Dean edges Murakami for javelin title


In a much-ballyhooed matchup between 12-time champion Yukifumi Murakami and Genki Dean, it was Dean who took the honors Saturday to win his first national javelin title and book his spot at this summer’s London Olympics.

The Waseda University student, whose mother is Japanese and father is British, landed a meet-record 84.03 meters to surpass the A qualifying standard for an automatic ticket to London, and ended Murakami’s 12-year stranglehold on the title in the process.

Murakami, the 2009 world bronze medalist, had to settle for second with an effort of 83.95 at the meet at Nagai Stadium.

The 20-year-old Dean, the 2010 world junior silver medalist, set a mark of 84.28 meters in April at the Oda Memorial to move into second on the all-time Japanese list. Dean trails only Kazuhiro Mizoguchi’s 87.60, a record that has stood since 1989.

In the women’s 100 meters, Chisato Fukushima pipped Anna Doi with a time of 11.45 seconds, with the Saitama Sakae High School student finishing in second 0.06 behind.

Fukushima, who claimed her third title in a row, secured her spot for London along with Masashi Eriguchi, who won his fourth straight title in the men’s 100 with a time of 10.29.

Takayuki Kishimoto won his second consecutive title in the men’s 400 hurdles with a time of 48.41, and Yuzo Kanemaru cruised to his eighth straight victory in the 400, crossing in 46.18 as both secured Olympic berths.

Tomomi Abiko set a Japan record in the women’s pole vault, claiming her third consecutive title and fourth overall with an effort of 4.40 meters. The mark was enough for Abiko to clear the B qualifying standard for the London Games.

Yuki Sato won the men’s 10,000 meters for the second year in succession in 28:18.15.

In Friday’s events after press time, hammer thrower Koji Murofushi, who has already secured a spot for this summer’s London Games, won his 18th consecutive title with an effort of 72.85 meters in the 37-year-old’s first tournament of the season.

Seito Yamamoto won the men’s pole vault event with a leap of 5.42 meters, but Daichi Sawano failed to nail down a spot on the Olympic team after finishing in second.