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

Running the 2020 Olympic Marathon Course Part Three - The Men's Marathon and Racewalks

Following last week's run over most of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon course exactly two years before the women's marathon, this morning I went out to do it again at the same time the men's marathon will be held. Last week we focused mostly on the first 20 km and finish. This week I looked more at the second part of the course after 20 km, starting at 7 a.m. and making it back to the stadium at 9:45, about the same time the last few runners in the men's race are likely to finish in two years. Effort-wise I ran about 4:15/km, slightly faster than last week's run to get a better sense of what a decent effort would feel like in the Tokyo conditions.

The Report Last week's heat, humidity and sun pretty well represented Tokyo's weather this summer, but no summer would be complete without a few typhoons. One passed just east of Tokyo yesterday and during the night, bringing cooler temperatures and shifting winds and humidity as it passed to the northeast. The …

Official Caught Manipulating Results to Get Junior High School Athletes Into National Championships

On Aug. 10 the Yamanashi Track and Field Association announced that at last month's Yamanashi Prefecture Junior High School Track and Field Championships a male official had misrepresented the results of two athletes so that they cleared the qualifying standards necessary for them to compete in the National Junior High School Championships.

According to the YTFA, in the girls' 100 m hurdles and boys' 110 m hurdles at July's prefectural meet, while determining finishing time in finish line photographs the official measured the two athletes from the neck rather than from the torso, improving each athlete's time by 0.01 seconds. The official told investigators, "I knew it was wrong, but I had the qualifying marks for Nationals in mind."

The finish line photo data were sent to the JAAF, who discovered the manipulation of the results and brought it to the YTFA's attention on Aug. 2. The YFTA apologized to the two athletes and allowed them to participate i…

Running the 2020 Olympic Marathon Course Part Two - The Women's Marathon

Today marks two years until the women's marathon at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There's been a lot of concern about the 7:00 a.m. start time approved by the IOC two weeks ago as it means that athletes will be running under direct sunlight in temperatures in the low 30's and potentially high humidity. I went down to the Olympic Stadium site this morning and, starting at exactly 7:00 a.m., ran 30 km of the course to check for myself what kind of conditions the athletes will be facing.


If you're not familiar with Tokyo, take a look at the map to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. I ran from the stadium to the 20 km point and then back, cutting out the sections from 20 to 28 km and from 31 to 35 km which I'll do next week on the 9th, two years ahead of the men's marathon.
The bad news: The conditions were tough. With zero cloud cover and very little wind, at the time of the 7:00 a.m. start at the Olympic Stadium it was 31.1˚C with 68% humidity according…