Reigning world champions Fred Kerley, Kelsey Lee Barber and Wang Jianan will be in the spotlight at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Yokohama, the fourth leg of the Continental Tour Gold.
Men’s 100 metres:
US sprint star Fred Kerley will run his first 100 metres race of the season in Yokohama before his eagerly awaited clashes against Marcell Jacobs in Rabat and Florence.
Kerley won his first three races of the 2023 season in the 200m in Melbourne with 20.32, in the 400 metres in Sydney with 44.65 and in the Diamond League meeting in Doha in 19.92 in the 200 metres.
Kerley won the Olympic silver medal in the 100 metres in 9.84 and the world title in 9.86 one year later in Eugene.
Kerley is one of the three sprinters alongside Michael Norman and Wayde Van Niekerk to run sub-10 seconds in the 100 metres, sub-20 seconds in the 200 metres and sub-44 seconds in the 400 metres.
The line-up also features Japanese sprinters Yoshihide Kiryu, world bronze medallist in 37.43 and Olympic silver medallist in 37.60 in the 4x100 relay, and Yuki Koike, who set a PB of 9.98 in the London Diamond League meeting in 2019, three-time Australian champion Rohan Browing (PB 10.02) and his compatriot Jack Doran.
The men's 100m heats are scheduled to start at 3:00pm local time (GMT +9), while the final will be run at 4:45pm.
Men’s long jump:
China’s Wang Jianan leads the line-up in the men’s long jump. The Chinese athlete won the world title with 8.36m beating Miltiadis Tentoglou and Simon Ehammer. Wang also won the bronze medal a the World Championships in Beijing 2015 and finished fifth at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016. The Chinese jumper will compete for the first time outside of China since the World Championships in Eugene. He jumped 8.01m in Chengdu and 8.09m in Tianjin in his only indoor competitions last winter.
Wang will take on Japanese jumpers Yuki Hashioka and Shoutarou Shiryama. Hashioka won the world under 20 gold medal in Tampere 2018 and finished sixth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and eighth at the World Championships in Doha 2019. Shiroyama set the Japanese record with 8.40m and won the world under 20 bronze medal in Eugene 2014.
The line-up also features Henry Frayne from Australia, world indoor silver medallist in Istanbul 2012 and China’s Zhang Jingqiang, who holds a PB of 8.28m.
Women’s javelin throw:
Australian javelin thrower Kelsey Lee Barber returns to Japan, where she won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo with 64.56m. Barber won two back-to-back gold medals in Doha 2019 with 66.56m and Eugene 2021 with 66.91m. The 31-year-old Australian thrower finished second with 57.05m at the Australian Championships in Sydney in her only competition this year.
Barber will take on her compatriot Mackenzie Little, silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022, Japanese record holder Haruka Kitaguchi, who won the world bronze medal in Eugene with 63.27m. Kitaguchi threw over the 64 metres barrier twice this year with 64.43m in Osaka and 64.50m in Hiroshima.
The line-up is completed by Commonwealth silver medallist Mackenzie Little, who beat Barber at the Australian Championships last April, and world finalist Lina Muze from Latvia.
Men’s high jump:
South Korea’s Woo Sanghyeok will face New Zealand’s Hamish Kerr in a competition between two world indoor medallists in Belgrade 2022. Woo finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with 2.35m and won the world indoor gold medal in Belgrade with 2.34m. This year Woo finished second in the Diamond League meeting in Doha with 2.27m.and improved his seasonal best to 2.32m in Yecheon on 9 May.
Kerr finished tenth with 2.30m in his first major final at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The high jumper from New Zealand shared the world indoor bronze medal with Gianmarco Tamberi with 2.31m in Belgrade and set the Oceanian indoor record with 2.34m in Banska Bystrika last February. Kerr is unbeaten in all seven of his competitions this year.
The line-up also features Joel Baden from Australia, who cleared 2.33m and 2.32m during the domestic season, two-time Japanese champion Tomohiro Shinno, who cleared 2.30m and won two Italian meetings in Rovereto and Padua last year, and Marco Fassinotti, who held the previous Italian indoor record with 2.35m and finished sixth at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot 2014.
Women’s 100 metres:
Zoe Hobbs from New Zealand leads the line-up in the women’s 100 metres. Hobbs improved the Oceanian record with 10.97 in Sydney and finished fifth in the Diamond League meeting in Doha in 11.08 and second in the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi in a wind-assisted 10.97 last week. Hobbs will face US sprinter Destiny Smith Barnett, who finished third at the US Indoor Championships in the 60 metres in 7.11 in Albuquerque last February.
Men’s 110 metres hurdles:
Shunsuke Izumya is the top name in the men’s 110 metres hurdles. Izumya broke the Japanese record clocking 13.06 in Osaka in 2021 and clocked 13.25 earlier this month in Osaka. He will go head-to-head against his compatriots Shamya Takayama, who clocked a PB of 13.10 last year, and Rachid Muratake, who won the 110m hurdles race at the Continental Tour Challenger in Sydney in 13.25 and Cuban rising star Roger Iribarne, who improved his indoor PB to 7.48 at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Madrid.
Men’s 400 metres:
USA’s Paul Dedewo is the top name in the men’s 400 metres. Dedewo won the world indoor silver medal in the 400 metres in Birmingham 2018 and set his outdoor PB with 44.43 in London in 2018.
Women’s long jump:
Australian record holder Brooke Bushkuehl leads the line-up with her national record of 7.13m. Bushkuehl placed fifth at the World Championships in Eugene 2022 with 6.87m and seventh at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 with 6.83m.
Men’s 3000 metres steeplechase:
Japanese 3000 metres steeplechase specialist Ruji Miura claimed the win at last year’s edition of the Seiko Golden Grand Prix and went on to finish fifth at the World Championships in Eugene and fourth at the Diamond League Final in Zurich with 8:12.65. Miura set his previous national record of 8:17.46 when he was an under 20 athlete in 2021 and improved this time to 8:09.92 at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Miura will face Kenya’s Amos Kirui, who took the win In 8:18.48 at altitude at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi.
Women’s 1500 metres:
Japanese 1500 metres record holder Nozomi Tanaka starts as the favourite in the women’s 1500 metres. Tanaka won the world under 20 title in Tampere 2018 and finished eighth in the Olympic final in Tokyo in the 1500m with 3:59.95. She set the national indoor record in the mile with 4:28.94 in Boston and finished third in the 3000m at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Melbourne last February. She will face USA’ Dani Jones, who beat Tanaka by two seconds in 4:26.75 in an indoor mile race in Boston last February.
Women’s 100 metres hurdles:
Mako Fukube returns to the Seiko Golden Grand Prix where she broke the national record in the women’s 100 metres hurdles with 12.73.
Women’s 3000 metres:
Kenya’s Teresiah Muthoni Gateri will face her compatriot Margaret Akidor. Gateri won the world under 20 gold medal in the 3000m in Nairobi 2021 and took first place at the Cinque Mulini Cross Country race in 2022. Akidor set her PBs of 8:32.53 in the 3000m and 14:44.83 in the 5000m in Yokohama last November.