YOKOHAMA – Highly touted Shingo Suetsugu won the men’s 200 meters with a Japanese record of 20.03 seconds, shaving the previous record by 0.13 second on Saturday, the second day of the three-day National Track and Field Championships.
It was the 23-year-old’s first victory in two years and his second overall. The previous record of 20.16 was set in 1998 by Koji Ito.
Suetsugu, who already cleared the top A-class standard for August’s World Championships in Paris in Friday’s heat, will square off against former Japanese record-holder Nobuharu Asahara in Sunday’s 100 meters in the meet, which doubles as Japan’s qualifier for the Paris event.
“I heard fans shouting for me at the start, and I wanted to give everything I had, which I did. So far, so good because I still have a race to compete (on Sunday),” said Suetsugu, who set a personal best 10.03 in the 100 meters at the Mito international meet last month.
In other competitions at International Stadium Yokohama, Takanori Sugibayashi leaped 16.96 meters to win the men’s triple jump, his first victory in two years and his fourth overall title.
Yoshitaka Iwamizu coasted to the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase title for his third straight time in 8 minutes, 25.56 seconds to clear the B-class standard.
In the women’s 100 meters, Motoka Arai achieved her sixth straight title in 11.53.
In a men’s 400-meter heat, Mitsuhiro Sato romped to Sunday’s final in 45.50 to clear the top A-class standard for the August meet.
Late on Friday, up-and-coming runner Kayoko Fukushi pulled away from the pack around the 6,000 meter mark and easily won the women’s 10,000 meters for her second straight victory.
The 21-year-old Fukushi clocked 31 minutes, 47.15 seconds with Megumi Tanaka (31:55.24) and Aki Fujikawa (31:59.06) finishing second and third.
With the victory, Fukushi ensured her place in August’s World Championships in Paris.