translated by Brett Larner
The management of the Yamada Denki corporate women's team announced on Jan. 30 that 2011 World Championships 10000 m runner Hikari Yoshimoto, 23, quit the team on Jan. 29. According to an involved party, Yoshimoto will return home to Kumamoto to take an indefinite leave of absence from competitive running.
Yoshimoto was the star of the Bukkyo University women's ekiden team, leading them to two-straight National University Women's Ekiden Championships titles in 2009 and 2010. In April, 2010 she broke the 15 year old 10000 m national collegiate record with a new mark of 31:30.92, and in the fall the same year she finished 5th in the Asian Games. After graduating from Bukkyo last spring she followed her longtime coach Kenichi Morikawa to Yamada Denki but was unable to make the Olympic team for London.