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'91 World Championships Gold Medalist Taniguchi Calls For Tokyo Marathon Top 3 to Be on London Team

http://www.sanspo.com/smp/sports/news/20170306/ath17030605000001-s.html

an editorial by Hiromi Taniguchi1991 Tokyo World Championships marathon gold medalist and two-time Olympic marathoner
translated by Brett Larner

Yesterday's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon was a pretty unremarkable race. Akinobu Murasawa and the other young athletes ran at 3:00/km pace in the lead group to 20 km, but at that point there were only 21 people left in the group and it looked like the more inexperienced athletes started to feel afraid somewhere along the way.  Tadashi Isshiki was the same way.  I think the pressure probably did him in before he even started running.  You have to value the experience level of Satoru Sasaki, who fell off pace midway but came back to take the top Japanese position, but in terms of his time it's tough to consider him.

For the World Championships team, why not select the top three Japanese men from the Tokyo Marathon, Hiroto Inoue, Hiroyuki Yamamoto and Yuta Shitara?  It was fantastic how right from the start they ran fast and competitively, and you can feel optimistic about their tactics too.  All three are between their mid-20s and age 30.  From the point of view of looking toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, these young athletes are very suitable.

Translator's note: Yamamoto is older than London team contender Yuki Kawauchi, in addition to having run more slowly than Kawauchi's Fukuoka performance and having placed lower in terms of overall position, Japanese finisher position, and distance from winner.  He also did not run a fast early pace like Inoue and Shitara as Taniguchi claims, instead hanging back in the Japanese pack behind designated pacer Yuki Sato for much of the race. Yamamoto has a chance of being named instead of Beppu-Oita winner Kentaro Nakamoto, but while it's understandable that Taniguchi would want to see Shitara on the team none of the arguments he puts forward justifies Yamamoto's selection over Kawauchi in order to make that happen.

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How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

“The Miracle in Fukuoka” - Real Talk From Yuki Kawauchi on “Taking on the World” (part 1)

http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201701120002-spnavi

translated by Brett Larner

Ahead of his nomination to the London World Championships Marathon team, Sportsnavi published a three-part series of writings by Yuki Kawauchi on what it took for him to make the team, his hopes for London, and his views on the future of Japanese marathoning.  With his place on the London team announced on Mar. 17, JRN will publish an English translation of the complete series over the next three days. See Sportsnavi's original version linked above for more photos. Click here for part two, "Bringing All My Experience Into Play in London," or here for part three, "The Lessons of the Past Are Not 'Outdated.'"


The Fukuoka International Marathon was held on Dec. 4 last year. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov’t) took part despite nursing injuries he had sustained in training. Falling rain contributed to less than ideal conditions during the race, but from the very early stages…