translated by Brett Larner
According to a JAAF spokesperson, in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the JAAF will hold a men's marathon training camp in New Zealand in March. Along with promising young talents like "God of the Mountain III" Daichi Kamino (23, Team Konica Minolta), the JAAF is in consultation to invite London World Championships candidate Yuki Kawauchi (29, Saitama Pref. Gov't).
The camp is part of a new strategic initiative to raise the level of Japanese marathoning. Of note are the athletes being invited. Along with Kamino, who was the star of the Hakone Ekiden's uphill Fifth Stage while at Aoyama Gakuin University and who has continued to grow since going to the corporate leagues, this year's Hakone Second Stage winner Kengo Suzuki (21, Kanagawa Univ.) and other high-potential young distance runners without marathon experience are being invited.
In addition, the JAAF has asked Kawauchi, who on Sunday ran his 66th marathon in 2:09:54 to win the Ehime Marathon, to participate. JAAF marathon development project leader Toshihiko Seko (60) commented animatedly, "The chance to learn from Kawauchi's approach to the marathon would be of tremendous value to our young athletes. We would really like him to take part."
For young athletes Kawauchi is the perfect "running textbook." There's no doubt that Kawauchi would find the chance to train together with the country's best young runners stimulating too. One part seasoned veteran amateur runner, one part inexperienced but promising young talents. Expect a powerful "chemical reaction."