Heel and Toe: National Sports Festival of Japan or Kokutai

16 year old Queensland walker Katie Hayward walked a superb 5000m time of 22:23.87 on the Gold Coast on Saturday. It was a 32 sec PB and must have been a State Record. But more importantly, it is a very significant performance, given that next July sees the 10th World Youth T&F Championships in Niarobi, Kenya.

I think that this time may well propel her to the top of the World U18 ranking lists overall; it certainly places her well clear of the local opposition. It’s still a long way away but she certainly looks the goods at this stage.

How a young girl took on one of athletics most unusual and demanding disciplines came about by chance. “I went to the Gold Coast Little Athletics one day and there was a 1100m race walk on. I didn’t know there was a sport like that but I jumped in and I won it. I was 10 years old at the time and I had a cross-country background. It’s different and something I like to do because I have met a lot of good people through it.”

Well done Katie and well done to her Gold Coast coach Steve Langley!

The National Sports Festival of Japan or Kokutai is the national premier sports event of that country. It consists of three stages – the skating and ice hockey stage takes place in January, the skiing stage takes place in February, and the main Autumn tournament, which includes T&F, takes place in September and October.

The meet included a 10,000m walk for men which is reported below. As usual, the standard was huge, with Eiki Takahashi winning in 38:21.88, ahead of Daisuke Matsunaga (38:40.22) and Kai Kobayashi (39:49.18). Alas, I can’t fiund any results for the women.
10,000m walk Men, 9 October

1. Eiki Takahashi JPN 92 38:21.88
2. Daisuke Matsunaga JPN 95 38:40.22
3. Kai Kobayashi JPN 93 39:49.18
4. Toshikazu Yamanishi JPN 96 39:55.80
5. Takayuki Tanii JPN 83 40:30.98
6. Kota Yamada JPN 94 40:44.75
7. Takeshi Okuma JPN 83 40:45.98
8. Yuya Suganami JPN 95 40:47.65
9. Yuki Ito JPN 92 41:28.44
10. Yuki Kurumisawa JPN 95 41:39.13
11. Koichiro Morioka JPN 85 41:57.09
12. Ryota Shiojima JPN 94 42:01.11
13. Takahiro Hiwada JPN 95 42:18.09
14. Kohei Kowaki JPN 96 42:43.42
15. Hayato Takata JPN 97 43:16.78
16. Shoshi Kai JPN 88 43:39.70
17. Takuto Terada JPN 97 43:43.12
18. Hideto Nakahara JPN 97 43:47.80



Photo Credit – Marcia Dal Mondo

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