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Yamagata-Based Alexander Mutiso Aims to Be #1 in Paris Olympics Marathon


Having been named to the Kenyan men's team for this summer's Paris Olympics, Alexander Mutiso, 27, of the Nanyo, Yamagata-based ND Software corporate team, told the Yamagata Newspaper on May 13 that his goal for the Olympic marathon is "to be #1." Having lived in Yamagata for 10 years, Mutiso has strong attachment to the area and credits its environment for helping him develop, saying, "Ever since I came to Yamagata I've been running well." He left for Kenya on May 14 to join the Kenyan national team training camp, aiming to be in perfect condition when he arrives in Paris for the main event.

Mutiso came to Japan in 2015, joining the ND Software team and taking up residence in Nanyo. "I don't like the cold winters in Yamagata so much, but the other seasons are nice." From that base he has grown into the athlete he is now, competing in races across Japan and around the world. Compared to the track, his strengths lie more in long road races. At the Valencia Half Marathon in Spain in 2020 he ran under the world record at the time. In 2022 he began running marathons, going on to win last month's London Marathon to earn his spot on the Olympic team.

"I've very happy to have been picked for the Olympics," he said. "I'm proud to represent Kenya, where there are so many talented athletes." Alongside him will be Tokyo Olympics champion Eliud Kipchoge, 39, who will be aiming for a first-ever third-straight Olympic marathon gold. "He is a friend and a legend," said Mutiso.

Of his expectations for the race Mutiso said, "The Kenyan and Ethiopia teams will be very strong. I will do the training I need to be competitive." The Paris course, which has major hills, has been called the most difficult in Olympic history, but Mutiso was enthusiastic about it, saying, "I'm good at uphills. I want to show what I can really do." The Paris Olympics men's marathon takes place August 10.

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translated and edited by Brett Larner

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