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Aoyama Gakuin's Kamino Planning Short Career Until Tokyo Olympics: "A Medal and Then I'm Done"

translated by Brett Larner

Only four years until retirement!?  After helping Aoyama Gakuin University win its second-straight Hakone Ekiden title last weekend, captain Daichi Kamino said that he plans to retire early after medalling in the marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  On Jan. 7 Kamino took part in a celebration of Aoyama Gakuin's victory at its Aoyama campus.  Asked about his future plans as an athlete after moving on to the corporate leagues in April following his graduation, Kamino said, "I don't plan to do it for long."  Having wowed the nation with the university ekiden achievements that earned him the nickname, "Third God of the Mountain," the 22-year-old now aims to take a leading role in the marathon.

Short and sweet.  The lean Kamino is crystal-clear when it comes to goal-setting.  "With regard to my career as an athlete, I don't plan to do it for long," he said.  "I'm going to put everything I have into it, medal, and then I'm done."  There's no doubt he's aiming for the Tokyo Olympics, just four years away.  At that point he'll still be only 26 years old.  For someone who hasn't run a marathon yet that kind of talk seems premature, but there's no hesitation in his voice when he says, "A medal in Tokyo."

Translator's note: Dr. Helmut Winter, who developed the split timing system used by marathons including Dubai, London, Berlin, Chicago and Frankfurt and who has watched firsthand as multiple world and course records were set, described Kamino's 2015 Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage run by saying, "I have almost never seen such running as by Kamino on the Fifth Stage. World class!! I doubt whether there was another runner in the world who could have stayed with him on that day."


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