Having declared pre-race his intention to withdraw from consideration for future Japanese National Team positions, post-race Kawauchi showed no change in that intent. With regard to his future plans, his motivation as a competitor likewise remaining unchanged, Kawauchi indicated that he will run Decmeber's Fukuoka International Marathon,where his 3rd-place overall finish last year earned him his place in London. "In Fukuoka I want to break my PB and run 2:07," he said. "There are things I want to accomplish besides being on the National Team."
Kawauchi revealed that his next marathon will be September's Oslo Marathon, where he hopes to break the Norwegian all-comers record, followed by France's Nice-Cannes Marathon in November where he plans to join the small group of six Japanese men to have ever won overseas marathons with a sub-2:10 time.
Asked about the possibility of his joining the JAAF marathon development project under the leadership of Toshihiko Seko in the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics, Kawauchi answered, "I only met Seko briefly before the race, but as a member of the Japanese National Team I have a six-year debt that I feel must be repaid." With a laugh he added, "Not that any young athletes have come to me for advice or anything."
Still a government employee, Kawauchi said, "Tomorrow I'll be back at work." With regard to his training he said, "I'm going to take it a bit easy this week, but next week I'll be back at it [in training for Oslo]." His inherent toughness remains undimmed.
Official comments from Japan's London 2017 marathon teamYuki Kawauchi, men's marathon, 9th in 2:12:19
A lot of the people I overtook in the second half were athletes I'd run against in the past. Every time I caught one of them I'd surge past to make sure that they wouldn't come with me. It was my own fault that I didn't make top eight since I fell and whatnot, but even though I didn't finish in the top eight I think that I brought all of my ability. Compared to how I did in Daegu and Moscow, in my heart I feel that I finally ran with everything I had on the day. I'm really happy to have done everything that I could have.
Kentaro Nakamoto, men's marathon, 10th in 2:12:41
It was scary to go to the front of the group so I stayed near the back, but having to push to try to catch back up ended up with me getting dropped in the second half. I think that being able to push through the second half represented what I can do, but at the same time falling apart when I got passed by Kawauchi after 40 km was pretty characteristic of me too. I feel pretty disappointed, but part of me feels like I did what I could. I'm not sure what the future holds for me as an athlete, but once I get back to Japan I want to give it a lot of thought.
Hiroto Inoue, men's marathon, 26th in 2:16:54
I wanted to go until 30 km and then be in the race after that. When the big move came I went as hard as I could, but I could only stay with them for a kilometer. There's no way to handle that kind of speed without improving my PBs. I thought that if you can't run 2:04 or 2:05 you can't compete.
I could tell that even when the pace was going back and forth the other athletes were obviously running with the feeling that the race wasn't happening in its early stages. I really felt the difference in ability between them and me. I don't want to ever forget this disappointment. In the future I want to become stronger so that I can say that I ran my own race.
Mao Kiyota, women's marathon, 16th in 2:30:36
I'd seen the course a million times and my coach had told me that even if the pace sped up every lap it would definitely slow down again on the city center part. I didn't do anything hasty and I was relaxed enough to be able to tell who was cheering for me, so I thought that I had enough of a margin to be able to keep it together.
I think I dealt with the back and forth in the first half pretty well. But if I had to pick something that I did wrong, maybe I was too emotional and impatient. Every time, I keep on doing things that make it impossible to deal with the move in the second half. I have to get control of that, and from that to develop the confidence to be able to lead it myself and deliver a hard-edged race. I have to reevaluate my training approach so that I can gain that kind of confidence.
Yuka Ando, women's marathon, 17th in 2:31:31
I had planned to target place more than time, but looking back now at the way the race played out I can't help but feel that couldn't run up to that goal even though I'd been chosen for the Japanese National Team. I couldn't run the way I can, and that's unforgivable.
More than it just being due to it being my second marathon, I felt strongly that I need to raise my game mentally, not just in terms of my running ability. I found a lot of things that need to be improved and that I'm farther from being internationally competitive than I thought. I hope that this disappointment will be a springboard for me to grow and to come back stronger for the Tokyo Olympics.
Risa Shigetomo, women's marathon, 27th, 2:36:03
It's been five years since I ran badly at the London Olympics. You don't get many chances to come back to run in such a major race in the same place. In the sense that I was able to make it back here five years later it showed that I had grown, and even though my results were bad again it meant a lot to me. I feel disappointed, but I'm really glad I got to run. I want to think long and hard about what comes after this.
translated and edited by Brett Larner
group and Nakamoto photos © 2017 Kazuyuki Sugimatsu, all rights reserved
Kawauchi photo © 2017 Mike Trees, all rights reserved
Inoue, Kiyota and Ando photos © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
Shigetomo photo © 2017 Noel Thatcher, all rights reserved