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Yamamoto's Coach and Mother Surprised at Likelihood of Olympic Team

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/f-sp-tp0-20120304-912749.html

translated by Brett Larner
photo by Dr. Helmut Winter


At the 67 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, 27-year-old Ryo Yamamoto (Team Sagawa Express) was the top Japanese finisher and 4th overall, surprising all those around him.  Passing Daegu World Championships marathon team members Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei) in the final part of the race, Yamamoto finished in 2:08:44.  Having run a strong time in bad weather conditions to put himself into an unquestionable position for the London Olympics team, Yamamoto smiled as he said, "I was tough over the second half.  I kept thinking, 'Olympics!  Olympics!' as a I ran."

This was Yamamoto's fourth marathon.  His best time up to now came in his debut at the hot and humid 2009 Hokkaido Marathon where he was 2nd in 2:12:10.  Sagawa Express head coach Tsuyoshi Nakano, 38, commented, "To be honest, the goal this time was just to try to finish up among some of the top-ranked guys in order to get his name out there for Moscow [World Championships] next near."  Yamamoto's mother Sachiko, 54, said, "This morning Ryo sent me an email that just said, 'Good morning.  Here goes!'  When he was little he had asthma and allergies.  It's cedar pollen allergy season so I was worried whether he would be OK today."

photo (c) 2012 Dr. Helmut Winter
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