Skip to main content

Back From New York, Kawauchi Defies Federation Expectations With Statement of Intent to Run Own Race in Fukuoka

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2015/11/03/kiji/K20151103011443060.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/1559367.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The evening of Nov. 3 civil servant runner Yuki Kawauchi (28, Saitama Pref. Gov't) returned to Tokyo's Narita Airport from the New York City Marathon, where his 6th-place finish was the best Japanese men's placing in this year's World Marathon Majors.  Looking ahead from New York to December's Fukuoka International Marathon where he will take his shot at making the Rio de Janeiro Olympic team Kawauchi firmly declared his intentions, saying, "The field in New York was even stronger than in Fukuoka.  Experiencing racing in the middle of top-notch world-class speed puts me in a good position for Fukuoka.  One way or another I'll be in the top three.  If I can make the podium then I know I can compete against the best in the world.  If they still don't put me on the Olympic team for that then there's nothing I can do about it."

Expecting the front group to go out fast, Kawauchi has no intention of following an unrealistic pace, instead planning to hold back and conserve his energy while the pacers remain through 30 km.  "People watching on TV might wonder, 'Why isn't he going with the leaders?' but I am going to run a pace that suits me personally," he said, unambiguously stating his determination to stick to his own plan and deliver a solid performance.  Kawauchi told the reporters that he is unconcerned about the inevitable hecklers along the course, saying, "I don't care about people who just want to make some noise."

At the Nov. 15 Ageo City Half Marathon Kawauchi aims to run under 1:03:30.  Immediately after the race he will head to the nearby Saitama International Marathon, where he is an official ambassador, to cheer on the Japanese women aiming for the Rio Olympic team.  It's a tough schedule to fit into one day but he intends to give it all both as a runner and as a supporter.

Translator's note: Kawauchi's comments seem to deliberately challenge JAAF Vice Chairment of Development Katsumi Sakai's April statement regarding current JAAF selection priorities: "You absolutely have to go with the lead group from the beginning.  It's not about winning.  It's about trying to run the target time that we determine.  That is the message we have sent."  The JAAF's target time for automatic selection to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic team is sub-2:06:30, a time only one Japanese man has ever achieved.

Comments

CK said…
Sakai: "It's not about winning..."
Is anyone else here baffled ?
Unknown said…
JAAF Vice Chairment of Development Katsumi Sakai The selection committee is headed by someone who has really thought this through. Clearly he knows what he is doing.
Anna Novick said…
It will be one of the top ten days of my life if Kawauchi runs sub 2:06:29 after racing exactly the ways he says he will. gambatte

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Brothers Repeat Father's Day Okinoshima Ultra Sweep

For the second year in a row brothers Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and Yoshiki Kawauchi (unattached) returned to their late father's home island of Okinoshima to dominate the Father's Day Okinoshima Ultramarathon 50 km and 100 km.

Yoshiki, the younger of the two, ran the 100 km for the third time. In his 2015 debut he suffered mightily on the way in to an 11:21:52 finish. Returning with a year's more experience in 2016, he won in a course record 7:20:31. This time he was out fast in search of his first sub-7 clocking, averaging 4:00/km at 40 km through the hilliest part of the course before starting to slow. At 60 km he was still on track for a sub-7, splitting 4:07:10, but when he hit the series of three >100 m elevation gain climbs just after 60 km sub-7 slipped out of reach. Still well under course pace with a 7:12:27 projection at 80 km Yoshiki struggled on the last 100 m climb just over 5 km from the finish, coming in for the win in 7:29:06. Yoshiki has…

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…

List of Japanese Athletes Qualified for 2017 London World Championships

It's 50 days to go to the 2017 London World Championships and just over a week out from the 101st Japanese National Track and Field Championships in Osaka where the country's best will be trying to earn places on the London team. Athletes will have the chance to chase standards in the weeks after Nationals, but excluding the marathon, walks and combined events, all of which are held separately from the National Championships, the following is a list of Japanese athletes already holding valid qualifying marks for London.

Things are looking very thin right now, with only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m currently capable of fielding complete contingents, although at least the men's 200 m, men's pole vault and conceivably the men's 10000 m could join that short list. With sixteen women currently holding the London standard the women's 10000 m looks to be the toughest to make even if marathon squad members Yuka Ando (Suzuki Hamamatsu…