Gatlin and Murofushi win in Yokohama
Thursday 23 September 2004
Yokohama, Japan - In the annual ‘Super meet’ held today, Olympic champions Justin Gatlin and Koji Murofushi respectively won the men’s 100m and Hammer with new meet records. Gatlin broke the previous meet record, 10.00, which was recorded by the 1992 Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie in 1995, while Murofushi broke his own meet mark of 82.08m from 2001.
Three other Olympic champions also won their respective specialties. China’s Liu Xiang won 110m Hurdles (13.33 sec), while Tim Mack of USA was victorious in the men’s Pole Vault (5.80m), and Russian Yelena Slesarenko took the women’s High Jump (1.97m).
Koji Murofushi wins in Yokohama
However, two other Athens winners did not fare as well.
Russian Tatyana Lebedeva, the Long Jump champion was relegated to the second place by India’s Anju Bobby George, the World bronze medallist, who finished sixth in the Olympics.
Olympic women’s Hammer winner Olga Kuzenkova of Russia, despite breaking the meet record held by Sydney Olympic winner Kamila Skolimowska (POL), finished second to Zhang Wenxiu of China who had ended up seventh in the Athens Olympics.
Gatlin too good for Greene
The 100m was billed as the first match up since Athens between the Olympic champion Justin Gatlin and his predecessor Maurice Greene, but the anticipated showdown never materialised.
The field got out to an even start, but Gatlin moved ahead early in the race and was never threatened. He recorded 9.97, winning by 0.17 seconds, while Greene was a disappointing fifth in 10.33. Frank Fredericks was fourth in 10.27.
“It was tough coming back from the Olympic Games. I ran nine races in the Olympic, so I am very tired now,” said Gatlin. “I think I am the best right now. Next year, I have to do it again.”
The always fast starting Angela Williams led at the beginning of the women’s 100m, but Tayna Lawrence took over the lead in the final phase of the race to win in 11.28.
Murofushi remains supreme
The national hero Koji Murofushi won the Hammer throw as expected. He opened with 80.18m, which would have won the meet, and then improved to 82.04m in the third round, 83.08m in the fourth round and 83.15m in his fifth round. He won by over 4m. Murofushi’s final throw bounced across the track on the home-straight. “My next goal is to be a World champion and World record holder,” concluded Murofushi.
After the meet, the belated award ceremony for the Olympic Gold medal for the Hammer throw was held for Murofushi. “I feel that my Athens Olympic Games is finally over. It was the best award ceremony. It is important to face the day to day training with the right attitude. The medal is the result of such a training as well as facing the competition with the sense of fair play,” said Murofushi, who was awarded a silver medal in Athens, but moved up to the gold medal position following the disqualification of Adrian Annus.
Tamesue returns to former tactics
Another Japanese on song in Yokohama was Dai Tamesue who is now returning to his old strategy of starting out fast, which won him a bronze medal in the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton. He led from gun to tape in the men’s 400m Hurdles and won in 48.59, while the US Olympic Trials champion James Carter, who was fourth in the Olympics, was third.
“Helsinki is the big meet next year. I want to win a medal again,” said Tamesue, who was sixth in the World Athletics Final last weekend.
Johnson cannot match Liu Xiang
The men’s 110m Hurdles was billed as the showdown between Athens winner Liu Xiang of China and USA’s quadruple World champion Allen Johnson.
Three false starts disqualified Charles Allen of Canada and Satoru Tanigawa, the Japanese national record holder. Into a head wind, the reigning Olympic Champion Liu Xiang led from the start, but Maurice Wignall of Jamaica, who was fourth in the Olympics, worked his way up and was even with Liu Xiang late in the race. However, Liu Xiang inched ahead at the end of the race to win in 13.33. Johnson was third in 13.41.
“I was short on training after the Olympic, and was not thinking about the winning time,” confirmed Liu Xiang.
Coming into the home-straight Japan’s Mitsuhiro Sato led the men’s 400m, but was passed by Davian Clarke (JAM) and Otis Harris (USA) in the final 100m. Clarke, sixth in the Olympics won from Harris, the Olympic silver medalist.
Both 5000m was completely dominated by Kenyans living in Japan. Philip Mosima, a former World junior record holder, now running for Hitachi won the men’s 5000m in 13:10.48, breaking the meet record, 13:13.99, recorded by Haile Gebreselassie in 1995.
After the leaders passed 3000m in 9:20, the women’s 5000m turned into all Kenyan affairs by 3400m. Lucy Wangui, who runs for Suzuki (Auto manufacture) won in 15:23.83, while Jane Wanjiku, who runs for Panasonic, was second. The first Japanese home was Yuki Saito, who is preparing for the World Half Marathon championships, which will take place in Indian in ten days time.
Nadezhda Ostapchuk of belarus continued her fine post Athens form with a 20.02m meet record put in the women’s Shot.
Ken Nakamura for the IAAF
with assistance from Akihiro Onishi
Yokohama – 23 September
- Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.97 (Meet record)
- Leonard Scott (USA) 10.14
- Nobuharu Asahara 10.20
- Frank Fredericks (NAM) 10.27
- Maurice Greene 10.33
- Davian Clarke (JAM) 46.01
- Otis Harris (USA) 46.02
- Mitsuhiro Sato 46.17
- Philip Mosima (KEN) 13:10.48 (Meet record)
- Martin Mathathi (KEN) 13:11.17
- Murigi Mwangi (KEN) 13:13.96
- Julius Maina (KEN) 13:26.16
- Liu Xiang (CHN) 13.31
- Maurice Wignall (JAM) 13.33
- Allen Johnson (USA) 13.41
- Dai Tamesue 48.59
- Kemel Thompson 48.72
- James Carter (USA) 48.86
- Danila Burkenya (RUS) 16.69m (0.9m/s)
- Hrisos Meletoglou (GRE) 16.62m (-1.9m/s)
- Kazuyoshi Ishikawa 16.37m (0.6m/s)
- Melvin Lister (USA) 16.34m (0.9m/s)
- Tim Mack (USA) 5.80m
- Daichi Sawano 5.60m
- Toby Stevenson NM
- Koji Murofushi 83.15m (80.18, 79.75, 82.04, 83.08, 83.15. X)
- Krisztian Pars (HUN) 78.79m
- Ivan Tikhon (BLR) 77.68m
- Tayna Lawrence (JAM) 11.28
- Angela Williams (USA) 11.32
- Lyubov Perepelova (UZB) 11.46
- Lucy Wangui (KEN) 15:23.83
- Jane Wanjiku (KEN) 15:25.11
- Mary Wangari (KEN) 15:28.28
- Ongori Philes (KEN) 15:28.34
- Sandra Glover (USA) 54.86
- Brenda Taylor (USA) 55.90
- Natalya Torshina (KAZ) 56.53
- Yelena Slesarenko (RUS) 1.97m
- Inha Babakova (UKR) 1.94m
- Venelina Veneva (BUL) 1.88m
- Anju Bobby George (IND) 6.61m (0.6m/s)
- Tatyana Lebedeva (RUS) 6.61m (0.0m/s)
- Yuka Sato 6.44m (-0.7m/s)
- Grace Upshaw 6.43m (0.1m/s)
- Heike Drechsler 6.24m (-0.8m/s)
- Nadezhda Ostapchuk (BLR) 20.02m (New Meet Record)
- Cleopatra Borel (TRI) 18.13m
- Svetlana Krievelyova (RUS) 17.56m
- Zhang Wenxiu (CHN) 72.27m (Meet record)
- Olga Kuzenkova (RUS) 69.99m
- Gu Yuan (CHN) 67.16m
- Yuka Murofushi 66.75m