Skip to main content

Former World-Class Marathoner Hara Admits to Shoplifting During Athlete Days Due to Coach's Severe Weight Restrictions



Accused of shoplifting 380 yen [~$3.50 USD] worth of candy from a supermarket in Ota, Gunma in February while under probation in another shoplifting case, former World Championships marathoner Yumiko Hara, 36, now a restaurant worker, underwent questioning in her second trial at Maebashi District Ota Branch Court under judge Masaya Okuyama.

Crying as she spoke, Hara confessed to having shoplifted as an elementary school student. She said that as an athlete she had developed an eating disorder due to the strict weight restrictions and had resorted to stealing food. Even after retiring, she said, "I would throw up food after eating it."

"I was always hungry, always felt thirsty," Hara said of her time as an athlete. "They put severe restrictions on my weight that went way beyond what any other university or corporate team would do." She said that after joining the corporate leagues her coach would take her wallet away from her at training camps so that she couldn't go buy food. She gave in to the temptation to steal food, the first time she had stolen as an adult, she said.

Hara said that in the current case she had gone to the supermarket to buy bread and doesn't remember the moment she stole the candy. "The other shoplifting case had been in the news and it felt like someone was always watching me," she said. "I was too afraid to put the candy back." Her lawyer is pleading mental illness in her case based upon a doctor's assessment due to be issued this month.

Translator's note: After graduating from high school Hara joined the Kyocera corporate team. She later transferred to the Universal Entertainment team where she trained under celebrated coach Yoshio Koide. She placed 6th in the marathon at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and has a marathon best of 2:23:48.

source articles:
https://www.sankei.com/sports/news/180608/spo1806080033-n1.html
https://www.mbs.jp/news/sp/zenkokunews/20180608/3391385.shtml
translated by Brett Larner

Comments

Most-Read This Week

'Tokyo Unveils 2020 Olympics Logo By Kenjiro Sano'

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…

Tanaka and Hashioka Win Gold - World U20 Championships Day Two Japanese Results

Working together to execute an aggressive frontrunning team strategy born from failure two years ago in Bydgoszcz, 2018 Asian U20 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka and 2018 Asian Junior Cross Country gold medalist Yuna Wada opened a massive lead over the African Junior Cross Country medalist Ethiopian duo of Meselu Berhe and Tsige Gebreselama in the early going of the Tampere World U20 Championships women's 3000 m. Tanaka took the lead from the gun before Wada went out front at 200 m to set a fast pace. Through splits of 3:00 and 3:03 for the first 2000 m, Tanaka kicked hard from 300 m out to close with a 2:51 for Japan's first-ever gold medal in the event, winning in a PB of 8:54.01.

Berhe and Gebreselama caught Wada on the back corner but weren't even close to matching Tanaka, taking 2nd and 3rd in PBs just under the 9-minute mark. Wada just held off Kenyan Jenali Jemutai Yego for 4th in 9:00.50, seeming happy in post-race interviews to have helped a teammate score gol…