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Daiso, Discount Shop Chain With 85% Female Employees, Launches Women's Ekiden Team

At a press conference in Hiroshima on Mar. 20 national 100 yen shop chain Daiso Sangyo announced its sponsorship of the new Daiso women's ekiden team beginning Apr. 1 this year. The new team's inaugural head coach will be local Sera H.S. coaching legend Shinya Iwamoto, 53. The team's initial roster will include five 18-year-old athletes who graduated from high school this month, three of them from Sera including the team's star runner Koto Hiramura.
Iwamoto was born in Higashi Hiroshima. As a senior at Sera H.S. he won the Fourth Stage at the National High School Ekiden, going on to attend Fukuoka University. After graduating he became a junior high school teacher before becoming head coach of the Sera boys in 2004. In 2006 Sera won the National High School Ekiden for the first time in 32 years. In 2010 Iwamoto became the Sera girls' head coach as well, and in 2015 the school became only the second in history to win both the boys' and girls' national title…
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Japan's Oldest-Ever Olympic Marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa Retires at 39

At a press conference in Sayama, Saitama on Mar. 20, 2016 Rio Olympics marathoner Suehiro Ishikawa, 39, announced that he will retire from competition at the end of the month. At the time of the Rio Olympics Ishikawa was 36 years and 11 months old, surpassing 1996 Atlanta Olympics marathoner Hiromi Taniguchi's record of 36 years and 3 months to become Japan's oldest-ever Olympic marathoner. He finished 36th.

"Since I started running high school it's been 24 years," said Ishikawa at the press conference. "I've been with Honda for 17 years, and I made it all the way to the top, the Olympics. I'm glad that I've kept going this long. I thank you all."

Ishikawa ran the Mar. 10 Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon but dropped out after only 10 km. It was to be the last race of his career. "It was the first time in my career that I'd ever DNFd, and I thought, 'OK, this is where it ends,'" said Ishikawa. Shortly after the race he made …

Beijing Olympian Kensuke Takezawa Becomes Head Coach of Osaka Keizai University

On Mar. 19 it was learned that 2008 Beijing Olympian Kensuke Takezawa, 32, has been named head coach of the Osaka Keizai University track and field team. Previous head coach Kunihiro Tsurutani had led Hotoku Gakuen H.S. to six National High School Ekiden titles before taking over at Osaka Keizai. He passed away last year.

Takezawa was coached by Tsurutani at Hotoku Gakuen H.S. A native of Hyogo prefecture, Takezawa went on to Waseda University where he ran the Hakone Ekiden all four years. As a student athlete he ran the 10000 m at the 2007 Osaka World Championships. A year later he ran the 5000 m and 10000 m at the Beijing Olympics. He retired from competition in 2017.

source article:
translated by Brett Larner

'Kenyan Marathoner Set to Represent Seoul at Tokyo 2020' (updated)

Emi Ikeda Named First Female Head Coach of Ritsumeikan Uji High School Ekiden Team

Three-time National High School Ekiden champion Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. released an announcement on Mar. 19 revealing that alumna Emi Ikeda, 35, will take over as the team's head coach effective Apr. 1. Previous head coach Yoshinobu Ogino will remain on in an advisory position. Speaking enthusiastically at the announcement press conference, Ikeda told the media, "I want to learn from Ogino's wealth of knowhow concerning leadership and aim to be #1 in Japan."

Last year marked 30 straight years of Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. making the National High School Ekiden. Ogino commented, "As I approached age 70 I started to think that I would regret it if I didn't help to develop the team's next leader. The color that has been wrought over a long history will run even deeper, and the Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. name will live on forever."

Ikeda is a native of Kyotanabe, Kyoto. Her runner-up placing on the First Stage of the 2000 National High School Ekiden was key to Ritsum…

60-Year-Old Hiromi Nakata Wins Tottori Marathon Overall Women's Race

The Tottori Marathon held its 12th running on March 10. In light rain and 11˚C temperatures 3717 people ran Tottori's one-way course that passes local historic sites such as the Tottori Sand Dunes and the Tottori Castle ruins. Running 3:12:44 for the overall women's win was 60-year-old Hiromi Nakata.
"I was as surprised as anyone that I won," said Tanaka. "I had to stop at the toilets early on and lost some time, but I tried using the double inhale, double exhale breathing method that the actor Kankuro Nakamura uses on the Idaten TV show and got into a good rhythm. Thanks to that I could just keep going and going. I had no idea I was in 1st, and when they put up the finish tape as I was coming in I thought, 'No way!'""
Nakata is a resident of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. In 2017 she ran the fastest time of the year in Japan by a 58-year-old, 3:05:02. In the mornings she does housework and works in her garden for an hour, fitting in 30 to 60-minute run…

Weekend Overseas Race Results

Two weeks after running 2:32:30 at the Tokyo Marathon and a week after a 2:34:49 in Nagoya, Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon. Hoping to break the 2:34:53 course record, Yoshitomi led the lead pack of six women through most of the first half. But nearing the turnaround point she faded, leaving eventual winner Naomi Jepkosgei Maiyo (Kenya) to claim the win in a new course record time of 2:34:08. Runner-up Meseret Gola Sisay (Ethiopia) was also under the old course record, just, in 2:34:51. Yoshitomi fell off pace to take 6th in 2:48:45. The course record also fell in the men's race, with winner Matthew Kipsaat (Kenya) negative splitting a 2:11:17 for the win. Kipsaat was the only runner to go under the old course record of 2:13:05.

Eriko Kushima (Noritz) was faster than Yoshitomi at the Seoul Marathon, running 2:40:55 for 10th. Kazuki Takeshita (SDF) ran 2:14:14 for 12th in the men's race, the best time by a Japanese man outside Japan so far this…