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Makiko Yoshida sets record at 86th Japanese National Championships

Makiko Yoshida sets record at 86th Japanese National Championships
K. Ken Nakamura for the IAAF
9 June 2002 - The highlights of the 86th Japanese National Championships held in Kanazawa on 7-9 June  were national records by Makiko Yoshida and Takayo Kondo. Four athletes - Motoka Arai, Kayoko Fukushi, Maho Hanaoka and Makiko Yoshida - won double titles at the national championships.

The team for the Asian Games, which is scheduled in Pusan, Korea in October, was selected through the national championships this year. 

Makiko Yoshida won both the 400m and 400mH, the latter with the new national record of 56.82.  This was her third national record at 400mH, having recorded two national records 57.33 and 56.83 last year. 

She is expected to further improve her national record this season as explained by Yoshida: “Since Fukushima (her home town) is snow bound most of the winter, track training is not possible until spring season.  So we peak later than athletes from warmer part of the country.”

After winning the 400mH with 57.60 in Shizuoka last month under very windy condition, Yoshida also said, “I have improved my personal best every year since 1998, I expect to improve my personal best this year also.”  It was also her third consecutive national title at 400mH. 

As for the 400m, Yoshida improved her second place finish from 2000 to win her first national title.  In every 400m race during the last two years, Yoshida was getting closer to Kazue Kakinuma, a national record holder and four time defending national champion. She finally defeated Kakinuma and became the first athlete to win both 400m and 400mH national titles in the same year.  Her goal for the season is sub 56 seconds 400mH. 

Takayo Kondo who recorded a personal best of 4.15m in Shizuoka on May 3, tied the outdoor national record of 4.20m at the national championships.  A former long jumper, who started pole vaulting in Waseda University, Kondo was mostly in the shadow of Masumi Ono, a national PV record holder.  Kondo won the national title for the second consecutive year, and by tying Ono’s national record, Kondo is finally out of the shadow of Ono, who finished second with 4.10m in Kanazawa.

In the absence of Shingo Suetsugu who ran 10.05 on May 6 but is currently injured, Nobuharu Asahara won the 100m in 10.05. He thus joined the race for the first sub 10 seconds 100m by a sprinter of non-African ancestry.  “I am sure everyone who has a chance for sub 10 seconds 100m are thinking about it,” said Asahara who recorded 10.02 in Oslo last year.

Koji Murofushi who competed in two meets in Europe (Hengelo and Milano) returned to Japan on the morning of the competition to win easily with a new meet record of 79.15m.  It was the eighth national title for Murofushi.  With no Olympics or World Championships this year, his goal for the year is the Grand Prix Final in Paris.  After winning a silver medal at the World Championships in Edmonton, Murofushi’s popularity is rising rapidly in Japan.  Appearing in several advertisements in Japan, Murofushi is even a subject of tabloids.

The distance races suffered due to unseasonably warm weather.  The star of the distance events, as expected was Kayoko Fukushi who won both the 5000m and 10,000m.  On the first day of the championships, under 28C temperature, Fukushi won the 10000m after outkicking both Miwako Yamanaka and Takako Kotorida.  Two days later, Fukushi was hoping to go after the national 5000m record which she missed at the Osaka GP.  However, the day was too hot for the record attempt, and unlike the 10,000m race two days earlier, there were no water stations, which she missed during the race.  She had to settle for a win in 15:14.46.  The record attempt had to wait for another day.

Maho Hanaoka won both the long and triple jump for the third consecutive year, while Motoka Arai won both 100m and 200m for the fifth consecutive year.  Arai, who ran three races in the US in April, did not run in the spring track circuit.  According to her coach Yasuhiro Harada: “Arai is skipping the spring circuit because she is quite exhausted from her training in the US.”  Harada knows how to peak Arai for the important race. 

Dai Tamesue, a bronze medallist in Edmonton is finally rounding into shape after struggling somewhat during the spring track season.  He easily won the 400mH in 48.79, his first sub 49 seconds in the season.  He is planning to go to Europe at the end of the month to compete in several grand prix races.  He expects to peak by July and be competitive.  As he said in several occasions this spring, Tamesue wants to break 49 seconds in all his Grand Prix races.   

National Champions:
Men
100m  (1.4m/s):  1) Nobuharu Asahara  10.05
200m (0.8m/s): 1) Hisashi Miyazaki  20.99
400m:  1) Kenji Tabata  46.23
800m:  1)  Hiroshi Sasano 1:49:12
1500m: 1) Fumikazu Kobayashi 3:51.56
5000m: 1)  Toshinari Takaoka  13:29.77  (Julius Maina (KEN) won the race in 13:28.49)
10000m: 1) Tomoo Tsubota  28:25.81  (Daniel Njenga (KEN) won the race in 28:23.72)
110mH (0.0m/s):  1) Satoru Tanigawa  13.99
400mH: 1) Dai Tamesue  4Dai Tamesue  48.79 
3000mSC: 1) Yoshitaka Iwamizu 8:39.12
HJ:  1) Takahiro Uchida  2.21m
PV:  1) Satoru Yasuda  5.50m
LJ: 1) Shin-ichi Terano 7.94m  (2.8m/s)
TJ: 1) Takashi Komatsu  16.37m  (0.2m/s)
SP: 1) Satoshi Hatase  16.58m
DT: 1) Shigeo Hatakeyama 52.01m
HT: 1) Koji Murofushi 79.15m
JT: 1)  Yukifumi Murakami 78.22m
Dec:  1) Masatoshi Ishizawa 7644
Women
100m (-0.4m/s):  1) Motoka Arai 11.61
200m (1.4m/s): 1) Motoka Arai  23.70 
400m: 1) Makiko Yoshida  53.29
800m: 1) Tomoko Matsushima  2:04.05
1500m: 1) Ikuko Tamura  4:17.44
5000m: 1)  Kayoko Fukushi 15:14.46
10000m: 1) Kayoko Fukushi 32:30.51
100mH (0.2m/s): 1) Yvonne Kanazawa  13.15
400mH: 1) Makiko Yoshida  56.82
HJ: 1) Yoko Ota  1.92m
PV: 1) Takayo Kondo  4.20m
LJ: 1) Maho Hanaoka 6.55m (0.2m/s)
TJ: 1) Maho Hanaoka 13.56m (-0.1m/s)
P: 1) Yoko Toyonaga  16.73m
DT: 1) Yuka Murofushi 52.42m
HT: 1) Masumi Aya 64.45m
JT: 1) Takako Miyake  56.31m
Hep: 1) Yuki Nakada 5637