translated and edited by Brett Larner
2000 Sydney Olympics women's marathon gold medalist and former world record holder Naoko Takahashi, 41, named to the JAAF's board of directors, took part in a Federation executive board meeting for the first time June 5 in Tokyo. "I hope that my 23 years of experience in athletics will help to nurture and develop the next generation of junior athletes," she told reporters. Takahashi made reference to issues of intimidation and sexual harassment in Japanese athletics, saying, "I think there are people who don't have anyone they can talk to and don't know what to do. I'd like to be there for them, nearby and accessible, someone who could be a friend our female athletes could turn to as if I were an older sister."
She also indicated that she plans to get married before the end of the year. In march last year she revealed that she was in a relationship with her former trainer and current personal manager, Ko Nishimura, 40. "We have to finalize our future sooner or later," she said. "I think we can do it this year."
Also at the meeting, Hiroshi Yokokawa, 65, was officially named director of the executive board. "I want to make Japanese athletics stronger," he said. "My goal is to be a director who is always on the scene."