translated by Brett Larner
Kitaoka, Oda, Kawauchi, Nakamoto and Horibata with their team silver medals, Japan's eighth-straight World Championships finishing on the men's team podium. Click photo to enlarge.
Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) - 7th, 2:11:52
"I came down with a fever before the race. It didn't hold me back and I ran with my full strength, but now I can't breathe through my nose. It was cloudy on race day and felt very cool so I thought it was going to go out fast, but it started a little slow. After 5 km the pace started going back and forth, something I've never experienced before. It was my first time running Worlds, and up until 15 km I had some margin to enjoy it, but after 20 km things picked way up and I could feel the margin disappearing from my legs. I figured the pace would slow down again so I thought I would try to stick with them, but things never slowed down and I drifted back from the top pack. This time my training was solid all the way until the end, so even once I was all alone I had confidence that I'd be able to keep going like I did in practice. Finishing 7th met my pre-race goals, so I'm very happy about that."
Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) - 10th, 2:13:10
"It was good that I was able to hang on through the second half but I'm disappointed at not making the top eight. I feel disappointment and a sense of accomplishment about fifty-fifty. I couldn't roll with [the Africans] when they started shaking things up."
Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 18th, 2:16:11
"Personally speaking it was a failure, but I'm glad I was able to help win a [team] medal. I achieved my minimum goal. I had trouble sleeping because of stress, but once I started running it was like normal. After I finished my hands, feet, lips, thighs and shoulders were all shaking. I'm glad I could do something for Japan. In the winter I'm going to run Fukuoka and Tokyo. I'll be shooting for 2:07 there, or at least Seko and Nakayama's best times"
Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 29th, 2:18:05
"I couldn't handle the speed all the international runners brought. In my training before the race I focused on building my stamina, but I can see now that I should have worked on my speed more as well. The left leg injury I've had before felt like it was on the edge of coming back, so I tried to just maintain a steady pace but it was hard and I had to just run by feel. It was a good experience. It'll be a bitter memory but I hope to learn from it for my next marathon."
Yukihiro Kitaoka (Team NTN) - 38th, 2:23:11
"I'd had injury problems and was just barely ready. After the beginning of August I felt a lot lighter but I didn't have nearly enough training under my belt. It was hard after 5 km and there was no way around that, but since I was running for the Japanese national team I'm glad I was able to finish."
Update 9/7/11: Click here for a screenshot of American track fansite Letsrun.com's strangely bigoted response to Japan's silver medal.