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Kanto Region Qualifier for National University Men's Ekiden Canceled

Thank you all for your continued cooperation and support, and our sincere gratitude for your support of the Inter-University Athletics Union of Kanto (KGRR). The KGRR has been busily preparing for its upcoming season of events, but the development of the coronavirus crisis has forced a reevaluation of the schedule.

Given the number of incidents of cluster infections that have contributed to a rapid spread, if such an incident were to occur at the time of one of our events it would cause a significant strain upon the local medical care system. Additionally, the Apr. 7 national declaration of a state of emergency has been extended beyond its original ending date of May 6, restricting many member schools to having its athletes train only on their own on an extracurricular basis.

In such a situation in which athletes are unable to train adequately, we do not feel it is possible to stage competitions in which it is safe for them to compete. Needless to say, the health  and lives of the athletes is the KGRR's highest priority, and with that in mind it has made the following decisions regarding major events on the schedule this year. We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

June - National University Men's Ekiden Championships Kanto Region Qualifier - canceled
Alternative team selection method TBA.

July - Kanto Region University Student Abashiri Time Trials - canceled

Translator's note: This news follows the Kansai region's May 5 announcement of the cancelation of its qualifier for the National University Men's Ekiden. The Kanto region's cancelation is not susprising at all, but it's a bigger deal as Kanto schools regularly sweep the top ten at Nationals. The eight schools that already qualified for Nationals by placing in the top eight at last year's race all come from Kanto. Whether more join them, and whether the Nov. 3 event happens at all, remains to be seen. The cancelation of the Abashiri meet in July more or less confirms that the Hokuren Distance Challenge series of track time trial meets in Hokkaido won't happen either.

source article:
translated by Brett Larner

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