translated and edited by Brett Larner
A contender for the London Olympics men's marathon team, Yuki Kawauchi (24, Saitama Pref.) had a strong run at the amateur Okumusashi Ekiden on Jan. 29 in Hanno, Saitama. Anchoring his coworkers' Saitama Prefectural Government team, Kawauchi won the 9.283 km Sixth Stage with a time of 27:15, just four seconds off the course record, and advancing his team from 84th to 66th place. As he ran cheers of, "Go Kawauchi!" and "The Olympics!" followed him along the course.
"The distance today was short, so I treated it as a speed workout, a time trial," Kawauchi said after the race, satisfied with his performance. "I went out hard and tried to catch people who were slowing down, then in the second half I tried to hang on. It was a good run."