Skip to main content

Obituary: Concerning the Passing of Fujitsu Athlete Johana Maina

translated and edited by Brett Larner
click here for more information on Maina's passing

Fujitsu men's long distance team member Johana Maina complained of not feeling well while on vacation back in his home country Kenya.  He was taken to a hospital but passed away suddenly on July 21, 2016.  We are deeply grateful for the kindness he showed in life and wish here to humbly pay our respects to his accomplishments.

Johana Maina, athlete
Dec. 24 1990 - July 21, 2016

Personal Bests
5000 m: 13:25.24 (2015)     10000 m: 27:26.92 (2015)     half marathon: 1:01:19 (2016)

Major Accomplishments
2012: 1st, Sendai International Half Marathon, 1:01:34
2014: 1st, Sendai International Half Marathon, 1:01:43
          2nd, Kumanchi 30 km Road Race, 1:29:55
2015: 1st, Sendai International Half Marathon, 1:02:33
          2nd, Hachioji Long Distance 10000 m, 27:26.92 - 19th in world in 2015
2016: 2nd, National Corporate Half Marathon, 1:01:19

Comments from Fujitsu head coach Tadashi Fukushima
On July 19 Johana Maina returned to Kenya in good health, but on July 21 he abruptly passed away.  As an athlete he was just at the point where he was coming into his own, and it is a tremendous loss.

Maina joined us in 2012, and from the start his bright and friendly personality meant he fit in well on our team and was well-liked by everyone.  He had the desire and work ethic to try to get better, and lately he had reached the point where he was just about ready to race in international competitions, the point where you could expect more and more success.  In the ekidens he ran with the team he was always encouraging the other team members, saying, "Let's become the best!"

This news is a sad reality but it is one that we must face and accept.  I hope that as a team we can take up Johana's spirit of striving to be the best in pursuing our goals.  My sincere gratitude for all the words of support we have received.  Thank you.

Rest in peace.


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Japan Names Asian Games Marathon Team

On Mar. 16 the JAAF announced the Japanese marathon team for this August's Jakarta Asian Games. Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) and Hayato Sonoda (Kurosaki Harima) make up the men's squad, with Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) and Hanae Tanaka (Shiseido) named to the women's team.

A member of the Japanese national team for last summer's London World Championships, Inoue ran an all-time Japanese #4 time of 2:06:54 at February's Tokyo Marathon, the 2nd-placing Japnaese man behind national record setter Yuta Shitara (Honda). Sonoda ran a PB of 2:09:34 to finish in the top Japanese position at 2nd overall earlier in February at the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon.

The silver medalist at November's Asian Championships marathon, Nogami was 5th earlier this month at the Nagoya Women's Marathon in a PB of 2:26:33. Tanaka was next behind her in Nagoya in 6th in 2:27:40, the only member of the Asian Games team not to have yet qualified for the MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials race. A meda…