translated and edited by Brett Larner
video by 遠藤清也
Just a month after his 17th birthday, Gakuho Ishikawa H.S. 2nd-year Hyuga Endo ran 8:01.95 for 3000 m at the Sept. 5 Premium Games in Sakata time trial meet in Sakata, Yamagata, breaking the Japanese high school and youth national records. Endo's time, a PB by more than 15 seconds, took nearly 4 seconds off the 8:05.82 high school national record set 11 years ago by Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin, then Saku Chosei H.S.) and almost 7 seconds off the 8:08.57 youth national record set in 2010 by Kazuto Nishiike (Team Konica Minolta, then Suma Gakuen H.S.).
Endo was paced by his Gakuho Ishikawa H.S. 3rd-year teammates Kazuyoshi Tamogami and Hiroki Abe until 1500 m where he went out front alone. Keeping the high pace, he kicked hard over the last 400 m to the finish line to break both records.
Endo ran the 3000 m at July's World Youth Championships where he was overpowered by African strength and took 5th, the first finisher not from Kenya or Ethiopia. Since then he has focused on building his stamina. "In practice my stamina is getting better, and so is my speed," he said after his race. "This gives me confidence."