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

Takamatsu Makes Return to Racing After Nike Oregon Project Disappointment

Running again in her hometown on the second day of the Osaka Track and Field Championships at Yanmar Stadium Nagai, 2014 Youth Olympics girls' 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (19, Osaka T&F Assoc.) took the first step toward a comeback. Closing the gap to the runner ahead of her on the second lap, Takamatsu finished with effort to spare in 2:14.51 for 2nd. "I was able to run the way I'd envisioned," she said afterward. "I had some anxiety since it was pretty much my first real race in a year but I was able to give it my best."

After graduating from Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S. in the spring last year Takamatsu moved to Oregon, U.S.A. to take part in the "Nike Oregon Project" elite long distance group created by Nike. With a dream of winning gold in the 5000 m or 10000 m at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and high hopes in her heart, she crossed the ocean.

But in the U.S. she was hit by the cold hand of reality. "I was DFL every ti…

Kim Sets Korean 5000 m National Record, Tsuetaki Clears Steeple Standard, Osako Comes Up Short - Abashiri Highs and Lows

The final meet in Japan's Hokuren Distance Challenge series, Thursday's Abashiri meet was set up to give people one last chance to clear the qualifying standards for next month's London World Championships ahead of the fast-approaching deadline. Temperatures were far above normal for northern Hokkaido through much of the day, the mid-afternoon peak reported at over 36C at the time of the men's 800 m A-heat and still at 25C at the start of the five standard-chasing races in the evening.

網走女子5000A https://t.co/GquthBd13K — ホクレン・ディスタンスチャレンジ2017 (@hokurendc2017) July 13, 2017
The best race of the day was the women's 5000 m A-heat. With two women already confirmed for London the third spot on the team was up for grabs. First in line under the JAAF's criteria for addition, top three at Nationals and under the 15:22.00 standard, was 16-year-old Shuri Ogasawara (Yamanashi Gakuin H.S.), 3rd at Nationals in an U18 national record of 15:23.56. Next in line would be anyon…

Endo Breaks 3000 m Junior National Record in Kitami

Already the U18 national record holder for 3000 m, 18-year-old Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko) stepped up with an U20 record in the men's 3000 m at the third meet in the Hokuren Distance Challenge series Sunday in Kitami, Hokkaido.

北見男子prj-A3000m陸連強化レース(ペースメーカーあり) https://t.co/8s96euEND3 — ホクレン・ディスタンスチャレンジ2017 (@hokurendc2017) July 9, 2017
The men's and women's 3000 m races on the program as a step toward Wednesday's fourth and final HDC meet in Abashiri where people will be shooting for last-minute London World Championships qualifying standards. With pacer Evans Keitany (Toyota Boshoku) targeting 7:55 the men's race came down to a sprint finish between Tetsuya Yoroizaka (Asahi Kasei), Takashi Ichida (Asahi Kasei) and Chiharu Nakagawa (Toenec) over the last lap. Yoroizaka dropped Ichida in the home straight to win in 7:52.70, the fastest-ever 3000 m time by a Japanese man on Japanese soil and one that made him all-time #10 in the Japanese record books. Closing fast, …