Skip to main content

Wanjiru Loses Savas Sponsorship Contract

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2009120100951

translated by Brett Larner

On Dec. 1 the Meiji Seika corporation announced that on Nov. 30 it had terminated its sponsorship of Bejing Olympics men's marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru (23). In November last year Wanjiru signed a lucrative one-year contract with Meiji Seika to endorse the Savas sports supplement, but this year the company declined to renew the contract. A spokesperson for Meiji Seika cited "a change in our marketing plans" in explaining the move. The company is also cancelling the official team registration of its Team Sam.

Wanjiru was born in Kenya, coming to Japan as a teenager to attend Sendai Ikuei H.S. where he became a nationally-known face on the ekiden circuit. After graduating he joined Team Toyota Kyushu but quit last summer shortly before the Beijing Olympics. Wanjiru holds the half-marathon world record and set his marathon PB of 2:05:10 at last April's London Marathon, a course record. At October's Chicago Marathon he set another new course record of 2:05:41.

Translator's note: Meiji Seika's move came a day after Wanjiru finished 4th in the Great Australian Run 15 km. As far as I am aware Wanjiru never actually appeared in any advertisements for Savas or raced wearing their uniform.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

'$500,000 USD Prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 Launched in Beijing'

http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/k2-component/143-500-000-usd-prized-asian-premier-marathon-series-2017-18-launched-in-beijing

A very interesting World Marathon Majors-style development with prize money only for Asian athletes. Equally interesting is the absence of a Japanese race in the series. Japanese marathoners would dominate the series if they ran its three component races, their only real current competition in Asia coming from East African-born Bahraini athletes.

Kawauchi Named Captain of Japanese National Team for London World Championships

At a JAAF event at the British Embassy in Tokyo on July 21, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (30, Saitama Pref. Gov't) was named men's captain of the Japanese national team for next month's London World Championships. Javelin throw national record holder Yuki Ebihara (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) was chosen as women's captain.

In a wide-ranging and impassioned speech 4 minutes and 20 seconds long, Kawauchi stoked the team's morale as he told attendees, "I think that there are athletes here today who look at London as just a checkpoint along the way to the Tokyo Olympics. But as a representative of Japan it is not enough just to be there competing. I feel it strongly. You must produce results at this event, the London World Championships. This is the task assigned to each and every one of us. It is critical that we work seriously to achieve our goals. The Japanese people want nothing less. What can we as athletes do for them? More than just wearing the uniform, each of us mus…

Hayakawa and Ichiyama Win Shibetsu Half

2nd in 2015 and 3rd last year, Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) finally succeeded in scoring 1st at the Shibetsu Half Marathon, outrunning 2013-14 winner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) by 6 seconds to win in 1:03:38. Hayakawa pushed it from the early stages of the race, Imai the only one to try to stay with him but ultimately losing touch. 2016 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon winner Melaku Abera (Kurosaki Harima) was 3rd in 1:03:51.

士別ハーフマラソン
日差しが強くなってきました…💦 pic.twitter.com/qRfUei3aRt — はたのまき (@machakin77) July 23, 2017
The women's field was split between two distances, 10 km and half marathon. Kanako Takemoto (Daihatsu) won the 10 km in 34:27 by a margin of almost 10 seconds over an Otsuka Seiyaku trio led by Ayaka Inoue. 2017 National Cross-Country champion and last year's 10 km runner-up Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) took the top spot in the half marathon, outrunning teammate and national record holder Kayoko Fukushi and others to win in 1:14:01. Fukushi finished 4th in 1:15:41 behind last ye…