translated and edited by Brett Larner
Yu Mitsuya (Team Toyota Kyushu), a two-time World Championships track runner and former training partner of Beijing Olympics marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya), will run his debut marathon at February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon. Mitsuya acted as pacemaker for the first half of last Sunday's Fukuoka International Marathon as part of the serious marathon training he began in November. "I could run a half [marathon] a dozen times, but this gave me a better feeling for it," he said after Fukuoka. After eventual winner Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) started pressing the pace Mitsuya held on to precisely 3 min / km pace to bring the second pack through halfway. The experience gave him a taste of what to expect in Beppu-Oita. "Seeing this today really ups my motivation," he nodded. The expectations are high for this track star as he turns to the 42.195 km distance.
Translator's note: Yu Mitsuya is one of the best hopes for the next generation of Japanese marathoners, a potential 2:06 man at least. He was one of the athletes detailed in part one of JRN's comparison of young American and Japanese runners, running 28:00.23 for 10000 m at age 19, 27:41.10 at age 20, and 13:18.32 for 5000 m at age 22. Still only 24 years old, he holds PBs of 13:18.32 (5000 m), 27:41.10 (10000 m), 1:02:26 (half) and 1:29:55 (30 km) and is coached by 1992 Barcelona Olympic marathon silver medalist Koichi Morishita.