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Kawauchi Wins Saitama Half-Marathon

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20120312/ath12031205070010-n1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On the one-year anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, London Olympics marathon team candidate Yuki Kawauchi (25, Saitama Pref.) ran the Saitama Half-Marathon as a specially-invited guest, winning in 1:04:26.  After finishing 14th at the Tokyo Marathon two weeks ago Kawauchi said, "It's impossible for me to make the Olympics," but having been the top Japanese finisher at December's Fukuoka International Marathon selection race in a good time some chance remains of him making the team.  The Japanese federation will announce the men's and women's Olympic marathon team lineups at 3:30 p.m. on Mar. 12.

Kawauchi shaved his head in shame after running 2:12:51 for 4th in Tokyo.  He took three days off following the race and has only jogged since then.  He had also planned to just jog the Saitama Half, but once he was in the heat of the race his full strength came out.  "It's a tough, undulating course, so I think a 64 is pretty good here," he said after the race.  "People were cheering and it got me going.  When they're calling out, 'Do your best!' that's all you can do.  In the sense of helping me focus toward doing my best in achieving my next goal it was a good race.  At Tokyo next year I want to make up for what happened this year."

Having set his sights on making the national team for the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Kawauchi's spirits and motivation have returned.  Before then, he may well make the London team.  With Nagoya Women's Marathon 2nd-placer Yoshimi Ozaki (Team Daiichi Seimei) considered a strong choice for the London team after having run poorly at the Daegu World Championships followed by two selection race runs, Kawauchi must be viewed as in almost the same position, finishing 3rd on the Japanese team in Daegu and 3rd overall in Fukuoka prior to running Tokyo.  It's possible he may join Arata Fujiwara (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) and Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) as the third man on the Olympic team.  Fans all across the country are watching to see if the dream success story of a self-training amateur making the Olympics comes true in the end.

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The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Upcoming race schedule: Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan
Mar. 25: Kuki Half Marathon, Saitama
Apr. 16: Boston Marathon, U.S.A.
May 5: Toyohirakawa Half Marathon, Hokkaido
June 2: ASICS Stockholm Marathon, Sweden
June 17: Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon, Shimane
July 1: Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Australia
Aug. 2…