Skip to main content

Shitara on Plans for Tokyo Marathon: "Unless I Run 2:04 I Won't Deserve to Run in the Olympics"

In an interview in Miyazaki on Jan. 23, former men's marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda) talked in no uncertain terms about his plans for the Tokyo Marathon, his last chance to earn a ticket to the 2020 Olympics. It's going to take breaking current record holder Suguru Osako's 2:05:50 national record to take the third spot on the Olympic team. But, said Shitara, "Even if I break the national record and am chosen, unless I run 2:04 I won't deserve to run in the Tokyo Olympics." If he runs a 2:05 national record, he said unambiguously, "I'll probably turn it down."

Commenting on Shitara's statement, his coach Satoshi Ogawa said, "I think he has complete confidence about winter races, but when it comes to summer races he's not as sure he can perform as expected. He probably thinks that there are other people who can do better in summer races."

Shitara also said, "Tokyo will be the last marathon I run in Japan," indicating that he plans to shift his focus to competing in high-level races abroad. The Tokyo Marathon is more than sufficiently high-level, regularly featuring athletes who have run in the 2:02 to 2:03 range, but, said Ogawa, "He wants to take on the challenge of competing internationally. He doesn't want conservative races, he wants to go fast and hard. For him it's all or nothing."

At the 2018 Tokyo Marathon Shitara ran a then-national record 2:06:11. After a planned confrontation with the man who broke his record failed to materialize at last year's Tokyo, the anticipation for his showdown with Osako this year is already building.

source article:
https://hochi.news/articles/20200123-OHT1T50136.html
translated by Brett Larner
photo © 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Most-Read This Week

National Corporate Track and Field Championships Entry Lists and Streaming

Japan's never-ending outdoor track season rolls on this weekend with its last major meet, the 69th edition of the National Corporate Track and Field Championships at Osaka's Nagai Stadium. Running Friday through Sunday, the entry lists are heavy on members of the Tokyo Olympic team including men's 20 km race walk silver medalist Koki Ikeda  and bronze medalist Toshikazu Yamanishi , and three of the four members of Japan's 4x100 m relay team, national record holder Ryota Yamagata , Shuhei Tada , and Yuki Koike . The meet will be streamed live on the organizers' Youtube channel , with streaming scheduled for 17:00~19:00 local time Friday, 13:20~19:00 Saturday, and 13:10~18:00 Sunday. © 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Berlin Marathon Japanese Results

This year's Berlin Marathon field included three good Japanese men. Hidekazu Hijikata  (Honda), 2nd at February's Lake Biwa Marathon in 2:06:26, went out in the 2nd pack that included eventual runner-up Bethwel Yegon  (Yegon). Hitting halfway on national record pace just 15 seconds off his half marathon PB in 1:02:17, by 25 km Hijikata was in free-fall. his 5 km splits going from the 14-min range to 15, to 16, and finally to 17:11. He ultimately finished 9th in 2:11:47. Kazuki Muramoto  (Sumitomo Denko) and Taku Fujimoto  (Toyota) were initially in the same group with Yegon and Hijikata but only lasted 10 km before backing off together. Muramoto, 11th in Lake Biwa in 2:07:36, dropped further back, but after getting caught by top German Philipp Pflieger  he tacked on and regained ground. With 3 km to go he passed Fujimoto, the 2019 Fukuoka International Marathon winner, finishing 14th in 2:14:11. Fujimoto was 15th in 2:14:18, 43 seconds up on Pflieger. © 2021 Brett Larner, al

Weekend(s) Track Roundup

Track time trial meets are a fact of life in the Japanese system, running all the way through the fall up to championship ekiden season in December. And with the conservative response to the pandemic in Japan in terms of road race cancelation, that's gone even longer, pretty much through the end of the academic and fiscal year in March. But this weekend did have the last major full track meet of the season, the National Corporate Track and Field Championships at Osaka's Yanmar Stadium Nagai. But before we get to that, last weekend's Nittai University Time Trials meet in Yokohama produced one major result that has to be mentioned. With Saturday's usual program of everything except men's 5000 m moving to the public holiday on Monday, Joseph Lemeteki Razini  (Takushoku Univ.) took two seconds off the Japanese 10000 m collegiate record, winning in 27:25.65 over Jonathan Ndiku  (Hitachi Butsuryu) and Ledama Kisaisa  (Kanebo). The previous record of 27:27.64 was set by