Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Winningest Hakone Ekiden Team Chuo University's Head Coach Haruo Urata to Retire

translated by Brett Larner

Chuo University, holder of the records for most Hakone Ekiden wins, 14, and most Hakone appearances, 90, announced on Mar. 8 that head coach Haruo Urata, 54, is retiring.  A Chuo alumnus with international experience as a world-class athlete is expected to be asked to be Urata's successor.

From 1959 to 1964 Chuo achieved a still-unequalled six-straight Hakone Ekiden wins, but in recent years it has fallen on harder times.  Its last Hakone title came in 1996.  This year it was only 15th, missing the seeded top ten for the fourth year in a row.  Chuo hopes that new leadership will help restore its prestige as a Hakone power.

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