Makoto Iijima

Makoto Iijima (飯島 誠, Iijima Makoto, born February 12, 1971) is a Japanese former professional road and track cyclist.[1] Considered as one of Japan's most successful cyclists in his decade, Iijima has claimed a total of nine track cycling medals (two golds, three silver, and four bronze) at the Asian Championships, two silvers at the Asian Games (1998 and 2002), and three national time trial titles at the Japanese Championships (1998, 2004, and 2005). He also represented his nation Japan in three editions of the Olympic Games (2000, 2004, and 2008). He announced his retirement from professional cycling in October 2010 as a member of the Bridgestone–Anchor team.[2][3]

Makoto Iijima
Personal information
Full name
Born (1971-02-12) 12 February 1971 (age 49)
Hino, Tokyo, Japan
Height1.69 m (5 ft 6 12 in)
Weight63 kg (139 lb)
Team information
Current teamRetired
Discipline
RoleRider
Professional teams
2005Sumita Ravanello Pearl Izumi
2008–2010Bridgestone–Anchor
2013Gruppo–Acqua–Tama
Major wins
Japanese National Time Trial Championships (1998, 2004, 2005)

Racing careerEdit

Iijima was born in Hino, Tokyo.

Amateur yearsEdit

Despite earning his first career medal in road racing at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand, Iijima made his official debut, as a 29-year-old, at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, where he finished sixteenth in the men's points race with a total score of six sprint points.[4]

At the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, Iijima paired up with Shinichi Fukushima to grab a silver medal in the men's madison on 11 points, trailing behind the South Korean duo Suh Seok-Kyu and 2000 Olympian Cho Ho-Sung by an ample, twenty-seven point margin after ten intermediate sprint laps.[5] In the same year, he outsprinted his brother Noriyuki Iijima and Hong Kong's Wong Kam Po to take the men's points race title at the Asian Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

When he competed for the second time at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Iijima managed to finish the men's points race successfully in sixteenth place with 13 points, matching his position from Sydney four years earlier in the process.[6]

Professional careerEdit

Iijima turned professional as a road rider in 2005, and eventually stayed with Sumita Ravanello Pearl Izumi for one cycling season, before he left himself without a contract. He was also crowned the winner Japanese National Time Trial Championships in the same year.

As a two-year free agent, Iijima redrafted his efforts to edge out Iran's Hossein Askari and Hong Kong's Cheung King Wai for his second career gold in the men's point race at the 2006 Asian Cycling Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, adding a bronze in the men's time trial to his career resume. Later that year, at the Asian Games in Doha, Iijima narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish in the points race (a total of ten) and sixth in the men's road race (3:45:05).

Eight years after his first Olympics, Iijima qualified for his third Japanese squad, as a 37-year-old and a cycling team captain, in the men's points race at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing by receiving a berth from the UCI Track World Rankings. Iijima picked up a total of 23 points, and lapped the field once to score a career-high eighth place in a 25-kilometre (16-mile) sprint race.[7][8] Strong results on his third Olympic bid landed him a spot on the Bridgestone–Anchor pro cycling team for three annual seasons.[9]

At the 2009 East Asian Games in Macau, Iijima delivered the Japanese foursome of Kazuo Inoue, Kazuhiro Mori and Hayato Yoshida a gold-medal time of 1:38:38.84 in the men's team time trial, finishing ahead of the Chinese team by more than two minutes.[10]

Major resultsEdit

1998
1st   Time trial, National Road Championships
2nd Road race, Asian Games
1999
2nd Time trial, National Road Championships
2001
1st Stage 4 Perlis Open
2002
Asian Track Championships
1st Points race
2nd Elimination race
2nd Madison, Asian Games
3rd Points race, UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics, Moscow
2003
2nd Time trial, National Road Championships
2004
Asian Track Championships
1st Points race
2nd Elimination race
1st   Time trial, National Road Championships
2005
1st   Time trial, National Road Championships
Asian Track Championships
3rd Points race
3rd Team pursuit
2006
Asian Cycling Championships
1st Points race
3rd Time trial
Tour de East Java
1st Stages 1 & 5
1st Stage 3 Tour de Kumano
1st Stage 3 Tour d'Indonesia
2nd Time trial, National Road Championships
Asian Games
4th Points race
6th Road race
2007
1st Stage 1 Jelajah Malaysia
1st Stage 3 Tour de Kumano
Asian Track Championships
2nd Madison
3rd Points race
2008
3rd Team pursuit, Asian Track Championships
8th Points race, Olympic Games
2009
1st Team time trial, East Asian Games
1st Stage 1 Jelajah Malaysia
National Road Championships
2nd Time trial
7th Road race
10th Overall Tour de Okinawa
2010
National Road Championships
3rd Time trial
8th Road race
10th Points race, UCI Track Cycling World Championships
2012
8th JBCF Simofusa Criterium
2013
2nd JBCF Makuhari Criterium

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Makoto Iijima". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  2. ^ ブリヂストン・アンカーの飯島誠が引退を発表. Cyclowired (in Japanese). Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Hossein powers to victory in Stage Three". The Star. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Sydney 2000: Track Cycling – Men's Points Race" (PDF). Sydney 2000. LA84 Foundation. p. 48. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Asian Games roundup: Japanese Murofushi repeats as hammer champion". Sports Illustrated. CNN. 8 October 2002. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Cycling: Men's Points Race". Athens 2004. BBC Sport. 15 August 2004. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Men's Points Race". Beijing 2008. NBC Olympics. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Llaneras scores points gold". Velo News. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Newly-Developed Full Carbon Model Acclaimed as Japan's Top-Quality Road Racer now Available". Bridgestone. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  10. ^ "Sunshine and the century mark is passed". Government of Hong Kong. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2013.

External linksEdit