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Japanese National Championships Day Three

Japanese National Championships, Day 3
K.Ken Nakamura for the IAAF

10 June 2001 – Tokyo - Two more national records - in women’s hammer throw and women’s long jump were set in the third and the final day of the national championships.  It was quite interesting that all four national records set at the championships were by women.

The first national record of the day was set at the women’s hammer throw.  The hammer throw competition in Japan currently is one of the most intriguing events.

Aya Suzuki who won both the national junior high school championships and national senior high school championships at the shot put is a pioneer in the women’s hammer throw in Japan.  She has won seven national championships at the hammer throw from the inaugural year of 1994 to 2000.  She was undefeated against the Japanese throwers. 

Then suddenly a new challenger emerged.  Masumi Aya whose personal best at the end of 2000 was 58.87m improved to 61.15m this year and threatened Suzuki’s national record of 61.33m which was recorded in 1999.  In fact, in both Shizuoka and in the East Asian Games in Osaka, Masumi Aya defeated Aya Suzuki.  In Shizuoka, it was the first time a Japanese thrower defeated Suzuki in the hammer throw competition.

When rapidly improving twenty-one years old Masumi Aya threw 61.12m in the first round, one could sense that something special might be in the works.  After throwing 57.89m in the second round, Aya threw the hammer 61.15m to tie her personal best, which was recorded in the Shizuoka International meet a month ago.  She threw another 61.15m in the fourth round.  Then Aya Suzuki finally responded with 60.88m throw of her own, but in the fifth round, Masumi Aya uncorked the throw that dropped beyond the national record line.  The throw was measured to be 62.13, a new national record.

In the post-competition interview Aya said, “It was a good competition for me.  I accomplished my goal of the day, which was to throw 62m, the world championships “B” standard.  Because I did not throw too well in the qualifying round yesterday (53.96m), my mental state before the competition was different today.  I feel more competitive.”

The second national record of the day was at the women’s long jump.  

Maho Hanaoka is a co-holder of the national long jump record at 6.61m as well as the national record holder at the triple jump with 14.04m.  Hanaoka won the triple jump competition on the first day of the championships with 13.59m against the head wind.  However, since she has not cleared the world championships “B” standard in 2000 nor 2001, she won’t be able to compete in the triple jump competition in Edmonton.  The story was similar for  Kumiko Ikeda, a bronze medallist at the long jump in the 2000 World Junior Championships.  Ikeda won the 100mH race on the second day of the national championships with the time of 13.38 against the head wind, but since she too has not cleared the world championships standard, she won’t be able to compete at the 100mH in Edmonton.

Since the men’s triple jump which was contested on the same runway earlier was marred by the headwind, the runway was reversed for the women’s long jump competition.  In the first round of the competition, Hanaoka who was the penultimate jumper uncorked a 6.82m jump.  It improved her previous personal best and the national record by more than 20cm.  More importantly, it was beyond the world championships “A” standard of 6.75m. 

Then in the second round, Ikeda who fouled in her first round responded with 6.78m jump, giving both athletes their ticket to Edmonton. 

After the competition Hanaoka said, “If Kumiko Ikeda had not been in top shape this season I could not have jumped this far today.

“Seven meter jump, I thought, was an impossible dream.  But if I can jump 6.82m with my current condition, then it is no longer a dream.  I want to jump 7m before the next Olympic Games,” concluded Hanaoka.

As expected, Japan’s only active 17m triple jumper Takanori Sugibayashi won the triple jump competition which was contested mostly under headwind condition.

After winning the competition with a 16.46m jump in his third round, Sugibayashi said, “My goal today was to win the competition.   After the East Asian Games, my training went well.  I was ready to jump well, but the competition was marred with head wind and because I slightly sprained my right ankle in the fourth jump, I decided to skip my fifth and sixth round as a precaution.  I could not go after the record, but since my primary goal is to get through to the final.”

Yokoyama, a national PV record holder who won his competition with 5.50m said, “I consider the true champion to be an athlete who holds the record as well as the championships title.  I am happy to win my first national championships as a national record holder.”


100m (-2.0m/s):
1) Nobuharu Asahara 10.45; 2) Akihiro Yasui  10.49; 3) Hiroyasu Tsuchie 10.53
1) Jun Osakada 45.26; 2) Kenji Tabata 45.72; 3) Takahiko Yamamura 45.78; 4) Ryuji Muraki 45.95
1) Masaharu Nakano 1:51.60; 2) Hiroshi Sasano 1:51.74; 3) Mitsuhiro Sugiura 1:51.86
1) Alene Emere (ETH)  13:26.33; 2) James Wainaina (KEN) 13:31.16; 3) Michitane Noda 13:44.84
1) Takahiro Kimino  2.22m; 2) Michiya Onoue 2.18m; 3) Yoshinori Shoji 2.18m
1) Manabu Yokoyama 5.50m; 2) Kiyonobu Kigoshi 5.40m; 3) Jun Imai 5.30m
1) Takanori Sugibayashi 16.46m (-0.1m/s); 2) Koji Muto 16.19m (-0.4m/s); 3) Takahisa Yoshida 15.85m (-0.3m/s)
1) Koji Murofushi 78.83m;  2) Wataru Ebihara 69.97; 3) Takashi Usui 66.91m

200m (0.0m/s):
1) Motoka Arai 23.67; 2) Sakie Nobuoka 24.02; 3) Kanako Yano 24.13
1) Ikuko Tamura 4:16.80; 2) Minori Hayakari 4:18.41; 3) Yuki Saito 4:19.09
1) Haruko Okamoto 31:50.39; 2) Mari Ozaki 31:50.56; 3) Mizuki Noguchi 31:51.13; 4) Ikumi Nagayama 31:56.48; 5) Megumi Tanaka 32:00.75; 6) Naomi Sakashita 32:01.73; 7) Chiemi Takahashi 32:03.40; 8) Harumi Hiroyama 32:11.84;
1) Makiko Yoshida  57.40;  2) Mie Suzuki 57.83; 3) Sachiko Eguchi 57.90
1) JPN National Team (Kaori Sakagami, Motoka Arai, Hideko Nihei, Ayumi Shimazaki) 44.30
1) Maho Hanaoka 6.82m (1.6m/s) national record; 2) Kumiko Ikeda 6.78m (0.8m/s); 3) Mihoko Habu 6.25m (1.4m/s)
1) Miyoko Nakanishi  54.09m; 2) Yuka Murofushi 51.98m; 3) Rie Ikeda 47.20m
1) Masumi Aya 62.13m National record; 2) Aya Suzuki 60.88m; 3) Yuka Murofushi 56.44m; 4) Eriko Kubota 56.29m

Post competition interview sessions was attended by Chieko Nakamura