translated by Brett Larner
On Mar. 6 Kanebo Cosmetics announced that Japanese men's 10000 m and marathon national record holder Toshinari Takaoka, 44, an assistant coach with the Kanebo distance running team, has been named head coach effective April 1. Current head coach Masashi Otokita will retire. Takaoka attended Kyoto's Rakunan H.S. and Ryukoku University before joining the Kanebo team in 1993. He finished 7th in the 10000 m final at the 2000 Sydney Olympics before setting the national record of 27:35.09 the next year. Turning his track speed to the marathon, at the 2002 Chicago Marathon he ran a national record 2:06:16. Both records still stand.
Translator's note: Takaoka joined the Kanebo coaching staff in April, 2009 after retiring following a DNF at the 2009 Tokyo Marathon. In the summer of 2013 the Kanebo team was suspended by its sponsor corporation after a scandal involving harmful side effects of Kanebo's cosmetic products. The team's website remains down as of this writing. Kanebo returned to competition at the start of the new fiscal year in April, 2014 but failed to qualify for the 2015 New Year Ekiden national championships. Team member Hiroki Kadota is one of the contenders for the 2015 Beijing World Championships marathon team after finishing 2nd in 2:10:46 at February's Beppu-Oita Mainihi Marathon.