Skip to main content

Retiring Sakamoto: "The Marathon Was a Part of Me"

http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20130319-OHT1T00065.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Athens Olympics 7th-place finisher Naoko Sakamoto (32, Team Tenmaya) held a retirement press conference Mar. 19 in Okayama. Smiling as she looked back on her career, she told the media, "I'm proud of having run Athens. The marathon was a part of me."

With regard to her reasons for retiring she said, "My heart's not in the training any more, and it's just gotten to the point where little things accumulate and get to me. Beginning in April she will become an advisory member of Tenmaya's coaching staff, supporting the team's younger members.

Sakamoto joined Tenmaya in 1999, winning the 2004 Osaka International Women's Marathon to make the Athens Olympics team. After Athens she suffered an endless series of injuries, and after January's Kita-Kyushu Women's Invitational Ekiden she announced her retirement at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

'Tokyo Unveils 2020 Olympics Logo By Kenjiro Sano'

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…

Tanaka and Hashioka Win Gold - World U20 Championships Day Two Japanese Results

Working together to execute an aggressive frontrunning team strategy born from failure two years ago in Bydgoszcz, 2018 Asian U20 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka and 2018 Asian Junior Cross Country gold medalist Yuna Wada opened a massive lead over the African Junior Cross Country medalist Ethiopian duo of Meselu Berhe and Tsige Gebreselama in the early going of the Tampere World U20 Championships women's 3000 m. Tanaka took the lead from the gun before Wada went out front at 200 m to set a fast pace. Through splits of 3:00 and 3:03 for the first 2000 m, Tanaka kicked hard from 300 m out to close with a 2:51 for Japan's first-ever gold medal in the event, winning in a PB of 8:54.01.

Berhe and Gebreselama caught Wada on the back corner but weren't even close to matching Tanaka, taking 2nd and 3rd in PBs just under the 9-minute mark. Wada just held off Kenyan Jenali Jemutai Yego for 4th in 9:00.50, seeming happy in post-race interviews to have helped a teammate score gol…