THIS INSIGHTFUL REPORT IS COURTESY OF THE IAAF WEBSITE
Eight Paris World champions to highlight Yokohama Super Meet
Saturday 20 September 2003
The 2003 Super Meet will be held in Yokohama International stadium on 23 September, a national holiday in Japan. Many events feature medallists from the recent World Championships, and thus there are many highlights of the meet, but perhaps the men’s Hammer Throw stands out.
The top six finishers in Paris including all three medallists - Ivan Tikhon, Adrian Annus and Koji Murofushi - are scheduled to compete. As he writes in his diary for the IAAF Online, Murofushi dreams of holding a Hammer Throw competition of World Athletics Final in Japan.
Although the prestige might not match that of the World Athletics Final, this year’s Super Meet has assembled the field rivalling that of the Athletics Final. In addition to winning the World Championships, Tikhon also won the World University Games, while the Worlds silver medallist Annus won the World Athletics Final, which was held on his home soil.
For Koji Murofushi, who struggled with injury problems from mid-July to mid-August, which hampered his training leading up to the World Championships, the Super Meet is his final international competition of his season. Perhaps he could redeem himself by ending his two meets losing streak.
The Super Meet always tries to assemble the best possible field, and by doing so, it presents opportunities for the best Japanese athletes to experience the world class competitions without going to Europe. Perhaps, they may be pulled along to the national records.
The 200m could well be another highlight of the meet for John Capel, the reigning World Champion in the distance, is competing. Unfortunately Shingo Suetsugu who won a bronze medal in Paris at the same distance is injured (he injured himself during the last half of the 200m final in Paris) and will not compete this season anymore. In Suetsugu’s absence Capel’s main competitions come from Coby Miller, Patrick Johnson and Frank Fredericks.
Last year, chasing the 1999 World Champion Daimi Pernia, Makiko Yoshida, despite the less than ideal condition (it was raining), set a national 400m Hurdles record. This year, Sandra Glover and Yuliya Pechonkina, a silver and bronze medallist respectively in Paris are invited. Makiko Yoshida, who has said, “I love the opportunities to run against the foreign competitions,” is competing again this year, and perhaps she may be pulled along to another national record.
Two years ago, Masato Naito chased Anier Garcia, Allen Johnson and Colin Jackson to set a collegiate record at the 110m Hurdles. Naito is now a national record holder and has advanced to the semi-final in the World Championships. He will be chasing Terrence Trammel, a World silver medallist and Stanislavs Olijars, European silver medallist. Perhaps Naito can be dragged along to another national record in Yokohama.
The field of the men’s 400m Hurdles is loaded. Two years ago, all three medallists from Edmonton were invited and they finished in the same order as Edmonton. This year Felix Sanchez and Joey Woody are invited. The Japanese who will be chasing the Paris gold and silver medallists, of course, is Dai Tamesue, an Edmonton bronze medallist who failed to make the final in Paris. Tamesue is struggling to regain the fantastic form he enjoyed two years ago. “Nothing physically wrong with Tamesue,” says Remi Korchemny, his coach since this spring. The problem perhaps was emotional, for his father has been fighting cancer since early this year. Two years ago Tamesue dedicated his medal from Edmonton to his mother. He has promised to dedicate his next medal for his father. However, before he had his chance to win another medal, his father passed away.
In an event the Japanese women were quite competitive from 1996 to 1999, the women’s 10,000m, three Japanese representatives in Paris - Kayoko Fukushi, Yoko Shibui and Megumi Tanaka - were left far behind the leaders. There is a sense of crisis, at least among the distance experts in Japan.
They perhaps need more experience running against the best Africans. The Super meet presents with such an opportunity, for in the women’s 5000m, two young Ethiopian medallists from Paris, Werkenesh Kidane, the silver medallist at the 10,000m, and Tirunesh Dibaba, the gold medallist at the 5000m, are expected.
Several other Paris medallists are expected in Yokohama. In the men’s High Jump, Jacques Freitag, the World Champion and Mark Boswell, the World bronze medallist, are jumping. In the men’s Long Jump, Dwight Phillips, the reigning world indoor and outdoor champion is competing. All three medallists - Svetlana Krivelyova, Nadezhda Ostapchuk, and Vita Pavlysh - from Paris are throwing the shot. The gold medallist from Paris - Irina Yatchenko - is competing in the women’s Discus Throw.
In addition to Pechonkina in the 400m Hurdles, one other world record holder will be in Yokohama. Tim Mongomery will indeed run the 100m in Yokohama and take on the challenge from Coby Miller, Obadele Thompson and Patrick Johnson. In the absence of Suetsugu, the Japanese national champion at the distance, Nobuharu Asahara who has the best of 10.02 at the 100m is the main Japanese.
Some of the event to be contested and the list of the world class competitors expected in the 2003 Super Meet
(Based on the information made available on September 5)
Tim Montgomery World Record Holder
Patrick Johnson Fastest of the year
Obadele Thompson Olympic bronze medallist
Nobuharu Asahara Former national recor dholder
John Capel Reigning World Champion
Frank Fredericks Four-time Olympic Silver medallist
David Krummenacker Reigning World Indoor Champion
Terrence Trammel World Silver medallist
Stanislavs Olijars European Silver medallist
Dudley Dorival 2001 Worlds bronze medallist
Masato Naito National record holder
Felix Sanchez Two-time World champion
Joey Woody Worlds silver medallist
Eric Thomas US Champion
Dai Tamesue Edmonton bronze medallist
Jacques Freitag World Champion
Mark Boswell Worlds bronze medallist
Dwight Phillips World Indoor and Outdoor Champion
Walter Davis World Indoor Silver medallist at TJ
Ivan Tikhon World Champion
Adrian Annus World Silver medallist; Athletics Final Champion
Koji Murofushi World bronze (Paris) and silver (Edmonton)
medallist; Asian Record holder
Muriel Hurtis European 200m Champion
Zhanna Block Edmonton World Champion at 100m
Debbie Ferguson Commonwealth Games Champion
Jolanda Ceplak European Indoor & Outdoor Champion
Stephanie Graf Edmonton Silver medallist
Werknesh Kidane Worlds silver medallist at 10000m
Tirunesh Dibaba World champion at 5000m
Kayoko Fukushi National 3000m, 5000m record holder
Yoko Shibui National 10000m record holder
Sandra Glover Worlds silver medallist
Yuliya Pechonkina Worlds bronze medallist, World record holder
Makiko Yoshida National record holder
Inga Babakova 1999 World Champion
Miki Imai National Record holder
Fiona May Edmonton gold medallist
Maho Hanaoka National Record holder
Kumiko Ikeda National champion
Svetlana Krivelova World Champion
Nadezhda Ostapchuk Worlds Silver medallist
Vita Pavlysh Worlds Bronze medallist
Chinatsu Mori National record holder
Irina Yatchenko World Champion
Natalya Sadova Edmonton gold medallist
Ken Nakamura for the IAAF