translated by Brett Larner
On Dec. 15 the Chugoku Newspaper reported that 2:07:52 marathoner Shigeru Aburaya has been promoted from his position as assistant coach at the Chugoku Denryoku men's corporate team to head coach. Aburaya will assume his new duties next year on Feb. 1. After 25 years working in that role current head coach Yasushi Sakaguchi will become general manager. In November Sakaguchi became coach of the JAAF's men's marathon development program for the buildup to the Tokyo Olympics.
Translator's note: Along with his 2:07:52 best from the 2001 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Aburaya's achievements as an athlete included 5th-place finishes in the 2003 Paris World Championships and 2004 Athens Olympics marathons. Besides Aburaya, Sakaguchi also coached 2:07:13 all-time Japanese #4 marathoner and half marathon national record holder Atsushi Sato and 2:08:37 marathoner Tsuyoshi Ogata, the last Japanese man to win a medal in a major international championships with a bronze in the 2005 Helsinki World Championships marathon. In more recent years Sakaguchi recruited and coached two of the best university runners of their generations, Hideaki Date and Takehiro Deki, but both retired from the Chugoku Denryoku team after a short time without having achieved anything of note.