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Suzuki, Osako and Murayama Score Places on Rio Olympic Team - 100th National Championships Day One

by Brett Larner
videos c/o JAAF
click here for Day Two results, video and report 
click here for Day Three results, video and report

The 100th edition of the Japanese National Track and Field Championships kicked off Friday at Nagoya's Paloma Mizuho Stadium amid on and off rain, the chance to make the Rio de Janeiro Olympic team there for the top end of the field.



The race of the day was the women's 10000 m, where Japan Post teammates Ayuko Suzuki and Hanami Sekine worked together to both break the JAAF's tough selection standards.  The only woman in the field to have already broken the JAAF's 31:23.17 standard, Suzuki pushed the pace just under JAAF standard territory from the start.  Sekine, with a 31:48.90 best, alternated the lead, the two of them keeping it skimming just under standard pace and taking over when the other slowed.  The rest of the field disappeared one by one, 31:37.32 runner Yuka Takashima, in her debut in the Shiseido team uniform, the last to hang on before the Japan Post pair was free.

In the last 1000 m Suzuki surged away, missing her PB by less than a second but taking the win in 31:18.73.  Sekine went deep on the last lap and came through, clearing the JAAF standard by 0.25 seconds in 31:22.92, a PB by almost 30 seconds.  Takashima cut 2 seconds off her own PB for 3rd in 31:35.76.  Under the complex algebra of the JAAF selection process only Suzuki earned a place on the Rio team, Sekine and Takashima very likely additions but forced to wait until Monday's official team announcement for confirmation.



In the men's 10000 m two men, national record holder Kota Murayama and his Asahi Kasei teammate Tetsuya Yoroizaka, went into Nationals with the JAAF standard of 27:31.43, with eight other men on the entry list having cleared the 28:00.00 Rio standard.  The early going saw a handful of runners yet to qualify lead the way at 2:47/km pace, exactly on target to break 28:00, but when the pace began to slip the field settled back as it became a race among the ones who had already done the work.

Yuta Shitara (Honda), one of the men with the Rio standard, made the first break from the lead pack after 7000 m, pulling away with only Murayama and Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) in tow.  Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei), this year's national XC champion and the top Japanese man in most of this season's main track 10000 m, tried to close the gap but was still out of range when Osako went for a long kick over the last 600 m.  Murayama, still on the mend from injury, waited until 300 m to go before trying to chase him down but it was too little too late as Osako sailed on for the win in 28:07.44.  Murayama gave up chasing him at the top of the home straight and actually slowed almost to a stop, looking back over his shoulder to check on Shitara and jogging in with the minimum effort he needed to hang on to 2nd in 28:16.54.  Saving it for Sunday's 5000 m?  Shitara took 3rd in 28:17.51, easily holding off Ichida who was 4th in 28:22.13.

As the winner with a Rio standard Osako scored an assured place on the Rio team.  Likewise, having the JAAF standard and making the top 8 Murayama also met the criteria for a guaranteed place on the team.  Shitara, top 3 with the Rio standard, found himself in the same boat as Sekine and Takashima, his future on hold until the official team announcement.



Other additions to the Rio team came in the women's long jump and men's pole vault.  In the women's long jump Konomi Kai (Volver) won in 6.36 m +0.5 m/s, sealing her trip to Rio after having already hit the JAAF standard of 6.84 m.  The rain prevented quality marks in the men's pole vault but couldn't hold back an exciting battle between national record holder Daichi Sawano (Fujitsu) and rivals Seito Yamamoto (Toyota) and Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno).  Not holding a Rio-qualifying mark of 5.70 m or greater, Sawano cleared 5.60 m on his second try.  Yamamoto and Ogita, both having met the JAAF standard, likewise cleared 5.60 m on their second tries, but with Sawano having cleared 5.50 m on his first attempt he took the win, Yamamoto and Ogita tying for 2nd.  With a Rio standard mark Sawano has until July 11 to get one.  Under the JAAF selection criteria, the top placer in the top 8 to hold a JAAF standard mark would be guaranteed a place on the Rio team.  Yamamoto and Ogita both hold JAAF standard marks and tied for 2nd.  With no evident provision for a tie it would appear that both are in.



In other events with finals on the first day of Nationals, Moeka Kyoya (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) won the women's high jump in 1.78 m, Akane Watanabe (Maruwa Unyukikan) the women's hammer throw in 65.33 m and Ryota Kashimura (Monteroza) the men's hammer in 70.81 m.  None qualified for the Rio team but hypothetically have until July 11 to earn qualifying marks.  The once-mighty Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) made a return to the men's hammer, but with a throw of only 64.74 m placed just 12th.



Notable action in qualifying heats and semifinals:
  • High schooler Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.), daughter of sub-2:30 amateur marathoner Chihiro Tanaka, ran the fastest time in the women's 1500 m heats, 4:19.05.
  • #1 ranked high school boy Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) ran the all-time #4 Japanese high school time of 3:45.58 to make the men's 1500 m final, taking 2nd in his heat with the 5th-fastest time overall.
  • The only Japanese man with a 400 m Rio qualifying mark, 11-time national champion Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Seiyaku) crapped out in his heat, last in 47.96.  In his place, Asuka Cambridge (Toyo Univ.) stepped up with a 45.54 PB to lead the qualifiers, 0.14 short of the Rio standard.
  • Women's 100 m national record holder Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC), the only Japanese woman to have qualified for Rio so far, had a minor upset in the heats, taking only 2nd overall in 11.85 after some bad luck with a -2.1 m/s headwind.  Nodoka Seko (Crane) took the top seeding for the final in 11.80 with just a -1.1 m/s headwind.  Fukushima must win the final to be assured a place on the Rio team.
  • 10.09 man Kei Takase (Fujitsu) was a scratch in the men's 100 m, leaving it up to favorites Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.), Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) and Asuka Cambridge (Dome).  After uneventful opening round heats Cambridge won Semi-Final 1 in 10.25 with a -0.3 headwind.  Kiryu and Yamagata faced a -1.4 headwind.  To the surprise of fans Yamagata, 10.06 this season outran 10.01 man Kiryu to win Semi-Final 2 in 10.26 to 10.29.  It may not come in Saturday's final, but Japan's hopes for its first sub-10 clocking rest with these three.



100th National Track and Field Championships Day One
doubling as Rio de Janeiro Olympic Trials

Paloma Mizuho Stadium, Nagoya, 6/24/16
click here for complete results
athletes in bold earned place on Rio Olympics team
athletes in italics provisionally qualified for place on Rio team

Long Distance

Women's 10000 m
1. Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 31:18.73
2. Hanami Sekine (Japan Post) -31:22.92 - PB
3. Yuka Takashima (Shiseido) - 31:35.76 - PB
4. Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 32:06.04 - PB
5. Riko Matsuzaki (Sekisui Kagaku) - 32:10.48
6. Hisami Ishii (Yamada Denki) - 32:10.96 - PB
7. Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 32:18.09
8. Shiho Takechi (Yamada Denki) - 32:20.94 - PB
9. Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 32:26.44
10. Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) - 32:30.66

Men's 10000 m
1. Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) - 28:07.44
2. Kota Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 28:16.54
3. Yuta Shitara (Honda) - 28:17.51
4. Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) - 28:22.13
5. Keijiro Mogi (Asahi Kasei) - 28:25.52 - PB
6. Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) - 28:26.53
7. Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Konica Minolta) - 28:26.92
8. Akinobu Murasawa (Nissin Shokuhin) - 28:29.10
9. Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) - 28:37.13
10. Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) - 28:39.97

Middle Distance

Women's 1500 m Final Qualifiers
Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 4:19.05 (1st, H.1)
Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 4:19.15 (2nd, H.1)
Maya Iino (Daiichi Seimei) - 4:19.26 (3rd, H.1)
Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S..) - 4:21.52 (4th, H.1)
Karin Yasumoto (Nittai Univ.) - 4:22.31 (5th, H.1)
Mina Ueda (Josai Univ.) - 4:22.59 (1st, H.2)
Ayako Jinnouchi (Kyudenko) - 4:22.80 (2nd, H.2)
Chihiro Sunaga (Shiseido) - 4:22.84 (3rd, H.2)
Yuna Wada (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 4:22.94 (4th, H.2)
Mai Nishiwaki (Tenmaya) - 4:22.94 (6th, H.1)
Chiaki Morikawa (Uniqlo) - 4:23.22 (5th, H.2)
Nana Kuraoka (Denso) - 4:23.39 (6th, H.2)

Men's 1500 m Final Qualifiers
Yuki Muta (Hitachi Butsuryu) - 3:45.22 (1st, H.1)
Masaki Toda (Nissin Shokuhin) - 3:45.31 (1st, H.2)
Chiharu Nakagawa (Toenec) - 3:45.39 (2nd, H.1)
Koki Takada (Sumitomo Denko) - 3:45.44 (3rd, H.1)
Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 3:45.58 (2nd, H.2) - PB
Yuki Akimoto (Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 3:45.64 (4th, H.1)
Naoki Nakamura (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 3:45.65 (3rd, H.2)
Toshiki Imazaki (Osaka Gas) - 3:45.78 (1st, H.3)
Kyosuke Nishioka (Chudenko) - 3:45.87 (4th, H.2)
Mitsutaka Tomita (Nishitetsu) - 3:45.88 (2nd, H.3)
Hikaru Kato (JR Higashi Nihon) - 3:46.05 (3rd, H.3)
Shogo Hata (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 3:46.07 (5th, H.1)

Men's 800 m Final Qualifiers
Sho Kawamoto (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 1:49.72 (1st, H.1)
Masato Yokota (Fujitsu) - 1:50.39 (1st, H.3)
Jun Mitake (Nihon Univ.) - 1:50.10 (2nd, H.1)
Shoei Tanaka (Morioka City Hall) - 1:50.58 (1st, H.2)
Tatsuya Nishikubo (Waseda Univ.) - 1:50.59 (2nd, H.2)
Manabu Oki (Chiba Univ.) - 1:50.73 (2nd, H.3)
Tomonori Tanaka (AGF) - 1:50.75 (3rd, H.2)
Takaomi Watanabe (Nittai Univ.) - 1:50.84 (3rd, H.3)

Sprints

Women's 400 m Final Qualifiers
Seika Aoyama (Osaka Seikei Univ.) - 53.28 (1st, H.3)
Rin Aoki (Soyo H.S.) - 53.44 (1st, H.1) - PB
Minami Yoshinara (Art Home) - 53.83 (1st, H.2)
Haruko Ishizuka (Higashi Osaka Univ.) - 54.23 (2nd, H.1)
Kaede Kashiyama (Shigakkan Univ.) - 54.44 (3rd, H.1)
Aki Odagaki (Akaishi T&F Assoc.) - 54.51 (2nd, H.2)
Yuna Shimada (Tsuruga H.S.) - 54.59 (2nd, H.3)
Nanako Matsumoto (Tsukuba Univ.) - 54.68 (3rd, H.3)

Men's 400 m Final Qualifiers
Julian Walsh (Toyo Univ.) - 45.54 (1st, H.3) - PB
Nobuya Kato (Waseda Univ.) - 46.17 (1st, H.1)
Takeshi Fujiwara (Yumeo Mirai) - 46.17 (2nd, H.3)
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 46.55 (1st, H.2)
Kosuke Horii (Josai Univ.) - 46.62 (2nd, H.1)
Kentaro Sato (Josai Univ.) - 46.70 (2nd, H.2)
Hideyuki Hirose (Fujitsu) - 46.70 (3rd, H.3)
Tomoya Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) - 46.76 (3rd, H.3)

Women's 100 m Final Qualifiers
Nodoka Seko (Crane) - 11.80 -1.1 m/s (1st, H.2)
Chisato Fukushima (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) - 11.85 -2.1 m/s (1st, H.3)
Ami Saito (Tottori Chuo H.S.) - 11.86 -2.1 m/s (2nd, H.3)
Miyu Maeyama (Niigata Iryo Fukushi Univ.) - 11.88 -1.7 m/s (1st, H.1)
Maki Wada (Mizuno) - 11.92 -1.1 m/s (2nd, H.2)
Iyoba Edobah (Nihon Univ.) - 11.94 -1.1 m/s (3rd, H.2)
Mai Fukuda (Tokyo H.S.) - 12.02 -1.7 m/s (2nd, H.1)

Men's 100 m Final Qualifiers
Asuka Cambridge (Dome) - 10.25 -0.3 m/s (1st, SF.1)
Ryota Yamagata (Seiko) - 10.26 -1.4 m/s (1st, SF.2)
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 10.29 -1.4 m/s (2nd, SF.2)
Shuji Takahashi (Aichi Ika Univ.) - 10.38 -0.3 m/s (2nd, SF.1)
Kazuma Oseto (Hosei Univ.) - 10.39 -0.3 m/s/ (3rd, SF.1)
Takumi Kuki (NTN) - 10.39 -0.3 m/s (4th, SF.1)
Takuya Nagata (Hosei Univ.) - 10.42 -1.4 m/s (3rd, SF.2)
Tomoya Baba (Lall AC) - 10.49 -1.4 m/s (4th, SF.2)

Hurdles

Men's 400 mH Final Qualifiers
Keisuke Nozawa (Mizuno) - 49.22 (1st, SF.2)
Yuki Matsushita (Mizuno) - 50.03 (1st, SF.1)
Yuta Konishi (Sumitomo Denko) - 50.35 (2nd, SF.2)
Naoya Nakano (Waseda Univ.) - 50.24 (4th, SF.1)
Atsushi Yamada (OPC) - 50.66 (5th, SF.1)
Kazuaki Yoshida (Osaka Gas) - 50.03 (2nd, SF.1)
Naoto Noguchi (Juntendo Univ.) - 50.20 (3rd, SF.1)
Shotaro Tanabe (Chuo Univ.) - 50.78 (3rd, SF.2)

Jumps

Women's High Jump
1. Moeka Kyoya (Hokkaido Hi-Tech AC) - 1.78 m
2. Haruka Hirayama (Hokubu Shidosha Club) - 1.75 m
3. Miyuki Fukumoto (Konan Gakuen AC) - 1.70 m

Women's Long Jump
1. Konomi Kai (Volver) - 6.36 m (+0.5 m/s)
2. Meg Hemphill (Chuo Univ.) - 6.28 m (+1.4 m/s) - PB
3. Tamaka Shimizu (Shinkin) - 6.23 m (+0.4 m/s) - PB

Men's Pole Vault
1. Daichi Sawano (Fujitsu) - 5.60 m
2. Hiroki Ogita (Mizuno) - 5.60 m
2. Seito Yamamoto (Toyota) - 5.60 m

Throws

Women's Hammer Throw
1. Akane Watanabe (Maruwa Unyukikan) - 65.33 m
2. Masumi Aya (Maruzen Kogyo) - 64.37 m
3. Hiromi Katsuyama (Tsukuba Univ.) - 62.37 m

Men's Hammer Throw
1. Ryota Kashimura (Monteroza) - 70.81 m - PB
2. Naoki Uematsu (Chukyo Univ.) - 69.48 m - PB
3. Hiroki Akaho (Tottori T&F Assoc.) - 67.67 m - PB
-----
12. Koji Murofushi (Mizuno) - 64.74 m

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

yuza said…
To be fair to Fukushima, she did win her heat on the third restart!

I hope the wind dies down for the men's 100m final tonight. It should be a good race.

And of course good runs from Suzuki and Sekine. They both look in good shape.

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