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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: https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20170607-00000095-dal-spo
translated by Brett Larner

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