Skip to main content

Japan's Five 2:08 Marathon Men Appear at Moscow Press Conference to Discuss World Championships Goals

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/news/130815/oth13081522110024-n1.htm
http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/etc/news/20130815-OHT1T00177.htm
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130815-00001096-yom-spo

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The Japanese men's marathon team for the ongoing Moscow World Championships appeared at a Moscow-area press conference on Aug. 15 to talk about their ambitions for the Aug. 17 race.  Kazuhiro Maeda (Team Kyudenko), Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), Hiroyuki Horibata (Team Asahi Kasei), Kentaro Nakamoto (Team Yasukawa Denki) and Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) all took part in the press conference.  With all five men having run 2:08 to earn a place on the team, talk of making the top eight on Saturday was the main topic.

Civil servant runner Kawauchi has taken his own unique approach to preparing for his second-straight World Championships, running a large number of races.  In the last World Championships in Daegu he finished 18th, but his goal this time is to make the top six. Asked about his chances of medaling he gave a faint-hearted reply, answering, "Even if I run my absolute best it's impossible unless other athletes blow up."  But, he added more firmly, "My training has been much better than two years ago, I'm feeling good, and I've built up a lot of overseas racing experience.  I want to make the best use of that experience here.  Last time was my first time and I didn't really know what I was doing, but as a member of the Japanese national team you have to have more self-awareness than that.  I've learned a lot since then and this time I know what I'm doing.  I think I can run a better race than two years ago, and with my goal of making the top six I hope I'm one of many Japanese men in the top eight.  Now that we're here my spirits are rising and I'm eager to do it."

6th in last summer's London Olympics marathon and 10th in the Daegu World Championships marathon, Nakamoto expressed his hopes for conditions like those for the women's marathon on Aug. 10, saying, "I like it when it's hot, so I think I can be competitive this time.  I hope it turns into a pure survival race."  Running on his third-straight national team, even just two days before the race he was calm and collected as he said, "I can feel that there's some pressure on me, but if I can live up to expectations then I'll be happy.  I've got experience and a little margin to spare as my training has been great and I'm in perfect shape.  That 6th place in London is sticking in my mind and I aim to improve on it.  I want to soak up the atmosphere here as I run and be the first Japanese man across the finish line."

Horibata, 7th in Daegu, suffered a stress fracture in his right foot in January and only began training a month and a half ago.  "I had a blank period there due to injury and only started running again at the beginning of June," he said.  "But I'm on the way up, getting better and feeling good.  My training right before we got here was about as good as it was before the last World Championships.  Within the limits of what's possible I want to run up front with the leaders."

Fujiwara, who made the 2003 Paris World Championships team off a 2:08:12 debut in college only to get injured and be unable to start the race, said, "Ten years ago I couldn't make it this far, so I'm feeling a little relieved in that respect.  Just seeing the Japanese uniform stirs deep feelings inside me, but if I can't deliver the results then it doesn't mean anything.  Basically I plan to run for the top eight and then take it from there and see how high up I can go.  If things are moving right from the start I'll go with it."

Maeda, 39th at the 2009 Berlin World Championships, said, "Now that the race is drawing near I'm getting excited and motivated.  I don't want this to end up like last time.  The only thing I can do to make up for that is to get into the top eight."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

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…

Kamulu Runs 10000 m World Lead, Ahn Breaks Korean National Record, Tamura Clears 28 Minutes, Niiya Back on Track in Fukagawa

National records fell for the third meet in a row in the four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series Wednesday in Fukagawa, Hokkaido. Longtime Japan resident Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels) had a shockingly good run in the women's 10000 m A-heat, following up her 1:06:56 bronze medal run at the Valencia World Half Marathon Championships by lopping over a minute off her 10000 m best with a 2018 world-leading time of 30:41.85.

Kamulu lapped the entire field, her nearest competitor Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) returning from a 2:23:46 marathon PB in Osaka in January to take 30 seconds off her own best in 32:13.87. Further back, Seul Ki Ahn broke the South Korean national record set 13 years ago in Fukagawa with a new mark of 32:33.61. Ahn's NR followed the 2:25:41 NR set by Do Yeon Kim at the Seoul International Marathon in March, a miniature renaissance in South Korea women's distance running.

The men's 10000 m A-heat was also decently fast, Andrew Lorot (Subaru) leading fo…