• Norman and Benjamin highlight the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Tokyo

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Close friends and training partners Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin highlighted the Seiko Golden Grand Prix with solid wins in the 400 metres in 44.62 and in the 400m hurdles in 48.61 respectively. 

Olympic 4x400 relay champion Michael Norman won the men’s 400 metres in 44.62 in his first race over this distance since the Tokyo Olympic Games after clocking 19.83 in the 200 metres in Walnut. Japan’s Fuga Sato took second place in 45.40 ahead of his compatriot Kaito Kawabata (45.73), Australia’s Alex Beck (45.79) and former European Under 20 champion Vladimir Aceti from Italy (46.22). 

Michael Norman: “I ran slowly, to be honest. It’s not what I wanted. I expected to run a faster time. I am disappointed. I need to go back and look at  the execution of the race and think about where I need to improve. It’s always good to have fans back in the stands. The crowd gave me a lot of energy. I am excited to be able to compete again. I am looking forward to the next race”. 

Men’s 400 metres hurdles: 

Rai Benjamin cruised to a comfortable win in the men’s 400 metres hurdles in 48.60 on the track where he won the olympic silver medal with the US record of 46.17. Last year’s Tokyo meeting winner Kazuki Kurokawa finished runner-up in 49.08. 

Raj Benjamin: “The goal is to win the world title in Eugene. I don’t know if we need to break the world record to win in Oregon, but my goal is to run faster than last year”. 

Men’s 100 metres: 

World 100m outdoor champion Christian Coleman won the men’s 100 metres in 10.09. Japanese sprinter Yuki Koike finished runner-up in 10.22 edging Australia’s Rohann Browning by 0.01. Coleman had previously won his heat in 10.13 into a slight headwind of -0.3 m/s.  

Christian Coleman: “It was my first time in Tokyo. I ran a good race. I am optimistic for the future and super motivated for the World Championships in Eugene”. 

Women’s 100 metres hurdles: 

World outdoor record holder Kendra Harrison won the women’s 100 metres hurdles in 12.76, the only time under the 13 seconds barrier. Mako Fukube from Japan took a surprising second place in 13.05 edging world indoor bronze medallist Gabrielle Cunningham (13.07), Asuka Terada (13.07) and olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper from Jamaica (13.30). 

Kendra Harrison: “I hit the first hurdle, so that was not the plan, but I am just glad I came out here and got the win. I came here to win, but I expected to run faster. I want to represent my country and win the world title in Eugene on home soil. I won the silver at the last edition of the World Championships, so I am really trying to get that top position and represent my country, get the American win on US soil ”. 

Men’s 110 metres hurdles: 

Rachid Muratake claimed the win in the men’s 110 metres hurdles in 13.34 in front of his home fans beating Kuei Re-Chen from Taipei and Nicholas Hough from Australia, who clocked the same time of 13.49. Muratake improved on his fourth place at last year’s edition of this meeting. 

Women’s 200 metres: 

Former 400m NCAA champion Lynna Irby stepped down in distance to win the women’s 200 metres in 23.09 into a slight headwind of -0.1 m/s ahead of Australia’s Jacinta Beecher (23.24) and former 200m NCAA outdoor champion Anglerne Annelus (23.39). Irby represented the US team in the 4x400 relay and mixed relay at last year’s edition of the Olympic Games in the Tokyo Olympic Stadium. 

Men’s long jump: 

Natsuki Yamagata produced the only attempt over the 8 metres of the day by leaping to his PB of 8.14m in the fifth round to win the men’s long jump. Hiromichi Yoshida came very close to the 8 metres barrier with 7.99m in the sixth round. Harry Frayne from Australia took third place with 7.93m. 

Women’s javelin throw: 

Japanese record holder Haruta Kitaguchi took the lead in the first attempt with 63.93m and maintained the first place until the end to win the women’s javelin throw ahead of Lina Muze from Latvia (61.68m). Reigning world champion Kelsey Lee Barber from Australia finished third with 61.00m in the stadium where she won the Olympic silver medal.  

Men’s javelin throw: 

Roderick Genki Dean from Japan delighted the home fans with a win in the men’s javelin throw with 82.18m. 

Men’s 3000 metres steeplechase: 

Twenty-year-old Japanese Ryuji Miura won the men’s 3000 metres steeplechase for the second consecutive year at the Tokyo meeting clocking 8:22.25 beating Kenya’s Philemon Ruto (8:27.27). Last year Miura clocked 8:09.92 to qualify for the Olympic final, where he finished seventh in 8:16.90.

Women’s 1500 metres: 

Australia’s Georgia Griffith pulled away from the rest of the field to win the women’s 1500 metres in 4:06.04 ahead of US middle distance runner Eleanor Fulton (4:06.35), Ekarare Lobun (4:07.19) and Japanese record holder Nozomi Tanaka (4:07.53). Griffith, who missed the Olympic Games in Tokyo due to injury, clocked her fastest time since 2019. 

Men’s 800 metres: 

Brad Mathas from New Zealand clinched the win in the 800 metres with 1:46.58 beating Japanese athletes Kentaro Usuda (1:46.80) and Sho Kawamoto (1:47.27). 

Men’s high jump: 

Ryochi Akamatsu had a clean sheet until 2.24m before clearing 2.27m in the third attempt to take the win in the men’s high jump. Tomohiro Shinno cleared all heights until 2.24m before failing three attempts at 2.27m and took second place on countback over his compatriots Yuto Seko and Naoto Tobe. 

Women’s long jump: 

Japan’s Sumire Hata missed her PB by just 2 cm to win the women’s long jump with 6.63m. Jashisha Thomas from Great Britain took runner-up spot with 6.56m. 

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