Athletics, Mikio Oda Memorial 2023: How did Indian athletes do and who made the Asian Games 2022 cut?

Mikio Oda served as the national coach for the Japanese Olympic team from the 1952 Helsinki Games until the 1964 Tokyo Games.

Abdulla Aboobacker in action (Image Credits - Instagram/@abdullaaboobacker04)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Apr 30, 2023 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Ankita Dhyani achieved the Asian Games 2022 qualifying standard in the women’s 5,000m race at the Mikio Oda Memorial Athletics 2023 event in Hiroshima, Japan. Ankita placed sixth and ran a personal best time of 15:33.24s, which was much faster than the Athletics Federation of India’s (AFI) 15:49.00 qualifying mark. Her previous personal best, which she had established earlier this year at the Indian Grand Prix 1 2023 held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on March 20, was reduced by approximately 22 seconds as a result of this incredible feat.

Ankita is one of the promising athletes in India right now. In the year 2021, Ankita smashed a 24-year-old junior national record to win the 5000m gold medal at the 36th National Junior Athletics Championships which took place in Guwahati. The then 18-year-old from Sports Authority of India (SAI) National Center of Excellence ran the race in a timing of 16:21.19 to establish the record.

Who are the other athletes featured in the event?

Abdulla Aboobacker, a fellow Indian competitor and silver medalist at the Commonwealth Games 2022, won the men’s triple jump competition with a season-best leap of 16.31 meters. At Birmingham 2022, Aboobacker had previously placed second with a jump of 17.02 meters. Bal Kishan also finished tenth in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase in a timing of 8:47.71 seconds.

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About the Mikio Oda and Mikio Oda Memorial Athletics meet

Annually, Japan hosts the Mikio Oda Memorial Athletics meet in memory of the late Mikio Oda, a renowned track and field competitor who represented Japan at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics and clinched the gold medal in the triple jump. Born in the Hiroshima Prefecture, he began competing in track & field during his junior high school years and broke numerous Japanese National Records in the high jump, long jump, and triple jump. He took part in the Paris, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles Olympic Games.

At his first competition which was the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, Mikio Oda placed sixth in the triple jump. He claimed the Olympic Gold medal for the triple leap with a jump of 15.21 meters at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam, becoming the first Japanese to do so. His winning streak is honored by a memorial flag pole that is situated close to the 100-meter starting line at Tokyo’s National Stadium.

Mikio Oda served as the national coach for the Japanese Olympic team from the 1952 Helsinki Games until the 1964 Tokyo Games. He also participated in the founding of ATFS. Even when he was in his eighties, he attended numerous track and field events in Japan. He was also a founding member of the International Track & Field Coaches Association, which was established in the early 1950s in Berkley, California. He was a veteran of the IAAF and was elected in 1976. Since 1967, the Oda Memorial Meet in Hiroshima has been organized on April 29 as a national holiday to honor his accomplishments and contributions to athletics.

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