Skip to main content

Yuko Arimori, Dai Tamesue and Other Athletes Speak Out in Opposition to New $2 Billion Olympic Stadium Plans

http://www.nikkan-gendai.com/articles/view/sports/161704

translated by Brett Larner



One after another, Japan's athletes have raised their voices in opposition to the current $2 billion+ USD plans for the New National Stadium.  Writing on his website, two-time World Championships 400 m hurdles medalist Dai Tamesue, 37, brought up what he called "three points of opposition to the current plans" for the stadium.  Tamesue cited the lack of a subtrack, the massive economic burden the stadium plans will create, and the resulting feeling this burden will create among the general population that sports are something they have been saddled with.

Two-time Olympic marathon medalist Yuko Arimori, 48, a spokesperson and public figurehead for the Olympic bid, also spoke out passionately against the plans at a public symposium, crying openly as she said, "Speaking as just a single athlete, I would never want to see the Olympics turned into something that would make people view them negatively.  If our Olympians can come together in mutual support maybe something can still be done."

Former rugby national team member Tsuyoshi Hirao, 40, lashed out angrily on his Twitter feed, writing, "There's something funny going on here!  Of course.  Come on, sports people, why don't you speak out?  This insanity is totally unforgivable."

Some experts estimate that from the demolition of the old National Stadium to the completion of the New National Stadium, total costs for the project will be more than $8 billion USD.  Polls show an overwhelming majority of the public believes a stop must be put to these plans as quickly as possible, with numbers of those opposed ranging from 71% in an Asahi Newspapers poll to 95% in a Yomiuri Newspapers survey.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Norway's Moen Blasts 2:05:48 European Record to Win Fukuoka

More than living up to the promise of his 59:48 Norwegian half marathon record at October's Valencia Half, Sondre Nordtad Moen took down all comers to win the 2017 Fukuoka International Marathon in a European record 2:05:48.

【福岡国際マラソン】

🏆優 勝 モーエン 2:05.48! pic.twitter.com/lpzMUYHfhu — NOBUKI T&F (@nobu_777__tf) December 3, 2017
Superb pacing work took the lead group through 30 km with almost perfect 3:00/km splits along the way, a race of attrition that shaved down the field to a core group of five real contenders. Defending champ Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia) was the first big name to go, with 2:06 man Lani Rutto (Kenya), the debuting Keita Shitara (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) and last year's 3rd-placer Yuki Kawauchi (Japan/Saitama Pref. Gov't) among the other big names to lose touch in the first half, leaving Moen, favorite Bedan Karoki (Kenya/DeNA), London Olympics gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda), last year's 5th-placer Amanuel Mesel (Eritrea) and Boston Maratho…

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Shitara Wins Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler

In a year that saw him deliver one of the most memorable debut marathons in history, a half marathon national record, 10000 m and marathon PBs and more, Yuta Shitara (Honda) ended 2017 on a high note, beating three-time defending champion Jeremiah Thuku Karemi (Toyota Kyushu) to win the 42nd Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler. Shitara, Karemi, London World Championships marathoner Hiroto Inoue (MHPS), Ethiopian Abayneh Degu (Yasukawa Denki) and track ace Shuho Dairokuno (Asahi Kasei) ran together in a lead group through the early going, but Shitara was just too much for the others to handle.

Shitara broke the tape in 45:58, only the fourth Japanese man to ever clear 45 minutes. Karemi was well under last year's winning time but nowhere close to catching Shitara, finishing 2nd in 46:10 and Inoue only 2 seconds behind him. With many corporate and university teams using Kosa to tune up for the Jan. 1 New Year Ekiden and Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden, it regularly produces the deepest 10 mile results i…