Skip to main content

Five-Time National Champion Toyokawa High School Head Coach Yasuhiko Mori Announces Retirement

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140327-00000148-mai-spo

translated by Brett Larner

Having led Aichi prefecture's Toyokawa High School boys and girls teams to a combined five National High School Ekiden titles, head coach Yasuhiko Mori, 52, held a press conference on Mar. 27 at Toyokawa City Hall to announce that he is retiring both as head coach and from the school at the end of march.  He declined to give specific comment on his future plans, but with regard to the corporate leagues and the like he commented, "I want to go to the next level."

In December the Toyokawa girls won a fourth national title at the National High School Ekiden Championships, the most wins ever by a single school.  After that, said Mori, "I thought about a lot of different things."  In January he told the school, "I'm finished with high school ekidens," informing them of his intent to retire.

Mori became head coach of the Toyokawa girls in 2006, and in his third year there the team won the 2008 national title.  In 2012 he became head coach of the boys' team as well. In their first time qualifying for the National High School Ekiden the Toyokawa boys likewise won.

Mori's successor will be Hiroki Fukayama, 48, a longtime junior high school coach whose achievements include leading Saitama prefecture's Sumiyoshi J.H.S. boys to the 2003 National Junior High School Ekiden title.

Translator's note:  Mori's most notable protégées included Asami Kato and Nanaka Izawa.  In 2012 Toyokawa picked up ten athletes from powerhouse Sendai Ikuei H.S. who left the school in the wake of the 2011 disasters and a subsequent battle between its young head coach Junichi Seino and school administration officials dissatisfied with his performance.  Many of the boys on Toyokawa's 2012 national champion team came from the Sendai Ikuei group including stars Hazuma Hattori and Tadashi Isshiki, both now making a major impact on the university circuit.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Nittai University Head Coach Masaaki Watanabe Fired Over Abuse Scandal

On Sept. 12 Nittai University announced that it will fire ekiden team head coach Masaaki Watanabe, 55, over the current power harassment scandal surrounding him. According to the university's public relations office, interviews by the alumni association with five current and one former team member reported multiple acts of violence by Watanabe including kicking athletes' legs and grabbing them by the chest.

The interviews also reported that Watanabe verbally abused and threatened student athletes and attacked their character. When runners fell off pace during workouts he was reported to have shouted, "Get the hell out of this university!" and, following the runners in a car, "I am going to f*cking run you over and kill you." Injured team members were also reported to have been subject to verbal humiliation by Watanabe, including, "Look at this f*cking cripple," and "You f*cking deserve it." Watanabe admitted the accusations but said tha…

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge's world record and Gladys Cherono's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005.

A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average wildcard opt…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…