On Sept. 9 at the National University Track and Field Championships, Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo Univ.) became the first Japanese man to break 10 seconds in the 100 m when he set a new national record of 9.98. The news has been the talk of the nation ever since. Kawauchi said, "It's pretty amazing. It took up the front page of every newspaper." What can he run for 100 m? "My PB is 13.1, but right now, 13.9," he admitted.
Kawauchi ran that time, "in the morning the day before yesterday," he said. "I did two time trials. I even wore spikes. I ran them for real and only did 13.9. To be honest, it was pretty shocking." Although short sprints are well outside his area of expertise it seemed that he felt a sense of inadequacy at running just barely under 14 seconds, 4 seconds slower than Kiryu's and the kind of mark second-tier high school boys might run.
Following last month's World Championships Kawauchi went through a post-London slump, not training seriously for two weeks. "My weight rebounded back up to 66 kg, and my body fat is up to 13.2%," he said. "Now it's time to get back into it." Mentally refreshed and renewed, Kawauchi set off for Norway's foreign shores to make his comeback to racing.
translated and edited by Brett Larner
photo © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved