Skip to main content

Focusing on Speed, Fujita is Ready for a New Start

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2009/01/20090109t64043.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Former Japanese men's marathon national record holder Atsushi Fujita (32, Team Fujitsu) is on the road to a rebirth after finding a new style in his running. Fujita set the former national record of 2:06:51 at the 2000 Fukuoka International Marathon, but he has never been able to meet his goals since. "I set that record just running on momentum and energy," says Fujita. "Next time I want to do it by precise calculation." His first step on his new road will be at March's Tokyo Marathon.

A 2:06 marathon is 3 minutes per km. Last year Fujita focused on his track speed, running a new 5000 m PB of 13:54.65 and his fastest 10000 m since 2000. In the New Year Ekiden he ran the 3rd-fastest time on the 4th stage to lead Team Fujitsu to its first victory in 9 years. Fujita reflects, "The last few years I lost some of my speed. I had to work hard to run 3 minute pace." As the years piled up, Fujita began to feel that it was getting harder to maintain his legs' strength only through running, leading him to begin training on exercise machines. "Now," he says, "it just feels like I'm floating. I'm making up for what I'm losing with age through efficiency and experience."

At the 2007 Fukuoka International Marathon Fujita was 8th, missing his chance to make the Beijing Olympic team and leading him to stop training with his alma mater Komazawa University in April and return to Fujitsu's training grounds in Chiba after a four-year absence. Leaving his solitary life behind to live in the company dormitories, Fujita says, "Meals are really lively and a good time. I've always been on my own before this so I never had a chance to see this kind of lifestyle. My perspective's broadened a bit and it's helped me to feel more comfortable about my life in athletics." With fewer wrinkles in his forehead and a noticeably brighter disposition, this veteran has found a new love of his trade as he moves on toward his next goal.

*Translator's note: Atsushi Fujita still holds the fastest 35-40 km and 40-42.195 km splits on the Fukuoka course from his 2:06:51 national record run in 2000, faster than the Fukuoka splits of world record holder Haile Gebrselassie, Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru, silver medalist Jaouad Gharib, bronze medalist Tsegaye Kebede and 4th placer Deriba Merga. A comparison of their marks:

Atsushi Fujita
35-40 km: 14:44 40-42.195 km: 6:23 finish time: 2:06:51

Tsegaye Kebede
35-40 km: 14:47 40-42.195 km: 6:25 finish time: 2:06:10

Haile Gebreselassie
35-40 km: 14:50 40-42.195 km: 6:32 finish time: 2:06:52

Samuel Wanjiru
35-40 km: 15:14 40-42.195 km: 6:36 finish time: 2:06:39

Deriba Merga
35-40 km: 15:13 40-42.195 km: 6:47 finish time: 2:06:50

Jaouad Gharib
35-40 km: 14:56 40-42.195 km: 6:53 finish time: 2:07:19

Comments

Most-Read This Week

JAAF Announces Last-Chance Olympic Marathon Standards: 2:05:49 and 2:22:22

We hereby announce the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon Team qualifying standards for the MGC Final Challenge.
men: 2:05:49
women: 2:22:22 These times are one second faster than the fastest times run by Japanese men and women within the MGC Race qualifying period. The fastest athlete under these standards at one of the MGC Final Challenge series races will earn the third and final spot on the Tokyo 2020 team following the two to be decided at September's MGC Race. MGC Final Challenge series races:
Men:73rd Fukuoka International MarathonTokyo Marathon 202075th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Women:5th Saitama International Marathon39th Osaka International Women's MarathonNagoya Women's Marathon 2020 For more information on the overall Tokyo 2020 Olympic team qualification process please click here.
The official MGC site:  http://www.mgc42195.jp/
source press release:
https://www.jaaf.or.jp/news/article/12712/
translated and edited by Brett Larner

10000 m National Championships Lead Weekend Action

It's a busy weekend on the track across the country. In long distance action the main event is Sunday's 10000 m national championships, held this year a month and a half before the rest of the National Track and Field Championships in an effort to help people produce better performances to maximize their world rankings points. The 10000 m will be held in Osaka's Nagai Stadium just after the Golden Grand Prix Osaka meet, which maxes out this time around with the 3000 m steeplechase.

22 women are entered in the 10000 m including 6 of the 7 who have cleared the 31:50.00 Doha World Championships standard and the only one who has cleared the 31:25.00 Tokyo Olympics standard. That would be the currently world-ranked #3 Hitomi Niiya (Nike Tokyo TC), who lapped 2nd place the last time she ran Nationals back in 2013 en route to a still-standing championships record 31:06.67. #16-ranked Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post), jointly #22-ranked Kaori Morita (Panasonic) and Mizuki Matsuda (Daiha…

Weekend Track Highlights

The IAAF World Relays in Yokohama were the weekend's main track action, but the first round of regional corporate championships and a few other meets brought distance action across the country.

The women's 10000 m was the highlight at the Kansai Region Corporate Championships, with Wacoal teammates Yuka Ando and Mao Ichiyama recovering from decent runs at the London Marathon last month to go 1st and 5th, Ando the fastest in 32:43.18. Their fellow MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials qualifier Madoka Nakano (Noritz) was 2nd in 32:50.18, doubling the next day in the 5000 m where she was 5th in 16:07.24. Former Hakone Ekiden rivals and now teammates at NTT Nishi Nihon, Kenyans Patrick Wambui and Dominic Nyairo went 1-2 in the men's 10000 m in 28:41.84 and 28:43.86. Ryota Motegi (Sumitomo Denko) just missed the meet record in the men's 1500 m, winning in 3:44.12.

At the Chubu Region Corporate Championships Kenyans Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and Macharia Ndirangu