Skip to main content

Kawauchi Calls for Kurosaki to be Replaced on National Team

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/07/08/kiji/K20140708008521980.html
http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20140707-OHT1T50300.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The civil servant runner has roared.  After finishing 3rd at the July 6 Gold Coast Airport Marathon in Australia, 2014 Incheon Asian Games marathon team member Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) returned to Narita Airport early on the morning of July 7.  Kawauchi fell badly early in the race but still finished 3rd as the top Japanese man in 2:11:27.  Speaking animatedly and at length as he was interviewed in the arrival lobby at 6:30 a.m., more than his own result Kawauchi struggled to understand how Hirokatsu Kurosaki, 28, a member of the two-time defending New Year Ekiden national champion Konica Minolta corporate team and named to the Japanese marathon National Team in April alongside Kawauchi after running 2:09:07 at February's Tokyo Marathon, could have sunk as low as his 10th-place 2:19:12 finish behind two Japanese runners not on the National Team, one an amateur club runner.

"A National Team member got torn to shreds," Kawauchi said.  "Is that really acceptable for a member of a team representing his country?  When you become a National Team member and a representative of your country there are a lot of expectations, aren't there?  If I ran around 2:20 people would tear me apart.  'What the hell are you doing, taking time off work for that?!' and the like.  It's not enough to just show up when you have the privilege of being invited to compete in a race.  You need to meet expectations.  The National Team carries the reputation of our country, and if you can't live up to that then you should be replaced with someone else."

Every time he has been named to a national team Kawauchi has received truly heartless hate mail from members of the general public when he has underperformed.  From this he knows the weight of responsibility that comes from representing one's country, and because of that he holds performing badly as a National Team member to be unforgivable.  The National Team gives members an advantage in selection for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics along with benefits including advanced medical science support.  Despite members being named and subject to replacement on an annual basis, the criteria for nomination are not clear.  Kawauchi believes that members should be at risk of more frequent replacement in order to keep membership more competitive.  "For example," he said, "if you blow two races in a row you should be replaced.  I think we'd start seeing guys gunning to beat Kawauchi and replace him on the team."

Kawauchi has roughly three months left until the Asian Games, where he intends to remove himself from consideration for future national teams if he does not win the gold medal.  His only planned race this month is the July 27 Kushiro Shitsugen 30 km, but even in training he burns with the motivation to "surpass the corporate runners in quality."  With a greater spirit of professionalism than anyone, the civil servant runner headed straight out into the rain after the interview for his pre-work run.

Translator's note: For clarity, in this article National Team, capitalized, refers to the Federation's new elite marathoner development program, while national team, uncapitalized, refers more generally to Olympic, World Championships, World Half Marathon and other Japanese teams.

Comments

tirunning said…
This blog is good information for asia runner i have inspiration from japan runner.Because thai runner like japan runner.

Most-Read This Week

Norway's Moen Blasts 2:05:48 European Record to Win Fukuoka

More than living up to the promise of his 59:48 Norwegian half marathon record at October's Valencia Half, Sondre Nordtad Moen took down all comers to win the 2017 Fukuoka International Marathon in a European record 2:05:48.

【福岡国際マラソン】

🏆優 勝 モーエン 2:05.48! pic.twitter.com/lpzMUYHfhu — NOBUKI T&F (@nobu_777__tf) December 3, 2017
Superb pacing work took the lead group through 30 km with almost perfect 3:00/km splits along the way, a race of attrition that shaved down the field to a core group of five real contenders. Defending champ Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) was the first big name to go, with 2:06 man Lani Rutto (Kenya), the debuting Keita Shitara (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) and last year's 3rd-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) among the other big names to lose touch in the first half, leaving Moen, favorite Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA), London Olympics gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda), last year's 5th-placer Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) and Boston Maratho…

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Shitara Wins Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler

In a year that saw him deliver one of the most memorable debut marathons in history, a half marathon national record, 10000 m and marathon PBs and more, Yuta Shitara (Honda) ended 2017 on a high note, beating three-time defending champion Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Toyota Kyushu) to win the 42nd Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler. Shitara, Karemi, London World Championships marathoner Hiroto Inoue (MHPS), Ethiopian Abayneh Degu (Yasukawa Denki) and track ace Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) ran together in a lead group through the early going, but Shitara was just too much for the others to handle.

Shitara broke the tape in 45:58, only the fourth Japanese man to ever clear 45 minutes. Karemi was well under last year's winning time but nowhere close to catching Shitara, finishing 2nd in 46:10 and Inoue only 2 seconds behind him. With many corporate and university teams using Kosa to tune up for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden and Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, it regularly produces the deepest 10 mile results i…