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Double Half Marathon Gold - Taipei Universiade Athletics Day Five Japanese Results

For the second Universiade in a row Japan pulled off a near-sweep of the half marathon medals, taking all three men's individual medals, women's gold and bronze and both team golds. Komazawa University's Kei Katanishi and Naoki Kudo went 1-2, leaving national university half marathon champion Kengo Suzuki over 30 seconds behind to hold off Uganda's John Kateregga for bronze. Wataru Tochigi took 6th to make it 4 Japanese men in the top 6, the only misstep coming from Takato Suzuki of national champion Aoyama Gakuin University who finished only 12th after scratching in the 10000 m.

Not so for women's gold medalist Yuki Munehisa. Munehisa had led most of the women's 10000 m only to get dropped in the last kilometer and wind up outside the medals in 4th. In the half marathon she was bound and determined not to end up the same way again, doing all the heavy lifting to drop Turkey's Esma Aydemir with teammate Saki Fukui in a supporting role. Munehisa finally pulled away in the last quarter of the race, opening 40 seconds on Aydemir to take gold. Fukui couldn't manage to stay in contact and slipped 9 seconds back from Aydemir for bronze. Japan's Kanade Furuya and Maki Izumida went 4-5 to make it 4 Japanese women in the top 5, mirroring the men's team performance with the last team member, Kasumi Yamaguchi, landing 11th.

With this year's performance, all three individual men's medals and women's silver and bronze last time around at the Gwangju Universiade, a sweep of the women's medals at the Belgrade Universiade and other accomplishments behind it Japan's hegemony over the World University Games half marathon is well-established. But with no Japanese athletes running in middle distance events, the steeplechase or event he men's 5000 m despite times in those distances being within range of Japanese student runners' abilities Japan could stand to diversify. It's nice to pad the medal count with easy hardware but it's also worth working on areas that could use development sometimes, especially at the collegiate level.

The women's 5000 m did feature two top-level Japanese women, top-ranked Natsuki Sekiya and 10000 m bronze medalist Ai Hosoda, but neither was able to make much impact. As in the 10000 m Sekiya was obviously nowhere near peak form, finishing almost a minute slower than her best at 16:26.36 for 14th. Hosoda lasted longer up front but showed lingering fatigue from the 10000 m as she was unable to follow the move initiated by Great Britain's Jessica Judd and dropped to 10th in 16:05.66.

The day's other three finalists came close to the medals but couldn't quite close on the deal. In the men's 110 m hurdles both Taio Kanai and Shusei Nomoto made the final after good runs in both the heats and semis, but with weak starts they finished 4th and 5th, Kanai 0.13 from bronze. 18-year-old Masaki Ejima showed a lot of promise in the men's pole vault, taking 4th in a PB 5.40 m against men up to a decade older.

In qualifying rounds, both the Japanese women's and men's 4x100 m relay squads made it to the final, the women winning their heat in 44.71 and the men taking 2nd behind Taiwan in theirs in 39.26. In the men's long jump Natsuki Yamakawa finished 8th in his qualifying group with a jump of 7.53 m (+1.0 m/s), missing out on the final.

Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade Day Five Japanese Results

Taipei, Taiwan, 8/27/17
click here for complete results

Women's 5000 m Final
1. Hanna Klein (Germany) - 15:45.28
2. Jessica O'Connell (Canada) - 15:50.96
3. Jessica Judd (Great Britain) - 15:51.19
10. Ai Hosoda (Japan) - 16:05.66
14. Natsuki Sekiya (Japan) - 16:26.36

Women's Half Marathon Final
1. Yuki Munehisa (Japan) - 1:13:48
2. Esma Aydemir (Turkey) - 1:14:28
3. Saki Fukui (Japan) - 1:14:37
4. Kanade Furuya (Japan) - 1:15:10
5. Maki Izumida (Japan) - 1:16:24
11. Kasumi Yamaguchi (Japan) - 1:21:55

Men's Half Marathon Final
1. Kei Katanishi (Japan) - 1:06:09
2. Naoki Kudo (Japan) - 1:06:23
3. Kengo Suzuki (Japan) - 1:06:56
6. Wataru Tochigi (Japan) - 1:08:59
12. Takato Suzuki (Japan) - 1:10:23

Men's 110 m Hurdles Final (-0.5 m/s)
1. Balazs Baji (Hungary) - 13.35
2. Kuei-Ru Chen (Taiwan) - 13.55
3. Damian Czykier (Poland) - 13.56
4. Taio Kanai (Japan) - 13.69
5. Shusei Nomoto (Japan) - 13.71

Men's Pole Vault Final
1. Diogo Ferreira (Portugal) - 5.55 m
2. Sergey Grigoryev (Kazakhstan) - 5.50 m
3. Claudio Stecchi (Italy) - 5.40 m
4. Masaki Ejima (Japan) - 5.40 m

Men's 110 m Hurdles Semifinal One (+0.9 m/s)
1. Damian Czykier (Poland) - 13.57 - Q
2. Kuei-Ru Chen (Taiwan) - 13.63 - Q
3. Taio Kanai (Japan) - 13.66 - Q

Men's 110 m Hurdles Semifinal Two (-2.0 m/s)
1. Balazs Baji (Hungary) - 13.67 - Q
2. Shusei Nomoto (Japan) - 13.79 - Q
3. Gabriel Oliveira Constantino (Brazil) - 13.94 - Q

Women's 4x100 m Relay Heat Three
1. Japan - 44.71 - Q
2. Mexico - 44.87 - Q
3. Canada - 45.25

Men's 4x100 m Relay Heat Four
1. Taiwan - 39.23 - Q
2. Japan - 39.26 - q
3. Finland - 39.67 - q

Men's Long Jump Qualification Group B
1. Marcel Mayak II (Cameroon) - 7.69 m (-0.3 m/s) - q - PB
2. Christopher Mitrevski (Australia) - 7.66 m (+1.1 m/s) - q
3. Filippo Randazzo (Italy) - 7.64 m (+2.3 m/s) - q
8. Natsuki Yamakawa (Japan) - 7.53 m (+1.0 m/s)

© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved


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