translated and edited by Brett Larner
Kunio Omori, 64, head coach of women's jitsugyodan powerhouse Team Kyocera, announced on Mar. 26 that he is leaving the team at the end of the month along with 2005 and 2007 World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara and 2009 Nagoya International Women's Marathon 5th place finisher Kiyomi Ogawa. The trio's future plans are as yet uncertain, but they intend to look for a new sponsor and to continue on in athletics.
Omori has been head coach of Team Kyocera since 1998, coaching team member Miho Sato (nee Sugimori) to the women's 800 m national record and on to the Athens Olympics. Prior to that he was head coach of Saitama Sakae High School where he lead the women's team to three straight National High School Ekiden Championship titles beginning in 1995. Omori commented, "After eleven years as head of Team Kyocera it is time for me to move on. I would still like to help athletes who are interested in my advice, but everything ahead is a blank page."
Hara, 27, a native of Tochigi Prefecture, graduated from Utsunoimya Bunsei Girls High School in 2000 and entered Team Kyocera. She won the 2005 Nagoya International Women's Marathon in her debut, finishing 6th overall and as the top Japanese runner in the Helsinki World Championships later the same year. She also ran in the 2007 Osaka World Championships marathon.