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Federation Evaluation of Olympic Track & Field Performance: "We Beat Ourselves"

http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20120920/ath12092020060002-n1.html

translated by Brett Larner

Speaking to members of the media on Sept. 20, Rikuren executive Susumu Takano evaluated the results of the Japanese Olympic team in athletics, where the team's record of one medal and two top eight performances fell short of the federation's goal of one medal and five top eight performances.  "It's a very disappointing result," he said.  "We beat ourselves."  Takano was positive about hammer thrower Koji Murofushi's bronze  medal but identified the female marathoners' inability to cope with pace changes and the disqualifications of the race walkers as challenges that must be dealt with in the future.

With regard to the men's and women's marathon teams' inability to score a medal, board member Toshihiko Seko spoke frankly, saying, "The volume of their training is insufficient.  Kenyan athletes are training more than the Japanese."  Sydney Olympic gold medalist Naoko Takahashi and Athens Olympics gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi (Team Sysmex) trained at over 1000 km per month, but Seko was critical of London 19th place finisher Yoshimi Ozaki's (Team Daiichi Seimei) peak volume of only 800 km a month.  "Our women are in for tougher times than our men," he predicted.

Director Yohei Kono commented, "The results were unfortunate, but we haven't thrown away all hope," calling for Japan's athletes to rouse themselves and rise to the challenge.

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Lexicon

Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

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Races in Japan usually close entry at least a month beforehand, often much longer. They generally do not have race day entry and race organizers are not willing to make special exceptions for foreigners. If you are coming to Japan for, say, a business trip in two weeks, it is not possible to enter a race. If you are making longer-range plans then it may be possible to find a suitable event using the following services:

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