Shingo Suetsugu celebrates (Rikujyo Kyogi Magazine) © Copyright
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New Asian 200m record for Suetsugu at Japanese national championships

Competing at the Japanese National Championships, Shingo Suetsugu set a long awaited Asian 200m record with a 20.03 clocking. Ever since he assumed the mantle of the best 200m sprinter in Asia from Koji Ito, he was expected to break Ito’s Asian 200m record (20.16).

After running a 10.03 second 100m, the fastest time by Japanese on native soil on May 5, Suetsugu was also expected to be a star at the national championships; he did not disappoint. He convincingly won both 100m and 200m. “I really went for it. 20.03 is OK for now, since the World Championships is still a few months away,” said Suetsugu after the 200m race. Next day he won the 100m in 10.13. “Since the wind was unpredictable, I just went for the win.”

Five other athletes set national records.

Makiko Yoshida completed the 400m 400mH double with two personal bests. She completely dominated the 400mH; her new personal best, 55.89, was the seventh national record of her career. “I was looking for sub 56 seconds clocking and was determined to go fast from the gun. I am very happy with the time because I really did not think I can run that fast,” said Yoshida after setting her second national record of the year, which was still short of the “A” standard. “I will go after the ‘A’ standard next time,” concluded Yoshida.

Daichi Sawano was a precocious talent, having twice won national high school championships at Pole Vault. On Sunday he won the national championships for the third time. In the process he added a national record, 5.75m, to his collection of records which includes national high school record (5.40m) and national junior record (5.50m) which still stand. Coming into the national championships without the standard, he booked his ticket to Paris by winning the national championships and clearing the “A” standard at the same time.

Masumi Ono, a pioneer in the women’s Pole Vault in Japan won the women’s event with 4.21m. It was a 1 cm improvement on her own national outdoor record. Two-time Asian Games silver medallist, Ono is a full time junior high school teacher. Ever since the Pole Vault was introduced into the global championships, she has been chasing the standard, which she finally cleared when she set the national indoor record (4.30m).

Miki Nishimura and Yuki Nakata improved their respective national records to 2:02.10 (800m) and 5910 (Heptathlon), but they still fell short of the “B” standards (2:01.30 and 6019 respectively) and thus they won’t be going to Paris, unless they achieve the standard before the Nambu meet on July 26.

In the process of winning his ninth national championships, one short of his father’s record, Koji Murofushi improved his season’s best at the Hammer Throw to 83.29m, which was the third best throw of his career. Said Murofushi after the competition: “Not everything went well at the beginning, but I am happy with my final throw (83.29m).” (His thoughts on national championships will be coming in his journal soon)

Another Edmonton medallist, Dai Tamesue has been struggling since last year. Because the 400m Hurdles is a competitive event in Japan with three hurdlers having already achieved the “A” standard, even Tamesue is not guaranteed a place on the team. But Tamesue won the race convincingly in 48.94, which is a testament to his ability to peak when it counts.

The most awaited showdown in the national championships was women’s 10,000m, where Yoko Shibui and Kayoko Fukushi, the two fastest 10,000m runners in Japan were competing. Had they been in form, they would have run away from the field, but because they were both injured recently, their form was in question. Shibui led the race from the start until 6,000m (19:02), at which point Fukushi surged in her attempt to break away from the pack. She increased the pace from 78-79 seconds a lap to 73 seconds a lap. One lap later Fukushi was alone, three seconds ahead of the chase pack of nine led by Mizuki Noguchi, who will be running the marathon in Paris. Fukushi continued to press on and won by 8 seconds. Out of the chase pack of four, Ruth Wanjiru of Kenya broke away with 300m to go; only Megumi Tanaka was able to cover Wanjiru’s move; Tanaka eventually outkicked Wanjiru, and finished second. Said Fukushi, a national 5000m record holder, “I was planning to surge at 6,000m. I am happy to be back.”

Two days later Shibui who finished fifth in the10,000m ran the 5000m, but she started to lose contact with the leaders around 3200m. She tried to stay close but by 3800m she had completely lost contact with the leaders, and eventually finished fourth (among Japanese). The race turned into a kicker’s race with one lap remaining; two Kenyan guest runners – Jane Wanjiku and Lucy Wangui- were together with Mari Ozaki and Takako Kotorida. It was Lucy Wangui who won in the last 100m. Said Mari Ozaki, who was the official winner, “My goal for the day was to see how long I would last if I went with the leaders. The race was easier than expected because of the large number of spectators.” Ozaki is an alternate for the Paris marathon team.

Takanori Sugibayashi (TJ), Yvonne Kanazawa (100mH), Masumi Aya (HT) and Takako Miyake (JT) all came to the nationals with the “B” standard; thus all they need to do to be selected for the Paris team was to win the nationals. They did exactly that and booked their tickets to Paris. After the meet, triple jumper Sugibayashi said, “Lately my best jump was coming in the later rounds, which is not good for a jumper like me whose personal best is around 17m. My goal at the nationals was to lose this bad habit.” At the nationals Sugibayashi jumped 16.96m in the second round and then followed it up with a big jump well over 17m which was a 3-4cm foul. “I did not set a national record, but I am satisfied with my series,” concluded Sugibayashi who might be competing in Europe before Paris.

Two athletes, who competed in Edmonton two years ago, came into the national championships without the World Championships standard. However, not only did Kumiko Ikeda, a long jumper and Yoshitaka Iwamizu, a steeple chaser won their respective event, but they also cleared the “B” standard in the process, and thus automatically qualified for the Worlds team, because no one cleared the “A” standard in their events. In the women’s LJ, Maho Hanaoka had already cleared the “B” standard. After the fifth round, Ikeda led Hanaoka 6.46m to 6.44m. Then in the final round Ikeda jumped 6.64m to clear the “B” standard. Hanaoka immediately responded with her best jump, but fell 1cm short. And thus Ikeda, whose national junior high school record (6.19m) still stands, automatically qualified for Paris.

Motoka Arai won the 100m/200m double at the nationals for the sixth consecutive year. Headwind hampered her attempt to clear the standard at 100m, an event in which her PR is closer to the standard. “Because I was after the time, I kept concentration all the way. I am happy with the win, but not with my time.” Her quest for the global championships continues.

With assistance from Akihiro Onishi and Tatsuo Terada.

Athletes selected for the World Championships team (including relay members), as announced by JAAF on June 9, are marked with “”

100m (0.1m/s)
1) Shingo Suetsugu 10.13
2) Nobuharu Asahara 10.26
3) Hiroyasu Tsuchie 10.36

200m (0.6m/s)
1) Shingo Suetsugu 20.03 (AR)
2) Ryo Matsuda 20.68
3) Hisashi Miyazaki 20.70

1) Mitsuhiro Sato 45.63
2) Jun Osakada 45.83
3) Kenji Tabata 46.09
4) Yuuki Yamaguchi 46.10

1) Hiroshi Sasano 1:47.55
2) Hisato Suzuki 1:48.46
3) Masaharu Nakano 1:48.58

1) Jun Tsuji 3:48.61
2) Terukazu Omori 3:49.41
3) Fumikazu Kobayashi 3:49.86

Simon Maina (KEN) 13:24.68 Guest
Samuel Kabiru (KEN) 13:32.76 Guest
James Ndungu (KEN) 13:35.48 Guest
1) Kazuyoshi Tokumoto 13:40.68
2) Tomohiro Seto 13:41.27

John Kanyi (KEN) 28:14.87 Guest
1) Toshihiro Iwasa 28:17.95
2) Tomoaki Kunichika 28:19.41
3) Takayuki Matsumiya 28:21.01
4) Tomoo Tsubota 28:24.57
5) Atsushi Fujita 28:28.50
6) Kazuyoshi Tokumoto 28:32.04

1) Yoshitaka Iwamizu 8:25.56
2) Yasunori Uchitomi 8:30.52
3) Yoshio Segikawa 8:33.58

110mH (0.8m/s)
1) Satoru Tanigawa 13.82
2) Tasuku Tanonaka 13.84
3) Masato Naito 13.88

1) Dai Tamesue 48.94
2) Yoshihiro Chiba 49.23
3) Masahira Yoshikata 49.51
4) Ken Yoshizawa 50.10
5) Yosuke Tsushima 50.22
6) Hideaki Kawamura 50.44

1) Naoyuki Daigo 2.18m
2) Takahiro Kimino 2.18m
3) Takahiro Uchida 2.15m

1) Daichi Sawano5.75m NR
2) Fumiaki Kobayashi 5.40m
3) Satoru Yasuda5.40m

1) Shin-ichi Terano 7.92m (1.2m/s)
2) Daisuke Arakawa 7.87m (0.9m/s)
3) Shota Abe 7.79m (0.0m/s)

1) Takanori Sugibayashi 16.96m (1.0m/s)
2) Takashi Komatsu 16.60m (0.0m/s)
3) Masashi Watanabe 16.13m (0.6m/s)

1) Yasutada Noguchi 17.73m
2) Satoshi Hatase 17.44m
3) Takashi Ogaki 17.11m

1) Shigeo Hatakeyama 53.88m
2) Tsuyoshi Yasuda 51.66m
3) Shiro Kobayashi 49.53m

1) Koji Murofushi 83.29m (78.60, 81.22, 81.04, 80.97, 81.98, 83.29)
2) Hiroaki Doi 73.33m
3) Takashi Usui 67.06m

1) Yukifumi Murakami 75.38m
2) Yasutaka Fujiwara74.04m
3) Yasuo Ikeda68.89m

1) Takuro Hirata 7630 (11.00 (0.3m/s), 7.37 (1.5m/s), 12.06, 1.90, 48.52, 15.11 (0.6m/s), 40.46, 4.60, 60.06, 4:50.00)
2) Masatoshi Ishizawa 7557
3) Atsuhiko Iida 7077

100m (-0.7m/s)
1) Motoka Arai 11.53
2) Kaori Sakagami 11.71
3) Tomoko Ishida 11.73

200m (0.8m/s)
1) Motoka Arai 23.82
2) Sakie Nobuoka 23.99
3) Ayumi Suzuki 24.21

1) Makiko Yoshida 53.20
2) Mayu Kida 53.62
3) Mayumi Yuno 53.84

1) Miki Nishimura 2:02.10 NR
2) Tomoko Matsushima 2:04.55
3) Chise Miyazaki 2:08.48

Chunmei Wang (CHN) 4:16.52 Guest
Ongori M Philes (KEN) 4:17.08 Guest
1) Kayo Sugihara 4:17.41
2) Yuka Yamaguchi 4:18.81
3) Minori Hayakari 4:19.25

Lucy Wangui (KEN) 15:10.47 Guest
Jane Wanjiku (KEN) 15:12.46 Guest
1) Mari Ozaki 15:12.76
2) Takako Kotorida 15:15.16
3) Kazue Ogoshi 15:20.94
4) Yoko Shibui 15:27.83

1) Kayoko Fukushi 31:47.15
2) Megumi Tanaka 31:55.24
Ruth Wanjiru (KEN) 31:56.21 Guest
3) Aki Fukukawa 31:59.06
4) Mizuki Noguchi 31:59.28
5) Yoko Shibui 32:15.88

100mH (-0.5m/s)
1) Yvonne Kanazawa 13.06
2) Kumiko Ikeda 13.34
3) Ayumi Fujita 13.44

1) Makiko Yoshida 55.89 NR
2) Satomi Kubokura 57.30
3) Mie Osakada 58.13

1) Miki Imai 1.92m
2) Miyuki Aoyama 1.89m
3) Chinami Sadahiro 1.80m

1) Masumi Ono 4.21m
2) Takyo Kondo 4.10m
3) Akane Eguchi 3.90m

1) Kumiko Ikeda 6.64m (0.8m/s)
2) Maho Hanaoka 6.63m (0.5m/s)
3) Sachiko Masumi 6.12m (1.6m/s)

1) Fumiyo Yoshida 13.50m (0.4m/s)
2) Yoko Tanizawa 13.14m (1.1m/s)
3) Yuka Sato12.75m (0.8m/s)

1) Chinatsu Mori 17.48m
2) Sumi Ichioka 16.45m
3) Yoko Toyonaga 16.36m

1) Yuka Murofushi 54.24m
2) Tomoko Yamaguchi 51.90m
3) Sachiyo Yokoyama 45.13m

HT June 8
1) Masumi Aya 62.79m
2) Yuka Murofushi 60.00m
3) Chisato Tanaka 59.89m

1) Takako Miyake 52.96m
2) Misa Nakano 51.26m
3) Yuko Kojima 50.64m

1) Yuki Nakata 5910 NR (13.95 (-0.9m/s), 1.75, 11.84, 24.74 (0.9m/s), 6.12 (2.0m/s), 44.14, 2:20.76)
2) Sayoko Sato 5649
3) Mizuyo Kasahara 5404 (YOB 1984)