Japan’s top marathoner pulled out because of “intense abdominal pain.”
Arata Fujiwara had high hopes for the 2010 ING New York City Marathon, but those hopes were dashed near the 22-mile mark when the Japanese runner dropped out.
“That was the worst pain I’ve felt since my first marathon,” a dejected Fujiwara recalled afterwards.
Fujiwara had been running with the lead pack through the half-marathon point, which was reached in 1:05:20. But near the point where Haile Gebrselassie pulled out, the Queensboro Bridge, he experienced sharp, stabbing pain in his lower left abdomen.
He managed to keep running after the bridge and was bolstered by the crowd. “I thought about dropping out there but the cheering on 1st Avenue was too loud and I couldn’t stop. Every time I slowed to a walk people shouted, ‘Come on! Come on!'” he said.
Fujiwara won the 2010 Ottowa Marathon and has hopes to come back to form in next year’s Tokyo Marathon, which he will be competing in.
For More: Japan Running News