Skip to main content

A Tough Road to Complete Recovery: Megumi Kinukawa

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2009/05/20090530t14040.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The way back to a complete recovery can be steep and grim. The greatest young hope of Japanese women's distance running, 10000 m junior national record holder Megumi Kinukawa (Team Mizuno), finished last of 35 entrants in the May 17 East Japan Jitsugyodan Track and Field Championships women's 5000 m, virtually staggering in to a 17:54.97. "This is the best I can do right now. More than being discouraged I just feel surprised." Just 19, she's learning the hard way the bitter taste of tears.

"I've been injured and sick and....." Kinukawa trails off. Last year she was infected with an unidentified virus which caused her to miss most of the year including her dream of running in the Beijing Olympics. In October she resurfaced, breaking her own national record with a mark of 31:23.21 which cleared the Berlin World Championships A-standard. Having felt a total comeback within her grasp, the shock of Kinukawa's performance at the East Japan meet was huge.

Kinukawa ran the 2007 Osaka World Championships women's 10000 m as a senior at Sendai Ikuei High School, feeling the spotlight for the first time. However, it was just months later that she became ill and faced a year of setbacks. This year she began to experience Achilles tendon trouble in January, then caught a severe flu virus. "I couldn't even stand for a month," she reveals.

Kinukawa began training again in May, but she experienced breathing trouble severe enough to require emergency examination. Her unstable condition continues. With the National Track and Field Championships coming up in late June, Takao Watanabe, her coach since high school, has opted for her to sit out for the second year in a row. "She's still young," he says. "What she needs now is complete rest."

Translator's note: Takao Watanabe was the head coach of national champion Sendai Ikuei High School, guiding a young Samuel Wanjiru to his first half marathon world record among other achievements. Following Kinukawa's new 10000 m junior national record in October he resigned from Sendai Ikuei to become her personal coach. The pair's stated goal is the marathon in the 2012 London Olympics.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …