translated by Brett Larner
On July 10, Moscow World Championships marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (26, Saitama Pref. Gov't) appeared at a sendoff ceremony at his alma mater Kasukabe Higashi H.S. Speaking to the entire school body of 1000 in the school gymnasium, Kawauchi told them confidently, "I will make top six, so please continue to give me your support as I prepare to achieve that goal." He smiled as he received a bouquet of flowers from student representatives and an enthusiastic round of applause from the entire crowd.
On the commemorative placard he signed for students at the ceremony Kawauchi wrote to them the message "Overthrow the status quo." In interviews after the ceremony Kawauchi was earnest and determined as he said, "I will never give up and will run people down one by one to keep moving up in the standings at the World Championships. I want to give the students here something worth remembering."
Kawauchi was a valuable member of the Kasukabe Higashi H.S. track and field team before his graduation in 2005. He is currently an employee of the Saitama Prefectural Government, working in the office of the nearby Kasukabe Continuing Education H.S. On July 7th he tied the course record at Australia's Gold Coast Airport Marathon, his tenth marathon win in twenty-five marathons to date, showing that he is in good shape. The Moscow World Championships will be his second-straight appearance on a World Championships marathon national team.