Skip to main content

Marathon Great Seko at JAAF Event: "There Is No God"

JAAF marathon development project leader Toshihiko Seko, 60, and three-time Hakone Ekiden champion Aoyama Gakuin University head coach Susumu Hara, 50, appeared together June 7 at the JAAF's kickoff meeting for its 2020 Tokyo Olympics-centered marathon development plan. Speaking frankly, the pair caused a stir in the Japanese athletics world.

Concerning Japan's biggest race Seko said, "The Hakone Ekiden is a local competition. If you have some success you're treated like you rule everything under the sun. Even athletes who haven't done anything particularly special get coverage in the media. They're quick to earn the label "God," but that is a misunderstanding. I tell you: there is no God." With the top corporate league coaches looking on he continued, "Toyota, Konica, Nissin Shokuhin, Fujitsu, they have to do better with the talented athletes they have. I'm not kidding. For real."

Hara was just as sharp in his words, saying, "There is no lateral connection at all between the Kanto Region University Athletics Association, the National University Athletics Association, the corporate leagues in the current athletics world. No consistency [in development]. Everyone is just doing whatever is most expedient for them."

After the event Hara continued, saying, "Seko has been named leader. If we miss this opportunity there will be no hope of reviving Japanese marathoning. I hope Seko will be man enough for the job." Seko answered defiantly, saying, "Give me your support. I'm a man who speaks his mind." United together, the pair form the ultimate tag team to help bring Japanese marathoning back from the grave.

source article:
translated by Brett Larner


Most-Read This Week

Kawauchi and Kiyara Live Up to Expectations With Wan Jin Shi Wins

Returning to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon after having first run it in 2016, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) ran 2:14:12 to score his fourth-straight marathon win in a third-straight wire-to-wire solo performance. Choosing the hilly Wan Jin Shi Marathon as his final main tuneup for next month's Boston Marathon, Kawauchi came out swinging, leading an all-African pack of seven by almost 10 seconds after the tough uphill opening 5 km and stretching that out to over two minutes by the turnaround point at halfway.

On track to break the 2:13:05 course record by more than two minutes. under sunny skies with temperatures climbing to 22C and nearly 80% humidity Kawauchi began to slow incrementally. Behind him, Johnstone Kibet Maiyo (Kenya) and Aredome Tiuyay Degefa (Ethiopia) separated from the chase pack and began to push each other in pursuit of the top spot. With every 5 km split the gap to Kawauchi narrowed. At 40 km Maiyo threw down to get rid of Degefa, blasting the dow…

Kawauchi and Kiyara Headline Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returns to Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon this Sunday for his marathon of the post-Yuta Shitara era. The runner-up in Wan Jin Shi in 2016, Kawauchi is ranked #1 in the field and comes to Wan Jin Shi with wins in his last three marathons but faces a solid field including fellow sub-2:10 man Peter Kiplagat Sitenei, last year's runner-up Tsegaye Debele (Ethiopia), and the only man to beat him last time around, 2016 winner and course record holder William Chebon Chebor (Kenya). Kawauchi plans to use the hilly race as a tune-up for his main marathon of the spring season, April's Boston Marathon.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rael Kiyara Nguriatukei (Kenya), winner of the 2012 Hamburg Marathon before being stripped of her title and suspended for a positive post-race test for norandrosterone, has the fastest recent time in the women's field with a 2:26:22 winning time at last year's Chongqing Marathon. Close behind is Chemtai …

Katanishi Scores Best-Ever Japanese Collegiate Placing at United Airlines NYC Half

Wearing bib #21 on his 21st birthday, 2017 World University Games half marathon gold medalist Kei Katanishi (Komazawa University) turned in the best-ever Japanese collegiate placing at the United Airlines NYC Half, taking 7th in 1:03:05 just 26 seconds off the win.

Katanishi and his Komazawa teammate Shogo Ise earned invites to the NYC Half by taking the top two Japanese collegiate spots at last November's Ageo City Half Marathon. Off the tougher new New York course both Katanishi and Ise ran in the lead group for the first two-thirds of the race, Ise near the front and Katanishi biding his time at the back of the pack. When the first real move came on the uphill approaching Times Square Katanishi was quick to reposition himself into the top three just off the shoulder of leader Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.), staying in the action and looking smooth through the first set of Central Park hills. "I just took the early part easy and watched the others and what was going," Kat…