Osaka News

Unpressed 44.02 by Wariner in Osaka – IAAF World Athletics Tour
Saturday 5 May 2007
Osaka, Japan - Despite easing up somewhat towards the end of the race, the reigning Olympic and World Champion Jeremy Wariner won the men’s 400m as expected with a world leading time of 44.02 at the Osaka stop of the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Tour.

Near sub-44 form for Wariner in May

13.14 for Liu Xiang in Osaka
(Kazutaka Eguchi/Agence SHOT)

Entirely dominating the proceedings, Wariner was well ahead of runner-up and training partner Darold Williamson, who clocked 44.68.

“I love the track here,” said Wariner, a reference boding well for the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which will be held in Nagai Stadium from 25 August to 2 September. “I’ve never seen this type of surface. It has a very nice spring to it. I hope to come back in August and set a new World record.”

The brand new track, which was resurfaced four month ago, was constructed with speed in mind. The manufacturer of the track is applying for several patents for the new technology used to make the track a very fast one.

Sally McLellan on her way to a 12.71 Area Record in Osaka
(Getty Images)

“My 200m was faster today. I worked on my first 100m and 200m this week,” continued Wariner. “(To break the World record) I need to work on everything.” Wariner’s performance was a Japanese all-comer’s record and the fastest ever recorded in the month of May.

Jackson victorious in a Helsinki final rerun

In the showdown among the Helsinki medalists in the 400m Hurdles, Americans Bershawn Jackson and James Carter and Dai Tamesue of Japan finished in the same order as at the 2005 World Championships. Jackson felt a problem with his left hamstring by the third hurdle but kept on regardless to win in 48.13, with Carter was just 0.09 seconds behind in 48.22.

Solid early-season 48.13 victory for Bershawn Jackson in Osaka
(Kazutaka Eguchi/Agence SHOT)

“Everyone knows that Tamusue gets out fast, so my strategy was to go out hard but I hurt my hamstring after the second hurdle,” said Jackson, whose performance was significantly faster than his season’s debut of 48.75 two weeks ago. “I wanted to slow down, but James (Carter) came up to me fast, so I did what I could to hold on.”

“I am where I want to be right now in terms of training,” said Carter, “and am working hard so I can be back here in August.”

Tamesue, who did not hurdle at all last year because he was working on his speed, was third in 48.73. It was his first hurdles race since the fall of 2005. “I had some small problems during the race, but overall I did run okay,” Tamesue said. “In Helsinki, (Bershawn) Jackson was miles away, but today, I did not feel that way. That is a positive sign.”

Daichi Sawano soars to victory in Osaka
(Kazutaka Eguchi/Agence SHOT)

World leading 13.14 for Liu in season opener

China’s Olympic champion and World record holder in the 110m Hurdles Liu Xiang won his season opener with a world-leading 13.14, comfortably ahead of his teammate Shi Dongpeng whose 13.24 was a career best for the 23-year-old.

“It was my first race of the season,” Liu said, “and I am satisfied with my time. I am also happy for my teammate Shi, who set his personal best.” Shi, the 2002 World junior silver medallist, had a 13.28 to his credit from 2006).

Ivana Brkljacic winning in Osaka
(Kazutaka Eguchi/Agence SHOT)

It was the fourth consecutive win at the Osaka Grand Prix for Liu, who is also eager to return.

“I would like to run here again next year and win it for the fifth straight year. As for the World Championships, I would like to see both of us (Liu and Shi) in the final.”

The best Japanese was Tasuku Tanonaka of Japan was a distant third in 13.59, just shy of his 13.55 personal best.

12.71 Area record for McLellan

Australian Sally McLellan, still only 20, continued her strong first half of 2007 with another Area Record in the 100m Hurdles. Slicing more than then .20 seconds off her previous best, McLellan bested a solid field in 12.71 (w - 0.0m/s), a world-leading effort. It was McLellan’s second consecutive record run after her 12.92 victory at the Australian Championships in March where she eclipsed the previous standard set in 1972.

“I just let it flow," said McLellan, a medallist at both the 2003 World Youth and 2004 World Junior Chamionships. "I really wanted to concentrate on my own race and I really put it all together. I got a great start and just seemed to get faster – I was literally flying.”

“To smash the Australian record is a great feeling and to beat the American’s is always nice. I’ve won a World Tour event, beaten the Americans and broken the Australian record all in the one race, it’s an amazing feeling,” McLellan said.

Americans Lolo Jones (12.86) and Danielle Carruthers (12.90) filled out the top-three.

Mothersill over Williams, Suetsugo defeats Ross in dashes

Cydonie Mothersill upset defending World champion Lauryn Williams in 11.33, well ahead of the American’s 11.44.

“I feel good,” the Cayman Islander said. “I think my winning time, 11.33, is okay at this stage. A win is a win.” said Mothersill.

Japan’s Shingo Suetsugu, the 200m bronze medalist from the 2003 Paris World Championships, won the men’s 100m as expected in 10.23, well ahead of world leader Joshua Ross of Australia who clocked a sub-par 10.37.Chasing American quartet, Japanese women land 4x400 national record

For the fans in Osaka, the meet got underway with a bang. In the women’s 4 x 400m Relay, the Japanese quartet of Mayu Kida, Asami Tanno, Satomi Kubokawa and Makiko Yoshida ran to a new national record of 3:30.53 behind a winning US team, who clocked 3:29.38.

“I am so happy for the record,” said Kida, who ran the lead-off leg. “I have been running on the national team since my sophomore year in college, and finally I am a part of the national record setting team.”

“I thought we could break 3:33, but did not expect 3:30 out of us, because I was not running well recently, said the anchor Yoshida. “When I was chasing the American, I could run like the old days when I was running my best.”

Kubokura, who recently set the national 400m Hurdles record, took the lead in the third leg.

Tanno, who ran the second leg, returned to run the individual event, and finished second to American Mary Wineberg 51.20 to 52.17, a career best for the 29-year-old winner.

“I wanted to run 51 something, so I am disappointed,” said Tanno. “After the national record in the relay, I thought I could go for the record (51.80), but the wind was just too strong at the beginning. Perhaps, if the condition was better.”

Again, Sawano over Walker as clash fizzles early

Daichi Sawano won the men’s Pole Vault with a 5.60m effort. The anticipated duel between Sawano and American Brad Walker, the World champion indoors, ended early. Walker began the competition with a 5.50 clearance, while Sawano began with an opening height success at 5.60m. However, Walker missed twice at his next height, 5.70m, and then decided to take his last attempt at 5.75m. When Walker missed - as did Sawano - the competition was over.

“I was in shape and my warm up went well, so I was hoping for good results, but I did not chose the proper pole at 5.75m,” Sawano said. “However, it was good that I did not have a cramp,” Sawano added, referring to an ailment which affected his outing in Shizuoka on Tuesday (1).


Other top Japanes stars producing wins included Naoyuki Daigo, the national record holder at the High Jump, with a 2.30m leap, and Kumiko Ikeda, a national record holder in the Long Jump, with a 6.73m best effort.

“The winning distance was not very good, but considering my increased speed was giving me a problem at the takeoff, I did quite well by jumping over 6.70m,” said Ikeda, who is now among the medal hopefuls for Japan at the upcoming World Championships.

Other performances of note included Croatian Ivana Brkljacic’s 72.15m winning effort in the women’s Hammer Throw, and South African Godrey Mokoena’s 8.18m (+2.1) leap in the Long Jump.

The 2007 IAAF World Athletics Tour continues on Friday 11 May at the Qatar IAAF World Super Tour 2007 - IAAF Super Grand Prix – in Doha.


Wonder what happened to Joshua Ross. There had been some talk from his coach Emil Rizk about him running very fast in Osaka, that they would not go slower than at the Aussie championships when he PB’d in 10.08. Maybe the travel messed him up, or he was sick from eating all that raw fish. :eek: