POSTED: 2012-05-14 05:05:14
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
May 14 – One year after the devastating 3/11 earthquake the 22nd Sendai International Half Marathon brought out over 10,000 runners to participate in the event bringing a renewed passion for sports to the area. Over 50 entries in the race were wheelchair participants showing interest in the disabled aspect of the event.
Sendai and the surrounding Tohoku region were severely hit by last year’s earthquake and tsunami and have been working on regeneration in the area.
The marathon welcomed 16 runners from international sister and friendship cities in countries including Belarus, China, France, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan and the US. The event also included 5km and 2km courses for all participants young and old and attracted fans from all over Japan to come and cheer on the runners.
Winner of the men’s division was Kenyan Johana Maina with 1:04:34, Japanese runner Asami Kato nailed the women’s division with 1:11:21 time.
Tsunekazu Takeda, president of Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and Tokyo 2020, said, “On behalf of the Japanese sports community, we sincerely appreciate the generous and heartfelt support that friends worldwide have provided to the people of Tohoku.
“The Sendai International Half Marathon is a wonderful showcase of the invaluable role of sport in inspiring dreams, hopes and positive change.
“All members of the Japanese sports community feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to stand with the people of Tohoku and work toward a better future.”
The JOC is stepping in by sending athletes to host Olympic Day Festas and other events in quake-affected areas under the “Ganbare Nippon” (hang in there Japan) project providing funds, relief goods and medical teams.
Also the The Sports Kokoro Project (www.sports-kokoro.jp) will also send Olympians and Paralympians to visit 538 schools and reach out to almost 46,000 school children.
Tokyo is bidding against Baku, Doha, Istanbul, and Madrid to host the 2020 Olympics. The final vote will be held on September 7, 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()
Keir Radnedge ()
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