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Teaching the Masters

Spring is here. With it comes the April issue of our new subscription series JRNPremium. This month's issues features an interview with Kiyoko Shimahara, the 2009 Hokkaido Marathon winner who broke 2:30 three times in just over 100 days last fall. Shimahara is running Sunday's Nagano Marathon and was just named to the Japanese national team for November's Asian Games. We talked to her about what happened last fall, her training this spring, and her views on national teams, racing overseas, and what's wrong with the corporate team system. Look for Shimahara's interview tomorrow.

Also out now, as a companion piece to editor-in-chief Jonathan Beverley's interview with Kenya's Samuel Wanjiru, the May, 2010 issue of Running Times magazine includes my article "Teaching the Masters" which looks at the history of African distance runners in Japan. For the article I interviewed Tsutomu Akiyama, one of the men responsible for bringing Samuel Wanjiru to the world, Stephen Mayaka, the first Kenyan high school runner in Japan, and Biruk Bekele, an agent who in his running days was one of the first Ethiopians to be hired by a Japanese corporate team.

The complete interviews with Mayaka and Akiyama, both solid gold, will be published in the May and June issues of JRNPremium. The July issue of Running Times will also include an article of mine looking at the development of the Japanese running system from a historical perspective.

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Kawauchi Named Captain of Japanese National Team for London World Championships

At a JAAF event at the British Embassy in Tokyo on July 21, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) was named men's captain of the Japanese national team for next month's London World Championships. Javelin throw national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was chosen as women's captain.

In a wide-ranging and impassioned speech 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, Kawauchi stoked the team's morale as he told attendees, "I think that there are athletes here today who look at London as just a checkpoint along the way to the Tokyo Olympics. But as a representative of Japan it is not enough just to be there competing. I feel it strongly. You must produce results at this event, the London World Championships. This is the task assigned to each and every one of us. It is critical that we work seriously to achieve our goals. The Japanese people want nothing less. What can we as athletes do for them? More than just wearing the uniform, each of us mus…

Additions to Japanese National Team for London World Championships

The JAAF has made a series of announcements over the last week confirming additions to its small team for next month's London World Championships. Along with previously announced rosters for track and field events, combined events and road events, the following athletes have been added to the Japanese team. Relay members are pending IAAF confirmation. The final complete team roster is expected next week.

Men's 400 m Hurdles
Ryo Kajiki (Josai Univ.) - 49.33
Yusuke Ishida (Waseda Univ.) - 49.35

Men's 3000 m Steeplechase
Hironori Tsuetaki (Fujitsu) - 8:29.05

Men's 4 x 400 m Relay
Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Seiyaku) - 45.76
Kosuke Horii (Sumitomo Denko) - 45.88

Women's Javelin Throw
Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 61.95 m

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