Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Beijing Olympics Marathoner Yurika Nakamura and Teammate Kaori Urata Announce Retirement


translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Mar. 10, Beijing Olympics women's marathoner Yurika Nakamura, 27 announced her intent to retire at the end of March.  The announcement came via her corporate team sponsor Tenmaya.  Following her retirement she plans to focus on her work at the company.

Nakamura is a native of Hyogo prefecture.  After graduating from Nishinomiya H.S. she joined the Tenmaya team in 2004.  She won her marathon debut at the 2008 Nagoya International Women's Marathon to qualify for the Beijing Olympics where she placed 13th, the only Japanese woman to finish the race.  In the 2009 Berlin World Championships 10000 m she placed 7th, the top Japanese finisher.  After her last race in January, 2013 she took a leave of absence from competition to rest and recuperate.  "After re-examining myself I came to the conclusion that it was time to retire," she said in her statement.

Nakamura's teammate Kaori Urata, 28, also announced that she will likewise retire at the end of March.  Urata won the Sixth Stage at the 2010 National Corporate Women's Ekiden Championships, helping to give the Tenmaya team its first overall national title.

Translator's note: Both Nakamura and Urata were coached by Yutaka Taketomi at Tenmaya.  Following Beijing Taketomi was named the JAAF's director of women's marathoning.

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