translated by Brett Larner
After a long period of time away from the sport, 200 m national record and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Shingo Suetsugu (Team Mizuno) ran his first race in three years when he ran a time trial in Kumamoto on Oct. 1. The race marked the beginning of a serious effort to make a comeback to full racing capability ahead of next year's London Olympics.
The 31-year-old Suetsugu ran the 100 m at the Oct. 1 time trial, clocking 10.87 in the first heat racing against university students. After winning the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics as part of Japan's 4x100 m relay team he took an "indefinite leave of absence" from competition to deal with accumulated fatigue. Since then he has been based in his native Kumamoto, and beginning in February he started rebuilding and training toward regaining his full strength.
Having heard directly from his former pupil, federation executive Susumu Takano gave hopeful news on Oct. 4, saying, "He told me that his body still feels sleepy, but that it was definitely a step forward." With regard to the London Olympics he said that Suetsugu told him, "Everything I'm doing is aiming at that target."