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Barcelona Welcomes Back 1992 Olympic Marathon Medalists

(l to r) Koichi Morishita (Japan), Yuko Arimori (Japan), Valentina Yegorova (Russia), Young-cho Hwang (South Korea), Lorraine Moller (New Zealand) and Stephan Freigang (Germany)

In the 25th anniversary year of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the organizers of the Zurich Barcelona Marathon invited all six marathon medalists back as guests of honor for Sunday's race.  JRN travelled to Barcelona with men's gold medalist Young-cho Hwang (South Korea), men's silver medalist Koichi Morishita (Japan) and women's silver medalist Yuko Arimori (Japan).

Bronze medalist Moller, gold medalist Yegorova, and silver medalist Arimori in the Olympic Stadium.
Gold medalist Hwang, silver medalist Morishita and bronze medalist Freigang at the Hwang monument in front of the Olympic Stadium.

Yegorova and Arimori watch themselves battle to gold and silver 25 years removed.

Hwang reflects on becoming one of his country's legends.



The six medalists reunited, Hwang with son Yuchan. All six will run Saturday's Breakfast Run over the final 4 km of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics marathon course, the climb up Montjuic. Freigang is the only one of the six who will also run Sunday's Zurich Barcelona Marathon.


Japan's last men's Olympic marathon medalist and first women's Olympic marathon medalist, together again in the place where their names entered history.

all photos © 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
That's terrific. Well done, Barcelona Marathon!

And now you know the difference between Western women and Japanese women as they age.
Metts said…
I also see how much the guys have put on some weight. The reason I keep going.

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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…