Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No Clemency Granted as Transferring Sendai Ikuei Team Barred for Six Months

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Feb. 28 the Aichi Prefecture High School Athleteics Board announced its decision with regard to the ten first and second-year former members of Miyagi prefecture ekiden powerhouse Sendai Ikuei H.S. who have transferred to Aichi's three-time girls' national champion Toyokawa H.S. due to the effects of last year's disasters and other problems.  The board has ruled that no special consideration will be given to the athletes as victims of the disasters and that in accordance with standard policy they will be barred from competing in high school federation-sponsored events for six months.  The transferring athletes will not be eligible to compete in this summer's National High School Track & Field Championships but will be able to run November's Aichi prefecture qualifier for the National High School Ekiden Championships.

Further details of the transfer were also released.  In addition to the ten previously announced students, among whom are all seven first and second-year Japanese members of last year's Nationals team, five of the six top-ranked junior high school boys Sendai Ikuei had recruited to join its ekiden team at the start of the school year in April have cancelled their enrollments.  Sendai Ikuei's boys' and girls' teams have made the National High School Ekiden Championships together for twenty-straight years and have won a combined total of nine National High School Ekiden titles, but head coach and Sendai Ikuei alum Junichi Seino resigned from the school following suggestions that former head coach Takao Watanabe return to work together with him in the wake of the boys' team's 12th-place finish last December.  According to a source connected to the school, there is no chance whatsoever that Watanabe will return to coach at Sendai Ikuei.

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