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

Japanese National Track and Field Championships Preview

The 101st edition of Japan's National Track and Field Championships takes place Friday through Sunday at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. It's a strange time in some ways. Despite the overall upward trend spurred on by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the count of athletes who might make the London World Championships off their performances at Nationals is low. The marathon, walks, combined events and relays aside, based on current qualifying times only the men's 100 m, women's 5000 m and women's 10000 m could field full three-member squads, and not many events look set to join that list. The progress over the last few years in men's distance on the track seems to have stalled, with nobody qualified for London in the 5000 m and the only man qualified in the 10000 m already a scratch. Is it a just a hiccup or a sign of problems in the buildup to 2020?

Visit the JAAF's National Track and Field Championships website for entry and start lists, live results, photos an…

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…

JAAF Announces Preliminary Team for London World Championships

A day after the end of the 2017 Japanese National Track and Field Championships, the JAAF announced its preliminary team for August's London World Championships. No men made the team in long distance, while no women were named in any event except long distance. Top-placing athletes at the National Championships have until July 23 to chase standards in hope of being added to the team, but excluding the marathon and race walk, the team as announced on June 26:

Women's Long Distance
Rina Nabeshima (Japan Post) - 5000 m
Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) - 5000 m / 10000 m
Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) - 10000 m
Miyuki Uehara (Daiichi Seimei) - 10000 m

Men's Sprints
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 100 m / 200 m
Shuhei Tada (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 100 m
Aska Cambridge (Nike) - 100 m
Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) - 200 m
Takamasa Kitagawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 400 m

Additional Relay Members
Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) - 4x100 m
Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin) - 4x100 m
Kentaro Sato (Fujitsu) -…