Skip to main content

Kiryu Confident After Unofficial NR in Practice: "Feeling Good!"

http://www.sanspo.com/rio2016/news/20160805/rio16080505020012-n1.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner
note: Many thanks to a reader who pointed out an error in the translation.  Kiryu was commenting on an having run a good time in practice rather than saying they had run a good time.

In search of its first medal since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Japanese men's 4x100 m relay team did some of its final pre-Rio sessions on Aug. 4 at Japan's Olympic training base at New Jersey's Princeton University, where it was revealed that the team had run a 37-second time, faster than the official Japanese national record of 38.03.  The team's ace, 10.01 man Yoshihide Kiryu (20, Toyo Univ.), showed complete confidence, talking openly as he said: "Even in practice we're dropping great times.  Feeling good!"

Along with Kiryu, the team includes 100 m stars Ryota Yamagata (24, Seiko) and Asuka Cambridge (23, Dome), all three targeting Japan's first-ever sub-10, plus 200 m national champion Shota Iizuka (Mizuno) and last year's 100 m and 200 m national champions Kei Takase (Fujitsu) and Kenji Fujimitsu (Zenrin).  Many are calling them Japan's best-ever lineup.

Training in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi in July, the team ran the hand-timed 37-second mark, faster than the 38.03 national record if not as accurate as done with electronic timing.  The Princeton training camp is focusing on the team's baton passing and other details, and everything is looking good.  Coach Shinji Karube, 47, contrasted the team with the bronze medal-winning 2008 lineup, saying, "That time it felt like if anything had happened to one person we would have been in a tough situation.  This time we've got plenty of talent in reserve so we have less to worry about."  Yamagata agreed, saying, "Whoever runs whichever leg, we can produce good results.  We're confident."

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 …