Yamamoto to face challenge for gold in Incheon

Japanese T42 Asian Para Games champion sprinter is confident he can hold off a challenge from Thailand’s 100m World No.1. 06 Oct 2014
Atsushi Yamamoto of Japan and Daniel Jorgensen of Denmark compete in the men's 100m T42 heats at London 2012

Japan's Atsushi Yamamoto set an Asian record in the men’s 100m T42 race at the Incheon Asian Para Games

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By Poppy Penny | For the IPC

“I am confident of my victory in the Games, and I will do my best for it”

Japanese Asian Para Games champion sprinter and world champion long jumper Atsushi Yamamoto has claimed he has what it takes to win at the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games in South Korea from 18-24 October, despite a credible threat from Thailand’s Tawatchai Morapat.

“I am confident of my victory in the Games, and I will do my best for it,” he said.

Despite being the current long jump T42 world champion, Yamamoto says he is focusing on the 100m, where he is currently ranked third in the world and second in Asia.

Morapat, a silver medallist from the 2010 Asian Para Games, is likely to be Yamamoto’s biggest challenger in the 100m race for gold. He finished second to Yamamoto four years ago but was only in his first season.

He has since claimed the 2014 World No.1 ranking and will be seeking to take the title at the second Asian Para Games.

Yamamoto, now 32, has been preparing to hold off the threat by training five days a week.

“My training basically focuses on the sprint” he said, “I am focusing on increasing speed.”

The Asian Para Games will also give Yamamoto a good chance to assess Morapat and the other athletes along with his own performance in the lead up to the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, from 22-31 October.

“The next goal is to get the gold medals in 2015,” Yamamoto said.

The Asian Para Games will take place between 18-24 October and will feature 603 medal events across 23 sports.