translated and edited by Brett Larner
During a visit to Adachi Ward mayor Yayoi Kondo, senior managing director Yuki Suzuki and ekiden team head coach Makoto Suzuki of the Adachi-based Sun Bel'x corporation, operators of the Bel'x Supermarkets chain, announced the addition of exciting new athletes to the company's team in April. Nine athletes accompanied them to the meeting, among them 2014 Hakone Ekiden stars Duncan Muthee (Takushoku Univ., 2nd Stage), Yuya Yamashita (Juntendo Univ., 5th Stage), Takahiro Kato (Asia Univ., 7th Stage), Junpei Miyazawa (Juntendo Univ., 7th Stage) and Shota Takatsudo (Jobu Univ., 7th Stage). During the chat with the mayor Coach Suzuki introduced each of the promising new athletes while watching video of them on a DVD of this year's Hakone Ekiden and talked enthusiastically about the team's goal of a breakthrough at November's New Year Ekiden regional qualifier.
In just its second year, a total of eleven athletes joined the Bel'x team this season. The new athletes were formally hired by Sun Bel'x on Mar. 27. After going through its training program they were each assigned to Bel'x supermarkets, where for the immediate future they will work while doing ekiden training. The team will have four morning practice sessions and two target workouts a week, making use of Adachi's Toneri Park and other area facilities. After their target workouts they will refuel with athlete-specific meals prepared for them by Sun Bel'x, the company's commitment to its athletes extending even to supporting their nutritional needs.