Fukita leaps to victory in Sapporo

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Sakano earned 123.7 points, with third-placed Jinya Nishikata at 123.0, but neither could prevent Fukita from collecting his third domestic victory of the season. SAPPORO – Japan’s new kid on the block Yukitaka Fukita stormed to victory in the snow-affected TVh Cup ski jumping meet Saturday, finishing 11.4 points ahead of runnerup Yukio Sakano in Sapporo.Fukita, who won back-to-back titles at the same K-120 Okurayama hill last month, leapt 129.5 meters in the first round of jumps for what turned out to be a winning total of 135.1 points after the second round was cut short due to heavy snow. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5

Takahashi gets OK to resume training

first_imgOlympic champion Naoko Takahashi’s hopes of competing in the Tokyo International Women’s Marathon in November were given a boost Friday when she was given the green light to resume training.Takahashi has been out of action since last autumn after she suffered a stress fracture in her rib cage and was forced to make a late withdrawal from last year’s Tokyo race. “The doctor told me that the rib has not completely healed yet but said it was OK for me to start running again,” Takahashi said in a statement released by her management company.“I’ve had a four-month blank so I’m delighted to be able to start training again. But I don’t want to rush things and I’ll be taking it easy to start off with,” added the diminutive 30-year-old from Chiba.The Tokyo International Women’s marathon doubles up as an Olympic trial for the Japanese team.Takahashi became the first-ever Japanese woman to win an Olympic gold in an athletics event with her victory in Sydney in 2000 and is hoping to defend her title in Athens next year. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

RWC to be aired live in its entirety

first_imgIn addition the company also signed a five-year deal with the Japan Rugby Football Union to broadcast domestic games, including the new Top League and Japan Cup and the Super Cup featuring the U.S., China, Russia and Japan.“We hope to show around 140 games next season,” said vice president John Knowles. “We would like to be seen as the home of Japanese rugby and we will work with the JRFU to further promote the sport in Japan.” Rugby fans in Japan will be heartened to hear that all 48 games of the 2003 Rugby World Cup will be shown live in Japan on JSky Sports, it was announced on Thursday.At a press conference in Tokyo, Ryuichiro Uno, president of the satellite sports broadcaster, announced that JSky Sports had signed a deal ensuring that it would be the exclusive broadcaster of the event, now ranked as the fourth major sporting event in the world. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

Veteran Imai victorious at nationals

first_imgIn the women’s 15-km freestyle, Chizuru Soneta won in 44:23.8, with Masako Ishida taking second in 45:12.7 and Nobuko Fukuda third in 43:21.9. SAPPORO – Veteran Hiroyuki Imai eased to victory in the men’s 30-km race on Sunday the final day of the cross country skiing National Championships.Imai clocked 1 hour, 30 minutes, 19.6 seconds on Sapporo’s Mt. Shirahata course, finishing almost a minute clear of second-placed Ryo Saito. Maasakzu Aoki was third in 1:31:49.2. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img

Sharapova bags Japan Open

first_imgWimbledon champion Maria Sharapova wasted no time in defending her Japan Open title at the Ariake Colesseum on Saturday, blitzing Mashona Washington of the United States 6-0, 6-1 in 51 minutes.American Taylor Dent will play Czech Jiri Novak in the men’s final on Sunday. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Novak beat Lleyton Hewitt of Australia 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in a game suspended for 35 minutes after rain leaked through the Ariake Colosseum’s retractable roof, while Dent came back from a set down to beat Bohdan Ulihrach of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.Washington had beaten Sharapova in three sets earlier this year in New Haven but the contrast between that match and this one could not have been more extreme.The 17-year-old used her ferocious array of groundstrokes to leave her opponent struggling to gain any form of rhythm. Washington had to wait until the penultimate game of the match to make any impact on the scoreline, picking up her first game at 5-1 in the second set, such was the domination of the Russian.That game served only as a consolation for Washington, managing to avoid the dreaded double bagel in the process.Sharapova cited her strong serve and the fast surface as the keys to her success in the final.“I served very well and played very well. In our previous encounter, the surface was slower and consequently the points were longer. I wasn’t physically prepared for that. Today I realized that I had to dictate the play and I think I did that,” she said.The Japan Open provides fond memories for Sharapova as last year’s event was the first title of her career and was a launching pad for her subsequent meteoric rise up the world tennis ladder.“Everything seems to come together here for me. I’m not sure if it is the people, the rain or whatever . . .” Sharapova added.Dent utilized his powerful serve-and-volley game to beat Ulihrach, breaking his opponent in the second and sixth games of the deciding set after splitting the first two. center_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

Taniguchi bags Bridgestone title

first_img“It looked like things might be heading for a playoff but I had a bit of luck on my side and am pleased to have won,” said Taniguchi, who closed on 16-under 272 for his ninth win on the Japanese tour.Maruyama, whose appearance here was his first in three years on the Japanese tour, fired a superb 64 that included an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey for second alongside Yokota, who had two eagles in a round of 64. Miyazato holds on MIKI, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Teenage star Ai Miyazato kept her cool to birdie the final hole for 4-under-par 68 to capture her fourth title of the season at the Masters GC Ladies on Sunday.Teeing off three strokes clear, the 19-year-old from Okinawa knocked down six birdies against two bogeys at Masters Golf Club, holding off Miho Koga to claim a one-stroke win on 11-under 205 and a paycheck for 18 million yen.Money rankings leader Yuri Fudo shot a 67 to take third place on 210 while Michie Oba was another two strokes back after also going round in 67. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMEScenter_img CHIBA – In-form Toru Taniguchi overturned a three-stroke deficit to claim his second title in as many weeks with a final-round 6-under par 66 at the Bridgestone Open on Sunday.Taniguchi, who pulled off a wire-to-wire, four-shot victory at last week’s Japan Open for his first title in two years, had six birdies in a bogey-free round, holding off late surges from U.S. tour regular Shigeki Maruyama and Shinichi Yokota for a one-stroke win at Sodegaura Country Club.last_img read more

Icho takes down Sakamoto in final

first_imgOlympic silver medalist Chiharu Icho overpowered Makiko Sakamoto in the women’s 48-kg final to win her first title in two years at the national wrestling championships on Wednesday. Icho, who missed out on a place at last year’s world championships, slammed world bronze medalist Sakamoto to the mat with a pair of strong tackles, claiming a 2-0 win at Yoyogi national gymnasium annex. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMESlast_img

Waseda wins Hakone ekiden opener

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES HAKONE, Kanagawa Pref. – Anchor Ryota Komano overturned a major deficit on the final leg Wednesday to lead Waseda University to its first first-day title in the Tokyo-Hakone collegiate ekiden road relay in 12 years. Komano and four others covered the 108-km course from Tokyo’s Otemachi district to the hot spring resort of Hakone in 5 hours, 33 minutes, 8 seconds. Komazawa University, winner of last fall’s national collegiate ekiden, came second — 1:14 behind in 5:34:22 — giving itself a good chance of securing its first overall crown in three years after Thursday’s 109.9-km return trip. Yamanashi Gakuin University placed third in 5:35:07. Tokai University was in eighth while Juntendo University, which took the overall title last year, saw its chance at a repeat evaporate after Hiroyuki Ono dropped out on the fifth leg. Waseda made a sluggish start and trailed in 12th place but third-leg runner Kensuke Takezawa closed the gap to fifth. Komano, who took the sash in sixth place, made up ground on five runners to finish the 23.4-km fifth leg in a top time of 1:18:12 in the 20-team road relay. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

Kawamoto sets 100-fly record

first_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 BEPPU, Oita Pref. (Kyodo) Swimmer Kohei Kawamoto set a Japanese record of 51.33 seconds in winning the men’s 100-meter butterfly Saturday at the National Sports Festival being held in Oita Prefecture.Kawamoto broke the previous national mark of 51.50 Takuro Fujii produced at last month’s Beijing Olympic Games. Fujii, who finished sixth in Beijing, settled for second with a time of 51.80. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMESlast_img

Ishikawa aims for improvement for Match Play Championship

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 Golfer Ryo Ishikawa has pledged to build on his match play experience at the Royal Trophy and hopes to reach the second round at next month’s Accenture Match Play Championship.“I was not mentally tough. I want to learn more about match play,” Ishikawa said Friday after returning to Japan from Royal Trophy in Bangkok, where his Asia team was beaten by Europe 8 1/2 to 7 1/2.center_img Ishikawa won his alternate-shot foursome match on the opening day but lost in four-ball and singles rounds in the three-day event which wrapped up Sunday.The 18-year-old Ishikawa is set to play at the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona from Feb. 18 after taking part in the Northern Trust Open on Feb. 4-7 and Pebble Beach National Pro-Am the following week in California.“There will be 64 players participating (in the Accenture event) and I sit somewhere in the middle,” said Ishikawa, currently ranked in 30th. “I want to try hard to reach the second round.” last_img read more