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Kenyan Cosmas Ondiba to Take Position at Nanyo City Hall

translated by Brett Larner

Having broken the Third Stage record at last month's Hakone Ekiden, Yamanashi Gakuin University Kenyan senior Cosmas Ondiba is set to take a job at Nanyo City Hall in Yamagata prefecture following his graduation this spring.  According to Yamanashi Gakuin University head coach Masahito Ueda, Ondiba will be a part-time worker, training with the City Hall's track and field team and running ekidens and other races.  Saitama prefectural government runner Yuki Kawauchi is a big topic these days, but, said Ueda, "Ondiba will be the first Kenyan public servant runner in Japan."

Translator's note: Ondiba had an outstanding fall season as a senior, winning the Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 20 km qualifier, the Ageo City Half Marathon, and the Hakone Ekiden Third Stage, but had difficulty securing a contract from a corporate team because his PB marks are not significantly better than those of Japanese collegiate runners.  It is very unusual to say the least to see a foreign citizen be hired to a government position.  Nanyo City Hall employs a half-dozen other former collegiate runners from schools including Chuo Gakuin University and Jobu University.


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