translated by Brett Larner
The nine members of the Japanese national team for the Oct. 12 World Half Marathon Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, left for Brazil from Tokyo's Narita International Airport on Oct. 8. Chuo Gakuin University ace Masato Kihara said he would not be focusing on his Kenyan ekiden rival Mekubo Mogusu (Yamanashi Gakuin University) but rather competing against the world. "I'll fight with Mogusu in Hakone. Rather than worry about him I think it's better to run my own race," said Kihara in anticipation of his first overseas race. Beijing Olympics 5000 m and 10000 m competitor Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren) commented, "I plan to follow the leader."