Mizuno) - 24.07
Akane Kimura (Osaka Seikei Univ.) - 24.33

Men's 200 m Heats Final qualifiers
Hitoshi Saito (Sunmesse AC) - 20.62
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin AC) - 20.63
Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) - 20.66
Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) - 20.67
Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - 20.80
Shintaro Horie (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 20.81 - PB
Kazuya Tajima (Tokai Univ.) - 20.87 - PB
Mitsuhiro Abiko (Mizuno) - 20.90
Hirofumi Yagai (Chukyo Univ.) - 20.90

Women's 100 m
1. Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 11.45
2. Anna Doi (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 11.51
3. Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - 11.66

Men's 100 m
1. Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas) - 10.29
2. Takumi Kuki (Waseda Univ.) - 10.30
3. Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - 10.34

Women's 400 mH Semifinal Final qualifiers
Tomomi Yoneda (Chuo Univ.) - 56.21 - PB
Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) - 56.69
Sayaka Aoki (Team Toho Ginko) - 57.02
Miyabi Tago (J.Vic AC) - 57.16
Shiori Miki (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 57.41
Haruka Shibata (Ryukoku Univ.) - 57.71 - PB
Manami Kira (Chuo Univ.) - 57.73
Eri Matsuda (Tsukuba Univ.) - 58.30 - PB

Men's 400 mH
1. Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) - 48.41 - PB
2. Akihiro Nakamura (Chukyo Univ.) - 49.38 - PB
3. Tetsuya Tateno (Chuo Univ.) - 49.49 - PB

Men's 110 mH Heats Semifinal qualifiers
Tasuku Tanonaka (Team Fujitsu) - 13.73
Hiroyuki Sato (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13.78
Kenji Yahata (Monteroza AC) - 13.80
Yuto Aoki (Messias AC) - 13.86
Yutaro Furukawa (Team Kojima Press) - 13.88
Masanori Nishizawa (Tottori Pref. Kyoiku Univ.) - 13.88
Yuichi Iwafune (Sunmesse AC) - 13.90
Kyohei Mita (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 13.92
Masayuki Iida (Mizuno) - 13.93
Wataru Yazawa (Hosei Univ.) - 13.94
Kyohei Hayakawa (Waseda Univ.) - 13.98
Tatsuya Wada (Chukyo Univ.) - 13.98
Takayuki Shuto (Tochigi T&F Assoc.) - 14.00
Hironori Murao (Yutic AC) - 14.04
Yuji Ohashi (Mizuno) - 14.04
Yuta Kawauchi (Team Aima) - 14.06
Hideki Nomoto (Patech Supply AC) - 14.06

Women's 100 mH
1. Ayako Kimura (Team Edion) - 13.25
2. Fumiko Kumagai (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 13.45
3. Hitomi Shimura (Waseda Univ.) - 13.55

Women's Pole Vault
1. Tomomi Abiko (Shiga Lake Stars AC) - 4.40 m - NR, MR
2. Tomoko Sumiishi (Shin Nihon Steel AC) - 4.10 m - PB
3. Ayako Aoshima (Nittai Univ.) - 4.00 m

Men's Long Jump
1. Daisuke Arakawa (Noby AC) - 7.78 m
2. Yohei Sugai (Mizuno) - 7.76 m
3. Mamoru Niimura (Niigata Albirex AC) - 7.75 m

Women's Discus
1. Yukiko Shirai (Shiga T&F Assoc.) - 15.41 m
2. Chiaki Yokomizo (Saitama T&F Assoc.) - 14.84 m
3. Chihiro Shigeyama (Kokushikan Univ.) - 14.75 m

Men's Discus
1. Yuji Tsutsumi (Kokushikan Univ.) - 56.19 m - PB
2. Shigeo Hatakeyama (Zeirin AC) - 54.21 m
3. Masaru Miyauchi (Monteroza AC) - 53.46 m

Men's Javelin Throw
1. Genki Dean (Waseda Univ.) - 84.03 m - MR
2. Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 83.95 m - PB (MR)
3. Ryohei Arai (Kokushikan Univ.) - 76.97 m

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Friday, June 8, 2012

Murofushi and Yoshikawa Make London Team - Japanese Olympic Trials Day One

by Brett Larner

Post-typhoon rain brought in the first day of the 96th Japanese National Track & Field Championships, doubling as the 2012 Olympic Trials, June 8th at Osaka's Nagai Stadium.  The women's 10000 m was the highlight of the day, as five-time 1500 m national champion Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) tailed favorite Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) all the way to 9000 m before dropping a 2:57 final km to break the 31:45.00 Olympic A-standard for the first time and knock 27 seconds off her PB with a new best of 31:28.71.  Prior to the Trials the Japanese federation indicated that any athlete holding an A-standard mark who won their event would be guaranteed a place on the London team, meaning Yoshikawa became the first athlete to secure her place.  2nd in 31:43.25 just below the A-standard, Fukushi is sure to join her.  A distant 3rd in 32:20.34 as she recovers from wintertime injury, 10000 m junior NR holder Megumi Kinukawa (Mizuno) has a chance of picking up the third spot thanks to a 31:10.02 A-standard mark last season within the London-qualifying window.

2011 Daegu World Championships men's hammer throw gold medalist Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) was the only other athlete to earn himself a sure spot in London as he won in a casual 72.85 m, far off his A-standard 81.24 SB but good enough for the win and the Olympic berth.  Only one other athlete stood to pick up a provisional spot, as barely B-standard men's pole vaulter Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.) outdid veteran Daichi Sawano (Team Fujitsu) for the win in 5.42 m.  With a 5.60 m season best dead on the B-standard, Yamamoto joins Fukushi and Kinukawa in the wait until the complete team announcement on Monday following the conclusion of the Trials.

In other events, the men's 5000 m was largely a disappointment following the withdrawal of the only athlete holding a valid Olympic-qualifying mark, defending champion Kazuya Watanabe (Team Shikoku Denryoku) with a still-lingering Achilles injury he sustained last summer.  Kazuharu Takai (Team Kyudenko) tried to take the race out on suitable pace for a B-standard mark but ended up running alone as the rest of the field, including athletes such as past 5000 m national champions Kensuke Takezawa  (Team S&B) and Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) who had previously recorded Olympic-eligible marks, immediately gave up on even trying for the B.  Takai had a lead of around 10 seconds at one stage but was run down in the final km and ended up ultimately disqualified after stepping inside the track.  The race came down to a last sprint beteen Takezawa, Yoshihiro Wakamatsu (Team Nissin Shokuhin) and former Nittai University ace Kazuya Deguchi (Team Asahi Kasei), with Deguchi getting the win in 13:47.17, a full 20 seconds plus off the B-standard.

The steeplers, likewise starting sans Olympic-qualified athletes, put up a braver effort.  Defending national champion and season-leader Tsuyoshi Takeda (Suzuki Hamamatsu), rival Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) and the only man to have cleared the 8:32.00 Olympic B-standard in his career, Aoi Matsumoto (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) largely controlled the race, but confusion ensued when Umegae's unknown junior teammate Minato Yamashita (Team NTN) passed him late in the race to challenge Takeda over the final lap.  Pushing last year's champ to a slim PB, Yamashita took the win in 8:34.95, a PB by over 10 seconds but just short of the B-standard he needed to have a chance for London.  Stadium announcers missed Yamashita's move to the fore, with the initial results listing Umegae as the winner and apologetic confusion when Yamashita was celebrating his unexpected win on the track.

Among the many rounds of heats in the sprint and hurdle events, most of the expected big names advanced to the next round, one notable exception being two-time World Championships bronze medalist Dai Tamesue (Chaski AC) in the men's 400 mH.  2010 World Junior men's 200 m gold medalist Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) clocked a slim 100 m PB of 10.35 to advance to the final round but was far behind the leading time of 10.22 set by favorite Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.).  High schooler Anna Doi (Saitama Sakae H.S.) was the top seed in the women's 100 m ahead of national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC), winning Heat 3 in 11.47 to Fukushima's 11.51 in Heat 2.

The 2012 Japanese Olympic Trials continue June 9 and 10.  Check back for video updates and for JRN's ongoing exclusive coverage.

2012 Japanese Olympic Trials - 96th National Track & Field Championships
Day One Results
Nagai Stadium, Osaka, 6/8/12
click here for complete results
Athletes in bold have qualified for the London Olympics team.
Athletes in italics have provisionally qualified pending confirmation on Monday.

Women's 10000 m
1. Mika Yoshikawa (Team Panasonic) - 31:28.71 - PB
2. Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) - 31:43.25
3. Megumi Kinukawa (Mizuno) - 32:20.34
4. Kayo Sugihara (Team Denso) - 32:32.89
5. Yuko Shimizu (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 32:33.61
6. Yoko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 32:33.83
7. Hiroko Miyauchi (Team Kyocera) - 32:54.00
8. Hikari Yoshimoto (Team Yamada Denki) - 33:03.50
9. Hiroko Shoi (Team Nihon ChemiCon) - 33:11.37
10. Miho Ihara (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 33:11.37

Men's 5000 m
1. Kazuya Deguchi (Team Asahi Kasei) - 13:47.17
2. Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) - 13:47.54
3. Yoshihiro Wakamatsu (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:47.75
4. Takaya Iwasaki (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:49.97
5. Keiji Akutsu (Team Subaru) - 13:51.06
6. Hayato Saito (Team Honda) - 13:51.11
7. Wataru Ueno (Komazawa Univ.) - 13:51.30
8. Kenta Matsumoto (Team Toyota) - 13:51.63
9. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 13:53.47
10. Yuta Takahashi (Team S&B) - 13:54.21
DQ - Kazuharu Takai (Team Kyudenko) - stepping inside inner boundary

Men's 3000 mSC
1. Minato Yamashita (Team NTN) - 8:34.95 - PB
2. Tsuyoshi Takeda (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 8:35.27 - PB
3. Aoi Matsumoto (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 8:37.06
4. Takafumi Sueyama (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 8:40.23 - PB
5. Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 8:42.15

Women's 400 m Heats Final qualifiers
Mayu Sato (Team Toho Ginko) - 53.53
Miho Shingu (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 53.66 - PB
Megumi Kageyama (Waseda Univ.) - 53.83 - PB
Saki Torihara (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 54.58
Misato Hasegawa (Nittai Univ.) - 54.60
Chisato Tanaka (Team Kyudenko) - 55.30
Misaki Ueyama (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 55.43
Haruka Shibata (Ryukoku Univ.) - 55.45

Men's 400 m Heats Final qualifiers
Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 45.99
Hiroyuki Nakano (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) - 46.49
Shogo Momiki (Chukyo Univ.) - 46.56
Ryo Motoshio (Josai Univ.) - 46.63 - PB
Kazuki Yasui (Chukyo Univ.) - 46.64
Kazuya Watanabe (Tohoku Fukushi Univ.) - 46.72
Yoshihiro Azuma (Kansai Univ.) - 46.94
Hideyuki Hirose (Team Fujitsu) - 47.07

Women's 100 m Heats Final Qualifiers
Anna Doi (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 11.47
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 11.51
Saori Imai (Shigakkan Univ.) - 11.71
Tomoko Ishida (Hasegawa AC) - 11.71
Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - 11.71
Maki Wada (Mizuno) - 11.72
Yumeka Sano (Tsuru Bunka Univ.) - 11.74
Mayumi Watanabe (Team Toho Ginko) - 11.74

Men's 100 m Heats Final Qualifiers
Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - 10.22
Takumi Kuki (Waseda Univ.) - 10.23 - PB
Shintaro Kimura (Asics) - 10.34
Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - 10.35 - PB
Yusuke Kotani (Sumitomo Denko AC) - 10.40
Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas) - 10.45
Daiki Goto (Team Osaka Gas) - 10.46
Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) - 10.48

Women's 400 mH Heats Semifinal qualifiers
Miyabi Tago (J.Vic AC) - 57.15
Sayaka Aoki (Team Toho Ginko) - 57.67
Tomomi Yoneda (Chuo Univ.) - 58.02
Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) - 58.78
Miki Sawada (Japan Royal Jelly AC) - 58.82
Manami Kira (Chuo Univ.) - 58.84
Eri Matsuda (Tsukuba Univ.) - 58.84
Shiori Miki (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 58.97
Haruka Shibata (Ryukoku Univ.) - 59.09
Airi Nishino (Tokyo Gakugei Univ.) - 59.43
Chiaki Ueda (Mizuno) - 59.95
Makiko Yoshida (Team Toho Ginko) - 1:00.01
Aya Miyahara (Tsuegen AC) - 1:00.15
Kayoko Asaoka (Team Toyota) - 1:00.16
Aya Takizawa (Nagano H.S.) - 1:00.20
Minori Tanaka (Higashi Osaka Prep H.S.) - 1:00.46

Men's 400 mH Heats Semifinal qualifiers
Keisuke Nozawa (Waseda Univ.) - 49.65 - PB
Takatoshi Abe (Chukyo Univ.) - 50.15
Takayuki Iwamoto (Hosei Univ.) - 50.35
Tetsuya Tateno (Chuo Univ.) - 50.45
Tomoharu Kino (Fukuoka Univ.) - 50.50
Naohiro Kawakita (Rattle AC) - 50.53
Yasuhiro Fueki (Team Aima) - 50.57
Yuta Konishi (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 50.59
Yuta Amano (Shigakkan Univ.) - 50.66
Akihiko Nakamura (Chukyo Univ.) - 50.67
Tatsuhiko Mizuno (Nittai Univ.) - 50.78
Junya Imai (Select AC) - 50.78
Takaoki Hashimoto (Nihon Univ.) - 50.82
Naoki Ihara (Monteroza AC) - 50.84
Yuta Imazeki (Shibuya H.S.) - 50.89
Noriyuki Ideura (Team Aima) - 51.29

Women's 100 mH Heats Semifinal qualifiers
Tomomi Shimura (Waseda Univ.) - 13.42
Ayako Kimura (Team Edion) - 13.44
Fumiko Kumagai (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 13.53
Reiko Shirai (Nohhi AC) - 13.57
Airi Ito (Sumitomo Denko AC) - 13.62
Eriko Soma (Tsukuba Univ.) - 13.65
Misuzu Ueda (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 13.66
Mako Fukube (Hiroshima Minami H.S.) - 13.67 - PB
Risa Shiba (SMS AC) - 13.70
Yuka Nomura (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - 13.71
Fumie Takehara (Hasegawa AC) - 13.74 - PB
Chie Kiryama (Chukyo Univ.) - 13.84
Hiromi Shimizu (Heisei Kokusai Univ.) - 13.84
Mizuki Kugai (Tsukuba Univ.) - 13.87
Mami Takahashi (Chuo Univ.) - 13.87
Mami Ishino (Hasegawa AC) - 13.91

Men's Pole Vault
1. Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.) - 5.42 m
2. Daichi Sawano (Team Fujitsu) - 5.42 m
3. Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno) - 5.32 m

Women's Long Jump
1. Saeko Okayama (Bosar AC) - 6.55 m
2. Sachiko Masumi (Team Kyudenko) - 6.35 m
3. Kumiko Imura (Team iDear) - 6.25 m

Women's Triple Jump
1. Fumiyo Yoshida (Narita Airport AC) - 12.98 m
2. Waka Maeda (Tsukuba Univ.) - 12.91 m
3. Mei Yamane (Amagasaki Civic T&F Assoc.) - 12.73 m

Women's Discus
1. Ai Shikimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) - 52.74 m
2. Yuka Murofushi (Mizuno) - 52.37 m
3. Ayumi Takahashi (Tsukuba Univ.) - 51.63 m

Men's Discus
1. Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) - 72.85 m
2. Hiroshi Noguchi (Gunma Alsok AC) - 71.22 m
3. Hiroaki Doi (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 69.80 m

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2012 Japanese Olympic Trials - Sprints, Hurdles and Field Events Preview

by Brett Larner

Click here for JRN's middle and long distance preview.

Marathon team medals aside, Japan's only medals at the last Olympics and subsequent two World Championships came in events outside distance running, with the men's 4x100 m relay team winning bronze in Beijing, Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) taking men's javelin bronze in Berlin in 2009 and 2004 Athens Olympics men's hammer throw gold medalist Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) making a comeback for gold last summer in Daegu.  Half of the Beijing relay team, Murakami and Murofushi all return this year to the 96th Japanese National Track & Field Championships, doubling as the Olympic Trials June 8-10 at Nagai Stadium in Osaka, where they earn places on the London Olympic team if they win their events and hold an A-standard mark.

Beijing relay team member Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) leads the way in the men's 200 m, where three men hold Olympic A-standard times.  His training partner Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) and Hitoshi Saito (Sunmesse AC) are his strongest competition, but among the four men with B-standard times is 2010 World Junior 200 m gold medalist Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.), who comes to the Trials fresh from a win at the Kanto Regional University Track & Field Championships after having missed the Daegu team.

In the javelin Murakami threw a PB 83.53 m earlier this season, but unexpected competition has emerged in the form of 20-year-old Genki Dean (Waseda Univ.), who threw 84.28 m in late April and won twice in May with throws over 81 m.  Dean's mark puts him at #8 in the world, a possible medal contender, while medalist Murakami is ranked only 30th despite a PB.  The pair's battle could make the men's javelin one of the highlights of this year's Trials.

Murofushi is, needless to say, the heavy favorite in the men's hammer.  With no other athletes close to the B-standard it will take only a perfunctory performance to put Murofushi onto the London team.  Having announced that he plans to retire following the London Olympics, fans will look forward to seeing him throw at the National Championships for the last time.

Takahira's Beijing relay teammate Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) is entered in the 100 m, but with a season best outside the B-standard and two A-standard men on the list he will need a return to form to repeat in London.  Two-time defending national champion Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas) is one of the two men with the A-standard and with a best of 10.07 holds the fastest PB in the field, but 19-year-old Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) ran 10.08 earlier this season to come in as the #1 seed.

Along with the men's 200 m, the men's 400 mH looks like the most competitive for making the London team, featuring three A-standard men, two B-standards, and six other men with PBs under the A-standard.  Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) is the favorite, his best of 48.88 the only mark under 49 this season.  Among the six men hoping for a comeback to A-standard territory is two-time World Championships bronze medalist Dai Tamesue (Chaski AC).

National record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) is a shoo-in in both the 100 m and 200 m, but the women's 400 mH and 100 mH will both feature battles for what will likely end up as a single Olympic spot.  Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) and Ayako Kimura (Team Edion) are the favorites, respectively.  There is little doubt that defending national champion Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) will make the team in the men's 400 m, but B-standard men Hiroyuki Nakano (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) and Hideyuki Hirose (Team Fujitsu) both have PB marks just off the A-standard this season and could join Kanemaru if they run well at the Trials.

In the women's javelin, Murakami's teammate Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) holds the A-standard but will have to fend off B-standard collegiates Risa Miyashita (Osaka Taiku Univ.) and Yuka Sato (Higashi Osaka Univ.) to make the London team.  Likewise in the men's pole vault, where A-standard defending national champ Daichi Sawano (Team Fujitsu) faces a challenge from B-standard men Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno) and Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.).

JRN will be on-site in Osaka to cover the Olympic Trials.  Follow @JRNHeadlines and @JRNLive for live coverage and check back regularly throughout the weekend for video of all the key races.  Entry list highlights are listed below.

96th Japanese National Track & Field Championships - 2012 Olympic Trials 
Nagai Stadium, Osaka, 6/8-10/12
click here for complete entry lists

Men's 400 m Heats 6/8/12, 5:55 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 7:40 p.m.
A-standard (45.30)
Yuzo Kanemaru (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - SB: 45.23   PB: 45.16

B-standard (45.90)
Hiroyuki Nakano (Aichi Kyoiku Univ.) - SB/PB: 45.81
Hideyuki Hirose (Team Fujitsu) - SB/PB: 45.84

Other Notables
Yuki Yamaguchi (Team Osaka Gas) - SB: 46.77   PB: 45.18
Yoshihiro Horigome (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 46.87   PB: 45.77

Women's 400 m Heats 6/8/12, 5:30 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 6:40 p.m.
Asami Chiba (Team Toho Ginko) - SB: 55.30   PB: 51.75
Mayu Sato (Team Toho Ginko) - SB: 54.05   PB: 53.05
Mayu Tsutsumi (Team Aima) - SB: 55.12   PB: 53.10
Sayaka Aoki (Team Toho Ginko) - SB: 53.72   PB: 53.40
Chisato Tanaka (Team Kyudenko) - SB: 54.05   PB: 53.47

Men's 200 m Heats 6/9/12, 4:05 p.m., Final 6/10/12, 5:40 p.m.
A-standard (20.55)
Shinji Takahira (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 20.49   PB: 20.22
Kei Takase (Team Fujitsu) - SB/PB: 20.53
Hitoshi Saito (Sunmesse AC) - SB: 20.55   PB: 20.42

B-standard (20.65)
Sota Kawatsura (Mizuno) - SB/PB: 20.56
Yuichi Kobayashi (Team NTN) - SB/PB: 20.59
Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - SB/PB: 20.62
Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.) - SB: 20.64   PB: 20.58

Other Notables
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin AC) - SB: 20.89   PB: 20.38
Mitsuhiro Abiko (Mizuno) - SB: 21.07   PB: 20.48

Women's 200 m Heats 6/9/12, 3:45 p.m., Final 6/10/12, 5:50 p.m.
B-standard (23.30)
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 23.12   PB: 22.89

Other Notables
Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 23.70   PB: 23.15
Sakie Nobuoka (Mizuno) - SB: 24.10   PB: 23.33
Kana Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 23.62
Maki Wada (Mizuno) - SB: 24.10   PB: 23.67
Saori Imai (Shigakkan Univ.) - SB: 23.77   PB: 23.68

Men's 100 m Heats 6/8/12, 7:45 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 8:30 p.m.
A-standard (10.18)
Ryota Yamagata (Keio Univ.) - SB/PB: 10.08
Masashi Eriguchi (Team Osaka Gas) - SB: 10.14   PB: 10.07

B-standard (10.24)
Yusuke Kotani (Sumitomo Denko AC) - SB/PB: 10.21
Sota Kawatsura (Mizuno) - SB/PB: 10.22

Other Notables
Naoki Tsukahara (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 10.25   PB: 10.09
Shintaro Kimura (Asics) - SB: 10.27   PB: 10.21

Women's 100 m Heats 6/8/12, 7:30 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 8:15 p.m.
A-standard (11.29)
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 11.24   PB: 11.21

Other Notables
Momoko Takahashi (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 11.51   PB: 11.32
Saori Kitakaze (Hokkaio Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 11.61   PB: 11.42
Anna Doi (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - SB/PB: 11.43
Kana Ichikawa (Chukyo Univ.l) - SB/PB: 11.43
Mayumi Watanabe (Team Toho Ginko) - SB/PB: 11.44

Men's 400 mH Heats 6/8/12, 5:00 p.m., Semifinal 6/9/12, 3:00 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 7:50 p.m.
A-standard (49.50)
Takayuki Kishimoto (Hosei Univ.) - SB/PB: 48.88
Yuta Imazeki (Shibuya Kyoiku Gakuen Makuhari H.S.) - SB/PB: 49.27
Yuta Konishi (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 49.41

B-standard (49.80)
Takatoshi Abe (Chukyo Univ.) - SB: 49.64   PB: 49.46
Tetsuya Tateno (Chukyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 49.77

Other Notables
Dai Tamesue (Chaski AC) - SB: 50.32   PB: 47.89
Kenji Narisako (Mizuno) - SB: 50.57   PB: 47.93
Masahira Yoshitaka (Vantech Supply AC) - SB: 50.46   PB: 48.66
Naohiro Kawakita (Rattle AC) - SB: 50.12   PB: 49.04
Takayuki Koike (Mizuno) - SB: 50.42   PB: 49.23
Kazuaki Yoshida (Team Osaka Gas) - SB: 50.26   PB: 49.45

Women's 400 mH Heats 6/8/12, 3:00 p.m., Semifinal 6/9/12, 3:20 p.m., Final 6/10/12, 4:05 p.m.
A-standard (55.50)
Satomi Kubokura (Niigata Albirex AC) - SB/PB: 55.34

B-standard (56.65)
Sayaka Aoki (Team Toho Ginko) - SB: 56.62   PB: 55.94
Miyabi Tago (J. Vic AC) - SB: 56.65   PB: 55.99

Other Notables
Tomomi Yoneda (Chuo Univ.) - SB/PB: 56.80
Shiori Miki (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - SB/PB: 56.92

Men's 110 mH Heats 6/9/12, 4:35 p.m., Semifinal 6/10/12, 2:55 p.m., Final 6/10/12, 4:55 p.m.
Masato Naito (Mizuno) - SB: 13.98   PB: 13.43
Yuji Ohashi (Mizuno) - SB: 13.68   PB: 13.55
Tasuku Tanonaka (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 13.70   PB: 13.55
Kenji Yahata (Monteroza AC) - SB: 13.77   PB: 13.58
Hiroyuki Sato (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - SB/PB: 13.62

Women's 100 mH Heats 6/8/12, 6:15 p.m., Semifinal 6/9/12, 5:30 p.m., Final 6/9/12, 8:00 p.m.
B-standard (13.15)
Ayako Kimura (Team Edion) - SB/PB: 13.04
Tomomi Shimura (Waseda Univ.) - SB/PB: 13.15

Other Notables
Asuka Terada (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 13.52   PB: 13.05
Mami Ishino (Hasegawa AC) - SB: 13.33   PB: 13.08

Men's High Jump 6/10/12, 3:30 p.m.
Naoyuki Daigo (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 2.16 m   PB: 2.33 m
Hikaru Tsuchiya (Monteroza AC) - SB: 2.20 m   PB: 2.25 m
Takashi Ito (Suzuka Kogyo H.S.) - SB/PB: 2.24 m
Naoto Tobe (Hosei Univ.) - SB: 2.22 m   PB: 2.24 m
Hiromi Takahari (Hitachi ICT AC) - SB: 2.20 m   PB: 2.24 m

Women's High Jump 6/10/12, 12:30 p.m.
Miyuki Fukumoto (Konan Gakuen AC) - SB: 1.87 m   PB: 1.92 m
Yuki Mimura (Mizuno) - SB: 1.78 m   PB: 1.82 m
Midori Kamijima (Hanazono H.S.) - SB/PB: 1.81 m
Asumi Matsumoto (Chukyo Univ.) - SB: 1.75 m   PB: 1.81 m

Men's Pole Vault 6/8/12, 6:00 p.m.
A-standard (5.72 m)
Daichi Sawano (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 5.72 m   PB: 5.83 m

B-standard (5.60 m)
Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno) - SB/PB: 5.65 m
Seito Yamamoto (Chukyo Univ.) - SB/PB: 5.60 m

Other Notables
Takafumi Suzuki (Mizuno) - SB: 5.40 m   PB: 5.55 m
Hiroki Sasase (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB: 5.40 m   PB: 5.50 m

Women's Pole Vault 6/9/12, 2:30 p.m.
Mami Nakano (Imabari Shipbuilding AC) - SB/PB: 4.32 m
Tomomi Abiko (Shiga Lake Stars AC) - SB: 4.20 m   PB: 4.25 m
Megumi Nakada (Hosei Univ.) - SB: 4.20 m   PB: 4.23 m

Men's Long Jump 6/9/12, 6:30 p.m.
Yohei Sugai (Mizuno) - SB: 8.09 m   PB: 8.10 m
Daisuke Arakawa (Noby AC) - SB: 7.80 m   PB: 8.09 m
Rikiya Saruyama (Monteroza AC) - SB/PB: 8.05 m

Women's Long Jump 6/8/12, 7:00 p.m.
Kumiko Imura (iDEAR AC) - SB: 6.39 m   PB: 6.86 m
Sachiko Masumi (Team Kyudenko) - SB: 6.46 m   PB: 6.65 m
Saeko Okayama (Bosar AC) - SB/PB: 6.56 m

Men's Triple Jump 6/10/12, 3:30 p.m.
Kazuyoshi Ishikawa (Shimo Takaigun T&F Assoc.) - SB: 16.54 m  PB: 16.98 m
Shinya Sogame (Ichimiya Group AC) - SB/PB: 16.59 m
Yuma Okabe (Fukuoka Univ.) - SB/PB: 16.50 m

Women's Triple Jump 6/8/12, 4:00 p.m.
Fumiyo Yoshida (Narita Airport AC) - SB: 12.93 m   PB: 13.50 m
Yuka Sato (Mizuno) - SB: 12.77 m   PB: 13.39 m
Sayuri Takada (Hokkaido Hi-Tec AC) - SB: 13.12 m   PB: 13.16 m

Men's Shot Put 6/10/12, 1:00 p.m.
Sotaro Yamada (Team Fujitsu) - SB: 18.32 m   PB: 18.64 m
Satoshi Hatase (Gunma Alsok AC) - SB: 18.15 m   PB: 18.56 m
Yohei Murakawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB: 18.35 m   PB: 18.43 m

Women's Shot Put 6/9/12, 3:30 p.m.
Yukiko Shirai (Shiga T&F Assoc.) - SB/PB: 15.47 m
Chiaki Yokomizo (Saitama T&F Assoc.) - SB/PB: 15.37 m
Shoko Matsuda (Kokushikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 15.04 m

Men's Discus Throw 6/9/12, 3:00 p.m.
Shigeo Hatakeyama (Zenrin AC) - SB: 58.52 m  PB: 60.10 m
Shiro Kobayashi (Niigata Albirex AC) - SB: 56.05 m   PB: 57.18 m
Yuji Tsutsumi (Kokushikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 55.89 m

Women's Discus Throw 6/8/12, 3:30 p.m.
Yuka Murofushi (Mizuno) - SB: 53.51 m   PB: 58.62 m
Ai Shikimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 53.42 m
Ayumi Takahashi (Hosei Univ.) - SB/PB: 52.87 m

Men's Hammer Throw 6/8/12, 7:00 p.m.
A-standard (78.00)
Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) - SB: 81.24 m   PB: 84.86 m

Other Notables
Hiroaki Doi (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - SB: 70.69 m   PB: 74.08 m
Hiroshi Noguchi (Gunma Alsok AC) - SB: 70.89 m   PB: 71.58 m

Women's Hammer Throw 6/10/12, 12:30 p.m.
Yuka Murofushi (Mizuno) - SB: 64.79 m   PB: 67.77 m
Asumi Aya (Maruzen Kogyo AC) - SB: 67.19 m   PB: 67.26 m
Mika Takekawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB/PB: 59.81 m

Men's Javelin Throw 6/9/12, 6:30 p.m.
A-standard (82.00 m)
Genki Dean (Waseda Univ.) - SB/PB: 84.28 m
Yukifumi Murakami (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB/PB: 83.53 m

B-standard (79.50 m)
Ken Arai (Shichiju Shichi Ginko AC) - SB/PB: 79.90 m

Other Notables
Ryohei Arai (Kokushikan Univ.) - SB/PB: 78.21
Kazuki Yamamoto (Monteroza AC) - SB/PB: 78.17

Women's Javelin Throw 6/10/12, 4:00 p.m.
A-standard (61.00 m)
Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - SB: 61.14 m   PB: 61.56 m

B-standard (59.00 m)
Risa Miyashita (Osaka Taiku Univ.) - SB/PB: 60.08 m
Yuka Sato (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - SB/PB: 59.22 m

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved