translated by Brett Larner
10000 m ace Yuki Sato (25, Team Nissin Shokuhin) has set breaking the Japanese national record as his goal for the spring season. At a party on Jan. 31 at a Tokyo-area hotel to celebrate Team Nissin Shokuhin's New Year Ekiden national championship win, Sato said, "I spent January fully resting and recovering. In February and March I'll be building up toward breaking the Olympic A standard [27:45.00] in the U.S.A. in April." His precise goal is the Japanese national record, Toshinari Takaoka's 27:35.09. Sato's PB is 27:38.25, but, he said with obvious confidence, "I want to run in the 27:20's. If all goes well I can do it." Beyond that, Japan's top track runner is targeting the top eight at the London Olympics.
Translator's note: Last year's 10000 m national champion, Sato set a course record of 1:02:51 for the 22.0 km Third Stage at the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden, equivalent to 1:00:16 for a half-marathon, 9 seconds faster than the half-marathon national record. Three other men already hold the 10000 m Olympic A-standard, Tsuyoshi Ugachi (27:40.69, Team Konica Minolta), Chihiro Miyawaki (27:41.57, Team Toyota) and Tetsuya Yoroizaka (27:44.30, Meiji University).