11 JUN 2012 General News

Japan announces Olympic team as national champs conclude

Koji Murofushi throws a season's best 81.24 to win gold in Daegu (Getty Images)Koji Murofushi throws a season's best 81.24 to win gold in Daegu (Getty Images) © Copyright
The 96th Japanese national championships were held from June 8 to 10th at Nagai Stadium the venue of the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.

The championships doubled as the Olympic trials and the JAAF has announced that any athletes with the Olympic "A" standard will be automatically selected for the Olympic team if he/she wins the national championships. Ten athletes made the team satisfying the above criterion: Masashi Eriguchi in men’s 100m, Kei Takase men’s 200m, Yuzo Kanemaru men’s 400m, Takayuki Kishimoto men’s 400mH, Genki Dean men’s JT, Chisato Fukushima women’s 100m, Satomi Kubokura women’s 400mH, Hitomi Niiya women’s 5000m, Mika Yoshikawa women’s 10,000m and Yuki Ebihara women’s JT. All except for Kanemaru, Fukushima and Kubokura will be competing in their first Olympic Games.

18th straight title for Murofushi

Going into the National Championships, Koji Murofushi, who won the Hammer Throw in Daegu, was pre-selected for the team. He still competed in the national championships, returning from his training base in San Jose, California, and won for the 18th straight time starting in 1995. He could only throw 72.85m, however, because of driving rain during the first day of competition.

"There is a possibility of rain in London, so I think this could have been good preparation," Murofushi said. He will return to San Jose for his final preparation for London.

Dean wins thrilling javelin battle

The most exciting competition was in the Men’s Javelin throw where Genki Dean, the 2010 World Junior Silver medallist who recently recorded 84.28m, and Yukifumi Murakami, 2009 World Championships bronze medalist, were expected to compete for the supremacy. Everyone knew that Dean was in great shape, but Murakami’s form was in question, for he was injured earlier in the season.

But Murakami was back in shape. He threw 79.13m with his first throw, improving to 82.93m, a meet record, in the second round. In the third round Murakami threw a personal best of 83.95m. The competition, however, was not over yet. Dean who threw 81.62m in his second round improved to 84.03m in round four to take over the lead. Murakami failed to improve his best and thus his winning streak at the nationals came to an end at 12. "This (winning nationals) is not my final goal. The world number one is not out of my reach, so I would like to get there," said Dean, whose father is British.

Young sprinters on show

Chisato Fukushima, national record holder in the 100 and 200m, won both for the second consecutive year. She came from behind to catch and pass high school sensation Anna Doi at 90 metres to win the 100m for the third consecutive year. The 16-year-old Doi set a national junior as well as national high school record (11.50) this year. In the last two years, Doi set national youth as well as national junior high school record, all at 100m. A day later, Fukushima run away from the field to win the 200m from 21-year-old Kana Ichikawa. "I have much higher goal. I know I can do better. As you all know I need to improve my start," she said.

Yuki Ebihara broke her national record for women’s Javelin throw with 62.36m, and thus made the Olympic team. Her previous national record, 61.56m, was recorded in 2010 Asian Games. Ebihara, fifth at the 2004 World Juniors, was ninth in the 2011 World Championships. "I am aiming higher at the Olympics. I am looking to throw similar distance in the Games," said Ebihara.

As on the women’s side, young sprinters have dominated the men’s sprints. At 100m, 23-year-old Masashi Eriguchi, thrice defending national champion, won from 20-year-old Takumi Kuki and 19-year-old Ryota Yamagata. Yamagata, fourth at the 2009 World Youths and the national junior record holder, recorded 10.08 in April. In the 200m, 23-year-old Kei Takase won from 20-year-old Shota Iizuka, 2010 World Junior Champion.

Five-time national 1500m champion Mika Yoshikawa won the 10,000m with a huge personal best of 31:28.71. She followed the pace set by seven-time national champion Kayoko Fukushi and then broke away from Fukushi at 9000 metres. Yoshikawa covered the final 1000 metres in 2:57 and won by nearly 15 seconds from Fukushi.

"This is my dream comes true. I am very happy," Yoshikawa said.

Two days later at 5000m, Fukushi finished second again. This time it was Hitomi Niiya who ran away from Fukushi in the last half of the race. Twenty-four years old Niiya, 2005 World Youth bronze medalist at 3000m, is a former high school sensation, and finished 13th at 5000m in the World Championships last year.

Takayuki Kishimoto, 22, won the 400m Hurdles, an event that is considered to be Japan’s own forte because of Kazuhiko Yamazaki, Shunji Karube and most of all Tamesue Dai, two-time World Championships medallist. Kishimoto won with a personal best of 48.41 from Akihiko Nakamura, who also finished second in the national championships in the Decathlon a week ago. Tamesue fell in the first hurdle and thus failed to make the final, and thus he retired from the elite competition as he indicated previously.

Yuzo Kanemaru won the 400m for the eighth time, while Satomi Kubokura won women’s 400m Hurdles for the sixth time, and thus both made the Olympic team for the second time.

Ken Nakamura for the IAAF

- Olympic Team Roster -
The complete team roster, including those selected previously:

MEN -
100m: Masashi Eriguchi, Ryota Yamagata
200m: Kei Takase, Shota Iizuka, Shinji Takahira
400m: Yuzo Kanemaru
800m: Masato Yokoyama
10,000m: Yuki Sato
400m H: Takayuki Kishimoto, Akihiko Nakamura, Tetsuya Tateno
PV: Seito Yamamoto
HT: Koji Murofushi
JT: Genki Dean, Yukifumi Murakami
Decathlon: Keisuke Ushiro
20Km Race Walk: Yusuke Suzuki, Isamu Fujisawa, Takumi Saito
50Km Race Walk: Koichiro Morioka, Yuki Yamazaki, Takayuki Tanii
Marathon: Arata Fujiwara, Ryo Yamamoto, Kentaro Nakamoto

WOMEN -
100m, 200m: Chisato Fukushima
5000m: Hitomi Niiya
10,000m: Mika Yoshikawa, Kayoko Fukushi
100mH: Ayako Kimura
400mH: Satomi Kubokura
PV: Tomomi Abiko
JT: Yuki Ebihara
20Km Race Walk: Kumi Otoshi, Masumi Fuchise, Mayumi Kawasaki
Marathon: Risa Shigetomo, Ryoko Kizaki, Yoshimi Ozaki

If JPN women qualify for the 4x100m Relay then Anna Doi, Momoko Takahashi, Yumeka Sano, Kana Ichikawa will be added to the team.

National Championships Results:

MEN -
100m 0.0m/s
1) Masashi Eriguchi 10.29
2) Takumi Kuki 10.30
3) Ryota Yamagata 10.34
4) Shota Iizuka 10.36
5) Naoki Tsukahara 10.45

200m 0.0m/s
1) Kei Takase 20.42
2) Shota Iizuka 20.45
3) Shinji Takahira 20.56
4) Hitoshi Saito 20.57

400m
1) Yuzo Kanemaru 46.18
2) Hiroyuki Nakano 46.23
3) Yoshihiro Azuma 46.26

800m
1) Masato Yokota 1:48.12
2) Takeshi Kuchino 1:48.36
3) Shohei Oka 1:48.51

1500m
1) Keisuke Tanaka 3:45.49
2) Hiroshi Ino 3:45.84
3) Tasuku Arai 3:46.03
4) Masahiro Takaya 3:46.12

5000m
1) Kazuya Deguchi 13:47.17
2) Kensuke Takezawa 13:47.54
3) Yoshihiro Wakamatsu 13:47.75

10,000m
1) Yuki Sato 28:18.15
2) Suguru Osako 28:18.53
3) Chihiro Miyawaki 28:20.76
4) Tsuyoshi Ugachi 28:23.01

3000mSC
1) Minato Yamashita 8:34.95
2) Tsuyoshi Takeda 8:35.27
3) Aoi Matsumoto 8:37.06

110mH -0.6
1) Kenji Yahata 13.72
2) Yuto Aoki 13.85
3) Masanori Nishizawa 13.87

400mH
1) Takayuki Kishimoto 48.41
2) Akihiko Nakamura 49.38
3) Tetsuya Tateno 49.49
4) Yuta Imazeki 49.50
5) Takatoshi Abe 49.57

HJ
1) Hiromi Takahari 2.20m
2) Subaru Eto 2.20
3) Satoru Kubota 2.15
4) Naoto Tobe 2.15

PV
1) Seito Yamamoto 5.42
2) Daichi Sawano 5.42
3) Hiroki Ogita 5.32

LJ
1) Daisuke Arakawa 7.78m -1.1m/s
2) Yohei Sugai 7.76m 0.0m/s
3) Mamoru Niimura 7.75m 1.6m/s
4) Yuhi Oiwa 7.68n 0.4m/s

TJ
1) Yuma Okabe 16.54m (0.7m/s)
2) Daigo Hasegawa 16.17m (1.2m/s)
3) Yohei Kajikawa 16.10m (1.9m/s)

SP
1) Satoshi Hatase 17.91m
2) Yohei Murakawa 17.86m

DT
1) Yuji Tsutsumi 56.19m
2) Shigeo Hatakeyama 54.21m
3) Masaru Miyauchi 53.46m

HT
1) Koji Murofushi 72.85
2) Hiroshi Noguchi 71.22
3) Hiroaki Doi 69.80

JT
1) Genki Dean 84.03m
2) Yukifumi Murakami 83.95m
3) Ryohei Arai 76.97m


WOMEN -
100m 0.0m/s
1) Chisato Fukushima 11.45
2) Anna Doi 11.51
3) Momoko Takahashi 11.66
4) Yumeka Sano 11.69

200m 0.1m/s
1) Chisato Fukushima 23.35
2) Kana Ichikawa 23.62
3) Momoko Takahashi 23.74

400m
1) Mayu Sato 53.86
2) Miho Shingu 54.12
3) Megumi Kageyama 54.27
4) Chisato Tanaka 54.29

800m
1) Ruriko Kubo 2:04.18
2) Manami Mashita 2:04.78
3) Chihiro Sunaga 2:04:86
4) Akari Kishikawa 2:05.31

1500m
1) Ayako Jinnouchi 4:16.42
2) Chikako Mori 4:18.53
3) Satoe Kikuchi 4:19.04

5000m
1) Hitomi Niiya 15:17.92
2) Kayoko Fukushi 15:25.74
3) Misaki Onishi 15:32.89
4) Yuriko Kobayashi 15:33.21
5) Mika Yoshikawa 15:37.67

10000m
1) Mika Yoshikawa 31:28.71
2) Kayoko Fukushi 31:43.25
3) Megumi Kinukawa 32:20.34
4) Kayo Sugihara 32:32.89

3000mSC
1) Yoshika Arai 9:55.93
2) Hitomi Nakamura 9:57.55
3) Misato Horie 10:05.40

100mH -0.7m/s
1) Ayako Kimura 13.25
2) Fumiko Kumagai 13.45
3) Hitomi Shimura 13.55

400mH
1) Satomi Kubokura 55.98
2) Tomomi Yoneda 56.62
3) Shiori Miki 57.15

HJ
1) Azumi Maeda 1.80m
2) Moeko Kyoya 1.75
2) Miyuki Fukumoto 1.75

PV
1) Tomomi Abiko 4.40m National record
2) Tomoko Sumiishi 4.10m
3) Ayako Aoshima 4.00m

LJ
1) Saeko Okayama 6.55 (0.0m/s)
2) Sachiko Masumi 6.35 (0.0m/s)
3) Kumiko Imura 6.25 (1.5m/s)

TJ
1) Fumiyo Yoshida 12.98m (0.0m/s)
2) Waka Maeda 12.91m (0.0m/s)
3) Mei Yamane 12.73m (0.7m/s)

SP
1) Yukiko Shirai 15.47m
2) Chiaki Yokomizo 15.37m
3) Shoko Matsuda 15.04m

DT Murofushi's winning streak at the NC ended with 10
1) Ai Shikimoto 52.74
2) Yuka Murofushi 52.37
3) Ayumi Takahashi 51.63

HT
1) Masumi Aya 64.91m 7th national title
2) Mika Takekawa 58.09m
...
Yuka Murofushi 3 fouls

JT
1) Yuki Ebihara 62.36m national record
2) Haruka Matoba 58.93
3) Risa Miyashita 58.27
4) Yuka Sato 57.35