Skip to main content

Olympic Marathoner Nakamoto Returns Home to Kita-Kyushu

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20120815/ath12081517340001-n1.html

translated by Brett Larner

London Olympics men's marathon 6th-place finisher Kentaro Nakamoto (29, Team Yasukawa Denki) returned home at Kita-Kyushu Airport on Aug. 15, greeted with bouquets of flowers and blessings from the assembled crowd.  All he could say in return was a shy, "Thank you."  Sporting a suit, Nakamoto was first greeted in the arrival hall by former Yasukawa Denki runner Keitaro Murase, 38, who pumped his hand in a hearty handshake and said, "Congratulations!" as applause rang out all around them.

Straining to hold back his emotions, Nakamoto told the crowd, "I ran to the absolute best of my ability.  I'm not satisfied with the result, but I can come back now and say to you from the heart that I gave it my best."  In training for London Nakamoto has barely seen his son Riku, who was born less than two months ago, and, he said, "My family was biggest motivation.  I wanted to be able to tell my son, 'Your dad gave it everything he had.'  Looking four years ahead I want to keep doing the best job I can."

Team Yasukawa Denki head coach Naoki Yamagashira commented, "I'm very happy that he was able to bring the full benefits of his training into play.  The plan now is for him to take it nice and easy as he enjoys the rewards of his success."  Murase added his personal blessing, saying, "Kentaro realized the dream that all of us held.  He's an incredible person."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Nissin Shokuhin to Eliminate All Athletes Except Sato and Murasawa

Two-time New Year Ekiden national champion Nissin Shokuhin Group announced on Jan. 10 that it is making major cuts to its men's ekiden team. With the exception of MGC Race 2020 Olympic marathon trials qualifiers Akinobu Murasawa, 27, and Yuki Sato, 32, it will eliminate its other twelve athletes from the team. It has also canceled contracts with two graduating university fourth-years who were scheduled to join the team in April following their graduation.

The Nissin Shokuhin Group team has been one of the leaders of Japanese long distance, home to top class athletes including current marathon national record holder Suguru Osako, 27. The change in its policies comes suddenly. According to a person involved in the situation, of the team's fourteen members the twelve other than Murasawa and Sato have been asked to leave the team. Those who wish to continue their athletic careers will receive support in transferring to another team, while those who wish to retire will have the op…

Ichiyama and Kirui Lead Marugame Half Elite Field

Last year's winners Betsy Saina and Edward Waweru, both of Kenya, return to the Feb. 3 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, but in both cases they have tough competition. Ranked #1 in the women's race is Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) with a 1:09:14, 3 seconds better than Saina's winning time last year. 3 seconds slower is Sinead Diver (Australia) with a 1:09:20 on home ground last year. Sara Hall (U.S.A.) isn't far behind, and with track star Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) making her debut off a brilliant run at last weekend's National Women's Ekiden it should be a solid pack up front.

In the men's race, 2017 marathon world champion Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) leads the way, his best recent time a 1:00:04 in New Delhi two years ago. Only 2 seconds behind is Shadrack Kiplagat (Kenya), with Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya) and the Japan-based Waweru just over 20 seconds back. Waweru's condition is a question mark after an injury at the New Year Ekiden. Kenta Murayama (Asah…

Aoyama Gakuin First Year Takayuki Iida Leads Weekend Half Marathon Action

The National Women's Ekiden was the weekend's biggest race, but across the country four half marathons saw decently competitive men's action.

At Tochigi's Takanezawa Genki Up Half Marathon, as in the last few years Hakone Ekiden runner-up Aoyama Gakuin University ran its B-team of Hakone non-starters, this year with company from the team that beat it, Tokai University. AGU swept the top ten, first-year Takayuki Iida taking the top spot in 1:03:10 with teammate Shuya Iwami also getting under 64 minutes. Tokai seemed to treat the day more as a workout, but head coach Hayashi Morozumi, 52, took the chance to get in on the action too, running the 10 km division in 43:04.

In Tokyo, the High Tech Half Marathon celebrated its 20th running with the edition of a marathon division. Independent Hideyuki Ikegami (Aminosaurus) won the men's half in 1:05:08. Club runner Eri Suzuki (Noshiro Yamamoto T&F Assoc.) ran the fastest women's time of the weekend, 1:19:34, to win…