15/03/2020   Nomi (JPN): 20km men with great results




Our friends from Japan managed to resist courageously and to transform what should have been the "Asian 20km Championship" into an exciting national race.

There were no foreign athletes like in Kobe and the value of the result tells us the real reality of the current potential of what can be, at the moment, considered the "battleship" of the men's world race walk.
We come then to the races, which took place this morning on a splendid sunny day with departure at 8:50 for men and at 10:35 for women.
20km men
Almost 100 athletes were registered, but evidently the difficulties of the moment limited the start to 57 athletes, a number that we would like to see in the races in Europe, as soon as COVID-19 will allow us, if we will be able to.
The 20km specialists were all there, Eiki Takahashi does in Yuta Koga, from Isamu Fujisawa to Koki Ikeda, from Yutaro Murayama to Fumitaka Oikawa.
Then there was him, Yusuke Suzuki that we do not know how to define, if he is a 20km or 50km specialist since he holds the world record of the first and the magical night of Doha crowned him World Champion after a race in the lead since first meter.
There was also a certain Yuki Yamazaki, a great athlete from the past of the Rising Sun, who here in Nomi wanted to say goodbye to race walk. And he did it with style, deciding that in his last race he would have tasted meter by meter those 20km that he had walked many times despite being a 50km specialist.
He finished last in 53rd place (we think it was his choice) with a series of split times that say a lot about his will.
Yuki Yamazaki at 5km passed in 26:14, at 10km in 52:56 (26.12), at 15km in 1:19:04 (26:38) to finish in 1:46:18 (27:14).
Thanks for being there Yuki, we will remember your refinement even in the bad moments of your career, like when in Osaka, for a mistake not yours, they made you take a lap less.



- at 5km
Seven are leading the race: Koki Ikeda, Eiki Takakashi, Yusuke Suzuki, Yuta Koga, Isamu Fujisawa, Yutaro Murayama in Fumitaka Oikawa.
Their passing time is from 19:45-19:46.
The group of closest followers (6 athletes) passes in 20:33-20:34
- at 10km
Yutaro Murayama and Fumitaka Oikawa comes off (for them: 20:05).
The other five who pass halfway through the race in 39:21-39:22 (19:36-19:37) are the leaders.



- at 15km
The pace of the first ones is constant at 19:37-19:38 and seems to be too fast for Isamu Fujisawa, who detaches himself and goes to 15km with 33" of delay.
The first four Koki Ikeda, Eiki Takakashi, Yusuke Suzuki, Yuta Koga covered the third part of the race in 19:37-19:38 and pass to 15km in 58:59.
- last 5km
As usual in Japan the race is decided in the final.
All four try, but in the end the winning idea is offered by the speed of Koki Ikeda (JPN) who wins in 1:18:22 (last 5km in 19:23).
Second place to Eiki Takahashi (JPN) in 1:18:29 (last 5km in 19:30).
Third place to Yusuke Suzuki (JPN) in 1:18:36 (last 5km in 19:37).
Curiosity: exactly two minutes more than his world record obtained on this same circuit on 15.3.2015
Fourth place in Yuta Koga (JPN) in 1:18:42 (last 5km in 19:43).

They follow:
Isamu Fujisawa (JPN) in 1:20:24, Yutaro Murayama (1:20:49) and then the others over 1:22:00
Rewritten the men's seasonal ranking of 20km. These are the second, third, fourth and fifth performances of 2020 on the distance.


  Mark Competitor Nat Venue Date
1:17:36 Toshikazu YAMANISHI JPNJPN Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020
1:18:22 Koki IKEDA JPNJPN Nomi (JPN) 15 MAR 2020
1:18:29 Eiki TAKAHASHI JPNJPN Nomi (JPN) 15 MAR 2020
1:18:36 Yusuke SUZUKI JPNJPN Nomi (JPN) 15 MAR 2020
1:18:42 Yuta KOGA JPNJPN Nomi (JPN) 15 MAR 2020
1:19:31 Salih KORKMAZ TURTUR Antalya (TUR) 16 FEB 2020
1:19:34 Perseus KARLSTRÖM SWESWE Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020
1:19:34 Sergey SHIROBOKOV RUSRUS Sochi (RUS) 17 FEB 2020
1:20:15 Isamu FUJISAWA JPNJPN Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020
10  1:20:26 Tomohiro NODA JPNJPN Kobe (JPN) 16 FEB 2020



20km women
Twenty-eight athletes were at the start.
The group of the favorites (Nanako Fuijii, Kaori Kawazoe, Serena Sonoda and Masumi Fuchise) together with Ai Michiguchi and other athletes passes to the first quarter of the race in 24:33
In the second quarter of the race the situation changes because Nanako Fuijii, Kaori Kawazoe and Masumi Fuchise impose a faster rhyme (23:14) going to 10km in 47:47.
The others come first and lastly Serena Sonoda (47:51).
The pace of the first three increases again (22.52 in the third part of the race) and Nanako Fuijii, Kaori Kawazoe and Masumi Fuchise pass at 15km in 1:10:39-1:10:40.
Serena Sonoda passes in 1:11:52 followed by Nami Hayashi in 1:11.53.
In the last 5km Nanako Fujii (JPN) increases the pace (22:41 the last 5km) and goes to the victory in 1:33:20
Second place to Masumi Fuchise (JPN) in 1:33:41
Third place to kaori Kawazoe (JPN) in 1:34:28
Fourth place in Serena Sonoda (JPN) in 1:36:24
Fifth place to Nami Hayashi in 1:36:54




(Photos courtesy by Akihiro Sugimoto - JPN)