translated and edited by Brett Larner
Named to the Japanese national team for next month's World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, Korea, 10000 m runner Kayo Sugihara (28, Team Denso) visited her former high school, Izumo Shogyo H.S. in Izumo, Shimane, on Aug. 13. Sugihara won the 10000 m at June's National Track and Field Championships. In 2007 she ran the 5000 m at the Osaka World Championships, meaning Daegu will be her second appearance at Worlds. "I want to run an active race and break my best time," she told the assembled crowd with resolve.
Sugihara spoke in the high school's auditorium in front of a crowd of 200 including 158 seniors, 9 members of the school's track and field team, Izumo Shogyo graduates and assorted visitors. Her former coach Koji Yamane talked about Sugihara's high school-era running, saying, "At first she got injured a lot and had constant problems with anemia, but although she could never really fully train she still laid the groundwork for getting where she is now." Watching a video of the race that sealed her place on the Daegu team, the crowd all broke into applause when Sugihara broke away from her rivals with a strong kick over the last 200 m.
After receiving a bouquet of flowers form track and field team captain Miki Osaka Sugihara again addressed the crowd, saying, "It has been ten years since I graduated, but this opportunity came to me because of the three years I spent here. In my race at the World Championships I want to show you all how much I've grown."
The women's 10000 m takes place on the Aug. 27, the first day of competition. If Sugihara wins a medal she will secure a place on the London Olympic team. "The Olympics are my ultimate goal," she said, her eyes sparkling.