Skip to main content

Atsushi Sato Leaves for Berlin Targeting "Top Five at Worst"

translated and edited by Brett Larner
source articles at bottom

Marathoner Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku) left Hiroshima on Aug. 10 with his coach Yasushi Sakaguchi to travel to Berlin for this year's World Championships, which are scheduled to begin on the 15th. It's been one year since Sato suffered a complete breakdown at the Beijing Olympics. Looking toward this year's peak summer race as he prepared to depart, Sato said, "At the very worst I'm looking at top five."

Sato is flying out of Tokyo's Narita Airport on Aug. 11 but left Hiroshima a day early to avoid the approaching Typhoon #9. He returned from a training camp in New Zealand on only Aug. 8, but was relaxed and unconcerned about the strain of all the travelling, saying, "If you can't deal with stress when you need to then you can't deal with the demands of competition either."

The World Championships marathon is on Aug. 22. It's been four months since Sato qualified for the national team at the London Marathon. Since early July he's been in peak training in Nagano Prefecture's Sugadaira Takahara and in New Zealand, and he is in top condition. "By keeping my spirit light and free I was able to concentrate in my training," Sato said of his preparations. Sakaguchi agreed, adding, "He's recovered nicely from the fatigue of training and his body is fresh and ready."

Sato and Sakuguchi will initially travel to Frankfurt, Germany. On Aug. 15 Sato will run a 10 km road race in Amsterdam before heading to Berlin on the 19th. "It's just a local amateur race. I don't even know what it's called," Sato laughed. "I just want to run around 29 minutes."

Sato's training partners Shigeru Aburaya and Tsuyoshi Ogata together finished in the top five at the last four World Championships. Having overcome the psychological and spiritual damage of finishing last in Beijing, Sato himself once again looks ready to compete at the world level. Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya) isn't running the World Championships marathon but a high-speed race looks inevitable. "I couldn't run competitively in Beijing," Sato says, but he's determined as he adds, "This time is preparation for [the] London [Olympics] and I want to put out a world-class race."

http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/sports/Sp200908110192.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/2009/news/f-sp-tp0-20090811-529866.html
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20090811-OHT1T00265.htm

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Nikkan Sports Reports Olympic Ticket Lottery Success Rate of 2.95% Within Company

The Nikkan Sports newspaper company conducted a survey of its employees' success rate at scoring tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the ticket lottery drawing following the announcement of the lottery's results on June 20. Including the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field, gymnastics, tennis, badminton, baseball, softball and medal sessions in other major sports, out of the 1288 sessions for which Nikkan employees applied they won tickets to a total of 38 sessions. The success rate among survey respondents was just 2.95%, an indication of how hard it was to get tickets to Japan's home soil Olympics.

Translator's note: Of the 28 sessions I applied for I won tickets to three, two in athletics and one in archery. Including only medal sessions, I got tickets to two of the 22 to which I applied, both in athletics. Interestingly, one of the ones I didn't get was stadium seating for the men's marathon finish, showing what a hot ticket that is going be.

A…

17-Year-Old Ryuji Miura Breaks 3000 m Steeplechase High School Record in World-Leading Time

At the Kinki Region High School Track and Field Championships Saturday in Osaka’s Nagai Stadium, 17-year-old Ryuji Miura of Rakunan H.S. took down one of the oldest records in Japanese athletics, breaking the 30-year-old 3000 m steeplechase high school record by 5 seconds to win in 8:39.49.

Running in heavy rain after clocking the fastest time in the qualifying rounds, Miura went straight to the front in the final and was on his own within 200 m. From the start the record was in reach as he went through 1000 m in 2:49 and 2000 m in 5:43, building up a lead of about 200 m over the rest of the field.

Miura’s final time of 8:39.49 was the fastest in the world this year by an U18 athlete and 6th-best among U20 men, a new Japanese U18 record and all-time #2 for the U20 category. He came short of the outright Japanese high school record of 8:19.21 held by future marathon great Daniel Njenga, but took 5 seconds off the Japanese citizen high school record of 8:44.77 set back in 1989 by futu…

National Track and Field Championships Preview - Jumps

Japan's National Track and Field Championships kick off this Thursday in Fukuoka. It's the start of an important cycle for Japan, with national representation at this fall's Doha World Championships on the line in the lead-up to next year's Tokyo Olympics. Anyone who has cleared the Doha standard in their event will make the team if they win at Nationals, with other qualifiers and hgh-ranked athletes having to wait until mid-September to learn their fates. Over the next four days JRN will break down the favorites in each event.

In the jumps, not a single athlete in any event on the women's side looks to have a realistic chance of making it to Doha without a big PB in the next couple of months. All four of last year's women's national champions, Haruka Nakano (Nippatsu) in the high jump, Juri Nanbu (Chukyo Univ.) in the pole vault, Ayaka Kora (Tsukuba Univ.) in the long jump and Eri Sakamoto (Nihon Shitsunai TC) in the triple jump, return. Of them only Kora…