Sato’s roommate at Komazawa can be Ibuki Kaneko, who ran properly on the uphill Fifth Stage on the Hakone Ekiden and is beginning his third 12 months in April. Assigned to mentor is Kotaro Shinohara, simply ending his personal first 12 months, who beat Sato by one place at February’s Nationwide Cross Nation Championships. Shinohara welcomed the workforce’s new recruit. “Sato’s actually robust,” he mentioned. “I am going to need to work arduous to not get overwhelmed.”
Because the older workforce members present the 18-year-old Sato across the dorm, his 180 cm top stands out. His lengthy limbs and dynamic kind already make him a match for even the most effective amongst them on the monitor. Final June Sato was eighth within the 1500 m on the Nationwide Championships. The subsequent month he ran 3:37.18, the Third-fastest time ever by a Japanese athlete and bettering the highschool nationwide report for the primary time in 22 years. Later in the summertime he received the 1500 m on the Nationwide Excessive College Championships and was the highest Japanese placer within the 5000 m at Third general. Within the fall he broke the 3000 m and 5000 m highschool nationwide information.
Sato remains to be over two seconds off the three:35.00 qualifying commonplace for July’s Oregon World Championships 1500 m, however, says Komazawa head coach Hiroaki Oyagi, is optimistic about his probabilities. “I would like him to go for it, and within the 5000 m as properly.” Sato agreed, saying, “I need to run sub-13 whereas I am a scholar right here. The main target till my second 12 months can be on growing my pace, and making the World Championships this 12 months is a significant aim. First up I’ve to get the usual and make high 3 at Nationals.”
Final November Komazawa received the Nationwide College Males’s Ekiden for the second 12 months in a row, and in January it was Third on the Hakone Ekiden. Sato can also be extremely motivated for ekiden success. “I need to construct my stamina on the summer season coaching camps and be in place to win my stage proper from my first 12 months. The Hakone workforce can be robust to make as a result of the older runners are extra skilled with lengthy distances, however I would be comfortable to run something apart from the mountain levels.”
Additionally at Komazawa are two of Japan’s finest 10000 m runners, Ren Tazawa, 27:23.44, and Mebuki Suzuki, 27:41.68. Tazawa is the fastest-ever Japanese-born collegian and all-time Japanese #2, and Suzuki was Third finally 12 months’s Nationwide Championships. “Having robust senior teammates will inspire me to enhance my very own degree,” mentioned Sato with attribute stoicism.
Komazawa’s annual first-year coaching camp begins on Mar. 17 and can mark Sato’s official transition from “Rakunana’s Sato” to “Komazawa’s Sato.” Having laid out some huge targets, this 18-year-old expertise is bound to play an enormous function each in Japan and on the world degree.
translated by Brett Larner