Skip to main content

Fukushi Shooting for the Marathon in London

http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2012/01/28/0004773977.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

Fukushi at 26 miles in Chicago. Photo (c) 2011 Dr. Helmut Winter

The pre-race athletes' press conference for the Jan. 29 Osaka International Women's Marathon Olympic selection race took place Jan. 27.  Aiming for her long-hoped-for appearance on the Olympic marathon stage, half-marathon national record holder Kayoko Fukushi (29, Team Wacoal) appeared confident of her chances of punching her ticket.  Four years ago in Osaka Fukushi went out at a blazing speed in her debut only to slow dramatically after 30 km.  Fully prepared this time, Japan's queen of the track is ready for payback.

Fukushi looks confident because she feels it.  At the press conference her face was relaxed.  "My goal is to beat myself," she said.  "What's different this time?  Maybe I've grown up a little, as people do."  It's been four years since her "Breakdown of the Century" at the Beijing Olympics selection race, and Fukushi is focused on erasing that memory.  It has been a month since she announced following December's National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships that she would run Osaka, and in that time she has completely shut out the media to concentrate on her training.  For her debut four years ago Fukushi was underprepared, with only one month of dedicated training. This time she has been training specifically for Osaka since July, an entire half-year.  "We didn't just cram for this overnight," said her coach, Tadayuki Nagayama.  "I think the gods of the marathon smiled upon us this time."  His assurance that Fukushi will earn her place in London was easy to see.

Asked about the withdrawal of her strongest rival for the team, Athens Olympics marathon gold medalist and national record holder Mizuki Noguchi (Team Wacoal), Fukushi said , "I was really surprised.  But it doesn't change anything for me."  She added firmly, "I want to go to London in the marathon.  I want to see how competitive I can be against the world's best marathoners.  I'm looking forward to taking on all challengers."  Totally focused on London, Osaka is Fukushi's next checkpoint.

Comments

Brett Larner said…
I take it this means she was training through Chicago.
Brett Larner said…
Fukuoka? I have to stop doing this first thing in the morning.....

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …