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Takako Miyake sets national javelin throw record in Mito

Takako Miyake sets national javelin throw record in Mito
K. Ken Nakamura for the IAAF
The highlight of the Mito meet on 6 May, the final stop of the spring track circuits, was a national record by Takako Miyake in the women’s javelin throw.

Before the competition, the national record stood at 57.79m by Yuko Kojima. In Mito, after a foul throw of nearly 60m in her fourth round, Takako Miyake threw 57.86m in her fifth round to surpass the national record. But she was not done for the day. In her final throw, Miyake unleashed a 61.15m throw to break the national record she just set minutes ago. This mark also surpassed the world championships “A” standard for the women’s javelin.   She will be selected for the World Championships team to compete in Edmonton provided she finishes in the top three at the National Championships in June.

After the competition, Miyake said: “I ran so fast during the run-up, I fouled in my first attempt.  So I had to step back from the second attempt on.”

Miyake was not in perfect condition for the meet.  “I had sprained my left ankle in the Hyogo relays on April 22, which concerned me before the competition here in Mito, but after the first throw I realized that it was not a problem today.” Former national record holder Yuko Kojima finished fourth in 52.63m, well off her former national record.

Takako Miyake has been a top women’s javelin thrower in Japan ever since her high school days, having won national high school championships, national collegiate championships and national championships. However, the national record had eluded her until last Sunday.  She was a national high school champion in 1992, the same year she competed in the World Junior Championships.  After graduating from high school, she attended Chukyo University. Another famous alumnus of the University is Koji Murofushi, the premier hammer thrower in Japan. In 1995 she won the Javelin throw at the national collegiate championships and was 8th in the World University Games in the same event.  The following year, in 1996, she won the national championships, and also recorded 59.22m throw using the old style Javelin. Just as she was moving up to the top of national ranking, unfortunately injury started to plague her.   For the next few years, Miyake was troubled by lower back and shoulder injury. In 1999 she recorded 57.27m, the second longest throw by Japanese with a new style Javelin, and in the following year, she won the national championships for the second time.   However, she still had injury problems from time to time.

Miyake competes for the track team sponsored by Miki House, but still trains in Chukyo University even since her graduation.   She is coached by Shigenobu Murofushi, a former national hammer throw record holder who also coaches his son Koji Murofushi.   However, Shigenobu Murofushi is not the only coach who advises Miyake. Former javelin great Kazuhiro Mizoguchi also advises Miyake via telephone from Kyoto where Mizoguchi lives.  Miyake also travels to Kyoto from time to time for training camps.

With advice from Mizoguchi, Miyake was able to shake off her injury problems. She improved the balance between different muscles groups.  “Last year, I could only throw once or twice a week, but this year I can throw three times a week,” she told Tatsuo Terada.  

Miki House track team manager Ayumi Ogino reported that Miyake along with her Miki House teammates, Masumi Ono (national record holder at the women’s pole-vault), and Miyoko Nakanishi (four time national champion discus thrower) were in the training camp in Germany last February and March. Miyake also trained in Finland, where the javelin is a national sport.  “I was surprised to break the record by such a huge margin,” said Miyake.  “I could not have done with without the sponsorship from the Miki House track team.”

In other events, two Kenyans competing for Japanese corporate teams, Zakayo Ngatho and Leah Malot won the men’s and women’s 10,000m. It was their third win in the spring track circuits.  Ngatho won the 10,000m in Kobe and the 5000m in Hiroshima, while Malot won the 5000m in both Hiroshima and Shizuoka. 

Makiko Yoshida, who also competes in the 400m as well as the 800m won the 400mH in 58.75.  Yoshida is a versatile runner who ranked third in the 400m, sixth in the 800m as well as first in the 400mH last year.  While in Fukushima University, Yoshida was a one women track team, competing in multiple events in collegiate competitions to rack up many points for her University.   For example, in the national collegiate championships, Yoshida scored points in four events.   She competed in Brutus Hamilton in Berkeley, California and Mt SAC relays in April.  In Berkeley after competing in the 400m, she said: “It is time for me to start concentrating on one event if I am going to be a national class athlete.”   She is also a serious student of the sports, for while visiting the US, she bought many books on track and field. 

Selected Results:
All competitors Japanese unless otherwise indicated

100m (-1.8m/s):  1) Aziz Zakari  (GHA)  10.34;  2) Shingo Suetsugu   10.42  400m  1) Jun Osakada   45.72,  2) Casey Vincent (AUS)  46.03
800m:  1) Masaharu Nakano  1:49.80
10,000m:  1) Zakayo Ngatho (KEN)  28:16.41, 2) Masayuki Kobayashi  28:28.05, 3) Tsuyoshi Ogata 28:38.77
110mH (-1.7m/s)  1) Chris Phillips (USA)  13.89  (13.82 in heat);  2) Ken-ichi Sakurai 14.08
HJ: 1)  Takahiro Uchida  2.23,   2) Yoshiteru Kaihoko 2.20m
TJ: 1)  Andrew Murphy (AUS)  16.97 (2.4m/s); 2) Takanori Sugibayashi  16.65m (3.2m/s)
SP:  1) Yasutada Noguchi  17.35m
DT: 1) Shigeo Hatakeyama  50.71m

200m (-1.9m/s):  1) Leonie Myriam Mani (CMR)  23.73 (23.54 in heat); 2) Ayumi Shimazaki  24.48
800m:  1) Charmine Howell (JAM)  2:05.95;  2) Reina Sasaki  2:06.28 
10,000m:  1) Leah Malot (KEN)  32:16.10,  2) Yamna Belkacem (FRA)  32:26.77, 3) Kumi Tanabe  32:31.80, 
400mH:  1) Makiko Yoshida  58.75
4x100mR:  1) JPN national team (Kaori Sakagami, Motoka Arai, Hideko Nihei, Ayumi Shimazaki)   44.50
HJ: 1) Miki Imai  1.92m,  2) Yoko Ota  1.88m, 3)  Oana Pantelimon (ROM)1.88m 
TJ: 1)  Tereza Marinova  (BUL) 14.74m (1.9m/s),  2) Fukuyo Ihara 13.02m (2.0m/s)
JT:  1)  Takako Miyake  61.15m   National Record (X, 55.64, 55.36, X, 57.86, 61.15);  2)  Harumi Yamamoto  56.15m
Photo by kind permission of Tatsuo Terada