06 MAY 2011 Preview

Hammer Throw Challenge kick off takes centre stage in Kawasaki – PREVIEW – IAAF World Challenge

Koji Murofushi throwing in Zagreb and winning the overall IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge title (Zagreb meeting organisers)Koji Murofushi throwing in Zagreb and winning the overall IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge title (Zagreb meeting organisers) © Copyright

The kick off of the 2011 IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge will take centre stage at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki, Japan, on Sunday (8).

The IAAF World Challenge Meeting, now a fusion of the Osaka and Kawasaki’s Super Meet formerly held in September, will feature nine men’s event - the 100m, 200m, 800m, 110mH, 400mH, Pole Vault, Long Jump, Javelin Throw, and 4x100m Relay -  and six women’s events – the 100m, 400m, 100mH, 400mH, Long Jump and 4x100m Relay. But it will be the men’s Hammer Throw, with Japan’s 2004 Olympic champion and winner of last year’s inaugural Hammer Throw Challenge Koji Mirofushi leading the charge.

Murofushi’s competitions are Krisztian Pars (HUN), Dilshod Nazarov (TJK), Olli-Pekka Karjalainen (FIN), Igors Sokolovs (LAT), Anatoly Pozdnyakov (RUS) and Andras Haklits (CRO).  Pars won Shizuoka International meet on 3 May with 77.95m, while Nazarov was second in the same meet. Nazarov is also the 2010 Asian Games gold medallist, the event which Murofushi won twice. Pars, 2010 European Championships bronze medalist, has already thrown 79.84m this season and thus may be the favorite.

The Javelin Throw, with 2009 World bronze medallist Yukifumi Murakami in the line-up, will also command considerable attention. Murakami’s main competitions are Stuart Farquhar, 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, Mike Hazle and Jung Sangjin. However, the most intriguing thrower may be Genki Dean, 2010 World Junior Championships silver medallist, for he is young and thus expected to improve over the next few years. Murakami has already thrown over 80m this season when he won Wakayama GP meet in April with 80.38m.  Farquhar has thrown even farther, reaching 80.52m in February in Hamilton. 

Jones headlines women’s 100m Hurdles

Lolo Jones, the 2008 and 2010 World indoor champion in the 60m Hurdles, will head to Kawasaki from her outing at the Samsung Diamond League Doha of Friday to head the field in the women’s 100m Hurdles.

Her main competitions are Yvette Lewis with the best of 12.85; Tatyana Dektyareva, who was sixth at the 2010 European Championships with the best of 12.68; and Lee Yeon Kyung, the 2010 Asian Games champion with a best of 13.00. The best Japanese, on paper, is Asuka Terada, fifth in the 2010 Asian Games with the best of 13.05. However, she was only sixth in Oda on 29 April thus may not be in form.  So perhaps the best Japanese at the present time may be Ayako Kimura, who won Oda meet with personal best of 13.28.  

Over the full lap, the field includes Angela Morosanu who was firth at the European Championships and Lauren Boden, who won at the Australian championships as well as Shizuoka International. The best Japanese are Satomi Kubokura, Sayaka Aoki and Miyabi Tago. Kubokura is the national record holder at 400mH as well as 2010 Asian Games silver medalist, while Aoki was fourth and Tago was seventh, respectively in the 2010 Asian Games. 

World leader Watt returns to action in the Long Jump


In the men’s Long Jump, Australian champion Mitchell Watt leads the field. The bronze medallist at both the 2009 World Championships and 2010 World Indoor Championships, Watt is jumping well this season, having jumped 8.38m and 8.44m, the latter currently the farthest in the world this year. Since no other jumpers in the field ever jumped more than 8.30m, Watt is the prohibitive favourite.

Sprints -

In the men’s 100m, 2003 World champion Kim Collins will run against Aaron Rouge Serret, the 2011 Australian champion, as well as the best Japanese – Masashi Eriguchi (10.070 and Naoki Tsukahara (10.090. However neither Eriguchi nor Tsukahara are in form yet. 

The women’s 100m will also attract attention, for the race will feature Chisato Fukushima, currently one of the most popular track and field athletes in Japan. The race may also be viewed as the rematch between Fukushima, 2010 Asian Games Champion, and Guzel Khubbieva (UZB), the runner-up. Fukushima won the 200m with 23.13 into the wind in Shizuoka International on 3 May, so she is in form. However, neither Fukushima nor Khubbieva has the fastest personal best in the field. That distinction belongs to Alex Anderson, who has the personal best of 11.02. She is in form, for Anderson recorded wind-assisted 10.91 at the Texas Relays.

The women’s Long Jump features two young promising jumpers – Lu Minjia, the 2009 World youth champion, and Wang Wupin, the 2010 World junior champion. It will be interesting to see if they will make an expected progression. The best Japanese is Kumiko Imura, a national record holder.  

The men’s Pole Vault features Gio Lanaro (MEX), fourth at the 2006 World Indoor Championships, as well as best Japanese vaulters – Daichi Sawano, national record holder, Takafumi Suzuki, 2010 national champion, Hiroki Sasase, eighth at the 2005 World Youth Championships and seventh in the 2008 World Junior Championships.  At the Oda meet in Hiroshima Sawano cleared 5.50m but failed thrice at 5.72m. On the other hand Lanaro was second with 5.62m at the Mt SAC Relays. 

The men’s 110m Hurdles features three hurdlers with personal bests under 13.20. Ryan Wilson has a personal best of 13.02, Dexter Faulk has run 13.13, and China’s Shi Dongpeng, the silver medallist at 2010 Asian Games, has a 13.19 best. The best Japanese is Tasuku Tanonaka, the 2010 national champion. He won the Oda meet in Hiroshima.

Comeback for Tamesue?

Because Dai Tamesue, the two-time World bronze medalist is running in Kawasaki, the 400m Hurdles could be added to the list of featured events. Kawasaki will be Tamesue’s third appearance in the event this season - as well as the third since the Beijing Olympics - having won a little meet in Kanazawa with 51.26 and then Race 1 in Shizuoka International with 49.89. The big question is: is Tamesue rounding into the shape that won him a medal at the World Championships in 2001 and 2005?

Ken Nakamura for the IAAF

Provisional Start Lists (at midnight CET, 5 May):

Men -
100m
Masashi Eriguchi
Naoki Tsukahara
Shintaro Kimura
Ryota Yamagata
Aaron Rough Serret (AUS) 
Kim Collins (SKN)
Zheng Dongsheng (CHN)

200m
Kenji Fujimitsu
Shinji Takahira
Mitsuhiro Abiko
Simon Magakwe (RSA)
Amr Seoud (EGY)
Sean Wroe (AUS)
Kevin Moore (AUS)
Mat Davies (AUS)

800m
Masato Yokota
Ryosuke Awazu
Takeshi Kuchino
Yasuhiro Makino
James Gurr (AUS)
James Kaan (AUS)
Rachid Khouia (FRA)
Jozsef Pelikan (SVK)

110mH
Tasuku Tanonaka
Moses Yume
Yutaro Furukawa
Wataru Yazawa
Ryan Wilson (USA)
Shi Dongpeng (CHN)
Park Tae-Kyong (KOR)
Dexter Faulk (USA)

400mH
Takayuki Koike
Takatoshi Abe
Tomoharu Kino
Naohiro Kawakita
Dai Tamesue
Yuta Imazeki 
Richard Davenport (GBR)
Brendan Cole (AUS)

PV
Daichi Sawano
Takafumi Suzuki
Hiroki Ogita
Hiroki Sasase
Gio Lanaro (MEX)
Sergey Kucheryanu (RUS)

LJ
Yohei Sugai
Daisuke Arakawa
Naohiro Shinada
Rikiya Saruyama
Tyrone Smith (BER)
Mitchell Watt (AUS)
Yu Zhenwei (CHN)
Robbie Crowther (AUS)
Zhang Xiaoyi (CHN)

HT
Koji Murofushi
Dilshod Nazarov (TJK)
Krisztian Pars (HUN)
Igors Sokolovs (LAT)
Olli Pekka Karjalainen (FIN)
Anatoliy Pozdnyakov (RUS)
Andras Haklits (CRO)

JT
Yukifumi Murakami
Genki Dean
Stuart Farquhar (NZL)
Jung Sangjin (KOR)
Mike Hazle (USA)
Zhao Qinggang (CHN)
Harnish Peacok (AUS)

 Women
100m
Chisato Fukushima
Momoko Takahashi
Mayumi Watanabe
Yumeka Sano
Scottesha Miller (USA)
Guzel Khubbieva (UZB)
Melissa Breen (AUS)
Alexandria Anderson (USA)

400m
Chisato Tanaka
Mayu Sato
Miho Shingu
Misaki Ueyama
Margaret Etim (NGR)
Mary Wineberg (USA)
Shareese Woods (USA)
Monique Williams (NZL)

100mH
Asuka Terada
Mami Ishino
Ayako Kimura
Lolo Jones (USA)
Tatyana Dektyareva (RUS)
Lee Yeon-Kyong (KOR)
Sun Yawei (CHN)
Yvette Lewis (USA)

400mH
Satomi Kubokura
Miyabi Tago
Sayaka Aoki
Shiori Miki
Yuka Nomura
Angela Morosanu (ROU)
Lauren Boden (AUS)
Christine Spence (USA)

LJ
Kumiko Imura
Saeko Okayama 
Wang Wupin (CHN)
Lu Minjia (CHN)
Kerrie Perkins (AUS)
Jessica Penney (AUS)
Linda Allen (AUS)