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IAAF Kills Hiroshi Neko's Olympic Ambitions

http://www.47news.jp/CN/201205/CN2012050801001972.html

translated by Brett Larner

On May 8 it was announced that the IAAF has sent a ruling to the Cambodian federation that Japanese comedian Hiroshi Neko (34, born Kuniaki Takizaki), who changed his citizenship last October with the aim of making Cambodia's London Olympic team in the marathon, does not satisfy Olympic entry qualifications.  Cambodia had already announced Neko as a member of its Olympic team, but the IAAF's decision kills his Olympic ambitions.

Cambodian Olympic Committee executive member Vath Chamrouen commented, "We're not going to take this any further.  We're going to pick someone else as soon as possible and send another athlete."

Translator's note: Cambodian national record holder Hem Bunting broke his own mark with a new  national record of 2:23:29 at April's Paris Marathon, almost seven minutes faster than Neko's PB set at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon in February.

Comments

CK said…
Japanese versions of this story currently circulating on Mainichi, Yomiuri and Asahi in the past 24 hours all reference Neko's 2:30:26 pb and some reference his impressive improvement. However all fail to mention Cambodian native Hem Bunting's 2:23:29 NR from last month to provide context (...never mind Bunting's pedigree as SEA Games medalist from 2007 and 2009, or indeed currently heading the 2012 marathon ranking list for all (yes, all) South East Asian countries). Respect to Japan Running News for adding it as a translator's footnote. It cleary is a part of the story, especially with Cambodia's NOC choosing to announce their selection of Neko for OG just days before the Paris Marathon, when reports from Eldoret (Kenya) already indicated that Bunting was in shape for a new NR. One can only wonder why the mainstream Japanese media (again) chooses to ignore the CAM half of the story.
Arai said…
to above commentator:
Japanese media obviously did not ignore Hem Bunting and his part of the story, i.e. you can read about it here (since you mentioned mainichi):
http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20120509k0000m040139000c.html

If you do a google research you will find more.
Brett Larner said…
TV Asahi just ran a piece on Neko getting axed and did not mention Bunting, although they did devote quite a bit of time showing Neko running in Cambodia.

Sub-2:18 may not have been realistic but all respect is due to Bunting for staying focused and getting the job done with a new NR under these circumstances. I hope we see him in London this summer.
CK said…
Thanks for the 2 above clarifications. Any readers wishing to see how this weeks update was presented in the Cambodian press (in English):

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012050856037/Sport/olympics-no-go-for-neko.html

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