Japan crowd podium at 2012 Tateyama ASTC Triathlon Asian Championships
Saturday, 14 April 2012
April 14 - Japan claimed two triathlon spots at London 2012 after dominating the 2012 Tateyama ASTC Triathlon Asian Championships on home soil, with Mariko Adachi (pictured left, far left) and Yuichi Hosoda (pictured below, front) taking the women's and men's titles.
Former Asian champion Adachi produced a brilliant performance, leading after the swim with South Korean pair Dan Bi Hong and A Reum Jo, before keeping her lead in the bike leg, and then posting the second fastest run to win gold.
Yuka Sato (pictured above, centre), who made history in the summer of 2010 when she became the first ever competitor to win a gold medal at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, took silver.
Ai Ueda (pictured above, right) was the day's fastest runner, enabling the double Asian champion and Beijing 2008 competitor to take bronze and ensure Japan took all three podium spots, pushing another compatriot, three time Olympian and last year's champion Kiyomi Niwata, into fourth.
It was a similar story in the men's race as Japan claimed a clean sweep of the medals, with Hosoda, also a former Asian champion from 2010, Hirokatsu Tayama and two time Olympian Ryosuke Yamamoto remaining close throughout the competition.
Though he claimed bronze, 2008 Asian champion Yamamoto could not keep up in the run, and Hosoda then edged out Tayama in the final sprint for a thrilling finish as he retained his title.
Japan's Triathlon Union will now have a welcome dilemma as they consider which triathletes to the send to London 2012 this summer.
Some 110 competitors will participate at London 2012 – 55 of each gender – with the majority of slots being decided on world rankings.
The Olympic women's triathlon will take place on August 4 at Hyde Park in London with the men's competition on August 7 at the same venue.
The final continental championships will be in Eilat, Israel, where the last two European places for London 2102 will be allocated.