Skip to main content

Asian Games Medalists Matsumura and Kawauchi Return to Japan

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/10/04/kiji/K20141004009042500.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/asia/2014/news/p-sp-tp0-20141004-1377183.html
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/10/04/kiji/K20141004009044120.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/asia/2014/news/f-sp-tp0-20141005-1377940.html
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/10/04/kiji/K20141004009042480.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner



Following the closing ceremonies of the Incheon Asian Games on Oct. 4, marathoners Kohei Matsumura (Team Mitsubishi Juko Nagasaki) and Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returned to Japan the afternoon of Oct. 5 with the main group of the Japanese delegation.  JAAF Director of Men's Marathoning Takeshi Soh commented, "Neither of them ran spectacularly.  They didn't seem to have much confidence."

In his international debut Matsumura won the silver medal in just his fourth marathon.  "I was going for gold, so I'm completely disappointed, he said."  He indicated that even while he was up front in the pack he had been wary of eventual gold medalist Ali Hassan Mahboob (Bahrain).  "He stayed all the way in the back saving up his energy and only came up at the very end," Matsumura said.  He called his own move at 35 km, "halfhearted," letting the race come down to a sprint on the track where he lost by a second.  "More than just 1 second, there was a difference in our ability.  I didn't see the win happening.  I got some confidence from meeting my minimum goal, but I'm not strong enough to be internationally competitive."

Reflecting on his bronze medal-winning race, Kawauchi spoke honestly, saying, "If I was that close I should have won.  Running in cool conditions like we had and not winning, not being able to get away even though I made some big plays, was weak in many ways.  The [Bahraini] winner really had to work, seemed to be holding back some stomach trouble, and was totally exhausted at the end.  It wasn't exactly a gathering of the world's best, but I couldn't win even a race like that.  I have to train better."

Matsumura's training included 1100 km in July and 1000 km in August with a focus on speed training in September.  Asked if there had been problems in his training Kawauchi said, "I did that 40 km time trial and lots of trail running.  There were no mistakes.  Compared to the Moscow and Daegu World Championships I ran well in training."  With regard to whether his result told him he didn't have enough speed he said, "It's not a problem of speed, it's an issue of how much you have to spare.  I would regret it if I started thinking I should leave a little in my legs [to take advantage of my closing speed]."

After finishing 18th at the 2013 Moscow World Championships, Kawauchi went for 24 km runs the morning after the race and the next day to try to shake off his disappointment.  This time he also went for morning jogs on the 4th and before leaving Incheon on the 5th, but, he laughed, "As you'd probably expect, the 24 km runs in Moscow were kind of overdoing it, so I only jogged for about an hour and a half this time."

Matsumura said that he will be going for the Beijing World Championships and Rio de Janeiro Olympics teams.  "Rio has been my goal since I was little," he said.  Before that, "I want to race overseas a bit more to get more international experience."  Regarding his future plans Kawauchi said, "I'm going to stay out of the Beijing selection races and work on getting better away from the pressure.  I'm disappointed with this bronze medal.  Gold and silver were right there before my eyes.  If I didn't feel disappointed then it would be time for me to stop being an athlete.  If Japanese men can't do better than this bronze medal then they'll never be competitive in the Beijing World Championships.  Beijing, the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the Tokyo Olympics will all look pretty bleak for Japanese men.  I hope that nightmare doesn't come true."

Men's Marathoning Director Soh called on Kawauchi to still aim for the World Championships, saying, "I hope he has the courage to try again this winter season.  You have to keep putting out results.  If you are 'waiting' you won't be on the team."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

18-Year-Old Waithaka Runs 10000 m World Leading Time at Nittai - Weekend Roundup

photo by @tsutsugo55225

For the second time in the last three weeks, a Japan-based Kenyan ran the fastest time in the world this year for 10000 m at Yokohama's Nittai University Time Trials series. On October 20th it was 2015 World U18 Championships 3000 m gold medalist Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu), 20, with a 27:14.70  that surpassed Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei's world-leading mark by almost five seconds. This time it was 2018 World U20 Championships 5000 m silver medalist Stanley Waithaka (Yakult), 18, taking almost two minutes off his PB to break Kimunyan's mark with a 27:13.01 win.

Both winners received support from 2014 Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medalist Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), who ran season bests for 2nd place each time, 27:50.38 three weeks ago and 27:28.27 on Saturday. 2013 World U18 Championships 3000 m bronze medalist Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) was also under 28 minutes, running just off his PB at 27:42.16 for 3rd. Kazuma Taira (Kan…

2018 Japanese Distance Rankings - Updated 11/11/18

JRN's 2018 Japanese track and road distance running rankings. Overall rankings are calculated using runners' times and placings in races over 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and marathon and the strength of these performances relative to others in the top ten in each category. Click any image to enlarge.


Past years:
2017 ・ 2016 ・2015 ・ 2014 ・ 2013 ・ 2012 ・ 2011

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Go Ahead and Call It a Comeback - Niiya Breaks Shibui's Course Record in Return to Road Racing

Ladies and gentlemen, Hitomi Niiya is back.

You might remember Hitomi Niiya from the 2013 Moscow World Championships 10000 m, where she led the entire way only to get destroyed over the last lap and finish 5th in 30:56.70. That made her the third-fastest Japanese woman ever over that distance, but not long after that race she quit the sport entirely, getting an office job as far away from athletics as she could and not running for almost five years.

But the pull of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is strong, and, now 30, early this year she made the decision to try to make a comeback. Under the eye of former men's 800 m national record holder Masato Yokota she ran a 3000 m and two 5000 m time trials on the track between April and October before choosing the East Japan Women's Ekiden for her return to the roads and the longer distances.

The East Japan Women's Ekiden celebrated its 34th running Sunday, 9 stages totaling 42.195 km through the Fukushima countryside with teams from eac…