Skip to main content

Kojokan H.S. Head Coach Morimasa to Move to Toto Corporate Team

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Having developed Kojokan H.S. of Ihara, Okayama into an ekiden powerhouse with two National High School Girls Ekiden Championships titles under his leadership with an all-star cast of alumni including London Olympians Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) and Risa Shigetomo (Team Tenmaya), head coach Yoshitoshi Morimasa has announced that he will leave the team to take over as head coach at the Toto women's corporate team in Kita-Kyushu beginning in April.  On Feb. 4 members of the Okayama athletics community and local residents in Ihara held an event to honor Morimasa for his many years of accomplishment.  With his successor still in training, Morimasa will remain associated with the team in an advisory capacity.

Okayama Track and Field Association director Yasuhisa Kandatsu hailed Morimasa, calling him, "The single biggest contributor to high school girls' athletics in Okayama prefecture."  Morimasa became head coach at Kojokan H.S in 1999, and under his outstanding leadership the student athletes developed their abilities to the utmost, making the National High School Girls Ekiden Championships fifteen years straight starting right from Morimasa's first year.  They won the national title in 2005 and 2010, and with last year's runner-up finish they completed a ten-year streak of podium finishes [top three], an unparalleled achievement.  As the head coach of the Okayama prefecture team for the National Women's Ekiden Championships each January Morimasa has also been involved in training junior athletes.  Director Kandatsu said, "It's very unfortunate that he is leaving us, but I'm proud that he has shown the rest of the country a mightier Okayama."

According to an involved party, a Kojokan alum set to graduate from university this spring will take over Morimasa's position as head coach, with Morimasa acting in parallel with his duties at Toto to help develop and train his successor.  In 2016 Okayama will serve as the main venue for the Central Japan High School Championships.  Prefectural High School Sports Association director Naoshi Kamachi commented, "He is essential to the world of Okayama high school sports.  It is crucial that we retain his knowhow and preserve the competitive edge he brought us."

In the town of Ihara where Kojokan H.S. is located, voices were also raised to wish Morimasa the best in his new locale.  Having traveled to the National High School Girls Ekiden Championships in support every year since Kojokan first qualified, former mayor Gen Tanimoto, 78, sent his best wishes, saying, "At the celebration party for the team's 2nd-place finish, Coach Morimasa was in tears.  I wonder whether he was really ready to say goodbye.  I hope he makes an impact in the corporate leagues."

Kojokan H.S. Track and Field Alumni Association director Seiji Shitaki, 61, lent his support, saying, "He has said for a long time, 'Once I'm done with high school sports I want to take a shot at becoming number one in Japan in the corporate leagues.'  I hope the whole region will support Coach Morimasa and all the Kojokan staff more than ever."


luky begum said…
Nice article. I think it is useful and unique article. I love this kind of article and this kind of blog. I have enjoyed it very much. Thanks for your website.

Most-Read This Week

1500 m Olympian Assefa Wins Nagoya, 22-Year-Old Sekine 2:23:07 Debut

Two-time 1500 m Olympian Meskerem Assefa (Ethiopia) ran down favorite Valary Jemeli (Kenya) with 4 km to go to win the 2018 Nagoya Women's Marathon, with the home town crowd wowed by the debut of the latest next big thing, 22-year-old Hanami Sekine (Japan Post).

Supported by three pacers, a lead pack of seven including Assefa, Jemeli, Sekine, Ethiopian Bahraini Merima Mohamed, Saitama International Marathon winner Flomena Cheyech Daniel (Kenya) and top-ranked Japanese women Reia Iwade (Dome) and Rei Ohara (Tenmaya) went through halfway in a decent 1:11:32. This proved too hot for a few of the past next big things to have run well in Nagoya the last few years, as Sairi Maeda (Daihatsu), 2:22:48 in Nagoya three years ago, and Mao Kiyota (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), 2:23:47 last year, were off the back of the pack in the first 10 km.

By 25 km Cheyech, Ohara and Iwade joined them off the back, leaving only Sekine in contention with the African trio of Jemeli, Assefa and Mohammed. Sekine, a…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Japan Dominates Asian Cross Country Championships

Japan dominated the 14th Asian Cross Country Championships Thursday in Guiyang, China, winning all four team gold medals to hold the hosts China back to silver in every race.

Japan's only individual gold came in the Junior Women's race, one of its usual areas of strength. Yuna Wada led a Japanese sweep of the top four positions to win the 6 km race in 20:43 with scoring teammates Ririka Hironaka and Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu just behind.

Wada Yuna of Japan wins Junior Women’s 6km cross country race of 14th Asian Cross Country Championship . Japan also won Team championship — Asian Athletics (@asianathletics) March 15, 2018
With the meet also serving as China's National Championships Chinese athletes won the individual gold in the other three races, Dan Li, Cairen Suolong and Jianhua Peng all showing better closing speed to beat their Japanese rivals by 3~4 seconds. Li won the Senior Women's 8 km by 3 seconds over Japan's Yukari Abe, leadi…