Skip to main content

Waseda University Ekiden Head Coach Watanabe to Retire in March

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2014/12/01/kiji/K20141201009384320.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

On Dec. 1 Waseda University announced that ekiden head coach Yasuyuki Watanabe, 41, will retire at the end of his contract in March next year.  His successor has not yet been determined.



One of Waseda's most famous alumni, Watanabe had spectacular success during his running career there, winning Hakone Ekiden stages three times including a classic Second Stage battle against Kenyan Stephen Mayaka (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.).  In April, 2003 he was named assistant coach of Waseda's ekiden program and a year later in April, 2004 was promoted to head coach.  In that capacity he set about restoring the fallen Waseda to its former glory.  Under his leadership Waseda finished 2nd at the 2008 Hakone Ekiden, and in the 2010-2011 season it scored a rare triple crown, winning the Izumo Ekiden, National University Ekiden and Hakone Ekiden and becoming the first school to set course records at all three in one season.



Through a school spokesperson Watanabe said, "From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank everyone who has supported the team over the last twelve years."

Translator's note:  One of Watanabe's last official appearances as head coach of Waseda, Japan's University of Oregon, will be with Waseda third-year Koki Takada, the 2014 Ageo City Half Marathon and 2014 Hakone Ekiden Second Stage winner, at the March 15 New York City Half Marathon.

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…

Nakamura on Positive Drug Test: "I Had Gynecological Issues I Didn't Want Anyone to Know About"

On July 19 the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) announced that distance runner Moeno Nakamura, 28, a former member of the Universal Entertainment women's ekiden team, had tested positive for the muscle tone-improving steroid metenolone during in-competition testing at last November's National Corporate Women's Ekiden, which Universal Entertainment won. As a result of the positive test Nakamura, who has already left the team, will be suspended for one year and three months and have her result at the ekiden annulled.

According to the JADA announcement, two months before the ekiden Nakamura underwent surgical treatment for a gynecological condition. Subsequent injections she received included the prohibited substance. JADA accepted her explanation that these were for post-operative therapeutic purposes but ruled her negligent in not having told her doctor that she was an athlete and in not confirming the contents of the injections.

In a statement released through Universal En…