Skip to main content

A Step Backward From Eugene - Final Japanese Tally From World U20 Championships

by Brett Larner



Japan's final score at the Bydgoszcz World U20 Championships was relatively modest, one silver medal, one bronze and fourteen other top eight placings, down significantly from the 2014 Eugene World Junior Championships where Japanese athletes earned one gold, three silver and two bronze medals along with fifteen other top eight finishes.  Both medals this year came with new Asian Junior Records attached, Takumu Furuya running 13.31 for bronze in the men's 110 m hurdles and the men's 4x100 m relay coming just shy of the U.S.A. in 39.01 for silver.  Five of the other top eight placers set new PBs, but by and large they were at the bottom end of their finals; apart from the medalists only two of the fourteen top eight placers made the top five in their events, Tatsuhiro Yamamoto with a 5th place in the men's 400 m hurdles and a 4th-place finish by the men's 4x400 m relay.

There were several close calls with a number of unlucky 9th-place finishes, but by and large results were so far off those from just two years ago that questions have to be asked.  But at the same time, the JAAF has set a goal for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics of just one medal and five top eight placings.    With the leadership having such low expectations it's hard to be critical of the World U20 team.  And with the bar that low, if the Rio team performs even close to as well as the Japanese team in Bydgoszcz it would be viewed as a rousing success.

2016 World U20 Championships Top Japanese Results
Bydgoszcz, Poland, July 19-24, 2016
click here for complete results

Men's 200 m
8. Jun Yamashita - 20.94

Men's 400 m
7. Kazuki Matsukiyo - 46.69 - PB
8. Naoki Kitadani - 47.15

Women's 3000 m
8. Nozomi Tanaka - 9:01.16 - PB

Women's 5000 m
8. Rika Kaseda - 15:39.66 - PB

Men's 110 m Hurdles
3. Takumu Furuya - 13.31 +0.2 m/s - Asian Jr. Record

Men's 400 m Hurdles
5. Tatsuhiro Yamamoto - 50.99
7. Yoshiro Watanabe - 51.09

Women's 10000 m Race Walk
8. Yukiho Mizoguchi - 46:19.49 - PB

Men's 4x100 m Relay
2. Japan - 39.01 - Asian Jr. Record

Men's 4x400 m Relay
4. Japan - 3:07.02

Men's Pole Vault
6. Masaki Ejima - 5.35 m

Men's High Jump
6. Yuji Hiramatsu - 2.21 m

Women's Javelin Throw
6. Mikako Yamashita - 54.89 m
8. Haruka Kitaguchi - 52.15 m

Men's Discus Throw
8. Shinichi Yukinaga - 58.50 - PB

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Wow, good relay by the Japanese.

Most-Read This Week

Tokai University Outruns Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin to Win First Izumo Ekiden Title in Ten Years

Kanagawa's Tokai University outran two-time defending champion Aoyama Gakuin University to win the 2017 Izumo Ekiden, its first win at one of the Big Three university men's ekidens under head coach Hayashi Morozumi and Tokai's first Izumo title since 2007.

Formerly head coach at Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. where he produced the fastest-ever all-Japanese high school team and standout Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) on a cross-country based training regimen, since taking over at Tokai in 2011 Morozumi has set about systematically developing the Tokai program into one with the greatest depth in Japanese university running. On paper AGU had a slight advantage over Tokai over the first half of Izumo's six stages, but with Tokai's second half runners, including its top two men Shota Onizuka and Hayato Seki, ranked at the top of their stages AGU needed a decent lead by halfway to stand a chance.

From the start it wasn't to be. In hot and sunny conditions Tokai&#…

From Madarao to the World - Tokai University's Hayato Seki

Long-awaited by university ekiden fans, the 2017 ekiden season is underway. The Izumo Ekiden was held Monday, with Tokai University living up to expectations to score the win. The athlete who broke the finish line tape as Tokai's anchor was second-year Hayato Seki. This year Seki has run PBs of 13:35.81 for 5000 m and 28:23.37 for 10000 m, marking his growth into one of the unquestionable stars of the university ekiden scene.

A week earlier, the Madarao Forest Trails race was held on Oct. 1. Flashback to the 2012 edition of the race five years ago. The winner in the 16 km Beginner Class men's race was none other than Seki, then in his third year of junior high school. The picture below is of his win at the 2012 Madarao Forest Trails race. Even though he was only a junior high school student Seki ran brilliantly, opening up a huge lead of well over four minutes over the 2nd-placer.


After that Seki entereed Nagano's ekiden powerhouse Saku Chosei H.S. and has now grown into …

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…