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High School 5000 m NR Holder Kosuke Ishida Enters Toyo University

Toyo University's entrance ceremonies for the 2021-22 academic year took place Apr. 6 in Tokyo. Kosuke Ishida, the 5000 m high school boys' national record holder with a best of 13:34.74, was among the incoming first-years. He will be guided by head coach Toshiyuki Sakai, 44, who at Toyo previously coached 10000 m national record holder Akira Aizawa, former half marathon and marathon national record holder Yuta Shitara, Tokyo Olympics marathon team member Yuma Hattori, 2:06:45 marathoner Ryu Takaku and many other top-level talents. Through a statement issued by the university, Ishida said that he is aiming to make to the 5000 m at the 2024 Paris Olympics during his senior year.

"This spring I've entered Toyo University," Ishida wrote. "The reason I chose Toyo University is that I want to become a world-class athlete, and I wanted head coach Toshiyuki Sakai to help me get there. My goals while a student at Toyo are to make the 5000 m at the 2024 Olympics and to help Toyo win all three of the Big Three University Ekidens. I'm proud to wear the Iron Blue uniform so many great alumni have worn before me, and I will take the team slogan "Prove the Iron Blue" to heart and become the best I can be."

The very top of his generation, Ishida is still just 18. In an online interview on Apr. 2 he expanded on his written comments, saying, "When I heard Coach Sakai say, 'My goal is to develop world-class athletes,' it really resonated with me." Discussing his plans he was already focused on becoming internationally competitive, saying, "My first year will be about laying the groundwork for the main goal, the 2024 Paris Olympics. For the team, it's winning all three ekidens. My third year especially it'll be the 100th Hakone Ekiden, and I want to be there in the winners' circle to throw coach into the air in celebration."

While at Fukuoka's Asakawa J.H.S. Ishida set junior high school national records for 1500 m, 3000 m and 5000 m. His third year at Tokyo Nogyo Daini H.S. he broke the 5000 m high school national record twice. Coach Sakai commented, "He's an athlete who can establish his own plans and achieve records. He's coming to us with very big goals, and I want to give him the maximum support and guidance in achieving them." Ishida is scheduled to make his debut in the Toyo uniform in May.

source article: 
translated and edited by Brett Larner

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Anonymous said…
Very few Japanese fast high school distance runners become world class in the 1500m, 5k, or 10k. They work hard when young but don't have the talent to get to a higher level. So they move to the marathon.
Brett Larner said…
I think you're both confusing cause and effect here, and thinking in terms of where things were, not where they're going.
Anonymous said…
There seems to be more interest in the marathon for Japanese runners, at least based on the amazing depth, but 13:34 is faster than Galen Rupp ran in high school. Now, I think the spike technology would account for a few seconds but nonetheless he is a going to be a contender in any event he chooses and will probably have the range to run good marathons and track times.

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