translated and edited by Brett Larner
The civil servant runner is dead set on starting.
The top invited athletes for Sunday's 70th anniversary Fukuoka International Marathon, a selection race for the Japanese team for next summer's London World Championships, appeared at a press conference in Fukuoka on Dec. 2. Yuki Kawauchi (29, Saitama Pref. Gov't), the fastest Japanese man so far in 2016, was passionate as he said, "When I was worried about whether to run or not everyone around me was telling me, 'Don't do it.' But that's not what this is about. I want to run the best I can, to finish even one place higher, one second faster."
Kawauchi injured his right calf while training on Nov. 12. In his final tuneup race for Fukuoka, the Nov. 20 Ageo City Half Marathon, he could do nothing more than a slow jogging pace. "I don't know what I can do in Fukuoka," he said. "How far can you go on limited training? It will be very tough." But even so, he is determined to stand on the starting line. "I don't want to be selected," he said. "My goal is to compete." For Kawauchi, the London World Championships will be his last time trying to make a Japanese national team. The civil servant runner will be on the attack for one last chance to wear the Rising Sun on the big stage.
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