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

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…