Skip to main content

Second Even With His Best, Nakamoto Says "I Want Payback"

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2013/02/04/kiji/K20130204005121070.html

translated and edited by Mika Tokairin and Brett Larner

London Olympics marathon 6th-placer Kentaro Nakamoto (30, Team Yasukawa Denki) was on the losing end of a classic, historic match race against civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (25, Saitama Pref.) at Sunday's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon.  The back-and-forth of the dead heat battle began at 28 km.  Tirelessly answering every move and play in Kawauchi's book, Nakamoto repeatedly went to the front but could not shake him loose. Kawauchi's final volley just past 40 km was enough to send Nakamoto's ship to the bottom. On the losing end of a duel almost violent in its intensity, Nakamoto could barely mouth the words, "I'm devastated.  I couldn't answer that last surge."

Kawauchi was one of Nakamoto's main rivals for the final place on Japan's Olympic marathon team last year.  In the end it came down to a virtual drawing of straws, but at the Olympic main event Nakamoto justified his selection with a strong 6th-place run and came out with newfound confidence and pride.  Beppu-Oita was Nakamoto's first marathon since then.  He initially had difficulty in focusing on one race post-Olympics.  "When I was thinking about my next goal," he said, "I settled on putting everything into one marathon." Once he decided on Beppu-Oita and aligned his schedule and program to get there, he began serious marathon training in October.  "I carefully took my time and concentrated on being ready for this race.  I wanted to take advantage of the confidence I earned in the Olympics."  

Although his preparations were not perfect, he ran a superbly competitive race.  Since he was up against Kawauchi, Nakamoto raced with a cool head and kept calm in the face of Kawauchi's wild attacks.  But in the end it was all about the last 1.5 km.  When Kawauchi surged going up onto Maizuru Bridge Nakamoto fell behind for the first time and the gap between them grew.  "I came to Beppu-Oita planning to win with a definitive move at 40 km, but when it came down to it the opposite happened," he said.  "I don't have enough of a killer instinct over the last 2 km yet and I can't be competitive in a world-level race like I am now.  I need to develop the strength and the edge to win in the last battle."  

In his tenth marathon Nakamoto fell short of realizing his long-held dream of a marathon win, and despite setting a new PB his disappointment at losing in the last stretch will be slow to fade.  But his new PB of 2:08:35 was 2:41 better than his London time and his overall performance was definitely good enough to put him in a good position for a place on the World Championships team.  "I'm in the situation where don't know if I'll be picked for Moscow, but if it ended like this it would hard to take," he said.  Of Kawauchi he said, "I was able to run this time because of him, but I don't want to remain the beaten.  The next time I get the chance I want payback."  That chance will probably come in Moscow this August.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Hattori Becomes Third-Straight Japanese Men's Sydney Marathon Winner

Following within 24 hours of Yuki Kawauchi's win at the BMW Oslo Marathon and Yuta Shitara's national record at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, Shota Hattori (Honda) made it an overseas hat trick for men from Japan's Saitama prefecture when he won the Sydney Marathon in 2:15:16. Having debuted at February's Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon with a 2:14:19 for 2nd, Hattori outlasted Ethiopian Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, Kenyan Sammy Kigen Korir (Kenya) and compatriot Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) to become the third-straight Japanese men's Sydney champ, winning by a margin of 20 seconds over Aboye.

Congratulations to Shota Hattori, male winner of the Blackmores Marathon – with a time of 02:15:16. #SydneyRunningFestivalpic.twitter.com/R47w8TCG2X — SydneyRunFestival (@officialbsrf) September 17, 2017
No Japanese women made the podium in the marathon, but in the accompanying half marathon both the men's and women's races saw Japanese runners-up. In the men's …

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …