14/01/2022   On February 20, the 105th edition of the 20km Japan Championships in Kobe: the effects of the pandemic



On Sunday 20 February the 105th edition of the Japan 20km Walk Championship will take place in Hyogo, a suburb of Kobe on Rokko Island.
Over the last decade Kobe has always been a very fast race, both for the splendid quality of the course and for the temperatures that the athletes have found over the years.
The last year in which Japan's walking lovers saw a winner score in more than 1:19:00 was back in 2013 when Yusuke Suzuki won in 1:19:02
Since then, the Kobe winners have struck times that resemble a Rossinian crescendo rather than a road sport competition in which alternating between high-quality and lower-quality performance is an acceptable normality.
Even more interesting is scrolling through the roll of honor of these winners and discovering that only three athletes have contributed to keeping the level of these high performances: Yusuke Suzuki, Eiki Takahashi and Toshikazu Yamanishi.
2013 - Yusuke Suzuki in 1:19:02

2014 - Yusuke Suzuki in 1:18:17

2015 - Eiki Takahashi in 1:18:03

2016 - Eiki Takahashi in 1:18:26

2017 - Eiki Takahashi in 1:18:18

2018 - Eiki Takahashi in 1:17:26

2019 - Eiki Takahashi in 1:18:00

2020 - Toshikazu Yamanishi in 1:17:36

2021 - Toshikazu Yamanishi in 1:17:20

As has been the case for almost twenty years, the 20km Japan Championship is also one of the three selection races for athletes from the Rising Sun.
Those who are familiar with the oriental race walk in general and Japanese in particular will certainly know that the selection is closely related to the three competitions of Kobe (for the 20km) and Wajima and Takahata (for the 50km).
Also this year, therefore, for the 105th edition of the 20km Japan Championships it will be like this and as usual in this period the JAAF is coordinating the invitation of IRWJ from abroad so that the fees for validity in the world rankings and any world records are respected.
As every year, IRWJs are invited from abroad to operate in national representative walking competitions, however this year the JAAF may not be able to finalize the invitations due to immigration restrictions due to the spread of new coronavirus infections in Japan and abroad, as well as the conditions and behavioral restrictions for entry into the country.
The JAAF wanted to clarify that if one of the requirements for obtaining records is not met for World Athletics (in particular those of the three international judges) it will govern as follows:
- any record will be valid as a Japanese record
- it will not be valid as a standard for participation in international competitions such as the 2022 Oregon World Championships
- it will not be valid as a target time for the world ranking
- it will not be valid as a world record-area record (Asia).