Skip to main content

Planned New 'Tokyo Marathon Foundation' Pledged to be Corruption-Free

http://mainichi.jp/area/tokyo/news/20100609ddlk13010254000c.html
http://www.fnn-news.com/news/headlines/articles/CONN00178713.html
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/kanto/tokyo/100608/tky1006081853016-n1.htm

translated and edited by Mika Tokairin and Brett Larner

At the regular meeting of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly on June 8, Metropolitan Government officials held a public question and answer session with representatives of the four major political parties. Among the topics was the planned incorporation of a "Tokyo Marathon Foundation" to oversee management of the event's future. The Minshu Party questioned whether the Foundation would be merely "a cushy perk for upper-level bureaucrats leaving direct public service." Metropolitan officials explained, "The Foundation will serve to maintain the race's organization and thereby allow it to operate as a world-class marathon event. There will be no favoritism for government officials in obtaining positions in the Foundation."

Having been held four times since its inception in 2007, the Tokyo Marathon has thus far been operated by a committee consisting of members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese athletics federation Rikuren and the media. Now the Metropolitan Government is planning to spend $8 million to establish the Tokyo Marathon Foundation. Minshu Party representatives questioned whether this move is in opposition to ongoing administrative reforms. An official from the Metropolitan Government's Lifestyle, Culture and Sports Bureau answered, "By unifying responsibilities, the race administration will become more efficient and the financial burden upon the Metropolitan Government will be reduced." The official also stated that the contract laying out the terms for the business the Foundation will receive from the Metropolitan Government is subject to the Government's standard disclosure policies.

Jimin Party representatives gave a positive evaluation of the proposal, saying, "By incorporating the event's management they will be able to meet the race's needs and stabilize its operation." Mayor Shintaro Ishihara commented, "The Tokyo Marathon has had a very positive response from overseas. It is like a large festival uniting the city through thousands of volunteers and spectators coming together. We hope to use the advantages brought by incorporating the race to help the Tokyo Marathon become a major charity fundraiser and the world's greatest marathon event."

Yoshio Koide, the famed coach of Sydney Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and former marathon world record holder Naoko Takahashi, visited with Metropolitan Government officials the same day to voice his support for the establishment of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation. "The Tokyo Marathon is far too large-scale an event to be handled by City Hall," he told them. "The move to incorporate the race's management will have untold benefits and will significantly help to pull in the needed major corporate sponsors. Boston, New York, Chicago, London, Berlin and the other big races all do it that way, so we should do it here in Japan. I strongly urge you to take this step."

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Takes Six Minutes Off Kitakyushu Marathon Course Record to Lead Weekend Results

After a seven-week break from the marathon, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) scored his third-straight marathon win, second-straight course record and came just shy of a third-straight negative split as he ran a completely solo 2:11:46 to take almost six minutes off the Kitakyushu Marathon course record. Following up on negative split wins at December's Hofu Yomiuri Marathon and January's Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, the latter a course record by half an hour, Kawauchi was on his own in the first 100 m in Kitakyushu and never looked back.

In the hilly first 10 km his pace fluctuated from high-2:12 to high-2:10, but once Kawauchi got into the flatter section of the course he settled out on track for a high-2:11 to low-2:12 time. After a 1:05:51 split at halfway he slowed slightly on the outbound trip to the turnaround near 31 km, but picking it up again after 35 km he marked a 6:34 from 40 km to the finish to stop the clock at 2:11:46,  a 1:05:55 second half …

Kenyans Kabuu, Jemeli and Cheyech Lead Nagoya Women's Marathon Field

The Nagoya Women's Marathon is the largest women-only marathon in the world, one with a long history as an elite race and adapting to the times with a mass-participation field of 20,000. The last few years it has seen a series of dynamic, high-level performances by top Japanese women, from Sairi Maeda's 2:22:48 in 2015 to the 2:23:19 to 2:23:20 sprint finish battle between Tomomi Tanaka and Rei Ohara in 2016 to Yuka Ando's stellar 2:21:36 debut and teammate Mao Kiyota's 2:23:47 breakthrough last year.

Maeda, Ohara and Kiyota all return this year to face the Kenyan trio of Lucy Kabuu, Valary Jemeli and Flomena Cheyech Daniel. Kabuu went to high school in Japan before moving on to the big leagues, but she hasn't finished a marathon since her 2:20:21 in Dubai 2015. Cheyech also used to be based in Japan as is a familiar face here, winning the last two Saitama International Marathons. Jemeli is making her Japanese debut, and with a 2:21:57 win in Prague and a 2:20:53 …

Kipsang Talking Loud and Aga Mumbling Bold - Tokyo Marathon Preview

After stepping up to the big leagues last year with course records in the 2:03 and 2:19 range, the Tokyo Marathon hopes to go one better this year. Men's course record setter Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) is back, stepping up from a 2:03:50 prediction for Tokyo in January to a 2:02:50 world record prediction at Friday's pre-race press conference. In the unmentioned absence of women's course record breaker Sarah Chepchirchir the top-ranked woman is Ruti Aga (Ethiopia), coming in hot off a 1:06:39 win last month in Houston and turning heads at the press conference with a boldly mumbled 2:18:00 prediction.

Management for both Kipsang and Aga were skeptical to JRN of their athletes' predictions, people from each camp saying times two minutes slower would be more likely, one minute slower in a best-case scenario. But whatever the prediction, Kipsang was clear to fellow past champs Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) and Dickson Chumba (Kenya) about one thing: he wants a more conservative fi…