Skip to main content

Kawauchi Looking Forward to Post-Worlds Coffee

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20110812-OHT1T00304.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi at the pre-Daegu press conference. Click photo to enlarge.

37 members of the Japanese national team for this month's World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, Korea assembled at a Tokyo hotel over the weekend for the official sendoff press conference.  Among them was the now-famous amateur runner Yuki Kawauchi (24, Saitama Prefecture) who will run the men's marathon on Sept. 4, and team captains Yukifumi Murakami (31, Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) from the men's javelin and women's 400 m hurdler Satomi Kubokura (29, Niigata Albirex AC).  Kawauchi revealed that he is aiming for a top-eight finish and that after months of limiting his consumption of coffee, his favorite drink, he plans to celebrate post-race with a fresh hot cup.

Wearing the Rising Sun on his chest for the time, Kawauchi's spirits were high as he appeared at the press conference dressed in the national uniform.  "The reality of all of this is just bubbling up inside me," he said.  "I'm going to race with a powerful sense of the responsibility that's upon me."  In his first appearance at the World Championships, Kawauchi has dangled a carrot in front of himself as extra motivation toward his goal of top-eight.  "I love coffee," he told the media, "but at the moment I'm abstaining.  If I make top eight I'll reward myself by celebrating with a cup."

Training through last year's hot summer his condition broke down due to the effects of the heat, and after considering this he stopped drinking coffee late last year as he built toward this year's Tokyo Marathon.  "I drank it without fail, morning, noon and night after every meal," he said of his love of coffee.  Since he does not drink alcohol, Kawauchi viewed each cup as a reward, a personal stimulus and a thing of beauty.

Takushoku University head coach Masahiro Okada explained, "Coffee contains caffeine, a natural stimulant.  For sprinters and other athletes in sports requiring explosive force drinking small amounts of coffee can have positive effects, but for marathoners and other long-distance athletes there is no positive effect at all.  In fact, drinking it later in the day can make it hard to fall asleep at night, so there can actually be negative effects for athletes.  It's not a banned substance, but I do not recommend it for athletes.  Rather than drinking coffee, milk is much better."

It goes without saying that since Kawauchi's restriction is self-imposed he hasn't broken it.  While other members of the national team were doing extended training camps overseas and at altitude Kawauchi was going to work at Kasukabe H.S. as usual and training in the mountains at Kawaguchiko and Nikko on the weekends to strengthen his legs.  In June he ran the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon and collapsed just before the finish after suffering heat stroke, but finding the positive in the experience he said, "In heat and humidity I ran alone for 49 km.  That gives me a lot of confidence."  Discussing his race plan for the big day he told reporters, "The most important thing is to be able to keep my rhythm without and breaks."

East Africans from Kenya and Ethiopia dominate the men's marathon, but at the World Championships Japanese men have made the top eight six times in a row starting with Nobuyuki Sato's bronze at the 1999 Seville World Championships.  With his 2:08:37 PB ranking him #1 among the five men on the Japanese team the "Government Star" is aiming for a repeat of his shocking run at February's Tokyo Marathon as he says, "To me this all seems like I'm in a dream, but I want to prove to everyone that even an amateur can compete at the world level."

Comments

Matt Holton said…
Go Kawauchi!! With the right conditions and right mind set, you can make it on that podium.

Most-Read This Week

Former Coach Koide on Hara's Arrest: "She Was Really F*cking Serious"

A World Championships marathoner was arrested for shoplifting. On Aug. 17 The Tochigi Prefectural Police Ashikaga Department arrested temp worker Yumiko Hara, 35, on suspicion of stealing skin lotion and other items from a convenience store.

Yoshio Koide, Hara's former coach at the Universal Entertainment corporate team and head of the Saku Athlete Club, was surprised by the events. "She trained harder than anybody," Koide said. "She never missed training, and she was really f*cking serious. I think there must have been a reason for her to commit shoplifting, but she was always a normal kind of girl who would say, "Yes!" when you told her to do something. When she retired she said, 'I've done what I could but I just can't run the way I want to.' I haven't spoken to her since she quit, but it's very unfortunate news and I can't understand it."

source article:https://www.nikkansports.com/general/nikkan/news/1873808.html
translat…

World Championships Marathoner Yumiko Hara Arrested for Shoplifting Cosmetics

Former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 35, was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting cosmetics and other goods. A resident of Ashikaga, Tochigi, Hara is suspected of shoplifting eight items including cosmetics and soft drinks with a total value of 2700 yen [~$25 USD] from a local convenience store on July 30. According to police, a clerk performing a store inventory found that the item totals did not match. When police reviewed security camera footage they identified Hara as a suspect.

Hara represented Japan at two World Championships, finishing 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships. During her interrogation Hara admitted her guilt in the charges, saying that there was "no mistake."
Translator's note: Along with the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and 2007 Osaka World Championships, Hara represented Japan at the 2003 Vilamoura World Half Marathon Championships. She was the winner of both the 2007 Osaka International Women's Maratho…

Kobayashi Wins London Bronze Without Hakone Experience While Hakone Veteran Kawauchi Fails to Make Top 8

The World Championships in athletics were first held in Helsinki, Finland in 1983. Up until the 1991 Tokyo World Championships they were held once every four years, but beginning with the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships they switched to an every other year format. London this year was the 16th edition. To date 68 men with Hakone Ekiden experience have competed in the World Championships, with three of them winning medals in the marathon.

In Tokyo in 1991 Hiromi Taniguchi became the first Japanese World Championships gold medalist, raising the excitement level at the games.  As a student at Nittai University Taniguchi had won the Hakone Ekiden's downhill Sixth Stage three years in a row from 1981 to 1983. As a fourth-year in 1983 he set a new stage record of 57:47. Course changes have rendered his record an historical artifact, but Taniguchi is still considered Hakone's greatest downhill runner.

At the 1999 Seville World Championships and 2005 Helsinki World Championships, …