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

Njeri, Niiya and Hironaka Go Sub-15 - National Corporate Championships Day Three Results

With the first two days of the 2020 National Corporate Track and Field Championships bringing national records, world-leading marks and meet records, the last day saw one of the best races of the weekend. Fresh off her meet record win in the junior women's 3000 m, 19-year-old Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post) took the women's 5000 m A-heat out hard in search of Japan's second sub-15 clocking ever. Right with her were Kenyans Rebecca Njeri (Daiso) and Joanne Kipkemoi (Kyudenko), and half marathon national record holder Hitomi Niiya (Sekisui Kagaku).

Together they went through splits of 3:02, 2:58, 3:01 and 2:59 to hit 4000 m in exactly 12:00, Niiya and Njeri taking their turns up front and Kipkemoi sliding off the back. Njeri pushed hard over the last 1000 m to open a gap, but while Hironaka couldn't stay with her Niiya kicked over the last 200 m to almost close it up, just about a first in her career and showing the effects of the work she put into the 1500 m over the summ…

Yamanishi Breaks 5000 m Race Walk National Record - National Corporate Championships Day Two Results

The National Corporate Championships men's 10000 m A-heat lived up to expectations as one of the best races of the year, the kind of race that shows how good a track 10000 m can be, tense and full of turnover between world top two Benard Kibet (Kyudenko) and Bedan Karoki (Toyota), and Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu). The trio wore down the rest of the competition, Koech and Karoki doing most of the hammering and Kimunyan only going to the front twice. On the last curve he made his final move, pulling away from Koech for the win in 27:01.42, Koech next in 27:02.39 and Karoki 3rd in 27:02.80. Kimunyan's time was briefly the world-leading mark before being overtaken at a race in Europe just hours later.

Further back, the top two Japanese men over 10,000 m this year, Yuma Hattori (Toyota) and Kengo Suzuki (Fujitsu), worked together to move up through the field to take 7th and 8th in new PBs of 27:47.55 and 27:49.16. Both had broken 28 minutes for the first time in July before…

19-Year-Old Hironaka Wins Jr. Women's 3000 m in 8:52.80 - National Corporate Championships Day One Results

The 2020 National Corporate Track and Field Championships kicked off Friday in Kumagaya, Saitama on what will probably end up being the last hot day of the year. Defending junior women's 3000 m champ Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post) had the performance of the day, exactly tying Kayoko Fukushi's U20 national record with a negative split 8:52.80 to pick up a second title and move up to all-time Japanese #5 for the distance. Because she turns 20 in November Hironaka's mark won't make her the co-record holder, but as an 8-second improvement over her winning time last year it puts her in position to follow Fukushi as just the second woman under 15 minutes for 5000 m if she gets into the right race. Her first chance comes Sunday where she faces most of the contenders for the Tokyo Olympic team.

A few of them turned up in the 10000 m A-heat where women-only marathon NR holder Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) took the race out around 31:30 pace, dueling with 30 km NR holder Honami Maeda (Te…