Skip to main content

Kawauchi Weighs in on Federation Policy Flip-Flopping: "What Can You Say About People Who Keep Changing Their Stance?"

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150607-00000015-dal-spo

translated and edited by Brett Larner
videos by Ryosuke Furuya

On June 6 the athletics world's #1 amateur runner, Yuki Kawauchi (28, Saitama Pref. Gov't), won the 5000 m title at the 70th Saitama Prefecture Track and Field Championships at Kumagaya Sports Park Field, running 14:52.62 before doubling back to finish 8th in 4:03.05 in the 1500 m, an event he won last year.  In interviews after the race he weighed in on the JAAF's statement late last month that it was eliminating the preference given to members of its year-old National Team marathon development program in the selection process for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic team.



There has been no communication about the significant change in policy from the Federation to the athletes currently in the National Team program.  "I read about it in the news," said Kawauchi, who excelled last year as a National Team member, winning the bronze medal in last October's Asian Games marathon, one of only two of the program's twelve inaugural members to have broken 2:10 since its launch at the start of the last fiscal year in April, 2014 and the only one to have done it twice or to do it outside Japan.  This year he again has an excellent chance of being named to the National Team, the lineup of which has yet to be announced over two months into the new fiscal year, but, he commented with genuine sadness, "What can you say about people who keep changing their stance?  I guess I can understand it if their plan is to just throw Rio and put everything into the Tokyo Olympics."



Analyzing the implications of JAAF Vice-Chairman of Development and National Team program co-head Katsumi Sakai's May 27 statement about the policy change Kawauchi said, "If there's no preferential treatment given to people on the team then I think many of them will quit.  A lot of corporate runners probably want to go do altitude training in St. Moritz or Boulder or wherever instead of the National Team's required domestic training camps, and in my case I can't set up my own training getaways if I have to go to the National Team training camps.  There won't be any reason for anyone to want to force themselves to be on the National Team no matter what."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of university ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to sta…

Boston Marathon Champion Yuki Kawauchi and Olympian Suguru Osako Join 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Elite Field

A Bank of America Chicago Marathon press release

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced today that reigning Boston Marathon champion and “citizen runner” Yuki Kawauchi and 2016 Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner Suguru Osako will join the elite competition as they both seek to become the first Chicago Marathon champion from Japan since Toshihiko Seko took the crown in 1986.

"I'm really happy to have the chance to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Abbott World Marathon Majors," Kawauchi said. "I'm looking forward to running the same race where Toshinari Takaoka set the former national record and so many other great Japanese athletes have run well. My results in the other American Abbott World Marathon Majors races, Boston and New York, were pretty good, and I'll do everything I can to line up in Chicago ready to produce good results there too."

“Yuki and Suguru are exciting additions to our elite field,” said Executive Rac…

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved