The town of Isahaya, Nagasaki held a support event June 9 for native son Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) ahead of August's Jakarta Asian Games where Inoue will run the marathon. In front of 140 people including his parents and coaches Inoue vowed to succeed, saying, "I'm where I am thanks to all of you who have supported me this far. I want to get back to basics and put everything I have into winning the gold medal."
Inoue graduated from Iimori J.H.S. and Chinzei Gakuin H.S. in Isahaya before attending Yamanashi Gakuin University. At February's Tokyo Marathon he ran 2:06:54 for 5th to earn his place on the Asian Games team.
The support event was organized by the Isahaya Track and Field Association and the trustees of Chinzei Gakuin H.S. Isahaya Track and Field Association chairperson Atsuhiro Ogawa told Inoue, "The high temperatures in Jakarta will have a serious impact on the body, making it a race of attrition. I hope that you arrive there in peak condition and show them what you've got." Chinzei Gakuin president Hideo Kuribayashi commented, "You are the pride of Isahaya. Two years from now we expect to see you in the Tokyo Olympics as well. We support you with all our hearts."
Attendees at the event wrote messages of support for Inoue on a Japanese flag, telling him, "Believe in yourself," and "Aim to become Asia's champion." The Jakarta Asian Games men's marathon will take place August 25.
translated by Brett Larner