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  • LuckySpikes
    The Power of the Continental Championships

    This is a bit nerdy but I hope you find it interesting ...

    I've been calculating the Road to Budapest benefits that Japanese athletes have received from their performances at the Asian Championships (Bangkok) which finished on Sunday. The message to athletes is clear ... If you haven't got the standard for a global championships you need to be busting a gut to compete in your Area Championships. In Europe athletes do want to compete at their Area Championships and, from the evidence of last week, they've got the message in Asia too.

    In total, of the 37 Japanese women & 37 Japanese men competing in individual events in Bangkok, 10 women & 13 men either confirmed (with a WA standard) or significantly improved their chances of qualifying for Budapest. A further 4 women & 4 men slightly improved their existing place within the World Rankings quota positions ...

    Getting the WA Budapest standard:
    W Long Jump: Sumire Hata 1st, 6.97 (was previously 23rd on the Road to Budapest, out of a quota of 36)
    M 400: Kentaro Sato 1st, 45.00 (was previously outside the 48 quota on the Road to Budapest at 50th)

    Moving into a World Rankings quota position:
    W 400 Hurdles (40 athlete quota): Eri Utsunomiya 2nd, 57.73 - up from 57th to 39th
    W 400 Hurdles (40): Ami Yamamoto 3rd, 57.80 - up from 47th to 38th - raises the prospect that this 21yo could compete at 4 big championships this year: the Asian Champs, the World University Games, the World Championships & the Asian Games!
    W Triple Jump (36): Maoko Takashima 4th, 13.63 - up from 42nd to 29th
    M 200 (48): Koki Ueyama 3rd, 20.53 - up from 63rd to 44th
    M 400 (48): Fuga Sato 3rd, 45.13 - up from 52nd to 37th
    M 5000 (42): Hyuga Endo 1st, 13:34.94 - up from 43rd to 32nd
    M 3000SC (36): Seiya Sunada 3rd, 8:39.17 - up from 42nd to 33rd
    M High Jump (36): Naoto Hasegawa 4th, 2.23 - up from 39th to 28th
    M Pole Vault (36): Tomoya Karasawa 4th, 5.51 - up from 43rd to 34th
    M Long Jump (36): Shoutarou Shiroyama 6th, 8.01 - up from 38th to 29th
    M Triple Jump (36): Hikaru Ikehata 2nd, 16.73 - up from 47th to 34th
    M Decathlon (24): Yuma Maruyama 1st, 7745 - up from 31st to Qualified, if accepted by WA, as Asian Champion (also highest ranked in Asia)

    Significantly improving a previously precarious World Rankings quota position:
    W 5000 (42): Yuma Yamamoto 1st, 15:51.16 - up from 39th to 31st
    W 100H (40) - Asuka Terada 2nd, 13.13 - up from 30th to 25th
    W Javelin (36): Momone Ueda 6th, 57.25 - up from 31st to 27th
    M 100 (48): Hiroki Yanagita 1st, 10.02 - up from 47th to 33rd
    M 5000 (42): Kazuya Shiojiri 2nd, 13:43.92 - up from 40th to 33rd
    M 3000SC (36): Ryoma Aoki 1st, 8:34.91 - up from 34th to 24th

    Moving to within 6 places of being in the World Rankings quota positions:
    W 800 (56): Ayano Shiomi 5th, 2:04.24 - up from 63rd to 59th
    W 3000 SC (36): Reimi Yoshimura 3rd, 9:48.48 - up from 58th to 42nd
    W Hammer (36): Joy McArthur 2nd, 66.56 - up from unranked to 38th

    There were 3 other JPN athletes competing in Bangkok who were already within 6 places of being in the World Rankings quota and they stay there - Yukiko Umeno & Miyu Naito (both Women's 20km Race Walk) and Maki Saito (Women's Discus). However, there's no opportunities for the race walkers to compete before the end of July.

    Athletes slightly improving their position within the World Rankings quota:
    W 1500 (56 athlete quota): Nozomi Tanaka 1st, 4:06.75 - up 1 to 34th
    W 1500 (56): Yume Goto 2nd, 4:13.25 - up 2 to 44th
    W 100H (40): Masumi Aoki 3rd, 13.26 - up 2 to 28th
    W Triple Jump (36): Mariko Morimoto 1st, 14.06 - up 6 to 16th
    W Javelin (36): Marina Saito 1st, 61.67 - up 5 to 14th
    M 100 (48): Ryuichiro Sakai 6th, 10.26 - up 1 to 27th
    M 200: (48): Towa Uzawa 1st, 20.23 - up 2 to 28th
    M 400 Hurdles (40): Yusaku Kodama 2nd, 48.96 - up 2 to 28th
    M Javelin (36): Roderick Genki Dean 1st, 83.15 - up 1 to 12th

    Two Japanese men who won Asian titles here already had the WA standard before the championships - Shunya Takayama (110 Hurdles) & Yutaro Murayama (20km Race Walk).

    Even if the athletes currently in the World Rankings quota hang on to those spots it doesn't necessarily mean they'll be selected by the Japanese federation. Japan has several events where there's currently 4 or more athletes in a position to be selected. However, the federation's policy is to select as many athletes as possible.

    With the South American Championships at the end of this month, this is a worry for those athletes just inside the World Rankings quota spots. For the Japanese there are two good domestic sprints, hurdles & field meetings on the last weekend of July but distance runners need to look to Europe.

    Incidentally, if the 19th July Road to Budapest standings were those used for the final selections, Japan would be able to select (excluding relay team members) the following number of athletes for Budapest:
    25 Women (10 track, 6 field, 9 road)
    41 Men (19 track, 11 field, 1 Decathlon, 10 road - including 20km RW champion's wildcard)

    They would have full teams of three in 5 women's events and 11 men's events:
    Women - 100H, Javelin, Marathon, 20km RW (subject to Kumiko Okada wanting to double), 35km RW
    Men - 100, 200, 400, 110H, 3000SC, High Jump, Long Jump, Javelin, Marathon, 20km RW (team of 4), 35km RW​

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  • Occasional Hope
    Julien Alfred beats Shacarri Richardson, 10.89 to 10.97.

    If she can hold her form after her college season she could spoil the party for the bigger names in Budapest.
    Last edited by Occasional Hope; 18-07-23, 18:39.

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  • Occasional Hope
    commented on 's reply
    The 400 could be very exciting in Budapest with Gardiner back in this shape and WVN too.

  • CAML
    Some big scalps for Adeleke in second place. The 400 in Budapest has certainly got a lot spicier.

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  • MysteryBrick
    The 400m in Budapest has *suddenly* got a lot spicier!

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  • philipo
    Still some tasty runs to come

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  • LuckySpikes
    Steven Gardiner 43.74 WL in Hungary and Rusheen McDonald rolling back the years with 44.03. Attila Molnar equalled his Hungarian NR with 44.98.

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  • weekend warrior
    commented on 's reply
    According to his Instagram he is not going to compete at Worlds which is understandable but still a shame.

  • philipo
    Great meet tomorrow at the Istvan Gyulai meet. A sort of mini DL
    Rather warm perhaps?

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  • LuckySpikes
    At Saturday's Round 5 of the Hokuren Distance Challenge in Chitose, Japan ...

    The meeting started with torrential rain and a blustery wind and it didn't abate until the last 4 races (the top sections of the 5000s). So, the conditions were foul for those earlier races, especially in the mid-distances & Steeple races where you could see them fighting against the wind & rain. However, the effects in the early 5000m sections seemed much less with a number of athletes running PBs - perhaps the rain had a helpful cooling effect on them?

    This pic of the Men's 5000 'D' winner Takehiro Shishikura gives an impression of the conditions but it actually looked much worse than that.

    Click image for larger version

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    In the Women's 5000 'A' race, a group of 6 or 7 were on 15:15 pace at 3000m. Esther Muthoni (KEN) went on to win in 15:05.82, a 9s PB, and in second 19yo Sarah Wanjiru (KEN) ran 15:14.00 to break the collegiate record that was held at 15:16.70 by the new Asian champion, Yuma Yamamoto. I thought that after her 8:55.5 PB over 3000 last week, Wakana Kabasawa could take a few seconds off her 15:24.8 PB here and she did just that, producing a very nice 65.9 last lap to overhaul Yuka Ando and run 15:19.98. In a very mixed season for Japanese women's distance running on the track, Kabasawa has been a definite success story.
    Yuka Ando (15:22.74) is in good shape heading towards October's Marathon Grand Championship (MGC). But, after being part of that group on 15:15 pace, Rino Goshima faded badly to clock 15:37. That's a far cry from the 30:55 she ran for 10km in Spain back in February. If not all the Cross Country qualifiers take their place in the Worlds 10,000 she would get a WA invite but right now it doesn't look like she'd be in shape to do herself justice there.

    The Women's 'B' race startlist was deep for a Hokuren DC 'B' race but I didn't imagine for a minute that the 9th placer would be faster than the 9th placer in the 'A' race! With 600 to go Hina Yanagitani took off, running a 69.5 lap and only slowing slightly in the last 200 to break her PB by 11s with 15:37.92. Based on her strong finish and her 31:56 10,000 PB last week she could probably dip under 15:30. Behind her there were a whole host of PBs, Nanase Tanimoto the first collegian in 2nd place, running an 8s PB in 15:41.24 and leading two other athletes under 15:42 - Rion Furukawa (11s PB) and 19yo Haruka Ogawa (14s PB). In 8th place, 18yo Mariya Noda ran a 3s PB with 15:47.27.

    The 10,000m & HM NR-holder Hitomi Niiya won the 'C' race, the first of her 3 'training' races, separated by 25 mins each and all in the 15:50s. In 2nd place, 19yo Mitsu Ozaki took 2.5s off her PB with 15:57.43 and in 3rd Kaho Horio just dipped under 16 minutes for the first time, a 5s PB for her. Yuna Daito ran an SB a click outside 16 minutes and it was a good run for her ahead of the MGC in October.

    In the Men's 5000 'A' race there were about 17 men (5 Kenyan & 12 Japanese) on course at 3000m for sub-13:30. Emmanuel Kipchirchir produced a 56s last lap to win in 13:14.65 (a 1s PB), about 15m ahead of Justus Soget. In the race for top Japanese, Mebuki Suzuki stole a 30m march on the rest with 1200 to go and gamely tried to hang on to the Kenyans. He was rewarded in 5th with 13:24.55, a 3.3s PB, and led 2 other Japanese sub-13:30 - Hiroki Matsueda & Nagiya Mori, a 7s PB for Mori with 13:28.35. The lanky Yuta Bando was a click outside 13:30 but it was a better run for him than many of his recent races.

    In the 'B' race, 18yo Samuel Kibathi (KEN) marginally improved his big PB from Round 1 with 13:23.14. The first 6 Japanese men all ran sub-13:37 PBs, led by Tomoki Ichimura, 13:30.93, a 6.6s PB for him.

    In the 'C' race the first 5, all Japanese, all ran 4 or 5 second PBs. This included a couple of 19yo's, Itta Tameike the first of them in 3rd, just sneaking under 13:40. Similarly, the 'D', 'E' and 'F' races all had a number of athletes running faster than ever before.

    In the Women's 1500, 15yo wonderkid Sherry Drury (half Canadian, half Japanese) had a right good go at winning, attacking the collegiate champion Saki Katagihara on the back straight of the last lap, really leaning into the wind. However, she'd spent her resources too soon and Katigihara floated by her with 150 to go. Despite the conditions Katigihara recorded a SB, 4:15.37 to win and Drury faded to 4th.

    In the early Women's 3000, 17yo Narumi Okumoto made a bold bid to shatter her 9:16.8 PB, going through 1000 in 3:00 but she chose the wrong day for that sort of thing, eventually fading to 9:23. Caroline Kariba, a 19yo Kenyan, ran solo to victory in 8:50.65. She has an 8:42.3 PB.

    Full results of Round 5 at

    So, that brings to a close the 2023 Hokuren Distance Challenge series. Although it's still been enjoyable with plenty of interesting races and athletes, this year's series hasn't been a vintage one for fast times. I think there's probably a couple of reasons for that:
    • I think many of the top athletes who typically run the 5000s & 10,000s in this series - e.g., on the women's side, Mao Ichiyama, Rika Kaseda, Ai Hosoda & Honami Maeda - are being more cautious with their racing this year ahead of October's MGC (their Olympic Marathon Trials) or they're targeting Half Marathons this year instead of track races. Also, a couple like Ayuko Suzuki & Yuka Suzuki were entered this year but then withdrew (perhaps dealing with niggles?)
    • Re the mid-distances, it's coincided with the Asian Championships (also the case for some 5 & 10 athletes) so there's been less of Nozomi Tanaka this year, fewer of the best men competing and also Japan's #2 1500 woman, Ran Urabe, is injured. For a couple of others not at the Asian Championships, they're doing the Asian Games instead so perhaps taking a break from racing for the moment and aiming to peak again for late September?
    I think with far fewer important events on the calendar in 2024 and only a select few competing at the Olympics, the Hokuren DC series will be more popular again with the very best athletes next year.

    With the Japanese track season lasting right until December there's still a number of good domestic meetings coming up in 2023, including some important ones, although the distance action on the track takes a bit of a break because of the hot summer weather elsewhere in Japan. There's Japan GP series action in 2 weeks' time, focusing on sprints and field events.​

    By the way, CAML - Adeleke is in the 200 tomorrow at the CT Gold meeting near Budapest. Shericka Jackson is as well.

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  • CAML
    Adeleke has turned pro. She will continue to train in Texas under her present coach. She races for the first time in 6 weeks this Friday in Monaco against SML. Can't wait.

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  • weekend warrior
    Originally posted by weekend warrior
    17 year old Australian Cameron Myers ran 3:35.01 in Lyon last night. He is having a very productive season racing in Europe and edging closer and closer to a World Champs Q.
    Myers ran 3:33.26 for 11th in Silesia today. He should be the third Australian at Worlds with Hoare and McSweyn. I assume he will take a break from racing now and get in a final training block before Budapest. Excited to see how far he can go.

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  • LuckySpikes
    On the final day (Day 5) of the Asian Championships in Bangkok ...

    There were 11 titles on offer and Japan had another golden day winning 5 of them with a further 1 silver and 2 bronze. China & Sri Lanka both won 2 gold medals today.

    The Women's 200m final saw 2 champions matching up - Singapore's Veronica Shanti Pereira (100m) & India's Jyothi Yarraji (100m Hurdles) - and that's the order it finsished, Shanti Pereira improving on Salwa Eid Naser's CR with 22.70, just outside her own NR. Yarraji, 23.13 SB, beat China's Yuting Li to the silver.

    Also setting a CR was Japan's 20yo Towa Uzawa in the Men's 200 final - 20.23, an improvement of 0.09s on his PB. China's Xie Zhenye was just 4th.

    In the Men's Pole Vault, Ernest Jon Obiena improved his own CR to 5.91 and had 3 attempts at a NR 6.02.

    Roderick Genki Dean (JPN) won the Javelin with 83.15 SB, a couple of metres ahead of Manu Prikasha (IND).

    Both of the 800m finals went out fast.
    In the Women's, Gayanthika Artigala (SRI) hit the bell in 57.23 followed by 2 others. However, on the home straight the 18yo Sri Lankan, Tharushi Dissanayaka, took control in impressive fashion and won in 2:00.66 NR CR. Her previous PB was 2:01.39 and she also wins the prize for the longest name at the championships - 5 names with a total of 51 letters! Jenny Meadows better hope that she doesn't compete in an upcoming CT Gold meeting.
    The woman whose NR she improved, Gayanthika Artigala, was 3rd behind Chanda (IND). Japan's Airi Ikezaki & Ayano Shiomi set off at a more moderate pace (probably around 60s at the bell) but found they couldn't make any inroads on the second lap and finished 4th and 5th.

    In the Men's, Abubaker Abdalla (QAT) completed a gun-to-tape victory, hitting halfway in 50.60 and hanging on to win in 1:45.53. India's Krishan Kumar ran a 0.3s PB, 2nd in 1:45.88, with Kuwait's 34yo Ebrahim Alzofairi 3rd in 1:46.11, just outside his PB. Japan's old man Sho Kawamoto disappointed, dead last. Mikuto Kaneko (JPN) hasn't been in great form and didn't make it out of the heats.

    In 32 degrees heat Yuma Yamamoto (JPN) won the Women's 5000, shaking off the Steeple champion, Parul Chaudhary (IND; 15:10 PB), with a sub-31 last 200 and 2:54.0 last 1000. Her winning time was 15:51.16. Yamamoto is the collegiate record holder in her first full year out of University and adds this title to the bronze she won in the Asian Indoor 3000 in February. India's promising 21yo, Ankita, was 3rd and Caroline Kipkirui (KAZ) 4th. Unfortunately, Nanami Watanabe (JPN) didn't start. Gutting for her since it would have been her first Japan vest, she was having a really good season and she would have contended for the title here.

    Japan's # 2 all-time, Hyuga Endo, won the Men's 5000 comfortably in 13:34.94 from his compatriot Kazuya Shiojiri. Qatar's Mohammed Al-Garni, a winner of multiple Asian titles, faded really badly in the last 800 to go from 3rd to 5th place.

    It was no surprise that 1:26 athlete Liujing Yang (CHN) won a decent quality Women's 20km Race Walk. 20yo Yukiko Umeno (JPN) did well to win bronze behind India's Priyanka Goswami.
    Yutaro Murayama (JPN) won the Men's event, beating China's Wang Kaihua, the World all-time # 3, into 2nd place.

    I think it was a surprise that Vietnam won the Women's 4x4 (3:32.36) over Sri Lanka and India. With no Japanese quartet entered in the Men's, that title was won by Sri Lanka, 3:01.56, in a ding-dong battle with India. Qatar took bronze.

    Overall, although some high-profile names were missing there were some here, e.g., Woo, Obiena & Bin Feng. Every nation seemed to send what was, for them, a pretty strong team and some small nations, Hong Kong in particular, had surprisingly big teams. I think it's a bigger deal to Asian athletes than people realise and, especially these days, most athletes need to be busting a gut to get in to their continental championships because a lot of athletes here will receive a big boost to their World Ranking come Wednesday.

    Japan topped the medal table with 16 gold, 11 silver & 10 bronze - a fine return for the team of 76 athletes. China won 8 golds and India 6. I can't see a full medal table (beyond the top 10) but I'd guesstimate that of the 42 nations maybe 16 or 17 won a medal.​

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  • Occasional Hope
    commented on 's reply
    Yes, well done to him, that was a fine run.

    He was 8th in the NCAA final this year, 7th last year, so this is a real step up in class.

  • philipo
    A bit better than another country I know
    well done Brian Fay, the new
    Irish record holder. Wonder how he manages as an NCAA athlete?

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