Skip to main content

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

http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/athletics/news/1589175.html

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."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …