Skip to main content

Japanese Federation and Corporate League Feel Stinging Impact of Kawauchi's Run

http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2011/02/28/0003832911.shtml

translated by Brett Larner

Saitama-based amateur runner Yuki Kawauchi, 23, finished 3rd at the Feb. 27 Tokyo Marathon in 2:08:37. The top Japanese finisher, he earned a guaranteed spot on the national team for August's World Championships marathon. As an ordinary amateur runner not belonging to a jitsugyodan corporate team, Kawauchi's titanic run has had a profound impact on Rikuren, the Japanese federation.

Rikuren director Keisuke Sawaki commented, "I think it is quite a major shock to all the established teams to see the limelight shining on a unique runner like Kawauchi."

Rikuren Long Distance and Road Racing Special Committee executive Toshio Kiuchi agreed that Kawauchi's result was a sharp sting to the corporate team system, saying, "This shows that our elite runners have to toughen up and get to work. Back in the day everyone had the kind of hunger Kawauchi showed today."

Team Chugoku Denryoku head coach and Rikuren Director of Men's Marathoning Yasushi Sakaguchi was more defensive, saying, "It's still clear that there are distinct advantages to the corporate team system," but admitted, "this was shock treatment."

Comments

Brett Larner said…
I just saw on Twitter that Sakaguchi said, "Kawauchi is making time for his training and saving his money carefully to pay for it, but here in the corporate team system there are a lot of lazy runners just feeding off our support. They ought to eat some humble pie and emulate someone like this."

Most-Read This Week

Ichiyama and Kipkoech Win Sapporo Olympic Test Event Half Marathon

The test event for the Tokyo Olympics marathon went off as planned May 5 in Sapporo on a course more or less mirroring the first half of this summer's Olympic course. Strong winds from the south meant a slow start over the first 8 km, super fast splits from the turn to the north just before 10 km until after 15 km, and a technical finish into the wind over the narrow and winding last few km through the Hokkaido University campus. After a slow first km, Olympic marathon women's team members Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) and Mao Ichiyama  (Wacoal) plus alternate Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) took it out hard with pacing courtesy of one of Ichiyama's male coaches. They stayed together on 1:08 pace until almost 18 km before Suzuki slipped away, Ichiyama kicking to win in a 1:08:28 PB and Matsuda closing hard in 1:08:32 for 2nd, likewise a PB. Ichiyama's time moved her up to all-time Japanese #6, with Matsuda picking up the #7 spot and knocking her coach Miwako Yamanaka  out of t

Hironaka, Ando and Ito Score Olympic 10000 m Spots

20-year-old Ririka Hironaka  (Japan Post), marathoner Yuka Ando  (Wacoal) and last year's men's runner-up Tatsuhiko Ito  (Honda) joined the winners of December's 2020 National Championships 10000 m on the Tokyo Olympics team as they took the top spots at today's 2021 National Championships 10000 m in Shizuoka. Hironaka, who debuted over the distance three weeks ago with a 31:30.03, Ando and Kenyan pacer Tabitha Njeri Kamau  (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) were all about the 31:25.00 Olympic standard, going out on sub-31 pace and burning off all competition, including Kamau. Hironaka took 1st in 31:11.75 with Ando next in 31:18.18, each of them clearing the JAAF's two criteria for Olympic selection, finishing in the top three and hitting the standard, to join 2020 winner Hitomi Niiya  (Sekisui Kagaku) on the Olympic team. No other women broke 32 minutes, 2021 National University Half Marathon champion Narumi Kobayashi  (Meijo Univ.) running 32:08.45, the 8th-fastest Japanese

Douglas Wakiihuri Awarded Medal of Honor for Bridging Divide Between Japan and Kenya

Former marathon runner Douglas Wakiihuri  has been awarded Japan's Spring Medal of Honor, an award recognizing individuals who have make exceptional contributions to Japanese society and become role models. Japan has produced a lot of distance runners, but Wakiihuri was the first Kenyan to pass through the Japanese development system.  His contributions to the sports and cultural exchange between Japan and Kenya are held in high esteem. Speaking in fluent Japanese from his home in Nairobi, an ebullient Wakiihuri said, "I am very happy. I owe a longstanding debt to everyone in Japan. The joy I feel is not just mine, but belongs to all of them. I am truly grateful."  Wakiihuri joined the S&B corporate team in 1983. "I was just 19 years old," he recalls. "Japan gave me a chance." Under the leadership of the late coach Kiyoshi Nakamura , Wakiihuri won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1987 Rome World Championships and the silver medal at the 1988