translated by Brett Larner
On Feb. 23 Rikuren announced that the nine athletes and six support staff members training in Christchurch, New Zealand at the time of the major Feb. 22 earthquake will leave New Zealand the evening of Feb. 24 and arrive back in Japan the morning of Feb. 25.
Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya), Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), Kayoko Fukushi (Team Wacoal), Azusa Nojiri (Team Daiichi Seimei) and five staff members will fly to Sydney before transferring to a Narita-bound flight. The other five athletes and remaining staff member will fly to Auckland and continue on to Kansai International Airport.
The Rikuren-sponsored training camp was scheduled to run from Feb. 7 through the 27th, but to ensure the safety of all participants in the wake of the earthquake the decision was made to cut it short. The extensive damage to the roads and surrounding area make running outside impossible, and the hotel to which the camp members moved following the earthquake does not have sufficient running water, leading Rikuren staff to opt for the earlier-than-planned return.