|Born||21 June 1972|
Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||75 kg (165 lb)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|Event(s)||Sprints, Long jump|
|University team||Doshisha University|
|Retired||23 September 2008|
|Now coaching||Osaka Gas Track and Field Club|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal||100 m: 10.02 (Oslo 2001)|
200 m: 20.39 (Stuttgart 1997)
Nobuharu Asahara ( Asahara Nobuharu, born 21 June 1972 in Kita-ku, Kobe) is a Japanese former athlete who specialized in the 100 metres and long jump. 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.
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. 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. 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).
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). He completed a 100 m and long jump double at the 1997 National Sports Festival of Japan.
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. He recorded 10.17 seconds at 35 years old in 2008.
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. 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. It was the first Olympic medal for Japan in 80 years in track races. 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." After his retirement he was employed by Osaka Gas and opened an athletics training camp for children.
|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|
|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)|
He has won the individual national championship eight times.