Skip to main content

Eritrean National Record Holder Yared Asmerom Meets Local Kindergartners as Part of New Exchange Program Between Kanagawa and Eritrea

http://www.sankei.com/region/news/160224/rgn1602240057-n1.html

translated by Brett Larner

On Feb. 23 Kanagawa prefecture, slated to host the northeastern African country Eritrea's pre-2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games training camps, announced the launch of the Sky Project exchange program.  As the first event in the program, Beijing and London Olympic marathoner Yared Asmerom, 36, participated in an interactive event with local kindergarteners.  Future activities will include similar events and promotion of Eritrea within Kanagawa.

On the 23rd, Yared visited nursery schools and kindergartens in two different locations in the prefecture.  At one, the Seisa Group Aobadai Nursery School and Kindergarten in Aobadai, Yokohama, children enjoyed running together with Yared, who laughed and smiled as he high-fived each student.  Yared told the children, "If you keep practicing seriously, then in sports or whatever other area you pursue, every one of you can become a champion."  Aobadai kindergartener Chika Tenkawa, 5, commented, "Yared outran me, but it was fun.  I want to get better at running."

Yared began running seriously at age 24.  As a marathoner he was a late bloomer, but with accomplishments like the Eritrean national record of 2:07:27 to his name he has had a long reign as his country's best.  With the goal of making his third-straight Olympic team this summer in Rio de Janeiro he plans to run the Czech Republic's Prague Marathon in May, one of the races used in selecting the Eritrean national team.

According to Yared, Eritrea's capital Asmara is ideally suited for long-distance training, being located at 2300 m elevation.  At last summer's World Championships Ghirmay Ghebreslassie became Eritrea's first men's marathon gold medalist.  "We have raised a talented young athlete who is achieving great things in the world," Yared said.

About Japan Yared told the children, "I love the Japanese people for their hard work and mutual respect for each other.  I'll be 40 years old when the Tokyo Olympics happen, but even though my mind says, 'I want to run there!' it's all up to the health of my body."   Despite the brief dip in his spirits in the face of the realities of aging, he added with wide, bright eyes, "But I will have the Kanagawa training camp to look forward to!"

Translator's note: Asmerom ran Sunday's Ome 30 km, finishing 4th in 1:33:24 behind marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't).

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Toyo University Leads Defending Champ Aoyama Gakuin on Hakone Ekiden Day One

The team that brought Japan's greatest race into the modern era with its historic 2012 sub-3 min/km win, Toyo University came out swinging to win Day One of the 2018 Hakone Ekiden.

Intensely popular with fans, Toyo has struggled this season with its entire senior class out with injury. With its fate in the hands of its younger members Toyo 1st-year Kazuya Nishiyama, freshly 19 in November, stepped up and took control of the race with both hands. Midway through the fast First Stage Nishiyama surged hard to go out front alone, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa Univ.) and relative unknown Yuhei Urano (Koku Gakuin Univ.) the only ones to try to go with him. Nishiyama covered the 21.3 km stage in 1:02:16, equivalent to a 1:01:40 half marathon, with Urano and Katanishi around 15 seconds back. 3-time defending champ Aoyama Gakuin University was 25 seconds behind in 5th at the first exchange, 2017 Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University another …

Kawauchi Breaks Sub-2:20 World Record in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Battling freezing temperatures and wind chill that took things down to -23C, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran a 2018 world-leading 2:18:59 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, taking 30 minutes off the course record and breaking American Doug Kurtis' historic sub-2:20 world record with his 76th career sub-2:20.

Kawauchi spent Dec. 29 to 31 training on the Boston Marathon course ahead of his upcoming appearance as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team and planned to run Marshfield at the tail end of his trip. The Marshfield Road Runners club, organizers of the marathon, had their longstanding race USATF certified ahead of his appearance.


Wearing full-length tights in a marathon for the first time, in Marshfield Kawauchi planned to run the first of the hilly course's two laps in 1:09 flat to give himself room to work with in breaking 2:20. But in the wind and cold he struggled to stay on pace, ice crystals coating his face as he hit halfway in 1:10:29…

Aoyama Gakuin Runs Down Toyo for Fourth-Straight Hakone Ekiden Title

In a rare reversal of Day One standings, Aoyama Gakuin University ran down Toyo University early in on Day Two to win its fourth-straight Hakone Ekiden title. At both the Izumo Ekiden and National University Men's Ekiden this season, Toyo struggled to cope with the absence of its entire senior class due to injury, running up front much of the way but lacking the depth to keep the lead in the final stages. Hakone played out like an opera-scale version of the same familiar story, its brilliant Day One win backlit by the headlights of rapidly approaching fate.

Second on Day Two's opening stage, the 20.8 km Sixth Stage with around 800 m elevation loss, both of the last two years, AGU 3rd-year Yuji Onoda just missed the course record en route as he ran down Toyo's Shunsuke Imanishi and put AGU almost a minute ahead by the time he handed off. AGU's next two runners Keisuke Hayashi and Yuta Shimoda both won their stages, Hayashi, a relative unknown on the roster, running 1:0…