translated by Brett Larner
The Tokyo Marathon organizers announced Feb. 19 that invited athlete Arata Fujiwara (31, Miki House) has withdrawn due to inflammation of the hamstrings in his right leg. He has been experiencing pain in that area since last month. To improve his chances of making it to Tokyo he pulled out of the Feb. 3 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon and adjusted his training volume to a level he could handle while undergoing recovery, but he did not return to a condition that would let him be ready to race in time. "My condition is not good at all. There's no point in running it just to run it," Fujiwara commented on his decision to withdraw.
Last year Fujiwara ran 2:07:48 to finish 2nd overall as the top Japanese man, earning a place on the London Olympic team. Without training seriously he jumped into December's Fukuoka International Marathon, finishing 4th in 2:09:31. His goal this time was to run 2:06 and earn a place on the World Championships team.