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Racing through the world stage,
Closing up college life on the road to Hakone

Mr. Kensuke Takezawa

When I visited the athletic field on the Tokorozawa campus for interviews, the members of the Track and Field Team attended to me efficiently. It was easy to sense their organized functions. "Our manager and coaches basically allow us freedom," Mr. Takezawa said, "Since I am not the type of captain who directs from A to Z, I wish there were more athletes who are responsible and eager to improve their skills, than whose who are passively waiting for instructions." From the outset, track and field has individuality, so each member can seek and find out his own way to approach athletics, Mr. Takezawa believes. "I'm often told that I'm really a unique individual."

For Mr. Takezawa, this year was an especially hot summer. He represented Japan in the Beijing Olympics. "I was overwhelmed by the pressurized atmosphere of the spectators united within the small, crowded stadium." Although he did not get the results he had expected, he was content with having had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of going to the Olympics. "I'm grateful to my ekiden (long-distance relay) coach, Yasuyuki Watanabe, and OB Toshihiko Seko, who did not participate in the Olympics despite their competence. They passed on their experience and skills and taught me that even young students are capable of competing on the international level.

The manager, Mr. Watanabe, opened the way not only to the Olympics but also the life of track events. When he was in 6th grade, Mr. Takezawa joined "S&B Youth Health Marathon Championship," and Mr. Watanabe was an athlete who belonged to S&B. His running form seemed outstanding to the young Takezawa. "When I heard about the Hakone Ekiden race of his Waseda era, I immediately decided to enter Waseda University and run at Hakone, though I had no idea what that actually meant." If I hadn't met Mr. Watanabe and there had been no Waseda University, I wouldn't have continued my track career," Mr. Takezawa reflected.

In last year's Hakone Ekiden, Waseda University won first place in the first-half of the marathon and second place overall. The next goal is to win first place. "What keeps me going is the supporters cheering from the sidewalks. When I'm running, I can only hear lively Waseda cheers."

When Mr. Takezawa was asked about his next goal after Hakone, he replied that he just wants to lead a normal, peaceful life. As a super ace runner, Kensuke Takezawa is always in the spotlight and runs through the world stage. However, behind the scenes, he is amazingly modest and solid.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Mr. Kensuke Takezawa

Born in Hyogo prefecture in 1986. Graduated from Hotoku Gakuen High School. 4th year student at School of Sport Sciences. Belongs to Prof. Sunao Uchida's Seminar. He took 4th place in the 5000 meters at Rovereto, Italy, in 2006. MVP for the 2nd leg in Hakone Ekiden Race in 2007. 1st place in the Inter-college race. 2nd place in 10,000 meters Japan Championship. MVP for the 2nd leg in the All-Japan College Marathon. MVP for the 3rd leg in 2008. 2nd position in 5000 meters Japan Championship. 28th finalist in 10,000 meters, and 21st place in 5000 meters preliminary race in Beijing Olympics. Captain of Track and Field in 2008. After graduating from the undergraduate program, Mr. Takezawa will continue his track career at S&B Foods Inc. and specialized in Sport Sciences at graduate school.