Japanese long jumper Yuki Hashioka (© AFP/Getty Images)
Jumpers Yuki Hashioka and Naoto Tobe have joined the fields for the Seiko Golden Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Tokyo on 23 August.
Hashioka, the 2018 world U20 champion and World Championships finalist last year, will head the field in the long jump while Tobe, the World Indoor Tour winner in the high jump in 2019, heads the field in the high jump.
“The meet will take place at the National Stadium, this summer when the Olympic Games were supposed to take place. This is a precious opportunity for us," said Hashioka, who competed just once this year, finishing fourth at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid in February. "It’s just like a pre-Olympic competition and I want to deliver my best performance."
Hashioki emerged as one of the top long jumping talents on the planet in 2018 when he jumped to world U20 gold in Tampere, Finland. He improved his career best to 8.32m in 2019, and struck gold at both the Asian Championships and World University Games last year before capping his season with an eighth place finish at the World Championships in Doha.
"Nationally, we may be seeing an increase in COVID19 cases, but many thanks to the hard work by the healthcare workers, we can compete. I will express my appreciation in the pit, with a strong jump.
"Fans may not be in the stadium this year and even if it’s through television, their support mean so much to all of us athletes.
Hashioka will face Shotaro Shiroyama, another Doha finalist, who improved the Japanese national record to 8.40m last year.
Tobe, who improved to 2.35m indoors in 2019, will take on Takashi Eto, a 2.30m jumper.
Others athletes confirmed include pole vaulters Daichi Sawano, Seito Yamamoto and Masaki Ejima, all 5.71m men last season, and Ryohei Arai who'll lead the field in the men's javelin throw.
Yuka Sato, the 2011 Asian Championships bronze medallist, tops the women's javelin throw field.
Given the travel restrictions in Japan at the moment, the meeting will largely be a national competition.
Organisers for World Athletics