translated by Brett Larner
click here for a follow-up on Omwamba and Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.
Having dropped out of the Hakone Ekiden's Second Stage after sustaining a stress fracture in his right shin, Yamanashi Gakuin University second-year Enock Omwamba appeared at the team's post-race assembly on crutches to address the rest of the team. Speaking in Japanese, he told them, "I'm sorry." Bowing countless times to the assembled teammates, alumni and university booster club members he swore to make up for it next year, telling them, "I will do my best in the season to come."
Despite the tragic end to Yamanashi Gakuin's season, Omwamba's bond with the rest of the team was clear. "Everybody has told me, 'Don't lose hope, don't quit running.' That has made me very glad. I've come to understand that in the ekiden you share in both the joy and the sadness." He expressed his thanks to his teammates who completed the 109.9 km Day Two course in 5:35:23, a time that would have put them 9th, despite having been eliminated from the competition by Omwamba's DNF. On Jan. 4 he was scheduled to undergo further medical examination. "I hope to be running again in about three weeks," he said, already looking toward next year.