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

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials starting to close, the powers that be in Japan have taken note of the success of Noguchi and Kawauchi on the Gold Coast…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …