translated by Brett Larner
Officials at the Osaka Grand Prix misdirected competitors in the men`s 1600 m relay. The American and Portuguese teams were already on their 2nd leg when it was discovered that they had been directed to a handoff zone 10 m past the actual zone. Japan`s 2nd leg runner Takumi Kanemaru (Hosei University) was not directed to this incorrect starting zone but followed the other two countries` runners while on standby. Consequently, 1st stage runner Mitsuhiro Abiko (Tsukuba University) was forced to run 410 m.
The error is an unwelcome reminder of last year`s Osaka World Championships, where officials in the men`s 50 km racewalk misdirected Yuki Yamazaki (Team Hasegawa). Kanemaru analyzed the incident by saying, "It meant less work for me," but Junji Karube, the head of Japan Rikuren`s short distance division, was more serious. "The runners themselves may have been partly responsible, but this is a grave incident because it happened in Osaka again."