Skip to main content

High School Track Prodigy Megumi Kinukawa Signs With Mizuno, Intends to 'Change the World'

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2008012200382
http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2008/01/23/0000810586.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Jan. 22, sports gear maker Mizuno announced that Sendai Ikuei High School distance running prodigy Megumi Kinukawa, 18, will join its team after graduating in the spring. Mizuno's team includes hurdler Shingo Suetsu and hammer thrower Koji Murofushi, but Kinukawa will be its first distance runner. At a press conference in Tokyo, Kinukawa told reporters, "My ambition extends to the world. I want to reach a new level in my running."

"My motto is 'Change the World.'" Kinukawa chose Mizuno in large part because she does not want to spend her career running ekidens but would rather focus her energy on track running. In last summer's Osaka World Championships Kinukawa was 14th in the women's 10000 m, the only high school student on the Japanese team. She was injured late last year but this month has returned to regular training and is likely to have the fastest 10000 m qualifying time among Beijing team members. "In the Beijing Olympics I will be targeting a top 8 finish," Kinukawa predicted.

After the Olympics she will shift her focus to the marathon. The youngest Japanese woman to compete in an Olympic or World Championship marathon was Akemi Masuda, aged 20 years and 7 months, at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Kinukawa's birthday is in August, so she will have the chance to take Masuda's title at the 2009 Berlin World Championships. These new steps in her career will be eagerly anticipated.

Translator's note: Kinukawa also ran an outstanding leg on the Chiba International Ekiden in November. Her 10000 m PB is 31:35.27, the national junior record. It is somewhat unusual for high school runners to skip university in order to turn pro, but possibly more common in women's running where ekidens do not receive the attention given to men's races such as the Hakone and New Year Ekidens.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Oct. 17 Tokyo Marathon Set to Cancel Due to Extension of State of Emergency

With the government set to extend the state of emergency in Tokyo and other parts of the country, as of Sept. 6 it is all but certain that the Oct. 17 Tokyo Marathon will be canceled.  The published guidelines for the 2021 race state, "In the event that a state of emergency has been issued one month prior to the event as part of the government's efforts against the coronavirus pandemic, or if the local government has issued a request not to hold the race, the Tokyo Marathon will be canceled." The current state of emergency in Tokyo runs through Sept. 12, but as it is expected to be extended 2~3 weeks it will still be in force on the 17th. This makes the chances that the Tokyo Marathon will go ahead virtually non-existent. The event's organizers, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation, plan to hold a board meeting in mid-September to make a final decision. The 2021 Tokyo Marathon was originally scheduled for Mar. 7, but in October last year in light of pandemic conditions the

Tokyo-Area Qualifier for National University Women's Ekiden Canceled

a press release from the event organizers, the KGRR As the weather shifts to the pleasantness of early autumn we send you our warmest greetings, and we thank you all for your continued support of the KGRR's activities. After careful discussion with the host city of Inzai, Chiba, we have made the decision to cancel the 27th Kanto Region University Women's Ekiden.  As this race serves to select the greater Tokyo area's representative teams at October's 39th National University Women's Ekiden, we will instead hold a selection event as per the details below, without spectators and following all the COVID-19 protocols outlined in the JAAF's "Guidance for Resuming Athletics Competition." Please be aware that depending on the status of the pandemic this event may also be canceled. We ask for your understanding and cooperation with this decision. Kanto Region Selection Event for 39th National University Women's Ekiden Date:  Saturday, Sept. 29, 2021 Locat

Kikutani 4th in Vienna

Kento Kikutani  (Toyota Boshoku) added a bit of drama to the Vienna City Marathon even before the disqualification of its original winner. 9th at February's record-breaking Lake Biwa Marathon in a PB of 2:07:26, Kikutani was the only one of the four Japanese men in Vienna to go with the lead pack. He stayed with them well into the second half before dropping off, but as the lead quartet slowed to set up for the last kick he came back, just making contact with the back of the group before the move came. Kikutani went into fourth, but with less than 2 km to go he suddenly stopped, walked, and then appeared to stretch out a cramp of other issue.  He dropped back to 5th by the time he made it across the line in 2:10:37, still good enough for the fastest time by a Japanese man overseas since Kenta Murayama 's 2:08:56 at the 2019 Berlin Marathon. It was a promising start to the post-Tokyo 2020 continuum. When initial winner Derara Hurisa  (Ethiopia) was disqualified for wearing non