Thursday, January 10, 2013

Notification of the Termination of the Shikoku Denryoku Team

http://www.yonden.co.jp/press/re1301/1180944_1968.html

translated by Brett Larner

The Shikoku Denryoku company regrets to announce that due to the difficulties currently facing the power industry our executive board has been forced to adopt strict efficiency measures throughout the company, and that as a part of these measures the Shikoku Denryoku men's and women's running team will be disbanded at the end of the current fiscal year in March.

The running team was founded in April, 1992 as part of our company's 40th anniversary with the aims of:
  • Contributing to the development of sports within the Shikoku region and fostering an atmosphere of interaction and exchange with local residents.
  • Building morale, unity and camaraderie within the company by uniting employees in supporting the team's activities.
Over the last 20+ years through its record of achievement in the National Corporate Ekiden Championships and at major marathons, in the number of team members who have run at national-level events on each of the Shikoku-region prefectural teams, in the clinics and running camps the team held for local elementary and junior high schools, through all of these the team more than met both of its original objectives and came to be play an important role as the flagship sport of our company.  The loss of such a tremendous asset to the company is genuinely unfortunate, but in the face of rising costs the company has been left with no choice but to optimize its operations and eliminate unprofitable expenses, and as a consequence the decision to disband the running team was made.

With regard to the athletes and staff members on the team, we fully support the free will of each person, including the option of their transferring elsewhere, and will do the utmost to assist them.  We extend our sincerest thanks to all those who have supported our running team over the last two decades.  A summary of the team's history and major achievements is given below.

Team Shikoku Denryoku
Founded: April, 1992
Regional Affiliation: Kansai Corporate Track and Field Association
Membership:
Staff: 6, including head coach, assistant coach and managers
Athletes: 18, including 12 men and 8 women (as of Jan. 1, 2013)

Major Achievements
Men
1993: first appearance, Kansai Corporate Ekiden - 7th
1995: first appearance, New Year Ekiden - 11th
1997: Kansai Corporate Ekiden - 1st
2004: Hiroaki Takeda, Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon - 1st
2006: Terukazu Omori, Asian Championships - national team
2007: Kenji Noguchi, World Road Running Championships - national team
2007: Kenji Noguchi, International Chiba Ekiden - national team
2008: best-ever placing, New Year Ekiden - 11th
2011: Kazuya Watanabe, National Track and Field Championships 5000 m - 1st
2011: Kazuya Watanabe, World Track and Field Championships 5000 m - national team
2012: Kansai Corporate Ekiden - 2nd

Women
1994: first appearance, Awajishima Women's Ekiden - 5th
1994: first appearance, National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships - 22nd
1996: Sanae Chikadaira: Osaka International Women's Marathon - 5th
1999: Yuko Manabe: Seoul International Women's Ekiden - national team
2001: Yuko Manabe: Beijing International Women's Ekiden - national team
2002: Yoko Manabe: Seoul International Women's Ekiden - national team
2012: best-ever placing, National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships - 18th

Translator's note: Shikoku Denryoku is the local power company in the Shikoku area.  Counterbalancing the Shikoku Denryoku women's team best-ever National Corporate Women's Ekiden finish last month, the men's team was only 35th of 37 teams.  For an explanation of the possible impact of the men's team's failure to make the top 30 on the decision to cut the team, click here. 2011's 5000 m national champion Kazuya Watanabe has not been seen since DNF'ing in Europe shortly after a very substandard performance at the Daegu World Championships.

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