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

'Niiya and McSweyn Take Zatopek:10 Victories in Melbourne'

https://www.iaaf.org/news/report/niiya-mcsweyn-win-zatopek-10-2018

58th Zatopek:10Melbourne, Australia, 12/13/18
complete results

Women's 10000 m
1. Hitomi Niiya (Japan/Nike Tokyo TC) - 31:32.50
2. Sinead Diver (Australia) - 31:50.98
3. Ellie Pashley (Australia) - 32:17.81
4. Emily Brichacek (Australia) - 32:22.38
5. Camille Buscomb (New Zealand) - 32:28.37

Women's 1500 m
1. Whitney Sharpe (Australia) - 4:16.48
2. Madeleine Murray (Australia) - 4:18.36
3. Lilli Price (Australia) - 4:18.73
4. Natalie Rule (Australia) - 4:22.15
5. Isabella Thornton-Bott (Australia) - 4:23.53
-----
7. Ran Urabe (Japan/Nike Tokyo TC) - 4:27.32

action photo © 2018 Riley Wolff/Tempo Journal, all rights reserved
trophy photo © 2018 Masato Yokota, all rights reserved

Iron Injections Remain an Issue in Japanese High School Girls' Distance Running

To treat anemia some of the country's top high school ekiden teams inappropriately utilize iron injections that could have a harmful effect on athletes' health.

Iron injections are primarily used to treat serious anemia arising from iron deficiency, but according to experts they also improve endurance. As a result their use has spread across the country over the last 20 years, primarily among female athletes who are more prone to anemia.

Following a 2015 case in which an athlete was confirmed to have suffered liver damage as a result of excess iron levels, in April, 2016 the JAAF issued a warning for coaches to stop the practice of injections, saying, "The accumulation of iron in the internal organs has deleterious effects on the body." In an interview two women who graduated prior to the JAAF's warning talked about their firsthand experience in high school. Under their coaches' direction both used iron injections throughout their high school careers and pro…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …