translated by Brett Larner
The annual Hakone Ekiden Symposium took place Nov. 10 in Ebisu, Tokyo. Appearing as one of the symposium's panelists, London Olympics long distance track team member and 10000 m national champion Yuki Sato (25, Team Nissin Shokuhin) gave the first public indication that he is looking toward the marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
As a student athlete at Tokai University Sato set an incredible three stage records at the Hakone Ekiden, setting all-time best marks on the Third, First and Seventh Stages and marking himself as one of the country's best young talents. Asked about Rio he replied, "I want be there in Rio wearing the Rising Sun. Whether that's on the track or on the road is fine. I want to be successful in the marathon, and my goal there is a medal." The sold-out crowd of 750 gave a unanimous and enthusiastic round of applause in response.
The topic of the symposium panel discussion in which Sato participated was "Collegiate Sports' Contribution to Becoming Internationally Competitive." Appearing alongside him were former soccer national team member Tsuyoshi Kitazawa, 44, now a critic at the Sports Hochi newspaper, and Los Angeles Olympics women's volleyball bronze medalist Yuko Mitsuya. Kitazawa told the audience, "To be come internationally competitive you must have a vision for the future and the discipline to see through the process of achieving those goals."