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Morioka To Become Head Coach of Team Noritz

translated by Brett Larner

Following the retirement of head coach Takahiro Ueno in December, Team Noritz has announced that former Team Sega Sammy head coach Yoshihiko Morioka (50) will take over effective Mar. 16. "My goal is to make my runners competitve at the world level," said Morioka. "It will require our complete spirits and bodies."

Morioka is a native of Kawasaki. A notable runner while at Daito Bunka University, he later served as head coach for Team NTN and the now-defunct Team Nihon Seimei and Team Sega Sammy. While with Sega Sammy he coached Yasuko Hashimoto, who ran on the national team in the 2007 Osaka World Championships women's marathon. Both Morioka and Hashimoto left when Sega Sammy ended its support of the team in March last year.

Team Noritz contains six members who will return in the 2009-2010 season, including 2005 and 2007 World Championships marathoner Mari Ozaki. In April three new members will join, namely Misato Horie (Mukogawa Women's Univ.), Hiromi Tani (Kobe Gakuin Univ.) and Rino Hakushi (Bukkyo Univ.), bringing the team's numbers up to nine athletes. 2001 Edmonton World Championships runner and longtime team member Haruko Okamoto is not returning next season.


Anonymous said…
How come ozaki didn't run Nagoya. Is she trying to make the 10000 meters instead? She has virtually no chance on the track. She was only 7th in the qualifying race last year. Is she pregnant? I thought she's going to retire because she skipped Osaka.
Brett Larner said…
I haven't heard anything.

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