Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Golden Games in Nobeoka Meet Cancelled Due to Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On May 19 the organizers of the 21st Golden Games in Nobeoka track and field meet scheduled for May 22 in Nobeoka, Miyazaki prefecture, announced that the event would be cancelled due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Miyazaki. On May 18 Miyazaki Prefectural Government officials asked organizers of upcoming events within the prefecture to postpone their events, but with the difficulties of rescheduling a major track meet in mind, Golden Games organizers opted to cancel this year's competition.

A notice posted on the Golden Games in Nobeoka website on May 19 explained that while foot and mouth disease only affects cattle, pigs and water buffalo, not humans, no cases had been detected within the Nobeoka area, and meet organizers had contingency plans in place to minimize the risk of spreading the disease through dirt contaminating meet participants' shoes, Nobeoka officials nevertheless asked them to indefinitely posting the meet. With no end date for the quarantine in sight and full racing schedules already in place throughout June, meet organizers opted to cancel this year's Games, one of the major events on the spring calendar. They apologized to all the athletes who had trained to peak for the Games and to the fans who had looked forward to seeing the meet's high-level competition.

Translator's note: A pity. The highlight of this year's Golden Games was to be a men's 5000 m heat featuring most of the top Africans in Japan, among them Paul Tanui, Gideon Ngatuny and Jonathan Ndiku, along with the two most talented Japanese men in competition today, Kensuke Takezawa and Yuki Sato.

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