Skip to main content

Marathon Great Seko at JAAF Event: "There Is No God"

JAAF marathon development project leader Toshihiko Seko, 60, and three-time Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University head coach Susumu Hara, 50, appeared together June 7 at the JAAF's kickoff meeting for its 2020 Tokyo Olympics-centered marathon development plan. Speaking frankly, the pair caused a stir in the Japanese athletics world.

Concerning Japan's biggest race Seko said, "The Hakone Ekiden is a local competition. If you have some success you're treated like you rule everything under the sun. Even athletes who haven't done anything particularly special get coverage in the media. They're quick to earn the label "God," but that is a misunderstanding. I tell you: there is no God." With the top corporate league coaches looking on he continued, "Toyota, Konica, Nissin Shokuhin, Fujitsu, they have to do better with the talented athletes they have. I'm not kidding. For real."

Hara was just as sharp in his words, saying, "There is no lateral connection at all between the Kanto Region University Athletics Association, the National University Athletics Association, the corporate leagues in the current athletics world. No consistency [in development]. Everyone is just doing whatever is most expedient for them."

After the event Hara continued, saying, "Seko has been named leader. If we miss this opportunity there will be no hope of reviving Japanese marathoning. I hope Seko will be man enough for the job." Seko answered defiantly, saying, "Give me your support. I'm a man who speaks his mind." United together, the pair form the ultimate tag team to help bring Japanese marathoning back from the grave.

source article: https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20170607-00000095-dal-spo
translated by Brett Larner

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi Wins 7th-Straight Okinoshima 50 km

Running the Okinoshima 50 km Ultramarathon on his late father's home island of Oki for the eighth year in a row, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:52:55 to win it for the seventh straight time. Starting strong on the relatively flat first 10 km where he clocked 33:26, low-2:47 pace, Kawauchi slowed to just over 2:50 pace on the course's toughest hills between 10 and 30 km. A sub-2:50 was still in range at that point, but over the last 20 km he faded further to finish in the second-slowest of his Okinoshima wins.



The day before the race Kawauchi paced children in Okinoshima's kids' run. Following that he greeted participants and local supporters at an expo event where he was hailed onstage as the Boston Marathon winner. As per his usual routine, his next race will be the July 1 Gold Coast Marathon in Australia.

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Kipchirchir and Chebii Take on Three Gold Coast Winners

The men's race at Australia's Gold Coast Marathon is usually a Kenya-Japan head-to-head, Kenya taking six wins and Japan three in the last ten years. With not a single Ethiopian in the field for this year's 40th edition it looks set for it to happen yet again.

Sub-2:10 Kenyans Victor Kipchirchir, Douglas Chebii, Philip Sanga and the Japan-based Michael Githae will line up to take on three of the race's last four winners, 2017 champ Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta), 2015-16 winner and course record holder Kenneth Mungara (Kenya) and 2013 champ and perpetual top three placer Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't). With a 1:01:20 at last year's Prague Half debuting Kenyan Eliud Mwangi should also factor into the front end. Give the advantage to team Kenya in this bout, but as Noguchi and Kawauchi have proven Gold Coast is a race where Japanese men are legit contenders.

With the window for getting qualifying times for next year's MGC Race 2020 Olympic trials start…

Japan's 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon to be Held September 15, 2019

On June 15 the JAAF announced the date and course for the Marathon Grand Championship Race, or MGC Race for short, its new almost-one-shot trials race that will determine at least two of the three members of its men's and women's marathon teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The MGC Race will be held 11 months prior to the Olympics on September 15, 2019. The winners of the MGC Race will be named to the 2020 team, with either the 2nd or 3rd placer also named to the team depending on whether either has broken a fast standard, 2:05:30 for men and 2:21:00 for women. The remaining top three placer will have to wait until March, 2020 to find out whether they will be included on the team or passed over in favor of someone who clears another fast standard in one of the big six domestic elite marathons in the winter of 2019-20.

The MGC Race course will closely follow the already announced Olympic course, the only key exception being a start and finish in the Jingu Gaien district nearby …