translated and edited by Brett Larner
Having taken national record holder Mizuki Noguchi to a marathon gold medal at the Athens Olympics, Nobuyuki Fujita (70) retired as advisor to the Sysmex corporate women's team on Sept. 30. Fujita retired as head coach at Sysmex last October and has served in an advisory role since then. Fujita's departure leaves head coach Hisakazu Hirose in the leadership role at Sysmex. According to Sysmex officials, Fujita had the option to renew his contract but after one year as an advisor opted instead for retirement.
Fujita has been a leader in Japanese distance running since 1968, helping to develop Olympians including Atlanta women's marathoner Izumi Maki and Noguchi. Athletes he has coach have set Japanese national records at distances ranging from 400 m to the marathon.
Fujita intends to focus upon the Fujita Running Academy program he founded in 2006, a project with the aim of discovering and cultivating talented young athletes and helping them to reach the next level. He will also continue to serve in an advisory capacity to the National Corporate Track and Field Federation. "This is not a retirement from my involvement with the running world," Fujita commented. "If people ask my advice I am more than happy to give it."