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Noguchi: "I'll Be in the London Olympics"

Originally published 10/12/08 in the Nikkei Newspaper

translated by Brett Larner

Mizuki Noguchi (30, Team Sysmex), who pulled out of the Beijing Olympics women's marathon after an injury to her left thigh, took part in a panel discussion at an event in Sado, Niigata Prefecture on Oct. 11, telling the audience through her tears, "I sincerely apologize [for pulling out of the race]. My big goal now is to be ready to run the London Olympics." It was Noguchi's first public appearance since her injury, and she sent a positive message with her mention of plans four years in the future.

The panel discussion was part of an event organized by Noguchi's coach Nobuyuki Fujita. "Fujita Running Academy" is a program designed to support and develop elementary and junior high school student runners. Appearing as a special guest, Noguchi spoke publically about her injury for the first time while addressing the student audience. "Getting hurt was my own fault. I wanted to be in the best shape possible for the Olympics and I did too much [training]. The fault was my own. Coach Fujita and my trainer [Hisakazu] Hirose bear no blame...."

Noguchi tried at one point to begin training again after her Olympic pullout, but the pain persisted and she returned to recovery and rehabilitation mode. Looking to the future, she commented, "I'm still motivated and looking forward to coming back to the top."

Comments

Roberto said…
It's so tough (unless you're Haile Gebreselasie) to produce the goods on a particular day, after months and months of training, and it seems crazy to me to define one's life and career by a single race, four years down the road.

Of course, Noguchi has Olympic gold in her trophy case already, so her career will not be that single roll of the dice, but her statement (and I'm sure she will follow it through, racing fewer than 10 times over any distance between now and then) points up the starkly different approach of Japanese runners to those from other countries.

Perhaps it doesn't matter so much in the marathon, since one can run only so many races per year, but I don't see Japanese running improving over time if the runners don't leave Japan for races (and we see the same in soccer and other sports). Yes, a handful of Africans run here and unquestionably raise the bar for Japanese runners here, but ... I think the corporate system here makes life a little too comfortable to inspire true greatness. [And Samuel Wanjiru might offer that the year-long ekiden-focused training regimen does not prepare an athlete for world-beating success.]

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The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…

“The Miracle in Fukuoka” - Real Talk From Yuki Kawauchi on “Taking on the World” (part 1)

http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201701120002-spnavi

translated by Brett Larner

Ahead of his nomination to the London World Championships Marathon team, Sportsnavi published a three-part series of writings by Yuki Kawauchi on what it took for him to make the team, his hopes for London, and his views on the future of Japanese marathoning.  With his place on the London team announced on Mar. 17, JRN will publish an English translation of the complete series over the next three days. See Sportsnavi's original version linked above for more photos. Click here for part two, "Bringing All My Experience Into Play in London," or here for part three, "The Lessons of the Past Are Not 'Outdated.'"


The Fukuoka International Marathon was held on Dec. 4 last year. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) took part despite nursing injuries he had sustained in training. Falling rain contributed to less than ideal conditions during the race, but from the very early stages…