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

Official Statement From Corporate Federation Director Nishikawa on Anti-Doping Violation and Sanction

A statement by Koichiro Nishikawa, chairperson of the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association

At the 37th National Corporate Women's Ekiden organized by the Japan Industrial Track and Field Association (JITA), a prohibited substance was detected in a sample taken from Moeno Nakamura, at the time a member of the Universal Entertainment team, in an in-competition drug test. After receiving notification of this result, in accordance with the recommendations of the Japan Anti-Doping Agency disciplinary panel, Nakamura was suspended for one year and three months beginning Nov. 26, 2017.

As the JITA not only do we hold anti-doping education sessions for athletes and coaches in partnership with the Japan Association of Athletics Federations and clearly specify that our events must be carried out in strict accordance with anti-doping regulations, but as the JITA chairperson I have personally given strong emphasis to the importance of "Clean Sport." In spite of these effort…

National Corporate Women's Ekiden Champion Team to be Stripped of Title After Member Tests Positive

On July 18 it was learned from several sources connected with the situation that a member of the 2017 National Corporate Women's Ekiden champion team Universal Entertainment who left the team at the end of last season tested positive for a banned substance in a doping test carried out at the ekiden. Universal Entertainment won the national championship race, its second-ever title and first in five years. But because the athlete's result will be annulled the team will also be stripped of its title, an unprecedented situation in the ekiden's history.

According to an involved source, before the race the athlete took her own personal medicine which included the prohibited substance. The athlete denied having taking the medicine in order to enhance her performance. Team management claimed the athlete had not informed then that she was taking it, and that the situation was the result of her personal carelessness.

The Universal Entertainment team was founded under the name Aruze…

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…