Haruka Kitaguchi in the javelin at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix (© Getty Images)
Haruka Kitaguchi, the national record-holder in the javelin, is among the latest group of top Japanese athletes confirmed for the Seiko Golden Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Tokyo on 23 August.
Kitaguchi, the 2015 world U18 champion, broke the Japanese record last year with 64.36m and went on to finish second at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix. After winning the national title in Fukuoka, she took the silver medal at the World University Games.
She narrowly missed the World Championships final by just six centimetres but rebounded one month later by smashing her own national record with 66.00m in Kitakyushu, ending the year at No.7 on the world list.
Four of the six Japanese women who’ve thrown beyond 60 metres will also be in action in Tokyo. 2018 national champion Marina Saito, 2011 Asian bronze medallist Yuka Sato and two-time Asian bronze medallist Risa Miyashita will face Kitaguchi later this month.
The men’s javelin is of a similar high standard with four 80-metre throwers on the entry list. Asian bronze medallist Ryohei Arai will take on 2012 Olympic finalist Genki Dean, Takuto Kominami and Yuta Sakiyama.
Koki Fujihara, who broke the Japanese U20 record last year with 8.12m, is among the latest additions to the men’s long jump field. He’ll join national record-holder Shoutarou Shiroyama and world U20 champion Yuki Hashioka, whose participation was announced earlier this month.
Elsewhere, Joan Chepkemoi has been added to the women’s steeplechase field. The 26-year-old Kenyan, who is based in Japan, has a steeplechase best of 9:20.22 and has set PBs in the 3000m (8:57.20) and 5000m (15:04.32) this year.