Skip to main content

Coach Koide Regrets Takahashi's Retirement as 'Such a Waste'

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20081029-00000016-dal-spo

translated by Brett Larner

Sydney Olympics women's marathon gold medalist Naoko Takahashi (36, Team Phiten) held a press conference in Tokyo on Oct. 28 to announce her retirement from professional running. Sakura AC head coach Yoshio Koide (69), the man who led her to greatness, still has not 100% accepted the news. "I didn't think she would quit," Koide regretfully told reporters in the arrivals lobby of Tokyo's Narita Airport after returning from a training camp in Kunming, China on Oct. 28. "Maybe she is just worn out. It's such a waste...."

Koide and Takahashi were together for ten years, from her early days with Team Recruit in 1995 until 2005. That year Takahashi, expressing a desire for independence, relocated to Boulder, Colorado in 2005 to continue training without a coach. At the time she commented of Boulder, "I have to admit that I love it there." But the bond between the two remained in place.

At 8:30 on the morning of Oct. 28 Koide received a call on his cell phone. It was Takahashi. "I'm sorry not to have told you earlier," Takahashi said after giving him the news of her retirement. Koide's first reaction was to blurt out, "What happened? Are you getting married?" "No, absolutely not," Takahashi replied levelly. "We'll talk about it later."

"As far as I'm concerned," Koide somewhat wistfully told reporters at Narita, "Q-chan* still has the ability to get another Olympic medal before she's 40. She could still run around 2:20-2:22. She says she's spent everything her body has? She's never known how to train herself, that's why she thinks she's spent."

In terms of her future, Koide hopes that Q-chan will come back to join him in his 'Koide Dojo' training program for recreational runners. "Q-chan and I started the idea that 'The marathon is fun!' I want to give her something now of which she can say, 'Yes, this is a good way to end.' Koide's yearning for a reunion with his star pupil is clear as he waits in hope for her call.

Comments

Anonymous said…
`worn out' and `waste':
I wonder whether he caused that to a certain extent?
Roberto said…
Koide coached a runner who – it always seemed to me – was far from an intellectual giant. As he said, "She's never known how to train herself, that's why she thinks she's spent."

I can't imagine that Koide could reinstill in Takahashi the desire that is such a critical element of world-beating success, and she obviously wasn't up to it herself. But so what? She retires (a bit late, unfortunately, but that's something she has to deal with) as a giant of the sport.

Did he wear her out? As Brett has written, she was one of the greatest marathon runners of all time, and Koide can take a significant amount of credit for that.

We ALL wear out ... she had a better run than most before she did.

Most-Read This Week

Norway's Moen Blasts 2:05:48 European Record to Win Fukuoka

More than living up to the promise of his 59:48 Norwegian half marathon record at October's Valencia Half, Sondre Nordtad Moen took down all comers to win the 2017 Fukuoka International Marathon in a European record 2:05:48.

【福岡国際マラソン】

🏆優 勝 モーエン 2:05.48! pic.twitter.com/lpzMUYHfhu — NOBUKI T&F (@nobu_777__tf) December 3, 2017
Superb pacing work took the lead group through 30 km with almost perfect 3:00/km splits along the way, a race of attrition that shaved down the field to a core group of five real contenders. Defending champ Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) was the first big name to go, with 2:06 man Lani Rutto (Kenya), the debuting Keita Shitara (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) and last year's 3rd-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) among the other big names to lose touch in the first half, leaving Moen, favorite Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA), London Olympics gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda), last year's 5th-placer Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) and Boston Maratho…

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…