Skip to main content

Kawauchi and Men's Marathon Team Leave Narita for Moscow: "It's Do or Die. There is No Next Time."

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130811-00000019-nksports-spo
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130811-00000026-dal-spo

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Promising a race of "action," Japan's strongest amateur, civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (26, Saitama Pref. Gov't) left Tokyo's Narita Airport with other members of the men's marathon and javelin squads on Aug. 11 for Moscow where he will run his second-straight World Championships marathon.  The day before, women's marathoner Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal) won a bronze medal, raising spirits and creating great excitement in the Japanese athletics world. Kawauchi, who finished 18th in 2:16:11 two years ago in the Daegu World Championships, was upbeat but serious, saying with determination, "Last time I blew it.  This time is going to be full of action.  I'm in good shape, and I am going to bring everything I've done and learned up to now into play.  I'm ready to achieve my goal of finishing in the top six."  With two incredible years behind him since Daegu and more than 300 races in his career to date, Kawauchi has plenty of reason to be confident.

The biggest fear is the heat in Moscow, where temperatures as high as 37 degrees were recorded during the marathon despite expectations that the city would be cool.  Kawauchi, who has had trouble with hot conditions in the past and suggested he may quit running summer marathons depending on his results in Moscow, was airily fatalistic as he said, "It's do or die with all my heart, that's the only way to go into this.  If it goes over 30 degrees, if it's 32, 33, 36, 37 degrees, even 40 degrees, it doesn't change anything.  I'm nervous about collapsing and heatstroke and will be careful about drinking at the water stations, but no matter how painful it gets, even if I'm crawling, this one is to the death.  If I blow it this time, there is no next time."

The World Championships men's marathon is on August 17 at 8:30 p.m. Japan time.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…