Nobuharu Asahara

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Nobuharu Asahara
Asahara Nobuharu, Japanese athlete.jpg
Personal information
Nationality Japan
Born (1972-06-21) 21 June 1972 (age 48)
Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Height1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight75 kg (165 lb)
Country Japan
SportMen's athletics
Event(s)Sprints, Long jump
University teamDoshisha University
Retired23 September 2008
Now coachingOsaka Gas Track and Field Club
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100 m: 10.02 (Oslo 2001)

200 m: 20.39 (Stuttgart 1997)

Long Jump: 8.13 (Manila 1993)

Nobuharu Asahara (朝原 宣治, Asahara Nobuharu, born 21 June 1972 in Kita-ku, Kobe) is a Japanese former athlete who specialized in the 100 metres and long jump.[1] He won the 100 m at the Japanese national championship on five occasions in 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2002, and he took part in the Olympics four times in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. He represented Japan six times at the World Championships in Athletics.

At global-level championships, he reached the semifinals five times: at the 1996 Olympics and the World Championships in 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2007. He also finished twelfth in the long jump final at the 1995 World Championships. In addition he won silver medals in both 100 m and 4 x 100 m relay at the 2002 Asian Games.


Early career[edit]

Asahara started out as a long jump specialist and he won a silver medal at the 1990 Asian Junior Championships with a jump of 7.49 metres.[2] He gained his first major regional medal at the 1993 East Asian Games in May, where he took a silver with a jump of 7.93 m to finish behind Nai Hui-Fang.[3] He won the 1993 Asian Championships in a new championship record and career best of 8.13 m (a mark which was broken in 1995 by Huang Geng).[4]

He began to establish himself as Japan's top long jumper, winning the event at the Japanese national championships for the first time in 1994, and going on to two more national titles in 1995 and 1997 (missing out to Shigeru Tagawa in 1996).[5] He completed a 100 m and long jump double at the 1997 National Sports Festival of Japan.[6]

He set three Japanese records in the 100 meters, with 10.19 seconds in 1993, 10.14 seconds in 1996 and 10.08 seconds in 1997.[7] He recorded 10.17 seconds at 35 years old in 2008.

Olympic medal and retirement[edit]

Asahara represented Japan at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, competing at the 100 metres sprint. He placed fourth in his first round heat behind Michael Frater, Pierre Brown and Darrel Brown, normally causing elimination. However his time of 10.25 was the fastest losing time and he advanced to the second round. There he could not repeat himself, ending up in eighth place with a time of 10.37 seconds.[1] Together with Shingo Suetsugu, Shinji Takahira and Naoki Tsukahara he also competed at the 4x100 metres relay. In their qualification heat they placed second in behind Trinidad and Tobago, but in front of the Netherlands and Brazil. Their time of 38.52 was the third fastest out of sixteen participating nations in the first round and they qualified for the final. There they sprinted to a time of 38.15 seconds, the third time after the Jamaican and Trinidad teams, winning the bronze medal.[1] It was the first Olympic medal for Japan in 80 years in track races.[8] The medal was upgraded to a silver after the Jamaicans were DQ'ed due to Nesta Carter's positive doping sample.

On 23 September 2008, he retired from competitive athletics at the Kawasaki Super Meet, finishing third in the 100 m behind Mark Lewis-Francis and Michael Rodgers. After being greeted on the podium by Usain Bolt, Asahara said "It wasn't my best race, but it was exciting to run in front of so many fans. It was quite appropriate for my final race."[9] After his retirement he was employed by Osaka Gas and opened an athletics training camp for children.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Nobuharu Asahara married synchronised swimmer Fumiko Okuno in 2002. They have 3 children together.[11]

Personal bests[edit]

Event Time (sec) Wind (m/s) Venue Date Notes
50 metres (indoor) 5.75 Liévin, France 24 February 2002 Japan's record
60 metres (indoor) 6.55 Sindelfingen, Germany 1 March 1997 Japan's record
100 metres 10.02 +2.0 Oslo, Norway 13 July 2001 Japan's 4th-fastest time
100 metres (indoor) 10.41 Tampere, Finland 4 February 2002 Asian record (Asian best)
200 metres 20.39 +0.9 Stuttgart, Germany 13 July 1997
Long jump 8.13 m +0.7 Manila, Philippines 3 December 1993
Long jump (indoor) 7.83 m Paris, France 7 March 1997
  • All information taken from IAAF profile.


a with Naoki Tsukahara, Shingo Suetsugu, and Shinji Takahira
b with Shingo Kawabata, Kenji Tabata, and Jun Osakada

International competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Japan
1990 Asian Junior Championships Beijing, China 2nd Long jump 7.49 m (wind: +0.9 m/s)
1st 4×100 m relay 40.95 (relay leg: 2nd)
1993 East Asian Games Shanghai, China 2nd Long jump 7.93 m
Asian Championships Manila, Philippines 1st Long jump 8.13 m (wind: +0.7 m/s) PB
1994 Asian Games Hiroshima, Japan 9th Long jump 7.65 m
1995 Universiade Fukuoka, Japan 7th Long jump 8.03 m (wind: +1.2 m/s)
World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 12th Long jump 8.03 m (wind: +1.2 m/s)
1996 Olympics Atlanta, United States 10th (sf) 100 m 10.16 (wind: -0.5 m/s)
(h) 4×100 m relay DQ (relay leg: 4th)
36th (q) Long jump 7.46 m (wind: +0.6 m/s)
1997 World Indoor Championships Paris, France 14th (q) Long jump 7.83 m PB
East Asian Games Busan, South Korea 1st 100 m 10.04 (wind: +4.0 m/s)
1st 4×100 m relay 39.32 (relay leg: 4th) GR
4th Long jump 7.89 m (wind: +1.6 m/s)
World Championships Athens, Greece 14th (sf) 100 m 10.33 (wind: +0.5 m/s)
7th (sf) 4×100 m relay 38.31 (relay leg: 4th) AR
17th (q) Long jump 7.88 m (wind: -0.4 m/s)
1999 World Indoor Championships Maebashi, Japan 15th (sf) 60 m 6.60
2000 Olympics Sydney, Australia 6th 4×100 m relay 38.66 (relay leg: 4th)
2001 World Indoor Championships Lisbon, Portugal 17th (sf) 60 m 6.72
East Asian Games Osaka, Japan 3rd 100 m 10.44 (wind: 0.0 m/s)
World Championships Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 13th (sf) 100 m 10.33 (wind: -1.2 m/s)
4th 4×100 m relay 38.96 (relay leg: 4th)
2002 Asian Games Busan, South Korea 2nd 100 m 10.29 (wind: +0.3 m/s)
2nd 4×100 m relay 38.90 (relay leg: 4th)
2003 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 19th (h) 60 m 6.71
World Championships Saint-Denis, France 14th (sf) 100 m 10.42 (wind: +0.5 m/s)
6th 4×100 m relay 39.05 (relay leg: 4th)
2004 Olympics Athens, Greece 21st (qf) 100 m 10.24 (wind: +0.2 m/s)
4th 4×100 m relay 38.49 (relay leg: 4th)
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 28th (qf) 100 m 10.58 (wind: -2.0 m/s)
8th 4×100 m relay 38.77 (relay leg: 4th)
Asian Championships Incheon, South Korea 4th 100 m 10.57 (wind: -0.3 m/s)
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 16th (sf) 100 m 10.36 (wind: +0.3 m/s)
5th 4×100 m relay 38.03 (relay leg: 4th) AR
2008 Olympics Beijing, China 36th (qf) 100 m 10.37 (wind: -0.2 m/s)
2nd 4×100 m relay 38.15 (relay leg: 4th)

National Championship[edit]

He has won the individual national championship eight times.

  • 5 wins in the 100 metres (1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002)
  • 3 wins in the long jump (1994, 1995, 1997)


  1. ^ a b c Athlete biography: Nobuharu Asahara,, ret: 26 August 2008.
  2. ^ Asian Junior Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-06-05.
  3. ^ East Asia Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  4. ^ Asian Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-06-05.
  5. ^ Japanese Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-06-05.
  6. ^ Japanese National Games. GBR Athletics. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  7. ^ Lists of The Fastest White Men in History, Non-African Descent. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  8. ^ "Japan claims historic bronze in men's 4x100-meter relay". Japan Today. 23 August 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  9. ^ "Bolt acknowledges Asahara's career; Varying fortunes for Beijing champions at Kawasaki Super Meet". IAAF. 23 September 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  10. ^ Campbell-Brown, Veronica (5 June 2010). VCB impressed by Koreans - IAAF Online Diaries. IAAF. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  11. ^ (20 November 2014) こういうデコボコの感じでいいのかな 奥野史子さん×朝原宣治さん Retrieved 2019-10-08.

External links[edit]