OSAKA – Middle distance runner Kayoko Fukushi is hoping for a serious breakthrough when she gets down to the business of running the women’s 5,000 meters final on Saturday.
Coupled with the oppressive Osaka heat, the race will once again test the 25-year-old Japanese record holder’s endurance in a strong field of athletes known for their aggressive running styles.
After booking her spot in her second consecutive final with a pedestrian time of 15 minutes, 19.67 seconds for seventh place in the preliminaries on Wednesday, Fukushi realizes that just keeping pace with the likes of Ethiopian world record holder Meseret Defar will be nearly impossible.
Nevertheless, she is hoping to at least achieve her goal of eighth place. In Saturday’s 10,000, Fukushi came in 10th after one of her running spikes came off during the race.
“I did everything I could but it was very hard,” Fukushi said of her heat a day earlier. Even though this race is shorter than the 10,000 it’s very grueling,” she said. “This will be the last race, so I want to have fun when I run. In any case, I’ll do my best.”