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Watt, Murofushi, and Murakami among the headliners in Kawasaki - IAAF World Challenge

Published by
Matt   on Apr 21 2011, 11:31 PM

Kawasaki, Japan - Australia's Mitchell Watt, the current world leader in the Long Jump, and Japanese throwing stars Koji Murofushi and Yukifumi Murakami will be among the star attractions at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix - an IAAF World Challenge Meeting - in Kawasaki, Japan, on 8 May.

Watt, the bronze medallist at the 2009 World Championships and 2010 World Indoor Championships, got off to a flying start during the Australian domestic season, producing two of the three best performances of his career. Two weeks after taking a victory at the World Challenge kick-off in Melbourne, the 23-year-old sailed to an 8.38m win in Sydney on 19 March. He then went on to highlight the Australian national championships in Melbourne last weekend when he leaped 8.44m, adding one centimetre to his personal best.

Murofushi, the 2004 Olympic champion in the Hammer Throw, illustrated last season that at 36 he has no intentions to leave the event's centre stage. After a low-key domestic season, he resumed competition in late summer to take victories in Rieti and Zagreb to clinch the inaugural IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge title. His season's debut on home soil will be a fitting start to the the 2011 Challenge.

Among others, he'll face Dilshod Nazarov of Tajikistan, who finished behind him in the Hammer Throw Challenge standings last year.

Murakami will be looking to build on the momentum which began at Berlin's Olympic stadium two years ago, when he captured a surprise bronze medal. The 31-year-old improved his career best to 83.15m last November when he took the Asian Games title in Guagzhou.

The women's field will feature several Japanese national record holders, including Chisato Fukushima, the national record holder at both the 100 (11.21) and 200m (22.89) dashes, who'll compete in the 100m.

The women's 400m field includes Satomi Kubokura, the national standard bearer at 55.46. Kumiko Imura, Japan's national record holder in the Long Jump at 6.86m, will be the focal point in her specialty.

Bob Ramsak and Ken Nakamura for the IAAF

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