Toshikazu Yamanishi will be vying for his third consecutive world title in the men's 20-kilometer race walk at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
Haruka Kitaguchi will be aiming to improve upon her third-place finish in the women's javelin at worlds in 2022 in Eugene, Oregon.
Yamanashi and Kitaguchi are among four Japanese medalists from a year ago scheduled to compete in the 2023 World Athletics Championships in the Hungarian capital. Team Japan's roster was announced on Tuesday, August 8.
Sixty-three athletes were chosen to represent Japan, including 42 new national team representatives.
Also, returning medalists from Oregon are race walkers Koki Ikeda (men's 20-km runner-up) and Masatora Kawano (men's 35-km runner-up).
On May 6, Yamanishi finished third in the Grande Premio Internacional de Rio Maior in Portugal. He completed the 20-km event in 1 hour, 20 minutes, 58 seconds.
Can the Kyoto Prefecture native extend his world title streak to three?
Yamanishi, who won his first world title in 2019 in Doha, will find out on Saturday, August 19, when the 20-km race walk is contested on the opening day of the world's biggest track and field meet this year.
Kitaguchi Eyes More Success in Javelin Competition
Meanwhile, Kitaguchi, who has two victories on the Diamond League circuit this season (Paris in June and Chorzow, Poland, in July) is preparing for women's javelin qualifying. Preliminary competition is on August 23, followed by the final on August 25.
The 25-year-old Kitaguchi launched her longest throw of the year (67.04 meters) to win the competition in Poland on July 16.
Izumiya: An Emerging Star in Hurdles
For Japan, men's 110-meter hurdler Shunsuke Izumiya joins Kitaguchi as the nation's lone Diamond League event winners in 2023.
Izumiya, 23, triumphed in the Diamond League's Lausanne meet in Switzerland on June 30. He raced to the finish line in 13.22 seconds.
On July 23, at the DL's London meet, Izumiya also had a strong showing, placing second in the final in 13.06.
Now ranked fifth in the world in the 110 hurdles, Izumiya has emerged as a medal contender for the world championships in recent months.
For Izumiya and the other 110-meter hurdles participants, qualifying heats and the semifinals are set for August 20, with the final scheduled for the next day.
During the Summer Olympics and World Athletics Championships, the men's and women's marathons are among the most popular events for TV viewers in Japan.
In Budapest, the women's marathon is on August 26, followed by the men's race on the next day (the final day of the meet).
Japan's qualifiers for the women's marathon are Rika Kaseda, Mizuki Matsuda and Sayaka Sato.
For the men's marathon, Kazuya Nishiyama, Kenya Sonota and Ichitaka Yamashita are Japan's representatives.
Author: Ed Odeven