translated by Brett Larner
The management of the Fujitsu corporate team announced Mar. 26 that former marathon national record holder Atsushi Fujita, 36, will retire after running the Apr. 21 Nagano Marathon. A native of Fukushima prefecture, Fujita was a Hakone Ekiden star while at Komazawa University and broke Toshihiko Seko's national collegiate marathon record in 2:10:07. In 1999 he finished 6th at the World Championships, and at the following year's Fukuoka International Marathon he ran 2:06:51 to set a new Japanese national record. He planned to go for the Moscow World Championships team at the Mar. 3 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon but after fracturing a rib just days before the race he was forced to drop out partway through.
Following his retirement Fujita will remain with the Fujitsu team as a coach.