News & Topics

2016.05.03

【Athletes】27th Championships(2) Yamamoto Marks World Record in Long Jump


Yamamoto Makes a Fabulous Long Jump for a New World Record!

A spectacular record was marked by Atsushi Yamamoto (T42; unilateral above-knee amputation). In his fourth attempt, he established a new world record with a long jump of 6.56m. This bettered by 3cm the previous world record held by a para-athlete from the Netherlands. Yamamoto had been speaking of wanting to mark a world record at least once in his life. There was great happiness in his voice as he said, “I’m so happy!” while clenching his fists in victory


The record-breaking jump

Under clear blue skies, conditions favored by Yamamoto, the first attempt was declared a foul but was a major leap that closed in on 7 meters and had the crowd roaring. The second attempt was 3.32m—close to his personal best. He later admitted to having injured his left lower back in the jump, but he felt that he would do well that day and so decided to push forward.
In his third attempt, Yamamoto bettered the previous jump with a wind-aided unofficial record of 6.48m. For his fourth, he took his time at the starting position. He said, “I decided that I’d wait for the wind to die down before making my start. Once I did, everything went well.” He reflected on that satisfying jump and said, “It gave me glimpses into the possibility of achieving records of 6.70 or 6.80 meters.”



At the world championships last autumn, Yamamoto won the broad jump in two consecutive championships in front of his rival, the aforementioned para-athlete from the Netherlands. He said, “Maybe today’s record will prove to be a double whammy for him.” Yamamoto gave the impression that he may be one step in the lead toward achieving his ardent desire of winning the Paralympic Gold.

Senpai (Senior) and Kohai (Junior) Stimulate Each Other

Two athletes affiliated with The Toho Bank achieved great performances in the T13 visual impairment class. Tomomi Sato and Mana Sasaki marked new Japanese records. Sato, who joined the bank two years before Sasaki, achieved new record times in the 100m and 200m dashes. Meanwhile, Sasaki, who joined the bank this spring, achieved new records in the 200m and 400m dashes. Sato said, “I thought that I would be able to sprint the 100m dash with a time in the 12-second range, so I’m a bit disappointed. I am hugely stimulated by Ms. Sasaki. I hope we can do our best toward 2020.”

Sasaki was also Sato’s junior at the school for the visually impaired. Inspired by Sato’s new Japanese record in the 100m dash, she decided she wanted one too, and marked a personal best in the 400m dash. As for the 200m dash, which she ran alongside Sato, she said with a smile on her face, “I ran chasing my Senpai’s back and ended up marking a personal best.” Further growth is expected for the two athletes through such friendly competition.

London Paralympics Bronze medalist Shinya Wada (T11), who was running at a new Japan-record pace, was disqualified in the Men’s 1,500m when his guide runner stepped on the inner line of the track. He said that he and his guide are like one and shifted emotional gears to go on to mark a tournament record for the 5,000m run with a time of 16:07.07. He seemed relieved with the satisfactory record despite the wind and heat.


1 Youthful Tomoki Ikoma claims first victory over veteran Yoshifumi Nagao in the T54 100m dash


Sasaki (in pink on the left) and Sato, boost each other’s performance


Eyes on the Competition between the Older and the Young in the Wheelchair Class

The track had recently been renovated. The wheels of the racing wheelchair sank into the still soft surface, meaning that more power was needed to propel them. Times therefore remained flat, but there were still some exciting match-ups. Tomoki Sato (T52), who won the Gold medal at the IPC Athletics World Championships Doha, is a Japanese hopeful for Rio. He held the veterans at bay in the three events that he entered in Tottori, winning them all (400m, 800m and 1,500m). He said, “I tend to get nervous during races, so I hope I can learn to approach major competitions in a more relaxed state,” referring to an issue he needs to work on.

The track had recently been renovated. The wheels of the racing wheelchair sank into the still soft surface, meaning that more power was needed to propel them. Times therefore remained flat, but there were still some exciting match-ups. Tomoki Sato (T52), who won the Gold medal at the IPC Athletics World Championships Doha, is a Japanese hopeful for Rio. He held the veterans at bay in the three events that he entered in Tottori, winning them all (400m, 800m and 1,500m). He said, “I tend to get nervous during races, so I hope I can learn to approach major competitions in a more relaxed state,” referring to an issue he needs to work on.

Even so, Higuchi was slightly surprised by the performance of the youthful Tomoki Suzuki, who placed second in the 800m and 1,500m events. In particular, Suzuki was ahead of Higuchi from the start in the 1,500m run. Although he was overtaken in the end, he spoke with confidence, “Mr. Higuchi is always pulling us from the head of the pack. This time, I raced thinking that I would not allow him to take the lead. I think seeing the races develop differently makes things more interesting for spectators, too. The track felt heavy today. Combined with the wind, I was unable to keep up my endurance through to the end, but I think we’ll be able to see more interesting races if I can overcome this.”


IPC Athletics World Championships Gold medalist Sato showed what he’s made of


Wheelchair racing ace Higuchi won three titles


The Driving Force of the Rush of New Records

New Japanese and tournament records were also marked in the F33 and F55 severe impairment field throwing events. Behind them was the presence of a certain device.


Device for wheelchair-bound athletes used for the first time in Japan

In these classes, field throwing events are carried out while the athletes are seated in their wheelchair or in an exclusive throwing chair. In the past, ropes or weights were used by officials to set up a support to immobilize the throwing chairs brought to competitions by the athletes. For this reason, there were issues related to keeping them securely fixed.
However, for the first time in Japan, Tottori City set up a new fixed device that is planted into the ground, making it possible to secure the throwing chairs, etc., firmly. Reiko Beppu (F33), who bettered her own Japanese record by 15cm for a new record of 6.37m in the discus throw, said, “The chair doesn’t budge at all so I could focus on my throws. I hope its use will spread to other stadiums in Japan as well.”

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