Olympic captain Murakami looking forward to London


Javelin star Yukifumi Murakami has played down the pressure of being captain of Japan’s team at this summer’s London Olympic Games. On Wednesday, he said he was looking forward to his latest challenge one month before the sporting extravaganza kicks off in the English capital.

Murakami who captained Japan at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, two years ago, turned pressure into power by winning the gold medal there. He will be competing at his third consecutive Olympics and appears to be taking the captaincy in stride.

“It’s not like I’m not going to try hard just because I am the captain,” the 2009 world bronze medalist told reporters after practice Wednesday. “Firstly I will give everything I have got in my own sport and that will lead to me carrying out my role and responsibility as captain. I am looking forward to throwing at the Olympics.”

Murakami’s 12-year reign as national javelin champ ended earlier this month, when his 83.95 meters was eclipsed by Waseda University student Genki Dean. Dean passed the Olympic “A” standard to earn an automatic spot in the London Games, while Murakami, who hurt his right elbow at the national championships and had only passed the “B” standard, was added to the team and named captain.

However, Murakami said he was thrilled to have Dean competing with him to London.

“Having multiple javelin throwers at the Olympics is an advantage we have never enjoyed before,” Murakami said. “Dean is a reliable friend and we both want to do our best on the London stage.”