Olympian trains at SJCC

Dutches Richards

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Members of the media gather around Olympic athlete Koji Murofushi as he performs warm-up stretches prior to beginning his weekly training session. Murofushi will compete in the hammer throw at the 2012 London Olympics.



Olympic gold medalist Koji Murofushi performs warm-down exercises after completing his weekly training session at SJCC April 26. Murofushi will compete in the hammer throw at the 2012 London Olympics.
























Olympian Koji Murofushi warms up with a stretch before he begins his training for the 2012 Olympics in London.












Photos by Dutches Richards / TIMES STAFF

Japanese Olympic gold medalist Koji Murofushi, 37, No. 1 in the world for hammer throw, is training at San Jose City College for the 2012 London Olympics.

David Flynn, SJCC assistant track and field coach, and Murofushi are good friends, and Flynn suggested to Murofushi that he come to SJCC and use the field to train on.

He also decided to come here to get away from the crowd and big publicity in Japan.

“I love it. It is very peaceful here at this field,” Murofushi said.

He trains at both Moffett Field in Mountain View and at SJCC with his coach, Torre Gustafsson.

He will train for four to five months to be ready for the Olympics.

Murofushi said he comes from an Olympic family, and his family history of Olympic competitors is known in Japan. He was 13 years old when he attended his first Olympic game.

Murofushi’s father and sister were also hammer throw competitors in the Olympics.

He said he has been in track and field since he was 15. Now, 22 years later, Murofushi stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and throws at about 279 feet.

Murofushi’s father no longer competes, but he said his sister still continues to do so, he said.

Gustafsson, 50, said he has been training Murofushi since 2005. “It’s like a dream come true,” Gustafsson said,who said he competed in the Olympics from 1988 through 1992 and 1996.

Gustafsson said that training Murofushi is more of training smart along with a lot of recovery.

He said this training is to prepare Murofushi and is not exactly hard training as of right now.

Gustafsson also said that you must be careful when in the training process. This training is to prepare Murofushi for both the upcoming training camps and Olympics.

Gustafsson said Murofushi is doing well in his performance and that there are two training camps left, which are 10 intense weeks of training before the Olympics begin.

Gustafsson said he enjoys what he does and that it is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“It’s part of history and not the moment,” Gustafsson said.

“I am happy to be competing at 37 years old,” Murofushi said. “As of right now I am the oldest champion in history.”