Skip to main content

Yuki Sato Misses Mark in Flanders Cup

by Brett Larner



Like rival Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) in Spain just 24 hours earlier, the prodigious Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) couldn't crack the barrier in his last attempt at earning a World Championships A-standard in the 5000 m. A week after running a 3000 m PB Sato ran the 5000 m at the July 26 Flanders Cup meet in Brasschaat, Belgium. Sato needed to attain the A-standard of 13:20.00 to join his former high school teammate Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) in the 5000 m on the national team for next month's World Championships. His time of 13:35.32 was good for 2nd in the Flanders Cup race but fell short of even the B-standard. A small group of other Japanese runners also ran the Flanders 5000 m, with Sato's training partner Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) landing 12th in 13:41.44.

In April Sato ran 27:38.25 for 10000 m, the third-best ever by a Japanese man and comfortably clearing the World Championships A-standard. Injury troubles held him back at June's National Championships where he was 10th in only 28:58.46, leading disappointed Rikuren officials to say he had no chance of being named to the national team. At the moment only B-standard holder Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei), the top Japanese finisher at Nationals, has a spot on the 10000 m squad. With a handful of decent 5000 m marks and a new 3000 m PB from the last few weeks in Europe to show that he is on his way back to full fitness just in time to peak for the World Championships it would be surprising and unfortunate if Rikuren did not relent and send the young Sato, who along with Takezawa is the best hope for the next generation of Japanese distance men, to Berlin to get his first experience of world-level competition.



Already holding the World Championships B-standard but having performed poorly at Nationals, 1500 m specialist Kazuya Watanabe (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) also tried to score a mark which would impress Rikuren officials enough to have them add him to the Berlin roster. It was clearly not his day as Watanabe ran in last place throughout the race and struggled home alone in 3:50.48 with a gap of three seconds separating him from the nearest straggler.

2009 Flanders Cup Meet in Brasschaat - Top Finishers
click here for complete results
click event headers for race videos
Men's 5000 m
1. Dame Tasama (Ethiopia) - 13:34.97
2. Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:35.32
3. Scotty Bauhs (U.S.A.) - 13:35.39
4. Mark Kennealy (Ireland) - 13:36.71
5. Brent Vaughn (U.S.A.) - 13:37.16
-----
9. Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku) - 13:38.93
12. Satoru Kitamura (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 13:41.44
14. Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) - 13:44.69
15. Naoki Okamoto (Team Chugoku Denryoku) - 13:49.60

Men's 1500 m A-heat
1. Kristof van Malderen (Belgium) - 3:39.43
2. Daniel Salel (Kenya) - 3:39.51
3. Taylor Milne (Canada) - 3:39.62
-----
13. Kazuya Watanabe (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) - 3:50.48

Men's 1500 m B-heat
1. Darren Gauson (U.K.) - 3:42.53
2. Tim Konoval (Canada) - 3:42.53
3. Yasunori Murakami (Team Fujitsu) - 3:43.37
-----
13. Daisuke Tamura (Japan) - 3:51.02

Men's 800 m B-heat
1. Marc Wieczorek (U.S.A.) - 1:47.97
2. Takeshi Kuchino (Japan) - 1:48.33
3. Stefan Van Aelst (Belgium) - 1:48.80
4. Taiki Tsutsumi (Japan) - 1:48.97

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

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…