Skip to main content

Former Marathon NR Holder Atsushi Fujita to Become Assistant Coach at Komazawa University

http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/etc/20150301-OHT1T50255.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Now an assistant coach at the Fujitsu corporate team where he spent his professional career, former marathon national record holder Atsushi Fujita, 38, will return to his alma mater, 2011-2014 National University Men's Ekiden champion Komazawa University, in April to take a position as assistant coach.  Fujita has already been coaching at Komazawa twice a week but as of the start of the new academic and fiscal year in April he will leave Fujitsu and become an employee of Komazawa to focus all of his energy into helping develop the country's top collegiate talent.  "It's a great responsibility," Fujita said, facing his new position with full seriousness.

As a student at Komazawa Fujita ran the Hakone Ekiden all four years from 1996 through 1999.  As a senior he broke the course record on Hakone's competitive Fourth Stage prior to its shortening to its current length of 18.5 km.  While he was a student there Komazawa never managed to take the final step to the overall Hakone win, but the year after he graduated it finally scored that long hoped-for victory, the first of six in nine years.  Since then Fujita has been credited as the man who laid the foundations on which Komazawa became a giant.  At the Fujitsu corporate team he ran a then-Japanese national record of 2:06:51 to win the 2000 Fukuoka International Marathon.  Since his retirement in 2013 he has been gaining valuable leadership experience as a member of Fujitsu's coaching staff.

Komazawa head coach Hiroaki Oyagi, 56, commented, "Fujita is the best athlete in the history of Komazawa University.  He will make an outstanding and supportive coach," placing his full trust in Fujita.  "In terms of age," Oyagi added, "I can't keep doing this forever," suggesting that he may be grooming his former star to succeed him as head coach.  Fujita could turn out to be the secret ingredient Komazawa needs to take it back to the Hakone Ekiden victory stand for the first time in eight years.

Comments

wataru22 said…
Good news for Komazawa. I think he'll connect a lot better with the kids than old school Ohyagi. Something that has been hurting them relative Aogaku and Toyo.

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…