Monday, April 13, 2015

Kawauchi Plans to Retire from National Team Competitions at World Championships: "London Will Make a Good Punctuation Mark"

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The civil servant runner plans to step down from the dream stage where the world's fastest men run.  On April 12 Yuki Kawauchi (28, Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran as a special guest at the local Honjo Waseda no Mori Cross Country Race and Half Marathon in Saitama, winning the half marathon in 1:07:47.  Afterward he told reporters that following the 2017 London World Championships he will "retire" from competing to be on the Japanese national team.  "My plan is to win a medal at the London World Championships and then to really say sayonara to the national team," he said.

At the time of the 2013 Moscow World Championships Kawauchi also suggested he would remove himself from consideration for future world level national teams, but he continues to work hard in anticipation of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.  To Kawauchi, who has struggled in hot weather races in the past, the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics both represent very difficult conditions.  In that respect, London looks like the place to put an end to his national team ambitions.  "London reminds me of not making the [2012] Olympics, so I have a lot of different feelings about it," he said.  "I think London will make a good punctuation mark."  100 and 200 m world record holder Usain Bolt (28, Jamaica) has also indicated that he plans to retire after the London World Championships.

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