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

Murofushi wins 17th straight national title

The 95th Japanese national championships were held from 10 to 12 June in Kumagaya, the city renowned as the hottest for weather in Japan.  The championship doubled as the qualifying meet for the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Korea (27 Aug to 4 Sep), and the winner of each event automatically qualified for the team provided that athlete had cleared the “A” standard.  


Koji Murofushi, 2004 Olympic champion, won the men’s Hammer Throw for the record 17th straight time. He took the lead with 75.94m in the first round and then extended to 76.62m in the second round. After three more over 75m, Murofushi finished the competition in 77.01m, thus extending his winning streak for another year.  


“I am happy to be competing for so long,” said Murofushi who already having the “A” standard made the World Championships team for the 8th time. It may be of some concern that Murofushi did not throw 80m, but he explained, “I am trying to peak in the summer.”    


His sister Yuka Murofushi competed in both Hammer and Discus Throws, and finished second in former while winning the latter for the 10th straight time.


In the men’s Javelin Throw, Yukifumi Murakami, 2009 World Championships bronze medallist, threw 82.75m in his first throw to almost assure his victory; it was also a championship record.  He then passed his second to fifth throw.  He later explained that he got a cramp after the first throw. “My plan was to throw a big one in the first attempt. I was hoping for another big throw in the final round, but it was not to be. I need to work on it. My goal is to make the final of the World Championships again,” said Murakami. The World Junior silver medalist Genki Dean threw a personal best of 79.20m in his final attempt to finish second.  


On the women’s side, the featured athlete of the meet was Chisato Fukushima, double Asian Games sprint champion, who successfully doubled, her first sprint double in five years at the nationals. The women’s 100m was originally billed as a showdown between the national record holder Fukushima and the young and upcoming star Kana Ichikawa but Fukushima won comfortably with 11.39, 0.22 second ahead of Ichikawa.


“My goal at the World Championships is to run as many round as possible,” said Fukushima.  Ichikawa, on the other hand said, “I tried to catch her (Fukushima) but I am not yet in her league.”  


A day after the 100m final, Fukushima also won 200m, while Ichikawa, eighth in the World Junior Championships, finished second behind Fukushima again. “I am very happy to win both events, but I am also relieved that I am done,” said Fukushima.


On the first day of the championships, Kayo Sugihara and Yuki Sato won the women’s and men’s 10,000m, respectively. Since Sugihara cleared “A” standard earlier, she has made the World Championships team.  Of the other “A” standard bearers, Kayoko Fukushi missed the nationals due to recovery after surgery, while Hikari Yoshimoto pushed the pace until 9700m but finished only third, so they have to wait the decision by the selectors. On the men’s side, Sato only has “B” standard, so he must also wait too.


Megumi Kinukawa is back! A former high school phenom when she was at Sendai Ikue high school (alma mater of Samuel Wanjiru) and made the 2007 World Championships team at 10,000m but illness and injury followed. In Kumagaya this weekend she won the women’s 5000m to clinch a Daegu team berth. Hitomi Niiya who took the lead early and was running alone in front was closed down after halfway by Kinukawa who just before 4000m caught and passed Niiya.  Kinukawa covered the final lap in around 70 seconds to finish in 15:09.96, which cleared the “A” standard to make the team. “I was just hoping to set a personal best, so the win and the “A” standard is a big bonus.”  


Shinji Takahira came from behind in the last half of home-straight to win the men’s 200m with “A” standard breaking 20.49 sec so making the team. “I know the time like 20.4 is not enough; I would like to improve my time going into Daegu,” said Takahira, who has the personal best of 20.22.  The World Junior champion Shota Iizuka finished fourth.  


In the men’s 400m Hurdles, two-time World Championships bronze medallist Dai Tamesue tried to make his fifth World Championships team.  Tamesue started the race aggressively along with Takayuki Kishimoto, the only intermediate hurdler with “A” standard. However, while Kishimoto held on well and won the race in 49.28, Tamesue faded badly in the home-straight and finished disappointing sixth.  Kishimoto said, “I am still far from my time goal,” while Tamesue wrote “I will go back to the drawing board,” in his twitter.  


Former high school phenom Yuzo Kanemaru won the 400m for the seventh straight time at the national championships with 45.68, and already has the “A” standard. “I have enough experience at the world level, so what I need to do now is to get good results,” said Kanemaru.  


There were upset, most notably at women’s Javelin Throw. The national record holder Yuki Ebihara was a prohibitive favourite and was leading until fifth round, when Risa Miyashita improved her personal best by more than 4 metres with 60.08m throw, which was enough for a victory.  Ebihara finished second with 59.98m.  


Other notable national champions were Naoto Tobe, World junior bronze medallist, in the men’s High Jump, Mika Kobayashi, high school junior, in women’s 1500m, and 19-year-old Wataru Yazawa in the 110m Hurdles.  


Ken Nakamura for the IAAF


RESULTS


MEN


100m   -0.5m/s

1)  Masashi Eriguchi 10.38

2)  Yusuke Kotani 10.40

3)  Sota Kawatsura 10.49


200m:  

1)  Shinji Takahira  20.49  

2)   Hitoshi Saito 20.62

3)  Yuichi Kobayashi 20.62

4)  Shota Iizuka 20.64


400m

1)  Yuzo Kanemaru  45.68  

2)  Hideyuki Hirose  45.84

3)  Yusuke Ishitsuka  46.20


800m

1)  Masato Yokota  1:47.24

2)  Takeshi Kuchino   1:48.34  

3)  Yasuhiro  Makino  1:48.36


1500m

1)  Hiroshi Ino 3:48.59  

2)  Yuya Konishi 3:48.92

3)  Toshiki Imazaki 3:49.18


5000m

1)  Kazuya Watanabe  13:37.41

2)  Yuki Sato  13:38.19

3)  Tetsuya Yoroizaka  13:39.88


10000m

1)  Yuki Sato  28:10.87

2)  Akinobu Murasawa  28:15.63

3)  Tsuyoshi Ugachi 28:20.40

4)  Yusuke Takabayashi 28:24.59


3000mSC

1)  Tsuyoshi Takeda  8:37.14

2)  Hiroyoshi Umegae 8:37.69

3)  Jun Shinotou 8:41.80  


110mH  -0.1m/s

1) Wataru Yazawa   13.86

2)  Kenji Yahata  13.88

3)  Yuji Ohashi 13.89  


400mH  

1)  Takayuki Kishimoto  49.28  

2)  Yuta Imazeki  49.61

3)  Takatoshi Abe  49.81

4)  Noriyuki Ideura   49.87

5)  Akihiko Nakamura  50.04

6)  Dai Tamesue  50.55


HJ

1)  Naoto Tobe  2.22m

2)  Takashi Eto  2.19m

3)  Hikaru Tsuchiya  2.19m


PV

1)  Daichi Sawano  5.40m

2)  Takafumi Suzuki  5.30m

2)  Hiroki Ogita  5.30m


LJ

1)  Yohei Sugai  7.94m

2)  Rikiya Saruyama 7.74m

3)  Mamoru Niimura 7.69


TJ

1)  Shinya Sogame 16.42m  

2)  Yohei Kajikawa  16.18m

3)  Daigo Hasegawa  16.14


SP

1)  Yohei Murakawa  18.35m

2)  Ken Toyosato   17.28m

3)  Sotaro Yamada  17.19m


DT

1)  Shiro Kobayashi 55.42m

2)  Shigeo Hatakeyama 55.16m

3)  Yuji Tsutsumi 54.70m


HT

1)  Koji Murofushi  77.01m

2)  Hiroshi Noguchi 70.13m

3)  Hiroaki Doi 68.07m  


JT

1)  Yukifumi Murakami  82.75m

2)  Genki Dean     79.20m

3)   Ken Arai  78.87m


WOMEN


100m -0.6m/s

1)  Chisato Fukushima  11.39

2)  Kana Ichikawa  11.61

3)  Nao Okabe  11.74  

4)  Anna Doi  11.82   (high school sprinter)


200m  -0.7m/s

1)  Chisato Fukushima  23.44

2)  Kana Ichikawa  23.62

3)  Nao Okabe  23.97  


400m  

1)  Miho Shingu 54.16  

2)  Chihiro Tanaka 54.27

3)  Sayaka Aoki 54.35


800m  

1)  Akari Kishikawa  2:03.34

2)  Ruriko Kubo  2:04.46

3)  Ayako Jinnouchi 2:05.78


1500m

1)  Mika Kobayashi  4:20.41

2)  Akane Yabushita  4:20.54

3)  Rei Ohara  4:20.55


5000m

1)  Megumi Kinukawa   15:09.96

2)  Hitomi Niiya  15:20.35

3)  Yuriko Kobayashi  15:42.85  


10000m

1)  Kayo Sugihara  32:18.79  

2)  Remi Nakamoto  32:20.81

3)  Hikari Yoshimoto  32:25.77

4)  Kaoru Nagao  32:33.18


3000mSC

1)  Minori Hayakari  9:52.98

2)  Misato Horie  10:02.24

3)  Azusa Saito  10:05.40


100mH

Final     -1.3m/s

1)  Ayako Kimura  13.32

2)  Airi Ito  13.48

3) Chie Kiriyama  13.56


400mH

1)  Satomi Kubokura  55.81

2)  Miyabi Tago  56.90

3)  Shiori Miki 56.92  


HJ

1)  Miyuki Fukumoto  1.79m

2)  Kiyoka Akitsuka  1.76m

3)  Yuki Mimura  1.73m


PV  

1)  Tomomi Abiko  4.20m

2)  Miho Imano  4.00m

2)  Ikuko Nishikori  4.00m


LJ

1)  Kumiko Imura   6.39m  (1.5m/s)

2)  Hanako Kotake   6.34m (0.2m/s)

3)  Saeko Okayama  6.29m (1.0m/s)


TJ  

1)  Sayuri Takeda   13.12m

2)  Fumiyo Yoshida  12.80m

3)  Waka Maeda  12.80m


SP

1) Yukino Otani  15.44m

2)  Yukiko Shirai  15.39m

3)  Yoko Toyanaga   14.86m


DT

1)  Yuka Murofushi  51.85m

2)  Ayumi Takahashi 51.31m

3)  Ai Shikimoto  49.17m  


HT

1)  Masumi Aya   66.32m     new championships record

2)  Yuka Murofushi  64.79m

3)  Wakana Sato     56.74m


JT

1)  Risa Miyashita  60.08m

2)  Yuki Ebihara  59.98m

3)  Haruka Matoba   55.70m