Friday, September 9, 2011

World Championships Marathon 7th Placer Horibata Feted at Nobeoka City Hall

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Sept. 7 Hiroyuki Horibata (24, Team Asahi Kasei), the top Japanese finisher in the 2011 Daegu World Championships men's marathon at 7th in in 2:11:52, made an appearance at his hometown Nobeoka City Hall in Miyazaki prefecture to talk about his race and his plans for making the 2012 London Olympic team.

Horibata smiled at the warmly welcoming applause from the staff and guests at city hall.  Nobeoka mayor Masaharu Sudo told him, "You met the hopes of all the citizens of Noboeka.  It was an outstanding performance."  Horibata told the crowd, "I ran with my own rhythm, with a margin of strength that came from inside.  I did better than my goal of 8th place.  My training went completely according to plan, and that's why I was able to achieve this result.  In my next race I want to seal up my place on the Olympic team."  Horibata's coach Takeshi Soh commented with assurance, "The field in this year's race was extremely high-level, so the fact that he was able to finish in the prize money is especially meaningful.  It's safe to say that among Japanese athletes he is the frontrunner for the London [Olympic] team."

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