translated and edited by Brett Larner
photos by Dr. Helmut Winter
Former world record holder Patrick Makau (Kenya) ran 2:08:22 to win the Dec. 7 Fukuoka International Marathon, the first domestic selection race for the Japanese team for next August's Beijing World Championships. Japanese Federation executives who set the Beijing qualification standard at sub-2:06:30, a time only one Japanese man has ever run, were quick to express their disappointment at the 2:09:06 4th-place finish by 33-year-old Masakazu Fujiwara (Team Honda) being the top Japanese placing.
Development Committee Director Katsumi Sakai, 54, seethed with chagrin as he commented, "If they don't change their way of thinking they'll never be able to compete with the rest of the world. I'm utterly disappointed." The poor showing by Kentaro Nakamoto (32, Team Yasukawa Denki) was another blow to the National Team program Sakai helped establish in April.
photos (c) 2014 Dr. Helmut Winter
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