by Brett Larner
Along with the announcement and presentation of the women's marathon team for August's World Championships, the previously-announced men's marathon team was presented at the Apr. 21 Rikuren press conference. Each athlete gave a brief statement and answered direct questions.
Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN): I ran the Asian Games Marathon in November to qualify, so I have more recovery time than the others. I think the black athletes will be dominating the race, but it's going to be hot and that will improve my chances. I'm going to running the Gifu Half Marathon on May 15, then in July either the Sapporo International Half Marathon or the Gold Coast Marathon.
Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.): [visibly nervous] Having made the national team I feel very strongly that I've got to give it my absolute best. I want to show Japan, the world, that even as an amateur, even working full time, you can still be world-class. I'm also running the Gifu Half on May 15 and Sapporo in July, plus some track time trials. I'm also going to do a 50 km ultra in June.
Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei): I wasn't really that focused or ready for Lake Biwa [where he qualified for the WC team] so I didn't really understand what my run meant afterwards. Only when I started hearing the excitement from other people did I start to get how important it is. I'm running the 10000 m at the Hyogo Relay Carnival on Apr. 24 and some time trials and other track races in May. In June I'll be racing on the track at the National Championships.
Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota): At the world level the marathon is now basically a speed race, so I want to be ready for that. On May 1 I'm running the 10000 m at the Cardinal Invitational, then the 10000 m at Nationals, then a half marathon in July.
Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki): [visibly nervous] I was one second short of the 2:09:30 standard to make the team, so while I'm happy to get picked I know I still have work to do to make up for that. Japanese runners are strong in the heat, so we have some advantage there. I plan to do some track trials before the Kyushu Corporate Track Championships on May 14, then to run the Sapporo half in July.
(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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