IAAF Japan Grand Prix in Osaka 2003

IAAF Japan Grand Prix in Osaka 2003 - Osaka (JPN)
Saturday, May 10, 2003

Official Result
Men - 100 METRES
Wind: -0.3 m/s
Pos Athlete Nat Mark

1 Montgomery Tim USA 10.04
2 Johnson Patrick AUS 10.05
3 Suetsugu Shingo JPN 10.16
4 Williams Bernard USA 10.17
5 Hooker Ja’Warren USA 10.36
6 Asahara Nobuharu JPN 10.38
7 Tsuchie Hiroyasu JPN 10.40
8 Basil Adam AUS 10.49
9 Tajima Nobuhiro JPN 10.56

IAAF Japan Grand Prix in Osaka 2003 - Osaka (JPN)
Saturday, May 10, 2003

Official Result
Women - 100 METRES
Wind: -1.1 m/s
Pos Athlete Nat Mark

1 Gaines Chryste USA 11.03
2 White Kelli USA 11.07
3 Onyali-Omagbemi Mary NGR 11.32
4 Cripps Sharon AUS 11.65
5 Perepelova Lyubov UZB 11.72
6 Arai Motoka JPN 11.72
7 Klomdee Orranut THA 11.79
8 Ishida Tomoko JPN 11.94
Sakagami Kaori JPN DNS

IAAF Japan Grand Prix in Osaka 2003 - Osaka (JPN)
Saturday, May 10, 2003

Official Result
Men - 400 METRES

Pos Athlete Nat Mark

1 Washington Tyree USA 44.97
2 Harrison Calvin USA 45.32
3 Hill Clinton AUS 45.39
4 Haughton Gregory JAM 45.60
5 Byrd Leonard USA 45.98
6 Osakada Jun JPN 46.18
7 Tabata Kenji JPN 46.19
8 Okusako Masayuki JPN 46.33
Hooker Ja’Warren USA DNS


Montgomery, Kuzenkova and Murofushi succeed in Osaka
Saturday 10 May 2003
Osaka, Japan – USA’s 100m World record holder Tim Montgomery edged out Patrick Johnson of Australia by one hundredth of second to win the men’s dash, while in the infield home superstar Koji Murofushi, and Russia’s Olga Kuzenkova dominated the two Hammer competitions at today’s Osaka IAAF GP (Saturday 10 May).

Tim Montgomery (USA)
(Getty Images)

The meeting was held in Nagai stadium the future venue of the 2007 World Championships in Athletics, which is located in the southern section of the city of Osaka.

“I am happy to win here, but the time was disappointing. My goal for the year is to win the World Championships” said Montgomery, who caught a fast starting Patrick Johnson of Australia just before the finish line to win in 10.04.

Koji Murofushi of Japan
(Getty Images)

“It just shows that I need more work. This was my second race since September 14, and I look forward to more races to get better,” continued Montgomery. “I’ve been training this year by myself and I’m still trying to find my rhythm. This race was a big race for me to establish confidence for feeling what I am doing. A 100 metres is mostly mental, and I pulled it today.”

Johnson who had the best start in the field and kept his lead until the final stage of the race, was second with 10.05. Although he failed to run a second sub-10 time in less than a week, the clocking was still the second fastest legal time in the Australian’s career.

“We are leading up to the World Championships and we’ve still a long way to go. I’m still running and finding myself, so it’s good to come out and run your best,” said Johnson. “I’ll train by myself in Australia, I’m not trying to rush ahead or get over, sort of excited about anything.”

The head-wind of 0.3m/s was partially responsible for the relatively slow time, as Montgomery failed to keep his promise of erasing Maurice Greene’s name from the meet record (9.91 in 2000).

The best Japanese, Shingo Suetsugu finished third in 10.16 but because he had recorded 10.03, the fastest ever time by a Japanese on native soil five days ago in Mito, the anticipation for the first sub-10 had been high. Unfortunately, while the wind was helpful in Mito (1.8m/s), it was slightly (-0.3m/s) against in Osaka.

“I was competitive, so this was a good race. It was a good time considering the head-wind. My goal still is to make the final at World Championships in Paris,” said Suetsugu who started slow in around sixth place but moved up steadily to edge out Bernard Williams (10.17) by 1/100 second for third.

World silver medallist Koji Murofushi dominated the men’s Hammer throw competition. Not only did Murofushi win with a meet record of 82.95m (he held the previous record of 82.59m from 2001), but while the rest of the field never reached 80m mark, all of Murofushi’s throws were over 81m. Although the winning release was not the national record that fans had hoped for, it was still the third best throw of his career.

European champion Adrian Annus of Hungary who had relegated Murofushi to second place at the IAAF World Cup in Madrid last year, finished second over 3m back in 79.74m.

“I am happy with my performance. My strength had increased significantly over last year. I considered this competition as the first step toward the 2007 World Championships in Athletics (which will take place in the same stadium),” said Murofushi, whose twelve throws so far this season has all been over 80m.

World and Olympic Hammer silver medallist Olga Kuzenkova of Russia took the women’s competition with 71.33m, beating Brooke Krueger (67.40) and Bronwyn Eagles (67.10), both of Australia. Kamila Skolimowska of Poland, who at 17 was the youngest athletics gold medallist with her win in Sydney, took fourth with 66.63m.

Kuzenkova’s winning release was a Japanese all-comers record of 71.33m (old record 67.28m by Kamila Skolimowska at 2002 Super Meet).

Eric Thomas of USA won the men’s 400m Hurdles in 49.06, from Jamaica’s Kemel Thompson (49.24). However, it was Japan’s World Championships bronze medallist Dai Tamesue who gained most attention from the home crowd. Tamesue’s strength is in starting out fast from the gun, and he did exactly that in Osaka. The Japanese led the race until about 150m but then started to fall behind. However, although he had fallen as low as 4th by the beginning of the home straight, he came back to finish third in 49.60.

On the flat, the 400m was won by newly crowned World Indoor champion Tyree Washington in 44.97, ahead of American compatriot Calvin Harrison (45.32), who nipped Australia’s Clinton Hill (45.39) for third.

There was also an American 1-2 in the women’s 100m where Chryste Gaines (11.03) won from Kelli White (11.07). The slowish time was quite understandable considering the head wind of 1.1m/s.

This was something that Haitian Dudley Dorival, the 2001 World bronze medallist did not have to contend with in the men’s 110m Hurdles, as there were (0.0m/s) still conditions for his event. Dorival who won here two years ago, took the race in 13.49 from Jamaica’s Maurice Wignall (13.50) and USA’s Duane Ross (13.51). Last year’s winner Mark Crear (USA) finished a disappointing 4th (13.58).

The reigning Olympic Champion Nick Hysong of USA won the Pole Vault in a lowly 5.50m, while two Japanese, Satoru Yasuda and Daichi Sawano finished second and third respectively on count back, after clearing the same height. World champion Dmitri Markov of Australia produced no mark.

Current world season’s leader (17.31) Kenta Bell of the USA won the men’s Triple Jump in a meet record of 17.01m (0.0m/s). The best Japanese Takanori Sugibayashi, who many see as the long awaited heir to the Japanese tradition at this event - Olympic golds in 1928, 1932 and 1936 - finished in fourth with a disappointing leap of 16.54m. He is still trying to capture the form that took him to 17.02m in 2000.

The men’s 5000m, produced an unofficial hand timed 53.1 last lap from Abraham Chebii of Kenya, who started his sprint with 300m, crossing the line in a winning time of 13:21.45.

Although the 1000m splits (2:39, 2:43, 2:44 and 2:45 for the first 4000m) might imply a steady pace, in reality it was quite uneven. Every time the race slowed, Simon Maina of Kenya who runs for the Toyota team, went into the lead to pick the pace up. The pack stayed together until 300m to go, when Chebii started his final sprint to break the pack apart. The last 1000m was covered in 2:30. Toshinari Takaoka, the triple Asian record holder was the first non-African in the race with 13:24.66 (sixth), as he was at the Sydney Olympic 10,000m.

Leah Malot of Kenya won a mad dash to the finish in the women’s 5k, with six runners - two Kenyans and four Japanese – entering the final 400m lap together. Malot’s winning time was 15:32.45.

The women’s 1500m was won by Hungary’s Judit Varga in 4:12.49.

All nations who host major international meetings hope that the presence of the world class competition will spur there own athletes to personal bests, even national records. Well, that is exactly what happened with Japan’s Makiko Yoshida, who set a national record of 56.13 (previous record 56.68 by Yoshida) when taking fourth place in the women’s 400m Hurdles behind the winner Yvonne Harrison of Puerto Rico (55.63).

It was the sixth national record for Yoshida who set the first of 57.33 in the same stadium two years ago at the East Asian Games.

Yoshida took this rare opportunity to fulfill one of her goals, which was to better the World Championships qualifying standard, and now she has the “B” level she might get that chance, having run at the World’s in 2001 as a member of the 4x400m relay squad.

“I am very happy with the record, because it is still early in the season and my hurdling still needs some work. Because I saw my coach Kawamoto near the finish, I gave an extra effort at the end,” said Yoshida after the race. “I will go after the ‘A’ standard next.”

World Junior champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the women’s Shot with a put of 18.93.

Ken Nakamura for the IAAF with assistance from Akihiro Onishi + Agencies