Skip to main content

Big Mouth Scores the Big Ticket - Yuichiro Ueno in Berlin

http://www.asahi.com/sports/column/TKY200907250112.html

translated by Brett Larner



In the National Track and Field Championships 5000 m last month, Yuichiro 'Big Mouth' Ueno's usual stupidity was nowhere to be seen.* Hanging back at the rear of the lead pack, Ueno bided his time before attacking to take his first national title. Watching the race, Hiroshi Tako, Ueno's coach since his early days at Chuo University, commented, "Hmmn, this isn't like him at all." That's how much Ueno wanted to make his first World Championships team.



Three days later came the 1500 m. Right from the first lap Ueno took off at a dash. All the real middle distance runners in the race waited as they followed their carefully-built race plans. On the last lap the leaders tried to run Ueno down, but it was too late. "Man, it's pretty weak that nobody even tried to race me," he said in his post-race interview. Ueno became the first person in 24 years to win the 1500 m and 5000 m double at the National Championships. People across the country laughed in amazement that Big Mouth had finally actually done something.

Ueno's career goal is the marathon. That hasn't changed since he entered high school, when he famously said in an interview, "I'm going to set the world record." He plans to concentrate on speed until he's 29. Currently he trains about 400 km a month. Compared to Olympic gold medalists Naoko Takahashi and Mizuki Noguchi, who trained over 1000 km a month, it seems like Ueno isn't working hard enough.

The reality is different. Ueno missed out on the 2007 World Championships in Osaka and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing because of injuries. "I can't even count the number of times I cried because I couldn't train," he says. "Finally, finally, finally, I did it." Ueno understands that rather than killing himself in training, now it's the time for him to develop himself and flesh out his abilities. He may be a clever runner after all.

Yuichiro Ueno
Born in Saku, Nagano. 183 cm, 58 kg. 23 yrs. old. Runs for Team S&B. While at Saku Chosei High School he broke the 12 year-old 10000 m high school national record. An ekiden star while at Chuo University, he was known as one of the 'Four Princes' of the university ekiden world along with Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin), Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) and Hideaki Date (Team Chugoku Denryoku). PBs: 1500 m - 3:42.51 / 5000 m - 13:21.49 / 10000 m - 28:27.39

*Translator's note: Ueno has a long-standing reputation for talking big and blowing up even bigger.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Ueno and another runner wore what looked like black belts. What's it benefit/purpose?
Brett Larner said…
They're for lower back support. A lot of younger Japanese guys wear them, especially ones who graduated from Saku Chosei High School like Ueno and Yuki Sato. All the Saku guys have similar form, so the belt may counteract some of the strain caused by running that way.
Anonymous said…
A 3:42 guy should not be able to participate at worlds...I don't know how this guy can be cocky when he is not even world class
Brett Larner said…
Ueno is running the 5000 at Worlds, not the 1500m. The fact that he's cockier than he deserves is kind of what makes him interesting.

Most-Read This Week

Kariuki Cracks Course Record at 30th Anniversary Ageo City Half Marathon

2017 Kanto Regionals 10000 m and half marathon D2 champion Simon Kariuki (Nihon Yakka Univ.)  overcame windy conditions at the 30th edition of the Ageo City Half Marathon to shave one second off the course record, winning in a PB 1:01:25.

Kariuki and 2017 Kanto Regionals D1 5000 m and 10000 m champ Patrick Mathenge Wambui (Nihon Univ.) took it out in the first km, setting up a fascinating duel between Kanto's top two collegiate men on the track.


Led by Hayato Seki, star runner of this year's Izumo Ekiden champ Tokai University in his half marathon debut, the main body of the Japanese pack gradually relinquished the lead to the Kenyan pair, down 50 seconds by 10 km and continuing to drift back from then. Ageo has typically seen its lead Japanese collegiate men running between high-61 and mid-62, but nobody in the field seemed willing to go ahead of Seki and the runner on his shoulder, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.).


Near …

Krifchin and Lemciyeh Win Kobe Marathon

The Kobe Marathon held its 7th running on Nov. 19.  19,709 runners took part in this year's race, with 600,000 people cheering them on along the course between the start at Kobe City Hall and the finish in the Kobe Harbor area which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. American Maegan Krifchin, 29, won the women's race in a course record time of 2:33:14. Khalil Lemciyeh of Morocco also broke the men's course record, winning in 2:12:49.

The Kobe Marathon is organized by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and the City of Kobe. 7,500 volunteers helped runners over the course of the three days of race weekend. This year the turnaround point moved 1.25 km to the west, taking runners under Akashi Kaikyo Bridge for the first time. The final section of the course on Port Island was shortened to make up the distance. At noon at the finish area temperatures were 12 degrees with 65% humidity. 18,949 people finished the race.

At the starting ceremony in front of City Hall, a mom…

Kosimbei, Kwemoi and Shitara Lead Hachioji 10000 m Field

Nestled deep in the misty foothills of the western Tokyo mountains, Hosei University's late November Hachioji Long Distance meet has quietly turned into one of the world's premier track 10000 m, its A-heat never quite dipping under 27 minutes yet but still producing record-setting depth and the two fastest Japanese men's 10000 m in history.
This year's entry list is another monster, with 27:02.59 man Nicholas Kosimbei (Toyota) leading 17 men with recent times under 28 minutes, twelve of them Kenyan, three Japanese and two Ethiopian. Fresh off a 27:22.73 win at last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials, two-time steeplechase junior world champion Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu) is slated to pace what is scheduled to be a sub-28 race, but with Kosimbei, sub-27:30 men John Maina (Fujitsu) and Rodgers Chumo Kwemoi (Aisan Kogyo) and five others under 27:45 including last year's winnerRonald Kwemoi (Komori Corp.) on the list the front end should go faster. 
Rig…